Coronavirus / COVID-19

Introduction:
We are now meeting back at the building for our main services, and where possible these will continue to be streamed online via our  YouTube Channel. Other meetings are being held at the building, or across streaming or video-conferencing services – please refer to the diary page for specifics. Please check back here periodically for updates, or our Facebook page – or request to join the Fellowship Group on Facebook (if you’re a regular). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Update September 2021

14th September, 2021

We’re sorry for the lack of updates via the website. A lot of our pre-COVID activities have resumed at the church:

  • Sunday Services at 11am and 6pm, including tea and coffee after the evening service
  • Sunday School, and creche, during the morning service (typically going out during the 2nd hymn)
  • Busy Bees on Mondays
  • Ladies’ meeting on Tuesdays
  • Footsteps, Gladiators and TAG on Fridays

The Bible Study/Prayer Meeting on Wednesdays from 7:30pm will remain on Zoom at present (contact us for a link), due to maintenance issues with the Mission Hall.

Please note that as per Welsh Government guidelines, masks are required in the building, unless exempt.

The main seating area of the church can now be used without social distancing and without having to notify us about attendance.

However, we are aware that some are still trying to socially distance, and have kept an area of the main church reserved for this purpose (on the right, as you enter the building). As we need to know week-to-week how much to reserve, if you wish to make use of the “socially distanced” seating, please contact Lanny as before, or via our contact form.

Sunday services will continue to be streamed to YouTube for the timebeing.

Arrangements are subject to change. If you have any questions about the changing arrangements, please contact us as linked above.

August – interim update

8th August, 2021

Yesterday, the Welsh Government moved Wales into “level zero”, including updating guidelines for meeting indoors and social distancing: https://gov.wales/alert-level-0

The church officers hope to meet this week to discuss these changes, and the opportunities they give us. Further updates will be provided.

In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidance below, including SMS’ing Lanny with regards to attending our services next Sunday. You may also use our contact form.

Summer update

24th July, 2021

We’ve reached the school summer holidays and so there are fewer activities going on each week, as the children’s work, mens’ meeting and apprentices groups take a break until September.

It would be lovely to see you if you’re in the area and wish to visit; please just send us a message to let us know if you hope to come; how many of you there will be, morning, evening or both, and/or if you have any particular requirements (e.g. need to be downstairs, need space for a wheelchair, or need to be within the loop system; that kind of thing).

In terms of our services, please see the update below. The Welsh Government advice is expected to change again mid-August, but for now the social distancing arrangements and need to wear masks remain in place.

 

Update June 2021 – Summary

27th June, 2021

A lot of discussions have been held over the last few weeks, including at the Members meeting, which include a number of adjustments to our weekly activities. We’re glad we have this opportunity to worship together, including singing again, and that some of the childrens’ work can resume in-person. The following list is a summary of where things are – if you have particular questions, please contact us.

  • Main services: Sunday Evening services will resume at the church from 4th July.Reminder: Coordinating the service arrangements – and especially the seating – is non-trivial in a building like Ebenezer. It would be really helpful if you could let us know by each Friday evening if you intend to come or not. Please SMS Lanny including your name and number of attendees and if you have any particular requirements. If you don’t have his number, please use this contact form. Where possible, services will continue to be streamed on our YouTube channel. We do have an overflow available if space becomes short.
    .
  • Social distancing and covid-safe measures remain in place with some adjustments:
    • attendees are requested be arrive at scheduled times;
    • both doors at the front of the church should be used;
    • masks should be worn;
    • officers will check temperatures, and request the use of hand sanitizer;
    • check-in via the NHS app should be done where possible (otherwise provide details on the track and trace forms);
    • seating is socially distanced;
    • songs will be played on the screens; quiet singing behind masks is permitted;
    • an “overflow” in the mission hall is also available to watch the service;
    • Sunday school has resumed for younger children during the service;
    • Creche rooms are available, but we ask parents look after their own children at present.
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  • Over the summer holiday period, the bible study aspect of our mid week meeting will take place along with the prayer time on Zoom from 7:30pm, using “Group 1” (contact us for a link if you don’t have one).
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  • Footsteps and Gladiators have resumed meeting at he church on a Friday evening; TAG will continue to meet outdoors or on Zoom – please keep an eye on the parents’ group for details.

Update June 2021 – future opportunities

9th June, 2021

We’re sorry it’s been a while since our last update. A lot of discussions have been going on over the last few weeks now that the COVID-19 alert level in Wales has been reduced. This is in order to work out how best to apply the guidelines in the ongoing life of our church. This includes thinking through which meetings can resume (and how, practically), and where differences it may make in our worship services.

The church officers have met a number of times to discuss the positive steps we can take. A roadmap of plans will be presented to the church shortly – firstly at the Members’ AGM on the 14th, and then amongst the wider congregation, and on this site.

Please continue to pray for one another and the work of the church at this time. The midweek meetings are an excellent opportunity for this – details may be found on our diary page.

