Rt Rev’d Andrew Forster: "We must also act responsibly"
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe has called on parishioners to support the vulnerable and those who are self-isolating during the coronavirus crisis but has not suspended Sunday church services.
Rt Rev’d Andrew Forster has suspended celebrations of confirmation. Weddings and baptisms will go ahead although services should be consistent with the appropriate governmental advice.
Measures that will be introduced in churches include the use of retiring offerings instead of passing the collection plate, standing to receive Communion so as to stop potential transmission from touching the communion rail and asking members of congregations to sit at least two metres apart in church.
The bishop said Covid-19 “poses an unprecedented risk to the lives and wellbeing of people all around the world, and requires specific responses from all walks of life – the Churches included”.
“The coronavirus outbreak will have severe implications right across our united Dioceses of Derry and Raphoe: older people; those with underlying health conditions; health service workers; carers; and ministers – lay and ordained.
“I am mindful of the fact that at a time of such grave concern on a global scale, there is a need for Churches to be there for people,” he added.
“We must also act responsibly. As your Bishop, I believe our response should be pastoral, protective and prayerful.”
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