Coronavirus update

I deeply appreciate the many messages of support and concern for the impact of the corona virus on the ministry of St. Matthews to our region. The church wardens, honorary clergy, pastoral care team and hospital chaplain and I have considered the most recent national information in relation to coronavirus and feel that we should take immediate action to safeguard the wellbeing of our community while the communication from the diocese of Wangaratta indicates that from next Sunday 29th March services should be suspended, we understand that the present danger must give rise to immediate action. Therefore after local consultation Mothering Sunday 22nd March 9am will go ahead although we will encourage any who are elderly or anxious to stay home and pray for our community. Hand sanitiser will be available and used by all present and social distancing according to the new national protocols will be observedwe will not offer holy communion-either bread or wine following the best current public health advice. In the interest of everyone’s safety all other services and parish gatherings including our choir, bellringers, emergency food relief and op shop will be suspended until further notice and the organ recital on Tuesday will be broadcast outside to enable the music to be heard and enjoyed in safety as well as for the limited seating inside. Details of ways to “be the church without going to the church” will be made available shortly and we are already thinking of a range of creative and pastorally effective options to practically care for our community whose support for the last 140 years through war, Spanish flu and even destruction by fire we continue to appreciate and value if you have any suggestions, concerns or questions I would welcome your call at any time and a reminder that we continue to be available to assist in any way that current circumstances permit as we pray for a cure and for those in the health care system who so heroically strive to meet the current local and global challenge.

Fr Peter MacLeod-Miller
Rector of Albury


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