12th March, 2020.
Further to the statement issued by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD this morning, 12th March 2020, I would ask members of the Church of Ireland in these dioceses of Meath and Kildare, to comply with the requests being made by the Government. See: http://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/96eb4c-statement-from-the-national-public-health-emergency-team
The request that there should be no indoor gatherings of more than 100 people will obviously have an implication on some, but not all of our churches by way of services, organisational meetings and social events.
In order to comply with these recommendations, I am asking that no gatherings of 100 people or more take place in any of our parishes from now until 29th March 2020, (which will include Mothering Sunday) which is the date given for the arrangements announced by the Government. This may of course be extended to a later date, but an update will be circulated nearer that time.
This advice also extends to public gatherings for Baptism and Confirmation as well as marriages and funerals for the moment whilst recognising that this may be difficult for families experiencing both joy and sorrow.
During all services, the guidance of the public health authorities regarding hand-sanitising and social distancing should be borne in mind.
Where numbers are under 100 people, please ensure that your parish is compliant with both the guidelines set down by the HSE as well as the Church of Ireland guidelines regarding Church Services.
At this time I ask all church members to show solidarity and to give such support as they can to everyone in their community, particularly to the isolated and vulnerable.
Our primary motivation is to ensure our own wellbeing, and that of our wider community.
Bishop Pat Storey