Pastors and their flocks were happy on Sunday to resume in-person worship for the first time in over three months.
The Prime Minister recently gave the green light to religious institutions to hold services, albeit at 25 per cent capacity and in one hour or less.
When Newsday visited Mt Grace Open Bible at approximately 8am on Sunday, the church had a little over 20 people.
Bishop Rawle Reid told Newsday on Monday, “It was enjoyable, just that the time was short. We managed the time, but it was definitely enjoyable.”
He said there was no pre-registration system for people who attended the first service.
“We had under 25 per cent – approximately ten per cent was present. Our church has the capacity to hold about 300 to 400 people, so we just had about ten per cent of that, but we enjoyed ourselves. The 25 per cent didn’t come out but we might get that as time goes by.”
During the three months of closure of churches, he said the church was kept going through social media.
“We had livestreams even before covid19, and we’ll keep doing it – we have Facebook and all other social media platforms.”
Apart from the usual temperature checks and hand sanitisers at its entrance, the church follows all the protocols.
“We have our pipes outside. Before you come inside, you have to sanitise, you have to provide us with some information – but all the covid19 protocols are being followed.”
He is happy that people are now able to attend mass and experience fellowship again.
“I remember at the first time when churches were closed, one morning I was doing livestream I just found myself crying – I missed my children. I remember I cried that morning. I just missed the people. We were created to have fellowship, so when we cannot fellowship, we cannot physically interact, it does something to us.”
While declining to say whether he was vaccinated or not, he told the population to use their common sense against the covid19 threat.
“Use their common sense to preserve their lives. One of the things I do not believe in is the mandatory vaccination – I do not believe anybody should force anybody as it relates to their bodies, that’s a personal choice. Safeguard yourself in whatever way you can that is comfortable for you.”