In Feb 2020, several people who attended churches around Singapore were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19, including one who had attended Paya Lebar Methodist Church. On 14 Feb 2020, Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung and other church leaders met with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu. This is a summary of MCS’s response to COVID-19:
1. Church services are to continue
In a Ministry of Health (MOH) press release following its meeting with church leaders, it advised that “worship services may continue, but with appropriate precautionary measures. As churches are places where large numbers of congregants come together to worship, it is important to put in place precautionary measures and emphasise personal hygiene practices to reduce the risk of transmission”. MCS will adhere strictly to directives issued by MOH.
2. Precautions should be taken
MOH has advised churches to take the following precautions: temperature screening; reducing mingling; as well as suspending or deferring non-essential programmes.
Other measures that can be adopted include increasing the frequency of cleaning of commonly used areas; minimising sharing of common items where possible; maintaining good ventilation of event venues; recording the contact details of worshippers; avoiding the shaking of hands; adjusting the way we perform some of our rites in the liturgy. Any visitor, member of the church, pastor or staff with fever, cough or flu-like symptoms may not be allowed onto church premises and will be advised to see a General Practitioner immediately.
3. Be socially responsible
Practise good personal hygiene.
If a worshipper is ill, on a leave of absence or lives in a house with someone under home quarantine orders, please be responsible and stay home. If, for any other reason, they decide not to come, it is not a lack of faith, and we understand, love and bless them and continue to pray for and minister to them.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.—John 14:27
By the MCS Communications Team