Churches united in urging public to wear face masks

THE wearing of face coverings in churches across Fermanagh has been recommended by church leaders of various denominations.
A joint statement from leaders of the Catholic church, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian church and the Methodist church said they would formally recommend and encourage the use of face coverings at all services of worship, along with the ongoing maintenance of two metre physical distancing.
The updated guidance comes into affect from Sunday 30 August, “and earlier if practicable”.
The church leaders also set out that at this time, both in the North and South, the governments have not formally made mandatory the wearing of face coverings at services of worship. They explained this is in part due to the fact that churches are committed to maintaining a two metre physical distance between household groups and strict adherence to all government guidance on hand hygiene, cleaning and ventilation.
“It, however, remains our responsibility to ensure that our services of worship are safe places for all who join with us.
It has become increasingly clear that the wearing of face coverings, in conjunction with hand washing etc., is likely to reduce the spread of coronavirus, thus helping to protect others. Their use is therefore one way in which we can evidence protection for the most vulnerable, support for our health workers, and practical love for our neighbours.”
The church leaders then said they would be formally recommending and encouraging the use of face coverings at all services of worship.
“We recognise that whilst it may not be appropriate for those who are leading from the front during worship, including preaching, to wear face coverings, they should at all times continue to maintain at least two metre physical distancing from one another, and four metre physical distancing from the front row of the congregation.”

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