Swine Flu Advice regarding Communion Distribution.

Posted by Admin on Friday, 31st July 2009, 00:00

With all that we’ve heard about Swine Flu it sometimes feels as though the press think we should be singing “Ring a Ring of Roses” as we exchange the peace. Let’s take a step back and reflect.
 
Yes, there isn’t much swine flu about yet on the Island but we do need to be aware and careful, of and for each other. As individuals we may be fit, well, not in the most at risk groups but we do all, knowingly or unknowingly, come into contact with people with underlying health issues or in the most vulnerable age groups. To take care of ourselves and others in worship and beyond is a continuation of Biblical practice and living; good hygiene is one of the constant themes of the Old Testament.
 
As a church community our Flu Pandemic team has been reviewing our practices and keeping up to date with advice and information:

• We now have alcohol gel available in each church for all to use (clergy already do). Please apply it as you come into church and if you wish, reapply it before receiving communion.

• For Communion distribution we are implementing the advice received from the Archbishops. Whoever is presiding will intinct (dip each wafer in the wine) before giving it to the communicant.  Please do NOT take the host with your fingers; hold out your hand, palm upwards and the minister will place the intincted host on your hand. If, in due course, we need to change this practice so that only the President receives the wine we will let you know. Meanwhile, for as long as possible, we will, via intinction, adhere to the Anglican practice of offering Communion in both kinds.

• Re sharing the peace, please be mindful of the advice given that restraint is best; exchange as you see fit and be understanding if someone prefers to smile and bow rather than shake your hand.
 
From all the discussions and conversations I’ve had, one of the very clear messages coming across is that we shouldn’t panic but we should be sensible and, as we’ve been saying for several weeks, if you do feel unwell and have flu-like systems, it is wise to stay away from Church – but please, if you can, let us know.

If you live on your own, it's also wise to nominate someone to be your Flu Friend and to have helpline information close at hand. If you would like someone from church to be your Flu Friend, please tell one of the clergy or the Wardens.

Here are the National Pandemic Flu Service contact details just in case…
Tel: 0800 1 513 100 or via the Internet
www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu

The Rev'd Lyn McRostie

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