PHOTOS: Churches suspend services amid outbreak

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  • Ben Broadbent prays at the end of the 8 a.m. Sunday service at St. Paul’s Church. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Acolyte Davis Richmond lights the candle at the altar before the  last 8 a.m. Sunday service until April 5th  at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Concord. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • A wide-angle view of St. Paul’s Church’s 8 a.m. service on Sunday morning. The Rev. Kate Atkinson, the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Concord has heeded the call from N.H. Episcopal Bishop Robert Hirschfeld to curtail all church gatherings, including worship services, from Monday on. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Rev. Kate Atkinson, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Concord, begins the 8 a.m. Sunday service by letting the parishioners know the church will be stopping services until at least April 5th. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Acolyte Davis Richmond lights the candle at the altar before the  last 8 a.m. Sunday service until April 5th  at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Concord. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Rev. Kate Atkinson, rector of St. Paul’s Church prays before the start of the 8.m. service on Sunday morning.

  • Ben Broadbent speaks during a segment at St. Paul’s Church called ‘This is our story’ at the 8 a.m. Sunday service on March 15, 2020. Broadbent told the parishioners that he went to China and keeps in touch with friends back there and they have told him the conditions are improving from the COVID-19 virus. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Rev. Kate Atkinson, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Concord, begins the 8 a.m. Sunday service by letting the parishioners know the church will be stopping services until at least April 5th. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Tyson Workman, 8, holds on to his grandfather Jeff Hardy. The two were ushers and used hand sanitizer many times throughout the service.

  • Rev. Kate Atkinson, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Concord, begins the 8 a.m. Sunday service by letting the parishioners know the church will be stopping services until at least April 5th. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Rev. Kate Atkinson, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Concord, begins the 8 a.m. Sunday service by letting the parishioners know the church will be stopping services until at least April 5th. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Published: 3/15/2020 8:34:14 PM

Rev. Kate Atkinson prays it will be quick.

The rector of St. Paul’s Church in Concord has heeded the call from New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Robert Hirschfeld to curtail all church gatherings, including worship services, from Monday onward.

However, the downtown church’s office will be open for pastoral emergencies and the food pantry will continue Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. as usual.

In a letter on March 13th, Hirschfeld said, “After consulting with clergy, lay leaders, public health officials and fellow bishops, I ask that each of our congregations this coming Sunday, as a Day of Preparation for a Fast from physically gathered, large group worship until April 5th, the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. We pray that this time of abstaining from public worship will not extend beyond this, but the circumstances relating to the COVID-19 outbreak may dictate otherwise.”

Bishop Hirschfeld plans on streaming services from the Chapel of All Angels in Diocesan House in Concord beginning next week.

Meanwhile, Rev. Atkinson said the last 8 a.m. Sunday service attendance was down by fifty percent. During the kiss of peace and communion, there was a wave for the peace and just a wafer, dropped into parishioners’ hands.

Grace Church in East Concord has followed St. Paul’s as well.




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