Victoria—March 16, 2020 Bishop Logan McMenamie has ordered all churches in the diocese closed for all public use, including worship, for sixty (60) days effective immediately.
"We know churches are places of refuge, celebration and commemoration for folks from all walks of life, but the church is more than just its buildings. We are working collaboratively across our region to find creative ways to remain pastorally present to people at a time when the assurance offered in the life of faith is so critical. At the same time however, we take seriously the government's call on jurisdictions across the country to strengthen their proactive responses to contain and slow the spread of this disease. This is one way we can do our part to show our care and concern for the most vulnerable in our communities," says McMenamie.
McMenamie, who is himself currently travelling in the US will end his trip early and return to the diocese on March 17, when he will enter into self-isolation for the recommended period of 14 days.
The closure includes all public worship and facility rentals with the exception of daycare facilities being operated on church property. This is subject to change as new information becomes available.
The exception to this wide-sweeping closure is Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Victoria, which will for the time being, remain open to the public as a place of prayer and contemplation. Cathedral staff will have protocols in place for increased cleaning and ensuring the recommendations around social distancing and limiting gathering to under 50 people are observed.