Churches across Williams Lake are making adjustments to their schedules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Lakecity churches respond to COVID-19

Social distancing policies are being adopted at multiple places of worship in Williams Lake

Lakecity churches are making adjustments across the board to how their parishioners worship to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing.

While restrictions on daily life are beginning to tighten as the public and government response to the pandemic continues to ramp up, churches and other places of religious worship have yet to be ordered to close their doors. Despite this fact, churches in Williams Lake are already taking precautions to protect their parishioners and the wider public.

At Sacred Heart Parish in Williams Lake, Father Paul Simms is currently still deciding how best to proceed in the midst of this rapidly changing situation. While alternative mass times have been discussed, Sacred Heart advises parishioners to keep an eye on their website at https://www.sacredheartwl.ca/ for updates on their plans. On Thursday, March 19 the church sent out an email officially announcing the cancellation of Sunday mass for the foreseeable future.

At St. Andrew’s United Church, meanwhile, reverend Nancy Colton said that their executive board made the decision on Tuesday, March 17 to suspend service until April 15. At that time the executive will evaluate if it’s safe to resume normal church services. As a result, Colton said that all rentals at the church are also suspended until April 15 when the board will evaluate them.

Read More: B.C. to suspend K-12 schools indefinitely due to COVID-19

Cariboo Bethel Church is taking COVID-19 as an opportunity to expand and enhance its online presence, lead pastor Jeremy Vogt said, while keeping their faith community engaged in church activities. Vogt said that, like St. Andrew’s, worship on Sunday is suspended in the brick and mortar church and instead will be live-streamed on Cariboo Bethel’s new Vimeo account.

Likewise, they will be encouraging the use of Zooms Rooms, an online video conference call service, Vogt said for prayer groups and other small church groups.

The Cariboo Bethel website is also being upgraded and overhauled to provide their community with more resources to connect with one another.

Vogt said he is also in the process of organizing and training a Williams Lake detachment of ‘Shopping Angels’ in the vein of groups based out the United States.

This group will be volunteering to buy groceries and vital supplies for people at risk of the virus or who are currently self-isolating, Vogt said, by picking up money and shopping lists from client’s homes and dropping off the requested items.

He’d like to stress this is for errands of necessity only and invites anyone in need of their services or wish to volunteer to call him at 250-267-4998.

Overall, Vogt said they’re trying to keep the community safe and his parish’s relationship with God strong during these trying times.

“People of faith, not fear, people of peace, not panic,” Vogt said.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Cariboo ranching pioneer Frank Armes inducted into BC Cowboy Hall of Fame

In 1931 Frank married Doreen Pollitt and they had four children; Bob, Gordon, Dorothy and Allan

FortisBC pausing power disconnections and late-fees amid COVID-19 crisis

Company says they plan to work with customers affected by COVID-19 on a “one on one” basis

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

Most Read