Coronavirus: Church and religious services off across Wales

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image captionThe Archbishop of Wales has called for churches to stay open to allow people to pray "in their own time and find spiritual reflection and refreshment"

Hundreds of church services and other religious ceremonies have been cancelled this weekend in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Church in Wales suspended all public gatherings, including Mothering Sunday services, earlier this week.

The Muslim Council of Britain and the Roman Catholic church issued similar guidance.

Archbishop of Wales John Davies said prayers could be shared online, with some services being streamed.

"Churches are being encouraged to stay open during the day to offer space for people to pray in their own time, to find spiritual refreshment and reflection," he added.

Speaking in his message for Mothering Sunday, the Archbishop also urged young people whose college courses or jobs have been suspended to put their time to good use to help others.

"If your plans for the day have been disrupted, if you've got some time that you might have been using to do other things, don't waste that time," he said.

"Whether you're absent from university or college, whether you're not at work - whatever may be the case- use the time that you have to do something positive."

image captionArchbishop of Wales John Davies delivered his Mothering Sunday message via YouTube and the Church in Wales website

Earlier this week, the Catholic church suspended gatherings for public acts of worship as of Friday, after the UK government advised against "non-essential" travel and contact.

The Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack, called for all in the diocese to support one another in what were "heart-breaking" times.

And guidance calling for the suspension of all congregational activities in UK mosques were released by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) earlier this week, affecting Friday prayers.

Meanwhile, the United Synagogue in the UK has also said religious gatherings should not go ahead.

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image captionMore than 4,000 people used Facebook to watch a live funeral at Bangor Crematorium on Wednesday

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