CONCERN over the coronavirus has prompted Albury's Anglican church to stop serving wine at holy communion and suspend handshaking.
They are two of a number of measures that will apply to services at St Matthew's church from Sunday.
Archdeacon Father Peter MacLeod-Miller said the action was aimed at being proactive, given a coronavirus rise has been forecast.
"We don't want to frighten people unnecessarily, so we thought if we're prepared and we're all doing it together it's not a knee jerk reaction," he said.
Wine, which has previously been served from a common vessel, will no longer be served as part of communion and bread will be taken alone to avoid infection.
"The greeting of peace that normally involves handshaking will be suspended and replaced with a nod and shaking hands at the door on the way out will also be off the menu," Fr MacLeod-Miller said.
"We are also following the lead of major cathedrals in regularly changing or removing holy water and refreshing baptism water to ensure that members of our community will not be unduly worried by the potential for infection."
Those with acute respiratory infections or suffering similar illnesses are being asked to absent themselves from worship.
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Anglican Bishop of Wangaratta Clarence Bester said he had a copy of Father MacLeod-Miller's blueprint and has passed it on to other parishes in the diocese for consideration.
"We suspect there will be those that straight away adapt it and there will be others that have lots of discussion," he said.
Lavington Catholic priest Father Brendan Lee said he had received no instructions over coronavirus measures.
He said since the swine flu outbreak in 2009 wine had not been served in churches he has served in.
"I've never had someone request it since," Fr Lee said.
Australian Catholic bishops advised in January to not change mass, with a spokesman for Sandhurst Diocese saying on Friday the progress of coronavirus and health alerts were being monitored.