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OSJ (UK):  'Serving Christ and Community'

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Current Covid-19 church restrictions in brief:  (as of 01.11.2020)

The new rules for churches and church services under National Lockdown (applying from Thursday 5th November 2020 and being reviewed 2nd December, 2020).

Existing rules and recommendations still apply, i.e. face masks, 'Rule of Six', social distancing, support bubbles, Covid secure premises, frequent hand sanitizing, etc.

Ordinary/public worship services:  suspended.  Churches will be allowed to be open for limited private prayer if 'Covid-19 safe'.

Public baptism/confirmation/etc: (those traditional rites of initiation which form part of public worship) suspended.

Private baptisms:  (and other private services) suspended.

Weddings/wedding blessings/renewal of vows:  suspended. Exception - 'end of life' marriages: 'Rule of Six' conditionally applies.

Funeral services:  30 people maximum.  The celebrant and funeral directors do not need to be included as part of this group.

Other seasonal services:  suspended.  

Enhanced local and other restrictions may apply - check HMGov regulations and advice (live link) regularly as they are subject to short notice changes and updates.  

For local restrictions check my postcode (live link).  The HMGov review planned for 2nd December 2020 is no guarantee of National Lockdown being ended.

Individual churches may be open for private prayer if compliant with current regulations and restrictions, but this will be on a voluntary, local and limited basis.

A form of home communion without a priest or minister has temporarily authorised for use by OSJ (UK) members and can be accessed on the 'Emergency Measures' page.

OSJ (UK) Key Worker Status:

Members of the OSJ (UK) Ministry Team (MT) are defined as 'key workers' by HMGov and are expected to continue with essential ministry within the new guidelines and legislation.  

Non-essential ministry is temporarily discontinued.  Members of the OSJ (UK) Ministry Support Team (MST) should continue to work from home if they possibly can.

OSJ (UK) - here to help you if we can, even in these tough times:

Sometimes people need help but don't know who to turn to or where to go, especially if they have lost touch with their church or Christian community. 

Sometimes, because they are no longer members of those churches or communities, or can't comply with the conditions asked of them, they often find themselves denied the help they are looking for.   

Facing rejection or the possibility of being abandoned can make their situation seem doubly difficult to face, let alone resolve.

Sometimes all people need is a listening ear, a little reassurance and advice, to know what their options are, and a lot of 'no strings attached' support and encouragement.

Turning away people in need or denying them help should never be an acceptable option providing we stay within biblical principles.

That is why OSJ (UK) exists, to be available when and where needed, wherever we possibly can.  However, that does not mean we will compromise what we believe is to be true and genuinely in line with Holy Scripture. 

OSJ (UK) offers many forms of bible based ministry and service, and these are open to everyone.

Members of the Order of St James Ministry Team are there to help you if they can and offer non-judgemental, unconditional and biblically appropriate ministry to all those in need.  That help and support remains available for as long as needed.

If you need help or advice, or one of our priests to conduct a service, we will be happy to help you wherever and whenever we can.***  

OSJ (UK) is about 'people', not 'organizations':

'Organizations' (including 'churches') have their place, but they also have their limitations.

They sometimes forget what they are about and, instead of becoming a means to an end, they become an end in themselves, self-absorbed and self-interested. 


They fail when they think their rules or traditions or practices are more important than the people they were meant to be serving.  (See Mark 7, v 1-12, key verses 8-9.)


It is 'people' that really matter, and when an organization places itself of more value than the individual it seeks to serve, it has ceased to be of any value or relevance. (See Luke 15 v3-7)

So is OSJ (UK) just another 'organization?'

We sincerely hope not because OSJ (UK) does do things a little differently.  Although we are Christ centred and are bible based, we encourage people to do what is prayerfully right rather than blindly following the rules, regulations, canons and traditions of religion (the collective and socially controlled and formulated expression of a particular set of beliefs). 

Those things are 'man made' and are in essence of secondary importance where it comes to matters of faith and spirituality.

That explains whilst we do follow some church traditions, we are not bound by them, and our actions are not dictated by them.  We will break 'the rules' when needed, especially when they keep people from the presence and love of God.  

We know the importance of forgiveness, reconciliation, healing and giving people a second chance.  We all make mistakes - no person or Christian community is perfect.

We are more about faith, personal Christian integrity, deeply cutting honesty and spiritual fulfilment, and a reliance on the Holy Spirit rather than the compliant observance (however well intended) of religious rules and behaviour patterns.

We also don't do 'denominations' - we are simply 'Christian', and whilst we appreciate the value of ritual, tradition, liturgy and canon, we are not restricted, governed, led by or divided by these things.  Nevertheless, we always seek to work in harmony with the teachings of the bible.

Although we do have a small number of mission churches because we do support worshipping communities, all of our priests and lay members work in and as part of the local community, both offering and encouraging all forms of open ministry.  Everyone covers their own costs so we are not a burden to the communities we serve.

Lastly, all our members are volunteers who come from many different denominational backgrounds.  

They all have one shared, underlying and unifying vision, to simply serve Christ and community.  The gifts of God for the people of God.  For all, by all.

New publication:  'An uncommon faith.'
 Given the churches being closed during the Covid-19 lock down, this has raised a number of issues about the role of 'the church' in society today and its effectiveness.  The reliance on building centred Christian community has been shown to be flawed.  

It has raised a number of questions about the future role of 'the church' as an organization.   

This 44 page booklet (6,756 words) raises issues regarding the responsibilities and rights of each Christian to exercise their own ministry and whether 'the church' has any authority to oversee these individual ministries.

This booklet is about who has the final say, God or 'the church'.          

(Click image to download on a new page.)


OSJ (UK): an Independent Christian Chaplaincy Service Provider:

Providing Christian chaplains (non-denominational) in the community.

 OSJ (UK) at a glance.

The Holy Family Church, Rudding Park.
The view south from St Leonard's Chapel, Hazlewood.
The response to 'God in love unites us', the Methodist Church discussion document on same sex marriage.


***  Under the provisions of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, OSJ (UK) members are exempted from conducting same sex marriages/wedding blessings as OSJ (UK) holds the biblically founded and traditional view that marriage is between one man and one woman (gender as defined physically at birth and remaining), is intended to be for life and is intended to be for (1) mutual comfort and (2) the procreation of children.   This is a protected characteristic of the Christian faith and it is protected under Article 9 of the Human Rights Act,1998.

For further information, please click this link 'Same Sex Marriage' 

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