Inverurie churches adapt to new lockdown restrictions
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Churches and other places of worship in the Inverurie area are to adapt their services as new lockdown restrictions come into force for them on Friday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Monday that they would have to close until at least the end of January.
The only reason they can open is to broadcast a service or conduct a funeral, wedding, or civil partnership.
The First Minister said: "I’m well aware of how important communal worship is to people, but we believe this restriction is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission."
Up to 20 people are able to attend funeral services but wakes will not be possible in January.
A maximum of five people are able to attend wedding or civil partnership services.
At Inverurie West Parish Church the worship on Sundays will be held online at 11am, which can be accessed at the website www.inveruriewestchurch.org or via the church's YouTube channel.
Rev Rhona Cathcart said: "Viewers can watch live or afterwards in their own time. Sunday worship is usually followed by coffee and chat on Zoom.
"Anyone with us on Sunday morning who wants to join for coffee afterwards can email me for the link. You don’t need to be a member of the congregation to join us.
"We also do a Friday Fly Zoom coffee morning on Fridays at 11am. Again, folks can email me for the link.
"Zoom Junior Church for kids happens fortnightly on a Sunday afternoon, and we will be starting up our midweek Zoom bible study again soon."
The town's St Andrew's Parish Church will also conduct its services online.
The church said: "In accordance with the latest Scottish Government announcement, we are closed for worship until further notice.
"Rev Carl Irvine will be conducting Sunday worship and young people's talks online."
The links to the streams can be accessed at standrewsinverurie.co.uk
Kintore Parish Church had been open for Sunday services for up to 50 worshippers with safety precautions in place but will now move to online only services.
Rev Neil Meyer said: "The new regulations mean that we will not be open for any in-person worship services on Sundays although we will still be open for funerals with maximum attendance reduced to 20 people. All the Covid-safe regulations remain in place to ensure the safety of those attending.
"Apart from in-person worship, our work and worship as a church community continues uninterrupted.
"We have continued to meet online for worship throughout 2020 both on our website kintorekirk.org and on Zoom where our worship services coincide with in-person worship. These online/Zoom services will continue at 10am on Sundays."
Rothienorman Parish Church will also hold its services online and links to them will be available on the Friends of Rothienorman Parish Church Facebook page.
Meldrum and Bourtie Parish Church suspended in-person services on December 27. Links to its virtual services can be found on its website www.meldrumandbourtiechurch.com and Facebook page.
For arrangements for other churches in the area check their websites and social media pages.