NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) — The Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster announced the suspension of all in-person worship and diocesan activities because of COVID-19.
“The suspension of all other parish activity includes: all classes, all meetings, most weddings, and all outreach programs including community meals. We are taking this step to decrease the possibility of any of our parishes contributing to the spread of COVID-19,” said Melissa Skelton in an email.
The suspension starts Wednesday until May 3 and impacts about 5,000 people who regularly gather at 66 different churches.
“As for the ongoing ministry of the Church, compassionate community service will be assessed with consideration for the health and welfare of all involved remaining a priority,” read the email.
Many events and services are being postponed and rescheduled. Funerals are being “addressed on an ad hoc basis.”
Skelton expressed concerns over the risk of gatherings even if they do not exceed 50 people, and she recommended the closure of church offices.
According to the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster website, virtual worship and meetings are in the works.