I am sure you are all aware of the virus which is spreading around. I do not want to add to the media panic which is going around. However it is appropriate to take sensible precautions.
The following is advice taken from the Church of England website:
Whilst in places of worship, there is no need to avoid other worshipers who are well or to change normal faith practices – this includes taking wine from the communal chalice. Public Health England recommends that you should take usual infection prevention precautions including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
Churches should already be following best-hygiene practices that include advising parishioners with coughs and sneezes to refrain from handshaking during The Peace and to receive Communion in one kind only.
At present, there is no Government advice that suggests the use of the Common Cup should be suspended.
It is also best practice for churches to have hand-sanitisers available for parishioners to use.
In addition, priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers should wash their hands, preferably with an alcohol-based (minimum 60%) hand-sanitiser.
Intinction is not recommended (even by celebrants or communion-administrators) as this represents an infection transmission route as well as a risk to those with certain allergies.
Best hygiene practice should continue to be observed in all pastoral contacts.
Full text is via this link.
Please can we request that we do not intinct the Host (dip the wafer into the wine), this is a potential route of infection, if you prefer not to receive from the chalice receiving the Sacrament in 1 kind (Host only) is quite acceptable and valid. Please speak to Fr Darcy directly if you have any concerns regarding this.
Hand sanitiser is in both churches and is used by the priest at the Eucharist.
If this advice changes we will update you.