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Churches change watch night services

Churches change watch night services
Holetown Methodist Church (GP)

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Denominations in Barbados made changes to their worship schedules as newly announced COVID-19 precautions mean church pews will be empty come New Year’s Day.

Once again, there is local transmission of the virus, and on Thursday, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew for the next two weeks.

Chairman of the Barbados Christian Council (BXC), Reverend Dr Cicely Athill-Horsford, said they were in the process of working things out, but already some churches had announced changes.

“I am in contact with the BXC and I’m awaiting on my superintendent [of the Moravian Church] to see if we are going ahead with worship service. We can no longer have the 11 p.m. to midnight service but we will go into prayer continue to lift up the nation in prayer,” she said.

Athill-Horsford said some churches, such as Calvary Moravian, would have an early service which would end by 11 p.m. while Mount Tabor will host a day of prayer tomorrow.

“This is a critical situation that we all need to be on board with and handle it. COVID is still with us and it’s going to get worse unless we do something, each one of us have to take responsibility – wear our masks, wash our hands and watch our distancing – then we will keep each other safe,” she said.

The Methodist churches announced wide scale changes to its worship schedule. In a release, it said the James Street Speightstown Circuit, which includes the James St, Bank Hall, Hawthorn, Ann Gill Memorial, Holetown, White Hall, Speightstown, Selah, and Bethesda churches would hold its watch night services from 9 p.m., with the exception of Payne’s Bay which will begin at 6 p.m.

The Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown also announced changes on social media, as follows: “Due to the curfew and other COVID-19 measures announced today by the Prime Minister, changes have been made to the New Year’s Eve Masses: No Midnight Mass at Our Lady Queen of the Universe and online Mass only at St Francis of Assisi at 10.30 p.m. The New Year’s Eve Mass times at the other churches remain unchanged.”

Similarly a number of Anglican Churches called off their watch night services, such as St Catherine’s, while St Barnabas cancelled its midnight service. Christ Church Parish Church will have a 9 p.m. service and St Leonard’s Church will have an early 6 a.m. service. (CA)