PCEA churches, All Saints suspend Sunday services

Tuesday March 24 2020
ALLSAINTS

Bishop Jackson ole Sapit leads a service at All Saints Cathedral church in Nairobi. It has suspended all Sunday church services. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

The All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi and Presbyterian churches have suspended Sunday services until further notice in a bid to curb spread of the new coronavirus.

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) suspended all meetings, including Sunday worship services and gatherings, for the next 21 days with the church only remaining open for private individual prayers.

However, the church announced to its 4.5 million members that to continue spiritual nurturing and support, the church will use digital and online platforms.

“Weddings should be postponed or be done in a ceremony of five people, including the bride, the groom, the best couple and the officiating minister.

“Funeral services should be attended only by the extended family. Viewing of body should not be done at the mortuary to avoid people congregating. The entourage should go straight to the graveside or an open field with a short service of not more than one hour,” said PCEA Secretary-General Reverend Peter Kaniah in a statement.

On its part, All Saints' Cathedral Anglican Church has suspended all Sunday church services and cancelled meetings that were to be held at its premises from Wednesday for the next two weeks.

According to Provost Canon Sammy Wainaina, all cell group fellowships and other church-related meetings outside the Cathedral have also been suspended.

The church’s main sanctuary will only remain open for individual prayers and not groups, with limited access through the West door only.

“Members are advised to avoid the use of hymn books, prayer books, service sheets and any other objects. The Cathedral clergy will be available to provide pastoral support to bereaved families and conduct funerals with a maximum attendance of 10 people with requisite health precautions," he said.

CANCEL WEDDINGS

The measures also affect bookings for meetings and events, with those due for weddings in the next four weeks advised to cancel or only undertake them under strict attendance rules.

“If there is any compelling reasons for any wedding to take place within this period, the Provost will give permission on the understanding that the wedding will have no more than 10 people admitted into the Sanctuary and will take only 30 minutes,” he added.

The measures follow a government directive outlawing all public gatherings in the light of the coronavirus pandemic that has so far claimed the lives of at least 7,529 people globally out of the 184,976 reported cases in 159 countries across the world.

Kenya now has four reported cases of the virus.

The fourth patient, announced Tuesday by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, travelled from London and arrived in Kenya on March 9.

The CS said tracing of persons who may have come into contact with the patient is ongoing.