A BAN on physical contact between churchgoers has been relaxed as the threat of swine flu declines.
As reported last month, St John’s Church, at the crossroads of Newsome Road and Jackroyd Lane in Newsome, was among the churches to issue guidelines to worshippers to stop swine flu spreading.
They included a ban on the sharing of the peace – a ritual during which worshippers shake hands with one another.
Communion chalices were also withdrawn.
But the Diocese of Wakefield, which runs St John’s Church, has now reinstated the chalice during communion and the sharing of the peace.
Bishop of Wakefield, Stephen Platten, said: “We have continued to consult with healthcare professionals and the emergency planning departments and, in light of new information about the spread of the infection, we have decided to return to normal practice.
Swine flu continues to be a mild disease for the vast majority of people and we pray that will continue to be the case.
“But this decision, in line with my previous advice, must be guided by common sense and we should continue to be prepared.”
The Government’s chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, has said Britain is ‘tantalisingly close’ to winning the fight against swine flu.