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Reverend Kelvin Sookhansingh prays for first place student in the SEA exam Kirsten Ramsaran, centre, with Emily Harricharan, Satya Ghisayawan, and Andre Latchman during the Sunday service at the Rousillac Presbyterian Church, yesterday.

One week after places of worship were allowed to reopen, a religious minister is now asking the government to consider allowing more than ten people to attend funerals, weddings, and other events.

Rev Kelvin Sookhansingh made the appeal yesterday during the first physical Sunday mass at the Rousillac Presbyterian Church. Yesterday was also a special occasion as worshippers celebrated the top Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) student Kristen Ramsaran as well as three other students from the Rousillac Presbyterian School who excelled at the SEA exams.

In keeping with the public health regulations, the church was at 25 per cent capacity, everyone wore masks and was encouraged to social distance.

Although grateful that churches were allowed to reopen, Rev Sookhansingh noted that he and his colleagues were concerned about the restriction on the number of people who could attend functions such as weddings, funerals, and baptisms.

When the government announced COVID-19 restrictions in April this year, the number of people allowed to attend such events was reduced.

“These form part of our regular service and whereas we have 25 per cent of the seating capacity, we are still concerned about the number for these events. We are hoping and praying that the authorities will reconsider and something be done. For ten people at a funeral we have been through it and it has been trying. It has been a real experience where family members could not attend the funeral for their loved ones and so we are making an appeal and we hope that the authorities will consider our appeal and revise this arrangement so that more people could attend like funerals, weddings, and baptisms. This is part of our worship service.”

Meanwhile, as the congregation congratulated all SEA students, particularly Ramsaran and her three schoolmates who were at the service, Sookhansingh said it was a team effort as he also paid tribute to their teacher Dennis Ghouralal and parents.

Wishing the students a smooth and successful transition to secondary school, he said, “We pray that the next step of the ladder – secondary school – will be a successful event in your life. The world is before you. Go take every opportunity and make the best of it,” he encouraged.

Churches reopened on Monday, September 6, as advised by the Prime Minister with just 25 per cent capacity.