SINGAPORE: The Methodist Church in Singapore will suspend services for an initial period of two weeks to help "break the chain" of COVID-19 infection, said Bishop Chong Chin Chung on Friday (Mar 20).
The decision was made after a meeting with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and various church leaders on Thursday, said Dr Chong in a letter to church members.
"We are fully committed to working with the authorities to promote the physical distancing measures advised by MCCY," he added.
There are 46 Methodist churches in Singapore, with more than 44,000 members.
Dr Chong said the Methodist Church plans to resume services on Apr 5 "with all precautionary measures" in place.
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He urged members not to attend another church while services are suspended, "as that would defeat the purpose and sacrifice we are making to break the chain of infection".
"We will still provide pastoral care and prayer support through means that do not require large face-to-face gatherings," he added.
In the mean time, members can turn to online podcasts or live-streams, as well as their respective church's arrangements, he said.
"Listen to your pastors and leaders and follow their advice as they strive to minister to you during this time. Look out for neighbours in need and be God’s light and love to them in small, practical ways," he added.
The Anglican Church on Thursday suspended services at its 27 parishes, affecting about 21,000 regular worshippers.
The Catholic Church in Singapore last week said it will continue to suspend mass in light of the rising number of COVID-19 infections in Singapore.