Churches resort to online sermons as faithful stay away

Monday March 30 2020
CHURCH

Children walk past St Joseph The Workers Catholic Parish Church in Racetrack Estate in Nakuru Town on Sunday, March 29, 2020. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FRANCIS MUREITHI

Unlike last Sunday when some of the churches defied government directive and held services, it was a differently picture this Sunday.

There was a deafening silence in most of the churches in Nakuru town as the gates remained closed. Only guards kept watch of the buildings as the reality of Covid -19 sunk deep among worshippers.

PRAYERS SUSPENDED

Even mosques were not spared as their gates remained closed and the usual early morning prayers were suspended.

Even the gospel songs that are usually heard blazing from most churches were dead silent. 

The popular church bell that is synonymous with Catholic faithful at St Joseph The Workers Catholic church in Racetrack Estate did not ring for the first time since the church opened its doors to the public 29 years ago.

“I will miss the rich sermon of my parish priest Father Evanson Njogu who always refers to himself as a prophet,” said Ms Florence Muthoni.

“The first service choir at St Joseph The Worker is one of the best in the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru and I can’t believe in this Sunday I will not enjoy their beautiful hymns,” said Mr Rodgers Ogutu.

CHURCH BELL

“I have always relied on the church bell every Sunday to start my day, today I missed the bell and woke up late,” said Mr Henry Matoke.

 “Are these the end of times? I am still trying to come to terms with the reality that I am not attending mass,” said Ms Teresa, a member of St Joseph The Worker Church at Racetrack.

The church has three masses every Sunday spread from 6.45am to 1pm. Nakuru’s busiest street, Kanu Street was deserted as churches remained shut.

In Subukia Father Peter Mose in his online sermon to the faithful said that coronavirus is colonising the world.

“We need to return to God in this period of isolation and trust in him. God gives us full redemption not just from this current coronavirus, but from any spiritual or physical evil or death,” said Father Mose.

PREVENT INFECTION

Fr Mose urged Kenyans to maintain high levels of hygiene to prevent spread and infection of the coronavirus.

In some of the churches such as PCEA Wema Parish in Nakuru East, hundreds of the church faithful followed the Sunday sermons online.

“We must obey government directives and observe hygiene. The word of God must continue because there is power in prayers and even as we fight coronavirus through other means, we must persistently seek for divine intervention,” said PCEA Wema parish Minister Pauline Kanuthu.

But it was a sad day for some of the guards who have a windfall on Sunday in some of the churches.

“Sunday is one of the day I earn an extra coin as faithful give me tips after the service. I just hope this closure of the churches will not take long time as some of us will suffer,” said a guard at a local church.

Matatu owners also said they were counting loses due to reduced number of worshippers using their vehicles.

“On Sunday, I earn more than any other day but today I have been forced to ground my vehicle at the parking bay,” said a matatu driver on Nakuru’s Kanu Street.

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