17 March Update – Be Church!

Dear Hope Church Family,

Jesus is still Lord! In the fast-changing and challenging situation that we are in, it is crucial for us to remember that. He is the focus of our faith and hope He sits on Heaven’s throne, and in Him our faith is steadfast and certain.

In light of Government guidance published yesterday we want to share some things that won’t change for us as a church family and some things that will.


Who Jesus has called us to be as a church family has not changed. Whilst we cannot gather in the same we are encouraging us all even more to BE church rather than simply DO church. We remain completely committed to being unashamedly about Jesus and helping people find their way back to God.

To help us live this out in this season we are highlighting four key principles for our church family to help us respond. They are explored more in this document (Be Church.pdf) which can be printed out or viewed on a device. The headlines are:
– We will PRAY in God’s name.
– We will PROMOTE God’s Kingdom.
– We will PROCLAIM Good News.
– We will PROTECT Ourselves and Others.

Expect to hear more of these ideas as we move forward with all that’s going on.


Whilst there are things that will not change, there are a number of things that will. The biggest of these is that there will be no central gatherings at Hope. Gold Hill will be live streaming (via their website) at 10am on  Sundays. It will initially include worship, a message and prayer. This will be the only stream on Sundays. Life Groups and prayer meetings will not be able to meet face-to-face.

There will be material and resources online and via email equipping and encouraging folk to BE church. This will include: online mid-week prayer times/life groups/discovery Bible Studies online. Hardcopies of resources and communication will go to those not online where possible. One resource that many in the community have already been using is this little flyer..

I can help.jpg

Children and Youth teams are ceasing to meet centrally but are preparing resources for families and systems of connection with the children, young people and families.

Pastoral visits will be done online or over the phone and other means as appropriate. As with most families, everyone looks out for everyone and not just one individual. This needs to continue to be the same with Hope. Please keep in touch with people, pray for them, see what they need. If you go into self-isolation or fall unwell, please let me know directly.

This coming Sunday, we are going to join with thousands (if not millions) of other Christians in a Day of Prayer. This will be the theme of our stream at 10am. I am working out a way of helping folk engage with a gathering if they don’t have internet. Watch this space.

May God bless you, and may He strengthen and embolden each of us to be His hands, feet, voice and heart in the coming days.

Stephen Walker-Williams

On behalf of the Hope Leadership