South Africa, Durban – 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.