Langley’s Christian Life Assembly has cancelled all five of its Sunday services for the next three weeks due to the ongoing coroanvirus outbreak, the lead pastor announced Friday.
“We are living in unusual times,” Pastor Derrick Hamre said at the start of a video posted on the church’s website.
Spiritual leaders met with Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry earlier on Friday, and took into account the directive to close events with more than 250 participants.
Christian Life Assembly can have between 1,500 and 3,000 people in its auditorium.
“As Christians, in partnership with those in authority, our ministry lead team has made the decision that over the next three weeks, all five Sunday gatherings will be cancelled,” Hamre said.
That includes Sooke, Maple Ridge, Langley’s two Sunday services, and Recovery Church.
“We will provide livestreaming,” said Hamre. A Langley crew will stream the service to all of the church’s campuses.
A number of other church events are cancelled at various locations, including in Langley. Smaller groups with 25 people or fewer will still be meeting. More information is available on the church website.
“We’re asking that all seniors events will also be cancelled,” Hamre said.
Everything will be re-evaluated on April 1, Hamre said.
Village Church, which meets Sundays at the Church of the Valley, announced they are also taking their services online for the next several weeks.
“The Church is still the Church and we will be meeting online and continuing to do ministry as staff and volunteers, during the week, in all the ways we normally do,” the church said in an announcement Thursday.
Langley is also expected to see an impact at the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Langley temple is the only full temple of the faith, also known as the Mormons, in this province.
“Beginning immediately, all public gatherings of Church members are being temporarily suspended worldwide until further notice,” the church announced Friday. That includes all public worship services.
Churches with smaller congregations are still open, but some are modifying their service.
The Anglican Diocese has suspended all in-person worship as of Wednesday, March 18 and will last until May 3; the suspension is expected to effect 5,000 people who gather at 66 churches.
“We will be holding service on Sunday,” said the vicar, Andrew Halladay. But older parishioners and those with health issues, as well as anyone feeling sick, has been advised to stay home.
There will be changes to the service, including no use of a common cup in communion, with only bread. An offering plate won’t be passed hand-to-hand, and there will be no coffee time after the service, said Halladay.
The provincial health authorities have asked for an end to gatherings of more than 250 people to create the social distancing to slow or stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.