“In view of the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 this past week, we have decided the best thing for our congregation is to bring service online,” the church said in a statement. “This means, we do NOT meet physically at Suntec for service, but stay home and worship online together through The CHC App or our website.
“Our plan is to do so starting this weekend
(15-16 February) until the end of February. Going online is a temporary
measure. We look forward to the day when the situation stabilizes, and we can
meet together for service again. Meanwhile we are monitoring the situation
closely and will keep you all updated.
“This is not an easy decision for us to
make—you know that we love coming together as the body of Christ to worship the
Lord. But our congregation is not small, and we have members young and old. As
leaders, we feel strongly we must do what we can to protect our flock, as the
risk of infection is relatively high right now. “
This is not a small move for a church whose
weekly running costs would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, however
the coronavirus has spread to Singapore and the risk of such a large crowd of
people gathering in such a small space was not a risk the church was prepared
“Having our services online will also help
us make sure church can go on during this time,” the church continued. “We are
grateful to the Lord we have our online facilities, so we can stay connected
for weekend services through the Internet.
“We will be preparing the service to be broadcast at our usual meeting times: English service on Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 10am; Chinese service on Sunday at 10am. Do join us for service with your family and worship the Lord at the same time.
“Also, we want you to stay connected with your cell group and keep each other in prayer. Your pastors and leaders continue to be available for you during this time. Let us be united in spirit.”
The church’s leader was convicted in 2015 of Criminal Breach of Trust in the Singapore courts and served his sentence at Changi Prison until the 22 August 2019.
Following a 2012 arrest and a trial beginning in 2013 into the allegations that Kong and five other church leaders illegally used $24 million of church funds while misusing another $26 million in a cover-up, Kong was found guilty in 2015 as the “key man” behind the scandal who had guided his five accomplices by the Singapore court of three charges of criminal breach of trust.