Second Covid-19 wave forces churches to cancel Christmas services
Durban - A LARGE number of KwaZulu-Natal churches have cancelled Christmas services due to the second Covid-19 wave that is sweeping through the province and other parts of the country.
Reverend Linda Mandindi, Bishop of the Natal Coastal District of the Methodist Church said they had suspended gatherings of any form until the church re-assessed the situation next month.
“We want to make sure that after Christmas we still have people and that they are not lost due to irresponsible behaviour,” he said.
Mandindi said the Methodist Church had also been at the forefront of protecting its members by suspending services before the lockdown in March.
“Our founding member John Wesley believed that we should do no harm to anyone, do everything to protect lives and love God,” said Mandindi.
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, the Catholic Archbishop of Durban said priests were asked to keep a close eye on their churches with regard to Covid-19 and for them to take the necessary precautions should the need arise.
“Up to four priests have cancelled the Christmas mass because the situation is bad,” he said
These include Chatsworth and Lamontville, he said.
“We requested that a minimal number of people gather at the churches.”
Napier said this was the second time that the Covid-19 pandemic had knocked the church.
Church services were also affected by the pandemic during Easter when several services had to be held virtually.
“We are asking people to pray at home. Fortunately, people are able to connect with each other on social media,” he said.
The Durban Christian Centre (DCC) announced on its Jesus Dome Facebook page that live services were suspended.
“Following the presidential announcement recently given, due to the spike of infections in our nation, we will not be continuing with live-gatherings through all three campuses in order to preserve the health and safety of our family,” said DCC.
It added it would continue to live-stream its services on Facebook, YouTube and on the LiveStream website.
“We look forward to seeing you and your family join us online for church.”
The KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council said in an earlier letter to its members that the Covid-19 crisis was not over yet and urged them not to let their guard down.
“Please, please, urge your congregations to become even more vigilant. We also urge you to continue to pray for our front line workers who are so courageously putting their lives on the line for us all. With the threat of Covid-19 over us, we must do again what we did at Easter – adhere to the safety protocols to protect ourselves but especially the most vulnerable in our communities.”