How is the church helping to stall the spread and protect its members?
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to clergy to advise that;
- the sharing of the Common Chalice/Cup is now be suspended until further notice. Only the consecrated bread/wafer will be offered to communicants, with the priest alone taking the wine on behalf of all.
Intinction(dipping the bread into the wine)is not recommended as an alternative to the Common Chalice/Cup. It is a route for transmission from the individual through handling the wafer/bread/host, and tiny fragments could affect people with allergies to gluten etc. – however with the suspension of the shared cup this is not of current relevance.
The use of individual cups is not lawful practice in the Church of England.
Ministers will wash their hands before and after administering communion.
- Handshaking and other direct physical contact should be suspended, including during the sharing of the Peace and as part of a blessing or “laying on of hands”.
- All those attending services will be asked to wash their hands as they come into church.
- The sharing of refreshments following services has been suspended.
- You are welcome to stay for fellowship and conversations, but without the coffee.
- Good and regular cleaning of surfaces people touch regularly, including such things as door handles, light switches etc.
- We will refrain from passing the collection plates
- Suspend the use of holy water stoups.
- No pastoral visits should be undertaken to people who are self-isolatinguntil isolation ends. We will of course offer phone support.
Handwashing and good hygiene practices will be in place when visiting parishioners at home.
Visits to care homes and hospitals will follow the advice from staff.
- We will be completing a Coronavirus Parish Continuity Plan to ensure, as far as possible, our continued mission and ministry.
Thank you for your understanding at this time, it is for the most vulnerable members of our congregations that we must think, beyond our own consideration and opinions.
Through our cooperation we are showing that The Church takes its responsibility of care for its members and visitors seriously.