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Vicar finds new way to connect to congregation as churches close

A vicar has spoken with a ‘heavy heart’ about the decision to close churches in the wake of  the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that gatherings of more than two people will be banned, and the public are only allowed to leave the house for essential work, shopping and one form of exercise a day.

Sunday services had been cancelled before the announcement but churches had remained open for private worship.

“Clearly the situation has now changed and with heavy hearts we have had to close the doors of our four churches,” said Reverend Canon Sally Lodge, team rector at the Holy Trinity Vicarage.

“We are thinking through new ways of worshipping together by means of social media, live streaming and regular email updates,” she added.

The churches have been using social media sites such as Facebook, Insta-gram and Twitter to keep in touch with people in the community.

They have also been making phone calls to members of the congregation who are less adept with modern technology.

Rev Sally said: “I feel particularly sorry for those whose weddings can no longer take place.”

In keeping with the Government’s ban on public gatherings, couples have been forced to cancel weddings.

Only ceremonies where the couple, officiator and two witnesses are present will be allowed.

“This is a very difficult time for them and we are trying to give support and remain positive,” she said.

“There is much that we can do to continue to show our love and support for the community.

“At the present time we are in the process of discovering the opportunities.”

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