Coronavirus and the Church of Jesus Christ

The events of the past six months have presented many challenges for the people of God. One of these is that evangelicals have differed – sometimes vehemently – about how we should respond to the restrictions upon our freedom to meet and worship corporately. This has threatened to divide church leaders and caused tension within congregations, increasingly so as lockdowns and constraints seem set to drag on into next year.

How do we balance the conflicting obligations to God (Acts 4) and state (Romans 13)? Does the Lord’s command that we gather to worship him trump all other duties? How do we meet the growing pastoral needs of our people while still honouring the powers that be?

Next Monday, from 9.30am to 1.00pm Affinity is hosting an online forum for church leaders at which these questions will be addressed and the various perspectives aired and discussed. We hope it will contribute both to a clearer understanding of the issues and a warmer sense of mutual fellowship and respect, even if we cannot always agree.


Each speaker will give a 15-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of moderated online feedback and discussion.

Session 1 (9.30am to 11.00am)

1)    Submission to the authorities: when to obey God rather than men (John Stevens, National Director, FIEC)

2)    Evangelism and discipleship: gathering in person versus online church (Matthew Roberts, Minister, Trinity Church York)

3)    A medical perspective (Peter Saunders, CEO, International Christian Medical and Dental Association)

Break (11.00am to 11.30am)

Session 2 (11.30am to 1.00pm)

4)    Engaging with the science: weighing our own scientific and policy opinions (Michael Ots, Evangelist). 

5)    Political and legal engagement: why and how (Tim Dieppe, Head of Public Policy, Christian Concern)

6)    Pastoral leadership through the crisis (Dave Gobbett, Lead Pastor, Highfields Church, Cardiff)

To book your free place, please go to our dedicated event website. Everyone who signs up will receive a Zoom link for the event. Please book no later than 8.00am on Monday 19 October.

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