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Why churches are struggling to get members back after lockdown

Five weeks after the gradual opening of places of worship, a survey by Sunday Telegraph has revealed that congregants are are yet to returning to church fully.

The President of Pentecostal Ministers Forum (PMF), Archbishop Chidi Anthony, who spoke to our correspondent, disclosed that attendance in over 80 churches which are members of the PMF are still struggling to get their members back to church. He said: “Unlike the days before the lock down, attendance at services are yet to peak.

 

We believe it will pick up soon; that’s why we are holding programmes that will lift up the spirit of the people. It’s expected after the pandemic, church may have to start afresh; and that is not easy on the churches.

 

In the same vane, the General Overseer of Holy Spirit Mission, Bishop Charles Ighele explained that the fear of coronavirus was so much that some families and people are still afraid to come to church. He, however, added: “Attendance is picking up and will soon peak based on what l saw towards the end of September.

 

Sunday Telegraph also learnt that due to the compliance with government directives, some churches aren’t admitting the elderly and under aged persons into church services yet, and that has contributed to the shortfall in church attendance at the ban on public fellowship was lifted.

 

A ckeric, who spoke to our correspondent at the Beautiful Gate Parish, Headquarters, Lagos Province 77, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Arepo, disclosed that some segments of the congregation are yet to be admitted.

 

“This is in clear observation of the protocols of the Presidential Task Force(PTF) on COVID- 19, which forbids children aged 0 – 12 years from coming to church. “Also, the elderly ones from 65 and above are still attending service virtually. “These has no doubt affected the attendance which used to be in the range of 1000 and above.”

 

Our source also said that due to the observation of physical distance, the leaders of the church(Pastorate) pegged the carrying capacity of attendance below 300 per service. “Since the church conducts two services per Sunday (8:00 – 9:30 am and 10:30 – 12:00), total attendance is pegged at 500,” the source further said

 

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