British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

SCB Methodist Church closed after funeral attendee tests positive for COVID

SCB Methodist Church closed after funeral attendee tests positive for COVID

After a person who attended a funeral at the Sea Cows Bay Methodist Church on March 27, 2021, tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in a call for isolation and mass testing by Government, a decision has been made to close all Methodist chapels in the Territory, except for Anegada.

Further, members of the congregation who were in attendance at the funeral have been encouraged to be tested and vaccinated and to show evidence of this before a decision is made to resume activities at the chapel in Sea Cows Bay.

The closure of the chapels comes as the Lent season is being observed.

The Methodist congregation was informed of the closure and postponement of all fellowship activities via a letter by Circuit Superintendent Minister Dr Keith B. Lewis on Monday, March 29, 2021.


All fellowship activities postponed


The Methodist congregation was informed of the closure and postponement of all fellowship activities via a letter by Circuit Superintendent Minister Dr Keith B. Lewis on Monday, March 29, 2021.

“It is with regret that I inform you that the Circuit Staff has decided, in an over-abundance of caution, to close all of our chapels, with the exception of Anegada, with immediate effect: from today, Monday, March 29th through to Thursday, April 01. We will update you on Good Friday and Easter services. All fellowship activities associated with the churches are postponed,” the letter, a copy of which was shared with our newsroom, stated.

It also noted the Sea Cows Bay Methodist Chapel is closed to all services.

After a person who attended a funeral at the Sea Cows Bay Methodist Church on March 27, 2021, tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in a call for isolation and mass testing by Government, a decision has been made to close all Methodist chapels in the Territory, except for Anegada.


Congregation told to show evidence of vaccination


Dr Lewis further said: “This unusual decision is based on the presence of one individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and saw it fitting to be present at a Funeral service on Saturday, March 27, at the Sea Cows Bay Methodist Church.”

It should be noted that it has since been unearthed that the person who tested positive after attending the funeral had tested negative for the virus and was even given a certificate by the Ministry of Health confirming the negative test result, which allowed him to exit quarantine.

The letter by Dr Lewis encouraged members of the congregation who were in attendance at the funeral to be tested and vaccinated and “to show evidence of this before a decision is made to resume activities at the chapel.”

The congregation was also told that the church was advised that the building must be thoroughly sanitised in keeping with Government’s guidelines.

“As your pastor and Circuit Superintendent I am strongly advocating and encouraging you to please get vaccinated. If you were present at the funeral, give heed to the Public Health advice and self-isolate for ten (10) days and call the hotline to make an appointment for testing…” Dr Lewis pleaded.

The Letter also informed that Lenten Mid-Week-Wednesday service is cancelled also and that Holy Week Service will be broadcast via the church’s online YouTube channel.

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