Clogher Diocese of the Church of Ireland has issued some guidance regarding church services, parish activities and visitations to clergy, parishioners and to the public in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

In a pastoral message, the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Reverend John McDowell said: “As you will be aware, coronavirus is presenting major challenges to the whole of society on the island of Ireland, including to the Churches. It is important that we respond responsibly and proportionately to these challenges.

"Undoubtedly we will all have to do things differently, at least during the period of this emergency, and possibly beyond that time. However we need also to remember our calling to worship God not only 'with our lips but in our lives' as we say in the General Thanksgiving," he added.

The guidance from Clogher Diocese includes the cancellation of all public acts of worship, including Sunday services, Lenten services, Baptisms and Confirmations. Parishes, where possible, may consider providing access to Churches for private prayer and reflection but where this is the case then hygiene and physical distancing guidance must be observed.

Resources for worshipping from home will shortly be made available online and clergy and parishes have been encouraged to consider alternative ways to offer worship and spiritual support to individuals and the community. Those intending to co-ordinate worship resources that can be accessed online, should contact the Diocesan Communications Officer so that information of such can be circulated.

On guidance for funerals, the Diocese said these should ideally be attended by family members and close friends only in order to keep numbers in attendance low but with those attending following the Government protocols. Copies of prayers for the sick and the dying and also a copy of the funeral service could be helpfully sent to those unable to attend the funeral of a friend or relative. Thanksgiving Services could be considered appropriate by those bereaved at a future date when possible.

Weddings should be postponed in the current circumstances.

In terms of mental health and hardship efforts should be made to support those who may be struggling with mental health issues and/or hardship. It will be important to take measures, such as regular phone communication, to help alleviate loneliness and despair.

The closure of halls and facilities has resulted in all parish organisations and external groups using the facilities also ceasing until further notice.

All Diocesan events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Gatherings for worship have also been suspended in Methodist Churches across Ireland. A representative from the Methodist Church in Ireland stated on Wednesday, March 18: "It is with great sadness that we have suspended gatherings for worship in Methodist Churches across Ireland. We have made this difficult decision in light of the evolving government advice in both jurisdictions. Congregations are encouraged to seek creative ways to worship, even if not able to be in one place and to continue to serve those who are most vulnerable in their communities."

Given the current Coronavirus COVID-19 emergency, and associated developments, the Presbyterian Moderator, Right Reverend Dr. William Henry and the Clerk of the General Assembly and General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Reverend Trevor Gribben, have written to all ministers across Ireland informing them that all Congregational organisations and activities, including Sunday worship, should cease until further notice.