Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Return to worship in buildings – A letter from Rev John

You will receive this information with Messenger which is now being delivered around the congregation

It is a year since Covid restrictions began, and for most of the year our worship in the church building has been much curtailed. But it will be increasingly possible to return safely, including being able to worship together on Easter morning, although there is yet no indication of when we might be able to sing hymns or share coffee afterwards. And for those not yet ready to return, the availability of services on radio, telephone, website, YouTube and Zoom will continue as we are one body in Christ even if not all in one building.

We seek to encourage good spiritual and mental health by beginning to meet together again in worship and fellowship, but we must meet safely to protect the physical health of everyone in our congregation.

Preaching plan – March to May

  • Thurs 18th March 9.30am – Rev David Payne
  •   (Sunday 21st March – no service)
  • Thurs 25th 9.30am – Leader: Rev John, Preacher: Mr Edwin Hird
  • Sunday 28th March 11am – Mr Edwin Hird
  • Thurs 1st April 9.30am – Rev John
  • Good Friday 2nd April – we will mark the day with people encouraged to walk the prayer labyrinth in the church garden at some point in the day, especially between 12 noon and 3pm, to mark the final hours of Jesus’ life.
  • An increased but still safe capacity of 72 will be introduced as restrictions lift, to enable more of our congregation to return to worship for Easter Sunday.
  • Easter Sunday 4th April 11am – Rev John will lead a short service of Holy Communion as we celebrate new life and hope.  
  • Thurs 8th 9.30am – Mrs Vanessa Purdy
  • Sunday 11th April 11am – Annual Church Meeting as part of Worship
  • Thurs 15th 9.30am – All We Can service with Preacher: Mr Tim Baker
  •  (Sunday 18th April – no service)
  • Thurs 22nd 9.30am – Mrs Susan Thorne
  • Sunday 25th April 11am – Mrs Susan Thorne
  • Thurs 29th 9.30am – Rev John
  • Sunday 2nd May 11am – Rev John
  • Thurs 6th 9.30am – Christian Aid with Mrs Vanessa Purdy
  •  (Sunday 9th May – no service)
  • Thurs 13th May 9.30am – Rev John
  • Sunday 16th May 11am – Rev John
  • Thurs 20th 9.30am – JPIT Climate Sunday
  • Sunday 23rd May 11am – Pentecost – Mrs Jeanne Spencer
  • Thurs 27th 9.30am – Rev David Payne
  • Sunday 30th May – Section service – maybe outside weather permitting!


Even as restrictions are lifted, it is essential that everyone carries on with the good habits that reduce transmission: remembering ‘hands, face, space’ and letting fresh air in. It is still important to get a test on the first sign of symptoms and self-isolate if it is positive. If showing any symptoms, please do not attend worship and put others at risk.

Safe Behaviours

  • Wash hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, and sanitise hands on entering and exiting the church.
  • Wear a face mask at all times in the church building.
  • Maintain space with anyone outside your household or bubble, including outside of the building in the car park.
  • Minimise the time in the building by coming just a few minutes beforehand and leaving promptly afterwards.
  • Download the NHS Test & Trace app.
  • Get a test immediately if you have symptoms.
  • Self-isolate if you have symptoms, have tested positive, or had contact with someone with COVID-19.

We remember those who have died over this past year and will sadly not be a part of our services here on earth, but we believe in life after death and the worship of saints around the throne in heaven.

God continue to bless you, and keep you safe, in these days.


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