Gallery: The Ely Standard takes to the streets to discover your Swine Flu views

PUBLISHED: 18:16 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010

Paul Hudson

Paul Hudson

VICARS in the Ely diocese have been advised not to offer communion wine to their parishioners in a bid to halt the spread of swine flu. It follows the recent recommendation of the Archbishops of York and Canterbury that there should be a suspension of sha

VICARS in the Ely diocese have been advised not to offer communion wine to their parishioners in a bid to halt the spread of swine flu.

It follows the recent recommendation of the Archbishops of York and Canterbury that there should be a suspension of sharing the chalice at communion.

The Bishop of Ely, Dr Anthony Russell, said church ministers should "weigh most seriously" the recommendation, but said the decision would rest with individual clergy. He also suggested that they could dip the communion wafer into the chalice instead.

At Ely Cathedral, a suspension is already in place and the custom of shaking hands while sharing the peace is also not recommended at this time.

Canon Owen Spencer-Thomas, spokesman for the Bishop of Ely, said the final decision would rest at parish level.

He said: "The church has to be ultra careful for the time being.

"The Bishop of Ely has advised parishes to weigh most seriously the Archbishops' recommendation that those presiding at Holy Communion should suspend administration of the communion chalice during this wave of the swine flu pandemic. However, where parishes wish to continue to offer communion of both kinds, the Bishop is advising that the clergy dip the wafers into the consecrated wine and put into the hand of the communicant."

Meanwhile, NHS Cambridgeshire, the organisation in charge of improving the county's health, has defended its decision to not base an anti-viral collection point in Ely.

Concerns have been raised by city residents that the Soham Health Centre, designated as an ACP by the primary care trust, is too difficult to get to for elderly or disabled patients.

A spokesman for NHS Cambridgeshire said: "NHS Cambridgeshire is using premises that already deliver health services as our anti-viral collection points and while premises in both Ely and Soham were looked at, the Soham Health Centre met more of the criteria for use as an anti-viral collection point."

She also said that as of next week, staffing levels would be reduced at the centre from five to three in response to a decrease in demand.

Elsewhere, Caitlin Breeze, the 17-year-old student who was quarantined while on a school trip to China, has returned home to Haddenham with her friends, Natasha Hew-Martin and Jamie Males.

VOX POP

What do you think about swine flu?

Neil Towell, 26, of Parson's Lane, Littleport, said: "My little boy has got tablets for swine flu. He's 16 months old. I know a couple of people in Littleport who have had it - I'm just worried that my three-month-old will get it too."

Paul Hudson, 23, of New Barns, Ely, said: "I'm not particularly worried. My daughter is 11 months old and had a very high temperature. We took her to the doctor but, typically, when we got there she was giggling and we knew she was ok."

Roger Mason, 30, from St Ives, and Ollie Barker, 22, from Huntingdon, work in Ely.

Roger said: "I'm not worried. The predominance of press reports say thousands are going to be affected but far less are going to die than would of normal flu every year."

Ollie said: "I am not too bothered about it. I hadn't even heard about another wave of it coming."

Catherine O'Rourke, 41, of Monkswood, Littleport, said: "I'm slightly worried and I think it will get worse. I don't know anybody who has had it. I have just been to Addenbrookes and they are very strict about hygiene there, which is good.

Shelley Gunn, 45, of Orchard Estates, Ely, said: "Personally, I'm not particularly worried. I think they could do more with the vaccines. I think that the information is alarming people."

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Have you experienced any problems in obtaining Tamiflu? Write to: the Ely Standard at 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email: editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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