Anglican churches to suspend physical services for two weeks
Decision comes after St Andrew's Cathedral was informed one of its members tested positive
All Anglican churches here will be suspending physical services until April 3.
It intends to resume services on April 4, in time for Palm Sunday on April 5.
The decision was made by Anglican Bishop Rennis Ponniah yesterday and disseminated to all church leaders.
He said the move would help give a crucial and concerted two-week break, to aid in the nation's effort to combat the coronavirus.
"The time has come, I believe, for us to do this by suspending our worship services as we join in the concentrated national effort over these two weeks to 'flatten the curve' of Covid-19. May the Lord in His mercy give our nation good success," he said.
The decision comes after St Andrew's Cathedral, the oldest Anglican site of worship in Singapore, was informed on Wednesday that one of its members tested positive for Covid-19.
The cathedral had initially put up a notice saying the church would be closed till April 3 for the affected premises to be professionally disinfected.
The man who tested positive reportedly attended the 9am English service held in the Cathedral New Sanctuary on Sunday.
Bishop Ponniah is expected to be sharing more about his decision in a pastoral letter today.
There are close to 30 Anglican parishes here, and all are expected to issue advisories soon to their own congregations regarding services for the next two weeks.
The National Council of Churches of Singapore is expected to deliberate on whether a similar move should be coordinated across all churches.
Catholic church masses were suspended here from Feb 15, and were due to resume last Saturday.
But Archbishop of Singapore William Goh announced last week that public mass for Catholics here would continue to be suspended in order to minimise the risk of coronavirus spread.
Meanwhile, all 70 mosques here remain closed, after a decision to do so starting last Friday.
Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said the Muslim community was supportive of the measure, which is expected to last till March 26.
Last night, Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng columbarium in Bishan said it would not allow Qing Ming prayers at its premises on weekends and public holidays with immediate effect until April 19.
Prayers for the upcoming Qing Ming festival will be allowed there only on weekdays from 8am to 6pm.
Parts of this article have been amended for clarity