Coronavirus / COVID-19

This page provides an overview of Ebenezer Baptist Church’s response to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic challenges from March 2020.

All Sunday services will continue to be streamed online via our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EbenezerBaptistChurchSwansea, whether we’re meeting at the premises or not. Other meetings are being held across video-conferencing or group chats as appropriate. For specific details, check out our diary page. Please check back here periodically for updates, or our Facebook page – or the Facebook Fellowship Group if you’re a regular. We are also aiming to keep members/attendees updated via SMS and email.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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 Lanny, 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

Resuming at the building

13th November, 2020

As Wales leaves the Firebreak lockdown, we will resume meeting at the premises on Sunday morning, 15th November at 11am. Please can you all contact us (specifically, Lanny) if you intend to attend as it’s been a few weeks since the last service.

When attending, please follow our guidelines. We will be staggering arrivals, using both entrances at the front of the church; checking your temperature and asking you to hand sanitize on the way in. You should also check in using the NHS test and trace app with the posters in the entrance. You will be given a designated seat. Please note that this may be different from last time you visited.

The service will be broadcast live on YouTube at the address above, and other meetings in the week will continue online in various ways, including the newly restarted Men’s meeting.

Please continue to keep in touch with each other; call, or send messages and encouragements. Continue to pray for one another and for our church, city, country, and government. To that end, join us on Wednesday after the bible-study for our Zoom-based prayer times when we seek the Lord together. They have been times of blessing and we would encourage all our members and friends to join us (contact us for one of the meeting links).

Firebreak restrictions update

19th October, 2020

Today it was announced that Wales as a whole will be going into a “Firebreak” this Friday at 6pm for 17 days (see Welsh Government information). It is stipulated that places of worship must close, in terms of regular services on the premises.

Therefore, our Sunday services will be fully online for the next 3 Sundays: 25th October, 1st & 8th November. Please do not come to the church building on those Sundays! Instead, watch the services wherever you are via our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EbenezerBaptistChurchSwansea.

Other organised activities you can join in with are:

  • Tuesdays @ 2:30pm, Ladies’ meeting via Zoom,
  • Wednesdays @ 7:30, Bible Study on YouTube,
    followed by prayer groups on Zoom @ 8pm*,
  • Fridays – children and youth work on YouTube and Zoom.

In the light of recent messages, at this time of uncertainty we should remember that despite being physically apart, we are all part of the same fellowship; the church; the body of Christ. Although things may be difficult, let us endeavour to keep in contact with and encourage one another over the coming days. Practically speaking; send someone a message; do a video call; talk to, and pray for one another. As the lockdown measures increase, may we be imaginative in how we support one another!

NB. The November members’ meeting will still take place on 9th November @ 7:30pm via Zoom (member packs to be distributed via email).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

* Send us a message to request a Zoom meeting link.

September Lockdown

25th September, 2020

Today it was announced that Swansea will be going into lockdown this coming Sunday. There are no additional restrictions on meeting for worship (see https://gov.wales/swansea-council-area-lockdown-frequently-asked-questions#section-51403), so we intend to continue meeting at the premises on Sunday mornings – for the timebeing.

We will continue to stagger arrivals, enforce temperature checks, hand sanitisation, and distancing whilst inside the premises. We can assure you that the church officers are doing all they can to make the church a safe place, and reviewing the situation regularly.

Given the increasing risk posed by the virus in the city, there are those that should remain at home, or those that may wish to, due to family, work, or health reasons. We completely understand this, and wouldn’t want anyone to come out against their conscience. The services will continue to be streamed from the church so that anyone can join in, and if, in due course we are prevented from meeting at all, the services will simply continue fully online.

Visiting, or staying home

If you have previously been to the services, but decide to remain home going forward, please let us know, as it will help with seating arrangements. If you’ve not been before, but would like to, simliarly, let us know so that we can make sure we have a space for you. Thank you.

NHS COVID-19 App

When you visit the premises, we will have sign-in posters up near the entrance for you to scan with the new NHS COVID-19 app, in order to “sign in”. There will be a poster on each side of the entrance to the church, by each queue for entering the building.

