Coronavirus and COVID 19 Guidance – 4 March 2020
Dear sisters & brothers,
Coronavirus and COVID 19 Guidance – 4th March 2020
Following the guidance passed on last week (28th Feb 2020): http://www.thedioceseofbrechin.org/news/entry/covid-19-corona-virus-advice-from-the-college-of-bishops I am responding to some feedback from various churches and news and guidance in the media:
Sharing the Peace – because of the high probability of exchange of infection by shaking hands/physical contact and the difficulty if only some people wish to NOT shake hands – may I suggest that churches consider sharing the peace without shaking hands or other contact (until the COVID 19 concerns have passed). We will be trying a non-contact British Sign Language peace at the Synod Eucharist this Saturday. The peace can still be warm and engaging even if avoiding physical contact.
Common Cup – please continue to offer the common cup for the moment – but if anyone is concerned about the risk of giving or receiving infection, they can take the bread only. This has always been a full and valid way of receiving communion in the Christian tradition. An individual Rector and vestry may opt to remove the common cup and only offer bread if they wish: but I would not, at this stage, offer guidance that this needs to be done.
Further guidance will be issued as the COVID 19 situation develops and we are given guidance by government and other agencies.
Please keep all affected by this matter in your prayers.
The Right Reverend Andrew Swift
Bishop of Brechin
Scottish Episcopal Church