Four good reasons to favor online church

Central Station | Nury Vittachu 25 Mar 2020

Hong Kong-based priest Stephen Durie had an unusual message for his flock. "Give up church for lent," he said. "Never thought I'd be saying that."

Father Stephen runs two popular churches in Macau, but told congregations to stay home.

Instead, he turns up at church by himself and conducts services live online from his pulpit. Luckily, he can sing and play guitar.

Churchgoers should take advantage of four advantages of online services, Father Stephen explained.

1) No need to search for parking. 2) Refill your coffee any time. 3) Relax in your pajamas. 4) You can mute the pastor!

Stephen: I suggest you install a button on screen for when the sermon begins: "Agree and skip to end."

* * *

YESTERDAY: The Hong Kong Liquor Licensing Board announced that it would go ahead with its regular Tuesday meeting to approve the sale and supply of alcoholic drinks at bars in Hong Kong.

ALSO YESTERDAY: The Hong Kong government announced that it is prohibiting the sale and supply of alcoholic drinks at bars in Hong Kong.

* * *

ICAC staff have been told they are working at home from this week. These anti-corruption swoopers are famous for storming into suspects' homes in the early hours of the morning and confiscating computers.

Not sure how one can do this by phone. "Hello, this is the ICAC. Please give yourself a scare, and then package up your laptop and send it to us. And behave yourself, now - no deleting stuff."

* * *

Reader Marcus Yip noted the English words on the pictured sign: "Egg swallowed noodles." Sounds less like the name of a dish, and more like a recipe.

* * *

This columnist's son was invited to a UK wedding, but this week Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled all weddings, although he said funerals could go ahead.

Next: Bridegrooms redefine weddings as "funeral ceremonies for lost bachelorhoods."

* * *

I logged on to Facebook yesterday to see wall-to-wall posts of panicked people wondering what to do as the virus spreads worldwide. Facebook helpfully provided a targeted advertisement: "MasterClass: What will you need to live on Mars? Learn online from astronaut Chris Hadfield."

* * *

A Hong Kong couple who regularly take cruises received a note from their shipping line last week. "You may cancel your cruise if you like," the letter said.

How thoughtful.

But the wife is a lawyer and checked the small print. "We're not cancelling," she told me. "If they cancel the trip, they have to pay us compensation."

* * *

After Chinese virus experts flew into the heart of the danger zone in Italy, a group of Italians lowered the European Union flag and put up a Chinese flag. Angelo Guiliano shared pictures and said: "In difficult times, we can see who are our friends."

* * *

Biggest bonus of working from home: You don't have to wear a suit any more. Heck, you don't even need to wear TROUSERS any more.

* * *

Meanwhle, we in Hong Kong are adjusting to the heightened restrictions and learning to adapt.

For example, no one can go out of the house to the hairdresser any more.

You know what this means, right?

Yes. Daddy is getting out the scissors and the pudding bowl. Daughters are hiding under the table. Mwa ha ha ha ha.

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