The app can be downloaded from the Android and Apple play stores, if you have a compatible phone.

Update on online services

6th September, 2020

Services have now resumed in the mornings at the church building. Just a reminder to please let us know if you intend to come along, as the church is starting to fill up – in terms of the numbers permitted from a social-distancing point of view. We are continuing to fine-tune the service streaming and apologise for the sound issues this morning.

The Friday evening young people’s groups will continue to meet online for the timebeing, across YouTube and Zoom.

The Ladies’ meeting will continue to meet on Zoom.

The Prayer Meeting/Bible Study will continue to be held on YouTube, followed by groups on Zoom.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Return to church – Thank you

23rd August, 2020

Our thanks go to those who have joined us at the church the last two Sunday mornings. We have endeavoured to make the church a safe place – but not uncomfortable – and so we hope you enjoyed fellowshipping in person again! We also hope that those of you shielding or remaining at home have been able to feel a part of the services.

NB. The services remain on YouTube for re-watching.

Just to confirm the officers’ are continuing to look at other aspects of church life and hope to provide further updates soon!

Please note that the service on the 30th August WILL NOT be taking place at the church building; just online via our YouTube channel.

Return to church

13th August, 2020

Return to church
As announced, it is the intention of the church to resume meeting together on Sunday mornings at the building from the 16th August (for those able to do so, in the light of Welsh Government regulations).

To help explain how this will work, we’ve prepared a video outlining some of the procedures regarding your arrival at the building:

The 6pm evening services will not be held at he church building; they will continue to be streamed on our YouTube channel.

The morning service on the 30th August will also be online only for logistical reasons.

The following points elaborate on these procedures, and are subject to change:

Before you arrive:

  • Whether you’re a regular, or new to the church, where possible, please let us know if you intend to come so that we can allocate seating, so as to best fit everyone in.
  • Welsh Government regulations recommend shielding for those over 70, or with particular health conditions. Please consider these seriously before deciding whether to attend the services. The services will continue to be streamed on YouTube. There will be those who continue to watch from home for a variety of reasons.
  • Please bring your own bible as we are prevented from having shared books during the service.
  • We recommend the use of masks when attending the service. Please bring your own; the church has a limited supply in case you forget.

Upon arrival:

  • Please arrive at church a little earlier than normal, as the queuing and entry process may take a few minutes, depending on how many arrive at the same time (remember to bring an umbrella if the weather is poor).
  • A steward will direct you to one of the two doors at the front of the church, depending on your seating number and which side of the church you will be on. We should have space for those who arrive unannounced too, but please bear in mind that spaces are limited due to the social-distancing regulations, and so it’s possible the church may fill up in which case you will be asked to watch the service online from elsewhere.
  • Once inside, hand sanitiser should be used; provided by the church, but you may also bring and use your own.
  • Your temperature will then be taken by stewards using temperature guns. If your temperature reading is high, unfortunately you will be asked to return home.
  • Stewards will make a note on our track and trace sheets of attendees. Those in our address book will simply be checked off; visitors will need to provide their contact details. The regulations require this, should someone at the service fall ill and others need to be contacted.
  • You will then be shown to your seat by another steward. This will be your seating area to use for subsequent services unless told otherwise.
  • Please bear with us! We expect these processes to speed up over time, as people become familiar with the processes, and where their seats are.

During the service:

  • The main hall will be the only part of the church open. Therefore, the only toilet available is the disabled toilet in the foyer, fully equipped with cleaning materials such as wipes and hand-sanitisers. The toilet will also hold a baby-changing table.
  • Unfortunately, at this point the crèche and Sunday schools will not be running.
  • Parents bringing children who may require materials during the service should bring them from home.
  • We intend to continue steaming the services on our YouTube channel.
  • The service will contain most of the usual elements, but unfortunately use of the organ is not permitted under the regulations; nor singing (we may play back songs or hymns as part of the service through the system).

After the service:

  • Please remain in your seats; the stewards will guide you out of the church, in order.
  • Please refrain from talking to people until outside.
  • Unfortunately we won’t be serving tea and coffee after the service at the time-being.

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