BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township Mayor Matthew Moench has directed Sgt. Jamie Edwards, Office of Emergency Management coordinator, to conduct outreach and provide assistance to all religious institutions in the township to allow them to begin conducting safe and practical religious worship.

According to a release, there are a number of Bridgewater based institutions that are expected to begin conducting outdoor religious services this weekend, including St. Bernard's Church and Blessed Sacrament Church.

Both of these institutions, the release said, have been in touch with the Bridgewater Township Police Department to plan and prepare for services.

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"Freedom of religious expression is one of the pillars that this country and this community are based upon," Moench said in the release. "I, as mayor, and we, as a township, will make every accommodation possible to allow for these activities to proceed in an albeit modified fashion."

The initial outreach to the religious institutions began this week, and will continue. Bridgewater alone has 20 houses of worship of several denominations.

"Now, more than ever, residents should be permitted to find comfort and community within their religious institutions," Moench said. "Religious institutions play a key role within our community, and I am committed to working with these organizations to ensure they are available to meet the religious needs of our residents in a safe, legal manner."