LEIGH'S parish church has closed following advice given by the Government yesterday, Monday, after the outbreak of coronavirus.

St Mary the Virgin's Church, Leigh on St Mary's Way has "reluctantly agreed" to close for all worship and other activities as COVID-19 cases increase across the UK.

The announcement followed a press conference yesterday when Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised against mass gatherings to be organised.

Father Kevin Crinks plans to livestream a service of prayers and readings every Sunday at 10am on the church's Facebook page during the "shutdown period".

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In a statement issued last night Father Crinks said: "Dear friends and fellow members of St Mary the Virgin, today the Government issued new directions and information regarding the Coronavirus spread throughout the country.

"In view of the advice, the church wardens and I have reluctantly agreed to close the church for all worship and other activities with immediate effect.

"It is my intention to livestream a service of prayers and readings on all Sundays at 10am during this shutdown period, and these may be seen on the St. Mary the Virgin Facebook page.

"We will keep you updated of all further developments as we receive them. If you should require personal pastoral care or information please ring me on the numbers below at any time.

"May God bless you and keep you and give you peace."

To contact Father Crinks call 01942 603603 or 07485 011805.