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Ontario's Anglican churches to remain closed through summer

'Well-being, safety of all parishioners is uppermost in our hearts and minds,' says Archbishop Anne Germond
Archbishop Anne Germond file photo

Anglican churches across the ecclesiastical province of Ontario will remain closed for in-person worship services until at least September, observing a sacred summer rest over the summer months while the pandemic continues.

“The well-being and safety of all our parishioners and the communities we serve is uppermost in our hearts and minds,” says Archbishop Anne Germond, metropolitan of Ontario and archbishop of Algoma and Moosonee.

The decision was made by the provincial house of Anglican bishops and released in a pastoral letter by Archbishop Germond.

“A time of sabbath rest invites our clergy and lay leaders, as well as the whole Church, to take time apart from our usual patterns in order to bring renewed energy and knowledge and skill to the practice of ministry,” says the letter signed by Archbishop Germond on behalf of the bishops.

The letter notes that regardless of where the Government of Ontario is with its reopening plan, Anglican churches will not be reopening for the next three months, a decision made in consultation with public health experts and other diocesan officials.

Online worship services, food security, and other essential outreach and community ministries taking place in church buildings will continue, as they have been in recent months.

The ecclesiastical province of Ontario is part of the Anglican Church of Canada and includes seven Anglican dioceses (Toronto, Niagara, Ontario, Ottawa, Huron, Algoma, and Moosonee) covering most of the geographical province of Ontario as well as parts of Quebec.