"Like you, we are adjusting to new patterns and styles of living and working. I am back from my 'one piece of exercise' walk in the park. A glorious, spring, sunny day with more than a hint of warmth. You have to stop and remind yourself there is a killer virus about! Yet the lockdown is serious and the new normal has streets that can be eerily quiet in central London.
At the same time there is so much to be grateful to God for. Thank you to all of you who wrote in so encouragingly after our first set of Sunday services online. They seem to have reached a remarkable spread of listeners across the world with more than 6,000 viewings on YouTube when I last looked. A far broader reach than ordinary services would have. Here are just a couple of the emails we received:
"Thank you to all the team for putting together the online service which I have just watched this evening. Immensely grateful. Stay safe."
"Many thanks for live streaming the morning service today. We really appreciated the work of the team who enabled this to happen and also to the participants who led, sang, read, and preached. It was wonderful to fellowship together - electronically! Most of all it, it was special to be able to still praise and worship the Lord and hear his word in these unusual times, connected with many others who normally worship at All Souls. We pray for you as you seek to join the church family together through this technology and also reach those who might not ordinarily enter a church building but may now hear the Gospel through the internet."
It is clear that people had been encouraging friends and family to tune in. We hope you carry on doing so, as the latest government guidelines allow us to film without an audience so we will be bringing services online again this coming Sunday, with the musicians adding some creative ideas to the mix!
I am so grateful for this modern technology too which allows us to communicate and stay in touch like this. Staff have been getting used to working from home and online and seemed in good spirits as we drew all the staff together on zoom on Monday to enjoy a full staff meeting (including two members who were calling in from America at the time!!). In addition Life groups are beginning to meet this week online too. Enjoy the time with each other!
God has placed us in this world at this time for a purpose: to reflect the Jesus who did not shrink away but gave himself for us. May that be our witness in the weeks and months ahead."
Wednesday 25 March 2020