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Churches halt services over coronavirus pandemic

A number of Nairobi churches have suspended services as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll with countries taking extraordinary measures to contain the spread.

On Tuesday, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) said they had suspended all Sunday services but individuals can access the church premises for private prayers.

The church asked the government to provide necessary utilities such as water and electricity without charges.

The church also asking the government to consider suspending all loan repayments and interests through financial institutions in addition to lifting taxation on essential commodities such as food.

Nairobi Chapel also followed suit and announced the suspension of all church services until further notice.

All Saints Cathedral ACK has also suspended all services and meetings at the premises.

Those with weddings have been advised to reschedule

According to a notice, it will, however, remain open for individual prayers. Those with weddings have been advised to reschedule in the next four weeks or cancel them.

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.

In the case of weddings, the church said that they will be conducted at the church and not more than 10 people will attend the ceremony which will last for at most 30 minutes.

“If there are 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.