OAM’s response to local restrictions
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rise in certain areas, we are seeing more local restrictions being imposed on regions. When such restrictions are applied, OAM commit to carefully considering the legislation and accompanying guidance to ascertain whether it is safe and legal to continue street evangelism in such places.
Thankfully, most local restrictions have been designed to keep households apart in settings where they have been mixing without social distancing (namely homes, pubs and restaurants). Such restrictions do not, therefore, impede open-air work in these areas. Our Evangelists, Associate workers and their registered supporters continue to adhere to our social distancing and hygiene procedures when operating in the open-air. For this reason, generally speaking, local restrictions haven’t affected the day-to-day work of the Mission.
However, some local restrictions have been different in that they restrict movement (e.g. not to leave home except for essential purposes). When such restrictions were announced we have responded accordingly. For example, earlier measures in Leicester, meant that it was not wise for our workers in those areas to engage in any open-air activity for the duration of the restrictions.
As a Mission we look at each local restriction on a ‘case-by-case’ basis in order to ascertain whether we can safely and legally continue operations in that area.
More recently, in Caerphilly County and Rhondda Cynnon Taf County Borough, restrictions limit travel to and from these regions, ‘without good reason’. It is, therefore, unwise for our local Associate workers to travel to these regions and lead open-airs. Yet, one Associate worker is resident of Caerphilly County and these local measures do not prevent him working in the open-air within the county.
Throughout this pandemic we have sought to heed the Apostle Paul’s exhortation, ‘Only let you conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ’ (Philippians 1:27a).