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The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

Messages from Bishop Mark

First COVID-19 Statement

Posted by The Rt. Rev. Mark D. W. Edington on

Convocation Statement regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak...

To the clergy and lay leadership of the Convocation, 

The emergence of cases of COVID-19 (the “coronavirus”) in Europe, and recent deaths in northern Italy associated with the virus, should be a matter of concern to all of our communities.
We are writing to suggest some basic steps each of our communities can follow to minimize risks to all of our people and the ministries to which they contribute or by which they are served.
First, the best advice on precautions to take is provided on the website of the World Health Organization. Information is available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish.
We suggest that you summarize this information in communications to the membership of your communities, as well as in a form that is easily available to those attending worship or participating in events or ministries in your church.
The basic information to communicate is:
— Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water or an alcohol-based rub. All eucharistic ministers should use an alcohol-based rub before the distribution of the sacrament, whether in the context of the liturgy or in visiting someone at home or in the hospital. 
— Practice respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing; discard tissues immediately in closed bins.
— Practice social distancing. In general, maintain a distance of a meter between you and others, particular those who are coughing, sneezing, or evidently ill.
— Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
— Any parishes involved in ministries in which food is served should give particular attention to The WHO recommendations regarding food safety.
— Needless to say, we should send a clear message that if anyone feels ill or unwell, they should, as a general rule, seek medical care immediately and not attend parish events.
— Related to this, if someone who is elderly or lives alone does not appear at church in what would otherwise be a regular function, create systems for wellness checks.
Finally, leaders of all Convocation organizations should take account of the increased potential of exposure to the virus arising from travel, and — at least for the time being — exercise a preference for remote means of meeting whenever possible. The Convocation’s Zoom account is at your disposal for this purpose.
We will provide more information to you as developments warrant. 
Blessings and best wishes,
The Right Reverend Mark D. W. Edington
Bishop in Charge
The Reverend Christopher Easthill
President of the Council of Advice


Tags: health, wellness, coronavirus