OCC and 'Freedom Day'

By Sanjay Mahtani, for the Covid team

On Sunday 18 July 2021 I gave a verbal update, on behalf of our Covid working group, about OCC's plans for Sunday services after 'Freedom Day' Monday 19 July.

For more details on what I said, please visit www.occ.org.uk/coronavirus#services

Sanjay Mahtani, for the Covid team

OCC and further easing of lockdown

By Steve Jones

As we all know, there are going to be further easing of lockdown on Monday 19th July and even though we know some of what will be said, we don't know the full extent of what changes there will be for churches. So, before we can respond fully, we are waiting for the government to publish advice and legislation next week.

In the meantime, Steve shares some news and thoughts about refreshments, restrictions and the word of the Lord in this next season!

Bear, butterfly, diamond or seedling?

By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

This week marks the beginning of Step 3 in the English roadmap out of lockdown. There are new freedoms and opportunities. As the elders were praying earlier in the week, we thought about some of the different ways that we will all be feeling and responding as we emerge into relative freedom. 

Maybe you feel like a bear emerging from hibernation with a sore head! For you, the lockdown has left you disorientated, maybe slightly grumpy and uncertain about what the world is like now. You don't want to be awakened, and as you emerge you wonder whether anything has changed!

Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

OCC and Lockdown 3.0

By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

England is now in national lockdown. While there are difficult constraints on our social lives, schooling and work, places of worship can remain open, and people are allowed to leave home to attend.

What are we to make of this freedom to gather, while other aspects of life are severely constrained, and we are advised to 'stay at home' except for essential reasons? Is OCC right to continue with onsite services, or should we revert to online only? 

Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

OCC and Tier 4

By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

From Boxing Day 2020, Oxfordshire has been in 'Tier 4' of the England Covid regulations. Tier 4 (and all other tiers) allow places of worship to 're-open', and people are allowed to leave home to attend a place of worship.

What are we to make of this freedom to gather, while other aspects of life are severely constrained, and we are advised to 'stay at home' except for essential reasons? In other words, is OCC right to continue with in-person services, as we intend to do, or should we revert to online only?

Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

Covid-secure worship: behind the scenes

By Andy O'Connell

Some of you will be interested in what has been going on behind the scenes, as Christian and other faith leaders have worked with government on the question of whether and how places of worship can re-open while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

During 'lockdown 1' (from 23 March 2020) places of worship were required to close, until 4 July, when they were allowed to re-open as the first wave waned.

Lockdown 2 and OCC

By Sanjay Mahtani (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

You will have heard that England is going into lockdown from Thursday, 5 November, 2020. Before we can respond fully, we are waiting for the government to publish advice and legislation early this week. However, government has already made clear that places of worship will not be able to open for public worship for at least 4 weeks.

Sanjay Mahtani (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

Oxford in Tier 2

By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

On Saturday 31 October, Oxford City will move into Tier 2 "High Alert" for coronavirus. More information from Oxford City Council, including a map of the City boundary, can be found here

Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Covid Working Group)

New series - new season - new Sundays!

By Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Elders)

We're very excited about our new series - IDENTITY - starting this Sunday 4 October. This series was planned for the Summer 2020 term and then postponed due to COVID, so it's been in the pipeline for ages and we're delighted to finally get to it. IDENTITY will ask who God is, and how we get to be in relation to him! In other words, how our true identity as humans is found in relationship with our loving heavenly Father. 

Andy O'Connell (on behalf of the Elders)