To: Clergy and People
From: The Bishop
20th March, 2020
As we respond to the COVID 19 Pandemic may we.feel and know that our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ is with us, for he never leaves us nor forsakes us. Let us support each other in prayer and by caring for each other at this time.
I refer you to my circular of 4th March, 2020 and urge you to continue to follow the guidelines and good hygiene practices outlined there. I now give you the following update.
The Prime Minister of Grenada on 13th March, 2020 advised that from 16th March, 2020 social gatherings including religious events where it is not possible to guarantee social distancing of a minimum of six feet be suspended until further notice and he is expected to address the nation tonight. Meanwhile in St. Lucia the Commissioner of Police on 19th March, 2020 advised that in connection with the current C6ronavirus pandemic, the designation ‘mass crowd’ is now being applied to an assembly of 10. Including religious activities this takes effect from 6:00pm on Friday 20th March, 2020. I ask that those in these Archdeaconries kindly adhere to these and other measures implemented by the Authorities.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we’ll continue to monitor the situation and advise appropriately. In the mean-time let us seek to maintain the recommended social distancing and good hygiene practices. It will also be important to reduce the amount of activities, events and services in each parish and not to encourage large gatherings. To this end the service and procession of witness scheduled for 3:00pm on Sunday 22nd March, 2020 to mark the Parish of St. Patrick, Barrouallie, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, patronal festival has been cancelled.
Across the diocese may we continue to educate our members with regards to COVID 19 and how we can safeguard a d protect ourselves and those around us. Parishes may consider streaming services and other acts of devotion using the available technology, some parishes have had this practice before, those who do not, members of your congregation can advise you in this regard.” In Archdeaconries where you’ll not be able to congregate, parish priests are encouraged to celebrate the Holy Eucharist (Body and Blood) on Sundays (Live Stream). Those assisting will receive communion in one kind (Body) the celebrant is to consume the Blood.
It will be important for parish priest to celebrate the Holy Eucharist on weekdays according to local practice, as we pray for God’s guidance at this time and for those who are experiencing anxiety, those who are sick and for those who care for them, doctors and nurses, caregivers and also their relatives and friends. We also pray for the Government and officials in the Ministry of Health and all others who have the responsibility for managing this Pandemic.
With regards to Funerals we can recommend to families to keep the number of persons who attend at a minimum, basically family members. ·
Remember to sanitize door knobs, surfaces, pews, tables, chairs, etc., in Church after services or as often as possible.
This is a challenging period for many if not all of us may we seek to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper at this time.
The Rev’d Fr. Ulric Jones and his wife Marilyn have informed me that their first son, Ulric Jr, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is under the care of his doctors in New York. I ask your prayers for Ulric Jr, Fr. Ulric and his wife Marilyn and family at this time.
May Ulric Jr experience the comfort of God’s Holy Presence and experience God’s healing grace and love. Amen.
With sincere thanks, With every good wish and God’s blessings!
The Rt. Rev’d C. Leopold Friday
Bishop of the Windward Islands