"This is a really challenging and uncertain time for us all, but I believe it is also the opportunity of a lifetime for the church to be the most alive, connected and transforming community on earth. God is working in extraordinary ways, and if we all play our part we can see many lives transformed and the light of Jesus shining brilliantly in the darkness" — John Risbridger, Minister
There are three key priorities in the way that we want to respond to Coronavirus (Covid-19). They are Loving God, Loving our city and Loving each other, and you can see more about each of these below.
For that response we really need each other, so we have some great ways of keeping in touch that you can connect with:
- Above Bar Church digital community on Facebook »
- Twitter »
- Instagram »
- YouTube »
- Subscribe to our email list »
We are taking enquiries via email to firstname.lastname@example.org – and we have set up a mobile phone number that will be available during normal office hours (9.00am-4.00pm) - 07395 320736.
What you need to know this week — from Sunday 24 May
- Felicia’s story: Ruth Spradbery talks to Felicia Coulter about being a student in lockdown. Watch the video here »
- Dial-in facility for Sunday 10am service: We have new a dial-in facility to help those without internet access to listen to the 10am service:
To connect, dial 023 8235 2052. Full details on our Live page.
- Prayer for teachers: This coming week is half term in the school calendar, so parents will have a break from homeschooling. But teachers are preparing for the return of some classes from 1 June in accordance with government guidelines. This is a stressful time for teachers and school administrators as they seek to put measures in place to protect all involved. Please do pray for our educators and use the Facebook digital community to post prayers to encourage them. Katy Kennedy has been co-ordinating prayer for our teachers. Please see the Facebook page for details. Thank you.
- Deep lessons in a time of pandemic: In case you missed it - alongside the Sunday sermons we have a new podcast series with short reflections to help us during this unique time. Chris Webb shares on ‘The Collective Dark Night’, and Pauline Foo, a member of the pastoral team and accredited counsellor, has recorded some helpful thoughts on ‘Managing Anxiety’. Find the series here »
- Love Southampton now has a printed flyer which will be included in food parcels that we give out. Please pray for us in the coming week as we distribute as many of these as we can, especially in parts of the city where there is the greatest need. Download the flyer here »
- 24/7 Prayer: It has been brilliant to see people praying for Laszlo and his family in his battle with COVID19 and to see God hearing and answering our prayers. We would love to encourage you to keep praying regularly during the current crisis and have set up a new link for sign ups here - the link is: https://tinyurl.com/AboveBar
- Let’s pray for our key workers - in the church family and in the community. For God’s help, strength and peace as they work.
- Let’s pray for our government - for God’s wisdom in decision-making, for integrity in their words and actions.
- Let’s pray for our country - that God would open hearts and minds to his will and his life-changing message in Jesus.
- Let’s pray for ourselves - that we would know how to love and trust our Heavenly Father in this time.
- Prayer Ministry: If you would like to pray with someone, then text us on 07871441582 (at any time) and one of the team will get in touch with you within 24 hours. We’ve had lots of people joining us for Zoom Prayer on Sundays at 7:30pm for 45 minutes of focused prayer in small groups. Why not give it a try this week if you haven’t done yet - or come back if you have!
- Sunday 31 May: Please join us for our Pentecost Celebration next Sunday at 10am, when John Risbridger will be speaking.
Andrew Page will be speaking at our 4pm Preach and Pray on 1 Peter 4:12-19, “How to react when suffering comes”. Both of these will remain available on our YouTube channel so that, if you miss them, you can catch up whenever suits you.
There will be no Zoom prayer at 7.30pm on 31 May because we are joining with Christians from a number of churches for a Pentecost Prayer event at 7.30pm via Zoom. For security reasons, you will need to book a ticket through this website. This should be a wonderful evening and we strongly encourage you to attend.
Online services, daily devotions and family resources
Befriending vulnerable people and helping them get essential supplies
Using social media to keep praying, bible-studying, and encouraging each other
Sunday service at 10am
Each Sunday morning we will be together online at 10am. Visit our live page for details »
We also broadcast a weekly Preach and Pray video online on Sundays at 4pm. Visit our live page to watch this week’s Preach and Pray »
This is a tough time for each of us and for our society. We believe that God is calling us to trust him more; and to help each other walk with him.
- Visit our live page for details of our Sunday services »
- Browse our YouTube channel for Sunday services, sermon videos, daily devotions and more »
- Explore all past sermons from our archive »
- Read our blog posts »
Meet each Sunday evening at 7.30pm to pray together on Zoom.
- Meeting ID: 401 055 3624
- Password: 038496
You can send a prayer request to 07871 441 582, at any time, and one of the prayer team will be in touch with you within 24 hours.
Remember, you can also sign up to our prayer emails by emailing email@example.com.
On our Facebook Digital Community, the church family is often sharing prayer requests.
Sharing Hope: Daily Devotions videos
Deep lessons in the time of pandemic: audio podcasts
Chris Webb and others help us reflect on this time of pandemic: listen online here »
Mental health resources
Visit these helpful websites with resources to help you during lockdown:
- Mind and Soul Foundation »
- Mental Health online »
- Cinnamon Network Mental Health Wellbeing Webinar »
Loving our city
Above Bar Church is working with other churches to provide a centralised church response to the Coronavirus crisis. This partnership is called Love Southampton.
Love Southampton are gathering volunteers to refer people to specialist partners and provide phone support for those in need of befriending and practical support for those in need of essential supplies.
- For full details of the partners, go to the Love Southampton website »
- If you are in need of support or would like to refer someone for support, please complete your details on this form »
- If you would like to volunteer with the churches to help the city, please express your interest on this form »
Loving our city is not only about city-wide projects. It’s about the way we care for people around us, in the places we live and work. This is a great time to use WhatsApp groups and kindness cards (print single or 4up) to connect with our neighbours – offering to support practically and pray for them.
Loving each other
None of us can look after everyone, but all of us can look out for some people, to make sure they don’t end up isolated or disconnected.
Many home groups are sharing prayer requests, studying the Bible together and planning to help through WhatsApp groups and video conferences — as well as phone calls! If you are not yet in a home group, please email us and we will connect you. You may have particular needs for prayer; remember that you can always contact the church office via email or on the mobile number at the top of the page.
If you are on Facebook, the Above Bar Church Digital Community is a great way to keep in touch, and share some encouragements and challenges.
Advice in domestic abuse situations
At this time many people are finding life harder, and there has been a notable rise in domestic abuse within our city. For confidential advice, information and support for professionals and victims experiencing domestic abuse you can contact the Pippa Helpline. Helpline available Monday to Friday.
In an emergency, always call 999. If you are not able to speak, key 55 then follow any instructions you can from the operator.
Supporting our healthcare professionals
The Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) has produced a wide range of resources (including news, prayers, devotionals) to help healthcare professionals during the pandemic, including online prayer at 7pm every day. CMF is also planning an online conference on Saturday 25th April with various seminars, Bible sessions and breakout rooms for discussion, prayer & networking in specialties.
Together with Evangelical Alliance, CMF has also produced a set of videos with guidance for the rest of the church family on how they can support healthcare professionals in their congregations.
Maybe you have ideas for how to support others locally? Or to support a family member, a single parent or an older person with Coronavirus? How is your family during this time? Share your ideas on the Facebook group or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org