By Debbie Sayers Fullwood
As Churches across the world made history by temporarily suspending services to limit contact in large groups, because of the spread of coronavirus, many faithful people have found creative ways to continue to worship and stay connected with their congregation.
One of these is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where families are encouraged to lead their own Sunday services at home with those they are isolating with.
Mother-of-five, local GP and now a home educator Jenni Rigby said: “This is certainly a first and it is a time of stress for a lot of people.
“It is so good just having that peace, and being able to continue on, almost as normal.
“You don’t have to be in a religious building to grow your faith or practice your religion.”
Jenni’s husband Peter Rigby is the Bishop of the Southport branch, on Preston New Road.
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He is happy to hear that members of his congregation are still actively worshiping, despite their normal services being suspended until further notice.
Bishop Rigby, a local lawyer and lay minister, said they are doing this to make sure they protect those people who could be more vulnerable when it comes to Covid-19, such as the elderly.
He said: “We can go to the shops for them, pick up medication, provide food for those who are unable to procure the items they need.
“We are eager to find new opportunities to serve those who need our help. We can experience joy even through difficult times, and this is a time to band together, to exercise our faith and to put into practice all we have learnt as Christians to care for one another.
“Our members are also connecting with those who are isolating alone via technology enjoying services, lessons and activities online together.
“We have felt united as we have taken part in a talent show, quiz night, craft exhibition and even a camp, all virtually. Together, while apart.”
The Church building itself is also still being used as a vital blood donation venue by the NHS.
Peter said: “We are eager to try to help others and the community during this time. That is what we would be encouraging everybody to do as this is also better for everyone’s mental health.”
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