Church Fighting fear and Corona Virus by prayer and practical precaution

The global spread of Corona Virus is being met with prayer and practical precaution to alleviate fear and provide responsible leadership in infection control.

The Anglican Church across the world has responded to public health threats in the past and in the current situation there is a growing movement to be on the front foot in response to community concern.

St Matthews Albury is following best practice relying on advice from Anglican Churches across the country and from the Church of England in caring for our community by making a few changes to set our minds at rest when meeting together.

We are asking those with acute respiratory infections or suffering such illness to absent themselves from public worship, and those potentially exposed through travel consider self-isolation for 14 days. We would also ask people to be mindful of coughing and sneezing in such a way as to protect those around us.

We will make alcohol handwipes and gels available to our congregations and strangers.

The greeting of peace that normally involves handshaking will be suspended and replaced with a nod and shaking hands at the door on the way out will also be off the menu but morning tea will go ahead.

The use of the common cup that is drinking from the same communion vessel will be suspended and we are trialing the taking of bread alone at communion in order to remove any fear of contracting any infection.

We are also following the lead of major cathedrals in regularly changing or removing holy water and refreshing baptism water to ensure that members of our community will not be unduly worried by the potential for infection. We are also advising against the practice of intinction where the consecrated bread is dipped into the wine either by the celebrant or the congregation as this could represent an infection transmission route.

These are small changes but we hope will quieten community anxiety as we assist the governments and public health officials to deal with what is an international challenge, but mercifully not as yet a pandemic.

We continue to pray for those suffering from the virus, for communities affected and all working towards a solution.


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