Local Anglican Church bans handshakes amid worldwide COVID-19 epidemic


The local Anglican Church is reportedly giving up hugs and handshakes for nods, bows and smiles.

The new practices were introduced to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

There are no confirmed cases of the illness in Antigua and Barbuda but, according to reports, the church already amended some of its longstanding traditions as precautionary measures.

Members of the clergy are now mandated to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before conducting the communion sacrament.

Even then, only bread is given to congregants and this is be placed in their hand rather than on their tongue as is the custom reports said.

As for the wine, only the priest gets a sip from the cup, which was traditionally shared with members of the congregation.

“I saw them whispering so I made a little joke, I said what happen, you’re saying the priest drink all and nuh gi’ me none and they say we were not only thinking it, we are saying it”, Rev. Ernest Flemming, Dean of the Cathedral Parish of St. John the Divine told state media.

“Adjustments would be needed, and I think because they understand the gravity of the situation, that they would gladly make that adjustment”, the Dean said.

Parish Priest of St. George, Rev. Canon Reid said the response from members of the congregation have been good.

“They are in agreement because I think we have the mindset that it’s not if it will come but when it comes, and this actually prepares all of us for that moment when we can say effectively that it is here”, Rev. Reid said.

The Priest encouraged all residents they take adequate precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are advocating, not only for our church membership but for the general public, that they must follow the guidelines laid down by the health authorities and what are they saying? Practice good hygiene wash your hands, use sanitizers, you know, those sorts of things. We are in favor with all of that”, he said.

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  1. The church did NOT institute a ban. It is merely opting for other greeting mechanisms. Nothing in the article suggested a BAN.

    P.S – Father Reid needs to transition to a plant-based diet ASAP! He may not be around much longer to shepherd the flock if he continues to augment horizontally.

    • not just him. The Attorney General as well. Each time I see him, I am reminded of the hypocrisy. He sits in Cabinet as part of an administration fighting against obesity and NCDs, yet the Cabinet chooses to ignore the elephant in their room. Why not use him as part of a pilot project to demonstrate what changes to diet and exercise can accomplish? The AG may not be around much longer either to table and Bills before parliament. Imagine the toll all that weight takes on his poor heart and knees.

  2. The Church banned sex before marriage also and look at all the bastard babies (Deuteronomy 23:2)(Hebrews 12:8) getting christened.

    • Mel, your wisdom runs deep, BUT don’t blame the children for the sins of the parents. They may be wicked as hell, but not the innocent babies.

  3. The Church has no faith in their God to protect them. Seems like science wins again….

    Life and death situation let you know how much Christians believe in what they believe.

    The bible says (Mark 5:23) that is what Christians should do not science.

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