Many Churchgoers who have been home for close to two months, will be able to be in the House of the Lord beginning this weekend. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Church gatherings, which have been restricted for close to eight weeks, to no more than 10 persons as part of government’s measures to limit the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, will be allowed to resume as of Saturday, May 16.
The Prime Minister made the announcement on Monday during a Jamaica House Press Conference as he provided an update to the nation on his government’s efforts to reopen Church doors on a phased basis, in the battle against the deadly virus.
During the two-week trial period, the following guidelines are to be adhered to:
1) one person per 40 square foot (in other words, at least arms-length distance apart from each other – front, back, left-side and right-side)
2) a church of 1,000 square feet would be able to accommodate 20 persons (including children)
3) all Worshippers inside the Church must be wearing masks
4) hand sanitizer must be in place at each entrance at the Church and at regular spots throughout the Church building
5) temperature checks must be conducted upon entry. Persons who have above normal temperatures must be referred to the Health Centre or a Medical Doctor at once
6) physical distancing rules of six feet must apply throughout all areas of the Church including Church yard, vestry, pastor’s office, prayer room, etc
7) no more than 10 persons will be allowed to congregate at any given time outside the Church hall
8) more services are recommended so more persons will be able to access worship experiences at Church
9) strong consideration to shorten the length of services
10) avoid overlapping of the services so that one congregation that comes in for a particular service, will have ample time to leave for Worshippers coming in for the next service
11) sanitizing the sanctuary must take place after each worship service (and between services)
12) no choirs are to be assembled
14) rituals and practices that require close contact of Worshippers are not encouraged
15) peace greetings, hugging, shaking hands are not allowed
16) air conditioning units must not be used, instead open Church windows and doors
17) no worshipper will be allowed to enter the Church premises without wearing a mask
Many pastors are very ecstatic about persons returning to the House of God for worship. Many have already met with their executive to mark out areas where persons should sit and stand during the worship experiences on Saturday and Sunday.
McKoys News is encouraging pastors in Jamaica to email the following information by Friday May 15/3pm to [email protected] so that we can inform our readers of your Church Service details.
1) Registered name of Church
2) Address of the Church including parish
3) Time/s of Worship Services until May 31, 2020
4) Email Address and Website for Church
5) Whatsapp number for Pastor/Church
6) Name of Pastor
7) Picture of inside the Sanctuary (if possible)
Do not forget to bring your masks for Worship Experience along with your Bible (in hand/on phone).
HE Prof Colin O Jarrett
Director of News and Current Affairs
May 13, 2020
Email: [email protected]