Church heeds call to close in SA lockdown

PROTECTING LIVES: Reverend Mnyamezeli Elliot Masoka of the Diocese of Khahlamba Anglican Church Picture: SUPPLIED

Reverend Mnyamezeli Elliot Masoka of the Diocese of Khahlamba Anglican Church has indicated that all churches within their jurisdiction will be closed after an urgent meeting this week following the directive from the president to implement a 21 day national lockdown.

Speaking to The Rep, Masoka said the Bishop of the Diocese, Moses Madywabe had summoned the southern region clergy prior the president’s address to gather at the church on March 18 to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic. “We felt this was an emergency and we should come together as a church. We asked health experts from Frontier Hospital to address us so that we could communicate to the broader community of the church. The experts gave us a clinical and scientific approach of how the virus is being spread. They urged us to educate our members to adhere to the measures of sanitisation.”

A document posted on the church social media page stated there would be no mass Easter services and funerals would be conducted within one hour, including the graveside ceremony. “There will be no night vigils or overnight prayers for funerals. Only immediate family members are encouraged to attend funerals,” read the document.

Masoka, who also serves as Madywabe’s personal assistant, said Bishops in the Anglican communion throughout the world gathered every 10 years in Lambeth, London, to review old laws and make suggestions for new ones. “That was scheduled to take place on July 20. We had already made travel arrangements for our Bishops but that has been postponed till next year. This means that the Anglican church is taking this very seriously. We are prepared to adhere to whatever directive will help in dealing effectively with the virus.”

He said communication would be posted on the church social media pages.

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