SINGAPORE: The 27 parishes of the Anglican Church in Singapore on Thursday (Mar 19) suspended all worship services and gatherings until Apr 3, said the Anglican Diocese of Singapore.

“The Diocesan leadership has closely monitored the escalating COVID-19 situation and makes this contribution towards the concerted national effort to ‘flatten the coronavirus curve’,” it said in a press release.

The suspension of services comes after a member of St Andrew’s Cathedral was confirmed on Wednesday to have contracted the coronavirus.

The church member, who had been in the UK, attended a service last Sunday but had no symptoms of illness and passed precautionary screening, said the cathedral.  

READ: St Andrew’s Cathedral closes for 2 weeks after church member infected with COVID-19

The average weekly attendance of Singapore parishes is about 21,000, according to the diocese.

Bishop Rennis Ponniah told Anglican leaders in a letter that the decision to suspend services was made to “intentionally create a two-week break in church gatherings”.

Online weekend services and pastoral care for the elderly and vulnerable will be made available during the suspension.

“Our churches will make the needful pastoral provisions to continue caring for and strengthening the flock during this time,” said the diocese.

“The Bishop encouraged members to be a blessing to others in society, especially those in need. He ended with a prayer that God will help our nation to overcome this crisis.”

READ: COVID-19 – Catholic masses to remain suspended, says Archbishop of Singapore

The Catholic Church in Singapore last Thursday said it will continue to suspend mass in light of the rising number of COVID-19 infections in Singapore.

As of Thursday night, 345 people in Singapore have been infected with COVID-19, with 124 fully recovered and discharged from hospitals. 

Several of the cases have been linked to clusters at the Grace Assembly of God, The Life Church and Missions church and the Church of Singapore (Bukit Timah). 

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