Churches plan move online

Canning Gazette - - CORONAVIRU­S CRISIS - Michael Palmer

PERTH churches are look­ing at mov­ing Masses and ser­vices online to meet the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s re­stric­tions on gath­er­ings.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son or­dered various fa­cil­i­ties to close in­def­i­nitely at noon on Mon­day, in­clud­ing re­li­gious gath­er­ings and places of wor­ship.

Churches were al­ready ques­tion­ing if they would be able to hold Easter ser­vices af­ter an ear­lier re­stric­tion of no more than 100 peo­ple at a gath­er­ing.

The Catholic Church had al­ready sus­pended pub­lic masses be­fore Mon­day’s an­nounce­ment.

Perth Arch­bishop Ti­mothy Costel­loe had warned par­ish­ioners that Easter may not be able to be cel­e­brated in churches.

He said he knew it would dis­tress some peo­ple.

“We have a duty to re­main re­spon­sive to the ad­vice and di­rec­tives of our govern­ment and our pub­lic health of­fi­cials,” Arch­bishop Costel­loe said. “As both Catholics and cit­i­zens we wish to be re­spon­si­ble and co-op­er­a­tive mem­bers within our so­ci­ety.”

The Dio­cese was work­ing on online stream­ing of Mass and Easter ser­vices from St Mary’s Cathe­dral in Perth and other churches.

Angli­can Church Arch­bishop Kay Goldswor­thy said she took part in sev­eral vir­tual ser­vices on Sun­day.

“There are a num­ber of is­sues that are be­ing con­sid­ered by the Bish­ops and se­nior staff for life go­ing for­ward in the Dio­cese which re­quire care­ful thought and plan­ning,” she said.

Unit­ing Church WA gen­eral secretary Rev­erend

David de Kock said it was im­per­a­tive churches com­plied with the new reg­u­la­tions. It was an op­por­tu­nity for the church to “think rad­i­cally” about how it could con­tinue.

Min­is­ters, pas­tors, elders and church coun­cils have been en­cour­aged to con­sider new ways of safely fos­ter­ing so­cial contact in their com­mu­nity, such as phone, email, Facebook and online re­sources.

The Church has made online wor­ship ser­vices avail­able on its web­site.

Arch­bishop Ti­mothy Costel­loe says the de­ci­sion to sus­pend Masses will dis­tress some peo­ple.

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