Church congregants urged not to attend services if recently returned from Kuching

Tiang (left) listens to a briefing by Ting (second left) together with church members.

SIBU, July 30: Sing Ang Tong Methodist Church urged congregants to refrain from attending mass on Sunday if they have just returned from Kuching which is currently a Covid-19 red zone.

The church has been closed since March 18 due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) but will reopen this Sunday for mass service.

According to its pastor Ting Lian Bing, they would prefer members returning from Kuching to self-quarantine for two weeks first.

“After the two-week quarantine and if they are free from the virus, they can attend the weekend masses,” she disclosed during a visit by a Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Michael Tiang to the premises.

Ting revealed the church hall can accommodate up to 1,000 people at one time but following standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb the spread of Covid-19, they will only accept up to 254 people.

There are 10 seats per row but only four will be in use.

The church has three Sunday masses, at 7am, 10am and 7pm respectively.

“We will also accept senior members provided they are in the pink of health. We have reserved one corner for them. We will also standby face masks for those who do not have one,” Ting added.

Parishioners will have their body temperature scanned at the entrance to the church. They will also have to record their particulars either manually or through QR code (MySejahtera app).

Sing Ang Tong Methodist Church, the oldest Methodist church in Sarawak, was started by immigrants from Fuzhou Province in China who came to Sibu in 1901. The present building was opened on November 24, 2013.

Meanwhile Tiang expressed satisfaction with the church’s preparations for its re-opening in terms of SOP compliance.

“However, I would like to urge members to strictly follow the SOP which includes wearing face masks and observing social distancing. Do not create any problems for the church which has done all that is necessary for the reopening,” he added. — DayakDaily