Article By: Maurice Fitzmaurice
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A deep clean has been carried out at the premises
A Co Antrim church has been closed down after “many members” contracted Covid-19, according to a post on its Facebook page.
The Hebron Free Presbyterian Church in Ballymoney has also undergone a “deep clean”, according to a message from its Minister, the Reverend David Park.
In his post, Rev Park outlines how one member of the church is “critically ill in hospital and on a ventilator”, adding that “many members in the church have succumbed to the virus”.
The message was posted on the November 1 and states that “our church is closed for two weeks, from the Lord’s day, 25th of October until next Lord’s day 9th of November”.
Rev Park adds that “we’ve had a deep clean of our building, we have bought a fogging machine so our building can be sanitised every week and we’re taking safety measures to keep our people protected”.
Details of how coronavirus has affected the church is contained within a broader message about how a “little tiny virus... has wreaked havoc across the face of the world”, but that “now it gets very close and personal”.
Rev Park offers thoughts and prayers to a number of individuals affected by Covid, adding that “many others in our family and our church are suffering because of the virus”.
The Facebook post is headed with the message: “This week Rev Park reminds us that in the midst of all our troubles & trials we have a God who we can turn to, and who WILL take care of us.”
In the recent Covid-19 ‘Evidence Bank’ released by the Department of Health, which outlined options to tackle the virus, the closure of churches was listed as one possible avenue.
It stated that the “Closure of places of worship / community centres” would have a “Potential reduction in R of up to 0.1, though precise estimation very difficult”.
The Stormont Executive did not, however, close churches.
The ‘Bank’ added: “Environmental risks vary depending on the building. Small venues higher risk than large spaces as the volume mitigates aerosol transmission. Some ceremonies involve touch surfaces and proximity for short duration (eg communion). Singing/loud talking can enhance risk.”