At this time, the UK Chief Medical Officers consider the risk to individuals from Coronavirus as moderate. The Methodist Church is monitoring the situation and has issued the following guidance to ensure the risks are reduced, recommending practical precautions to prevent the spread of infection. Revd Paul Wood, Interim Director of the Ministries Team, commented: “Our prayers are with all those who have been affected either by the illness or the measures to prevent its spread”. “The advice for churches is for good hygiene with regular hand washing and for particular care to be taken in the preparation of sharing the elements at Holy Communion”

During this time, please don’t be offended if someone at church does not want to shake your hand or give you a hug – it’s nothing personal, just precautionary. Normal hugging service can be resumed when the immediate threat is over!

Further information is available from Public Health England:”If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.”