Hope Restoration Ministries, which includes six campuses, has chosen to put “the lives of God’s people first” and not open it’s doors when Level 3 lockdown regulations take effect, which allow places of worship to resume services.
This church said it would only revise its decision based on developments over the winter season.
The church’s Reverend Chris Mathebula said in a statement on Thursday: “We do yearn the spiritual fulfilment and connection that comes with the fellowship that we have always enjoyed as a church. However, we have reached the decision to put the lives of God’s people first.
“We will therefore wait and observe the developments between now and the end of the winter season, at which point we will revisit our decision.”
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday that places of worship may resume services under strict conditions and will be limited to a maximum of 50 people. The church looked at various factors before arriving at its decision, including the health and safety of congregants, and that three of its campuses fall under the Ekurhuleni district which has the second-highest number of cases in Gauteng.
The church also took into account that the sanitising and safety precautions required had cost implications that go beyond the church’s financial capability.
Hope Restoration Ministries has been conducting online services, virtual programmes and meetings that “have been well received”.
“We will continue to serve our congregants and the general public through the available online platforms,” Mathebula added.
The church has urged congregants to embrace the change and use this opportunity to be part of the remodelling of the church.
“Let us also all be filled with hope and take comfort in knowing that, together, we will rise above this.
“This too shall pass,” Mathebula concluded.