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City Harvest Church.jpg
CHC Facebook
City Harvest Church.jpg
CHC Facebook
World News

Singaporean mega-church switches to online services amidst Coronavirus spike

by Heather Preston

A Mega church in Singapore is moving its gatherings online this weekend after a spike in local cases of Coronavirus.

City Harvest Church (CHC) which has a congregation of 16,000 has put a hold on gathering in its building and will now be live-streaming its sermons online in a bid to protect worshippers from infection.

City Harvest Church's weekend services will be broadcast on their website and app in what the leadership have insisted is a temporary measure to protect their congregation.

An announcement about the service changes was posted on CHC's Facebook page.

It reads:

"While we honour the gathering of the saints, your safety is also our utmost concern. As such, we will be implementing alternative arrangements for our Weekend Services til the end of Feb, as we continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19.

"There may be disruptions to our regular programming, but let's remember that God is still in control. Now is not our time to lose heart, but to keep our connection with God and one another more alive than ever

It comes after the country saw a surge in confirmed cases there. Health officials in Singapore have now confirmed nine additional cases of the Covid-19 strain, bringing the citywide total to 67 cases.

At least six of the newly confirmed cases are linked to the Grace Assembly of God church - which is in close proximity to CHC, and is currently the largest community cluster of cases in Singapore.

Pete Phillips, Premier's Head of Digital Theology welcomes the idea and says it's a measure that has helped churches across Asia since the outbreak began.

"A number of churches in China began the move to start streaming services a few weeks ago and then churches in Hong Kong and now Singapore are moving online because of the health issues.

"People still want to go to church in these places and if they can't meet in public then church needs to carry on in some way and digital church is a good way to do that."

Phillip's stressed that scriptures instructing Christians to gather doesn't have to mean something physical: "The importance is about the body of Christ worshipping Christ. Some people would interpret don't stop meeting together as being a kind of physical expression about people still meeting together in the services because they're kind of sharing fellowship with one another during them, especially if it's live streamed."

In the UK, the Church of England has released service guidelines for parishes, to help prevent the spread of contamination in gatherings.

To date no one has died from it in the UK.
 

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