Monday, 17 February 2020

Pastoral note - Coronavirus and public worship

Dear sisters and brothers,

Our thoughts and prayers are, at present, with those affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China and around the world.  We pray for those who care for the sick, for those who are combatting the spread of the virus and for those who are worried about friends and loved ones.

As the threat of the spread of coronavirus remains a very serious concern for public health, the bishops of the Church of England have now issued directions to churches regarding the part that we can play in ensuring that we do not worsen this worrying situation.

Until further notice, therefore, we - at St Peter-in-the-Forest, Walthamstow - will exercise the following restrictions and provisions during times of public worship:

-priests,  servers and Eucharistic assistants will wash their hands and use alcohol-based hand-sanitiser before Holy Communion;

- alcohol-based hand-sanitiser will be available at the rear of our worship space, and all parishioners will be encouraged to make use of it, both upon arrival at worship service, and again prior to receiving Holy Communion;

- parishioners with coughs and sneezes will be encouraged to receive Communion in one kind only and to refrain from handshaking during The Peace;

-the  practice of ‘intinction’ – when the consecrated bread is dipped into the wine - will henceforth be prohibited, as this could represent an infection transmission route.

I trust that all will understand the need for these cautious practices, as acts of kindness and consideration.

Many thanks. Go well,

Fr Paul

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