Advice for Churches on swine flu

The Methodist Church has circulated guidance among Church leaders in the event of a swine flu pandemic in the UK.

Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church, sent a message to deacons, presbyters, district local preachers' secretaries, district staff, superintendents and district chairs asking them to consider ways to avoid the risk of catching and spreading the virus.

The circulated document, 'Swine Flu: Risks and Precautions' is intended for all who have a responsibility in a Church context, whether leading worship, running groups or visiting. It also gives details of websites and helplines which offer up-to-date advice.

It is available to view here

Tom Quenet, Partnership Coordinator for South America and the Caribbean, has been in contact with the Methodist Church in Mexico.

He said: "Swine flu has affected Church life quite dramatically since all churches have been closed. There is concern for the marginalised people - especially the oldest and the youngest - that they should not be forgotten. Everybody has been called to look out for each other."

The Methodist Church in Mexico has informed the Civil and State Authorities Office that Methodist Churches and congregations are willing and able to be at the disposition of the authorities to care for others.

Bishop Moisés Valdarrema Gomez, President of the Council of Bishops at The Methodist Church in Mexico, said: "We have a responsibility of stewardship for, not only our lives, but also for the lives of others, which means in situations like this, we take responsibility for how our actions may affect others.

"Let us continue to pray for our families, our brothers and sisters in the faith, for our city and for the authorities. Let us turn this into an opportunity to unite in prayer for one another, having faith that God is the one leading our lives."

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