Covid-19 Update

Date: 23 March 2020 

Health & Safety Message 

From Senior Ministers Rob and Christie Buckingham

Thank you for standing firm with us as a community of faith while we all make changes and adjustments at this challenging time. Be assured that the Board, Pastoral Team, and staff are continually praying for wisdom in our response to COVID-19.

The situation is changing day by day, and we’re doing our very best to stay ahead of the curve. A wise saying, wisdom is always one step ahead.

Here are the main points:

  • Bayside Church services are now only online.  Join hundreds of people  on Facebook and YouTube each week Sat 6pm, Sun 10am for worship, prayer and the Word. Be encouraged in your spiritual walk as you retreat at home. 
  • The Church office in Cheltenham is open on Tuesday and Thursday for distribution of emergency food hampers. 

“If we act as individuals, we fail. If we act as a community, we win.” Just because we can’t meet together at this time doesn’t mean we need to do life in isolation. We have spent a lot of time focusing on mobilising our pastoral team and staff as we navigate uncharted waters. While this is new ground for us, none of this is a surprise to God. So, we put our faith entirely in Him and trust that He will lead us.

We will be providing fresh new online services every weekend. Bayside Church Online will then be available to watch at any time afterward. The weekly message will still be uploaded each Monday. You can access all online content via the Bayside Church website, Facebook pages, or App (search for Bayside Church Melbourne in your Apple or Android store).

Please be wise.  Continue to follow instructions given through the Department of Health and get your news from reliable sources. Be on your guard against hackers and conspiracy theorists. Check your information BEFORE you share it, please.

We are considering ways to cut costs at this time as well as to generate increased finances. We desire to continue to serve the Bayside Church community and beyond, as well as to make sure we can adequately care for our staff. Along with our online services, we encourage our Bayside Church community to access online giving.

Amid this unusual situation, let us strongly encourage you to continue serving Jesus together, supporting one another, and being good neighbours. Let’s help the more vulnerable in suitable and safe ways where possible. 


Below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help in this time.

As of Wednesday 18 March, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has banned indoor gatherings of 100 people. As such, weekend services are now moving online and can be viewed on Livestream and Facebook Live. Here are the Facebook links for Bayside Church Cheltenham and Bayside Church Frankston. The service times are Saturday 6pm and Sunday 10am.
All staff are currently preparing to work from home as we are preparing for a total office closure. For pastoral care enquiries contact 0401 721 912.
Food hampers are available at Bayside Church, Cheltenham Campus on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.30am – 1.30pm. To be eligible for a food hamper a Health Care Card or Pension Card needs to be shown.  Hampers are also only available for those living in the City of Kingston and the following suburbs:  Beaumaris, Black Rock, Sandringham and Hampton. .
As of Wednesday 18 March, the Australian Government has banned indoor gatherings of 100. As such enjoying a meal together with others at Matt’s Place will be closed until further notice. Meals will be provided for in take away containers from Thursday 19 March from Matt’s Place Chelsea only on Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-12.30pm.
The present situation requires every ministry at Bayside Church to prayerfully consider and think of creative ways to still operate and stay connected. Every ministry is looking at ways to still connect with people, either via small groups in home or via online services such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. We encourage our congregation to familiarise themselves with these online services in order to still maintain contact and to grow spiritually.
From Thursday 19 March, Healing Rooms will not operate in the usual manner. At present we are asking that all those requiring prayer to email Bayside Church’s Prayer Leader Kathy Vass their prayer request on before the night and the team will pray for that need.
Unfortunately the planned Step to God on Saturday 21 March has been cancelled. We are passionate about making disciples and will continue to do so even in these uncharted times. The team is looking at running Step to God online and will inform those registered of the options in due course.
All Bayside Kids mid-week events and ministries have been put on hold for the moment. Bayside Kids will continue to provide weekly resources, lessons, family devotions and encouragement through our digital communication platforms ie. email and the closed parent groups on facebook. If you are not currently part of the parent Facebook groups please search “Bayside Kids Cheltenham Parents” or “Bayside Kids Frankston Parents” and be assured of our continued commitment to connect with and minister to the amazing kids of Bayside Church.
Mainly Music and Mainly Play programs are currently suspended for Term 1 and will be reviewed in Term 2. Further notice will be given to parents and guardians who attend these programs.
Bayside Youth will continue to provide opportunities for youth to belong and to develop community through online platforms such as Google Hangouts. The best way to stay informed is via Instagram for Cheltenham Youth and Frankston Youth and youth parents will be emailed on a regular basis. Contact Katelin Cruickshank on if you would like to receive these emails.
Bayside Young Adults continue our commitment to build community by meeting in Connect Groups at various locations and times. Each group also facilitates online conversations outside of those times. Check in with your Connect Group Leader about the details. If you aren’t in a Connect Group yet, email to get connected. As Bayside Young Adults we also continue to inspire, encourage and update you during these exceptional times. Stay tuned in by liking our Facebook Page or follow us on Instagram.
In times like these, the importance of connection is incredibly important. For the health and safety of everyone we are asking that connect groups meet via online platforms. Connect Group Leaders will be in touch to discuss the options their group is taking.  
At Bayside Church we believe we are all ministers of the gospel and as such can provide encouragement and prayer support. The best port of call for pastoral care is through Connect Groups. Please contact your connect group leader if you require encouragement and prayer support. If you need further assistance beyond this or if you are not in a Connect Group and require pastoral care please phone 0401 721 912. In due course, we will be updating our strategy.