Welsh Government guidelines update May 2021

16th May, 2021

The guidelines issued by the Welsh Government regarding the reopening of churches may be found here: https://gov.wales/guidance-reopening-places-worship-coronavirus-html.

They were last updated on the 14th of May. Broardly speaking, the restrictions we face in terms of singing and social distancing remain unchanged for level 3 as for level 4, but they contain a number of clarifications and other details.

The church officers are reviewing what may be possible to undertake activity-wise in the light of forthcoming proposed changes to the law from the 17th May, but details are TBC and announcements will be made in due course once risk assessments have been undertaken.

Returning to the premises February 2021

15th February, 2021

As announced on Sunday, we will be resuming meeting at the Ebenezer church premises on Sunday 28th February – for morning services only. Evening services will continue online on YouTube only. All are welcome – but please consider in your own mind the potential health risks of attending, vs. watching the services online from home.

Social distancing and covid-safe measures will remain in place:

  • attendees will be asked to arrive at scheduled times;
  • both doors at the front of the church should be used;
  • masks should be worn;
  • officers will check temperatures, and request the use of hand sanitizer;
  • check-in via the NHS app should be done where possible (otherwise provide details on the track and trace forms);
  • seating will be socially distanced;
  • songs will be played on the screens; there will be no singing;
  • due to laws against meeting others outdoors, attendees will be asked to head home after the service, not chat outside;
  • an “overflow” in the mission hall will be available to watch the service.

Coordinating the service arrangements – and especially the seating – is non-trivial in a building like Ebenezer. It would be really helpful if you could let us know by the evening of Friday 26th Feb if you intend to come or not. Please SMS or ring Lanny (not WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Email or other means), including your name and number of attendees. If you don’t have his number, please use this contact form.

Update on arrangements

2nd February, 2021

It’s been a while since our last update, but things essentially remain unchanged: whilst the number of COVID cases, and associated risks remain high, we are meeting online only. This includes our services on Sunday, the midweek meetings and other activities, as outlined on our diary page.

We appreciate meeting digitally is not the same as meeting in person, and we miss meeting together at the building, but the risks to those in our fellowship, balanced with our ability to stream online means we feel this is the best course for the present. We’re reviewing this position regularly.

As we’ve been exhorted in pastor’s messages from the book of James*, let us continue to live out our faith; looking out for one another regardless of background or situation. Lets keep in touch and continue to encourage one another daily. Drop someone a line that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Send someone a message, or write a letter.

*available via our YouTube channel – see the Sunday Services playlist.

Important: Changes to meeting arrangements

24th December, 2020

As announced at the carol service, the decision has been made to suspend meeting at the church premises until the coronavirus situation in our area improves. Although legally we may still meet, the recommendation is to not do so, nor for people to leave their homes unless necessary. Given we are set up for running services online, we have taken the decision to do so for the timebeing. The officers’ will keep this under review.

This means all forthcoming services: Christmas day, Sunday 27th and on, will be on YouTube only. Other online meetings like the Bible Study/Prayer meeting will continue as at present, as will the ladies’ and mens’ meetings and youth work, once they resume in January.

If you have questions about this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thank you.

Click here for details of our week of Prayer, 4th-8th January 2021

Christmas arrangements

16th December, 2020

The diary page has been updated with the arrangements for Sunday 20th, and Christmas day.

Contact us ASAP if you wish to attend any of these services so that we can reserve seating for you.

We hope to have an overflow operating in the mission hall in time for the carol service should numbers be too great for the main hall.

Some notes about the services

Our annual carol service will take place on the Sunday evening. It will be different to previous years, in that Senedd restrictions on singing as a congregation are still in place, nor are we able to have groups singing to us (e.g. the children). The carols will take place in a similar manner to our regular services, having been able to source recordings/videos of carols being sung (including our own, from previous services!).

Covid-19 cases in Swansea are continue to grow rapidly, which the officers’ are concerned about. When attending in person, please observe all the arrangements we have in place as we try to run our services as safely as possible. To summarise:

  • Queue outside the building, to the left or right as advised when booking your seat.
  • Upon entry, use the hand sanitizer provided, and submit to having your temperature taken by one of the officers using our contactless scanners. If your temperature is high; you will be asked to leave and make arrangements for watching the service online.
  • Provide your details for track & trace if you’ve not done so already.
  • Scan the NHS App poster, where possible.
  • You will be directed to your seat.
  • Please remain in your seat until guided to leave at the end of the service by one of the officers.
  • The disabled toilet in the entrance of the church may be used during the service.
  • Please do not stop to chat in the church building.
  • Please observe social distancing both in and outside of the church building.
  • If you have any questions, please contact us, or ask one of the church officers.

If you have concerns about attending, please don’t feel pressured to do so; enjoy the services from home via YouTube (where you can sing along without restriction!): https://www.youtube.com/c/EbenezerBaptistChurchSwansea

Diary

Our weekly activities are running a little different to normal.

View our diary page


YouTube

Since March 2020, we have been streaming our Sunday services and Bible-studies online via YouTube. Watch live or re-watch from the archive.

Visit our YouTube Channel


Recent sermons