COVID-19 – Safe Return to Church Framework

The health and safety of all people attending our sites is paramount and it is essential that there is strict adherence to the measures outlined within the Fact Sheets and re-opening application form below.

Formal written approval of the Bishop will be required prior to the re-opening of any activity and will be dependent on your ability to comply with all measures listed below.

ALL completed re-opening application forms are to be submitted to whs@newcastleanglican.org.au.  If you have any queries, please phone our Risk Officer Heidi Randle on 4926 3733. For urgent reporting of COVID-19 matters, please phone Linda Wilson on 0410 457 621 immediately.

The Diocesan Office staff continue to work through the safe re-opening and operation plans for cafes and other food related events and activities, as well as fundraising events. Further advice for the safe re-opening of these activities will be given at a later date and in accordance with Government guidelines.

We are currently in Stage Three of the re-opening phase and direction from the Bishop may change at any time in response to managing COVID-19.

  • Safe Return to Church

    Return to Church

    Changes from 24 July 2020 have introduced a cap on the maximum number of persons that can be on site. To determine the number of persons allowed on site at one time, you will need to apply the 4 square metre rule. Noting that the maximum number of persons on site must not exceed 100. Where you are considering a change in the number of worshippers on site, you must contact the Diocesan Risk Officer Heidi Randle to confirm that the space will allow for this change.

    If you have not previously applied to re-open your Church buildings, you must first submit an application to the Diocese via whs@newcastleanglican.org.au.

    Booking and Registration process – The Incumbent and Churchwardens may resolve that the Parish will not have a registration process prior to Church services, however, you are still required to request that people provide their contact details prior to entry on the day of the service. The Parish will need to have clear arrangements for advising attendees of any changes to the Conditions of Entry and for denying entry to the Church when the maximum attendance is reached. Any Parish dispensing with a registration processes must also advise the Diocesan Risk Officer.

    Fact Sheets

    Fact Sheet No.1: Service Registrations and Record Management – Return to Church
    Fact Sheet No.2: Preparing the Church Building – Return to Church
    Fact Sheet No.3: Cleaning – Return to Church
    Fact Sheet No.4: Incident Notification – Return to Church 
    Fact Sheet No.5: Liturgical and Music Practices – Return to Church 
    Fact Sheet No.6: Safe Entry and Exit of the Church Building – Return to Church
    Fact Sheet: Third Party Contractor or Delivery of Goods
    Fact Sheet: Safe Use of Masks

    Forms

    This Re-opening Application must be completed by the Incumbent (or Locum) and a Churchwarden.
    Stage Two Re-opening Application Form

    Incident Notification Form

    Signage

    Updated Conditions of Entry sign
    Conditions of Entry Sign – Victoria and Sydney exclusions
    Maximum Capacity sign 
    NSW Government advice – face masks for places of worship

    Registered Occasion of Worship sign – option 1
    Registered Occasion of Worship sign – option 2

    COVID-19 – Keep your distance
    COVID-19 – simple steps to stop the spread
    COVID-19 – good hygiene is in your hands
    COVID-19 – Do I need to wear a mask?

    Additional Resources

    Booking and Attendance Record Sheet
    Attendance Record Sheet
    Procedure – Creating an event in Eventbrite
    Volunteer Health and Medical Declaration Form

  • Funerals

    In accordance with the change in restrictions, where your building is large enough to do so, up to 100 people can be onsite for a funeral. When determining the maximum number of people who can attend, the Parish must apply the 4 square metre rule i.e. you must allow for at least 4 square metres per person.

    For smaller buildings, the Parish can now have up to 50 people attend a funeral without applying the 4 square metre rule. Social distancing rules remain in force and requires that non-household contacts must maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance from others. When making arrangements for funerals, the Parish must have an awareness of household and non-household groupings to facilitate the seating arrangements above. The Parish must have a clear process in place to ensure that this measure is complied with. Further detail on Funeral requirements can be found in the updated Safe Return to Church Fact Sheet No.2: Preparing the Building.

  • Safe Re-opening of Opportunity and Retail Shops

  • Safe Reinstatement of Hall Hire to Third Parties

    Hall Hire to Third Parties

    Parishes can now begin the process of recommencing Hall Hire arrangements with Third Parties. Each Third Party will be required to complete the Hall Hire COVID -19 Annexure in addition to the standard hall hire agreement (if this has not been completed by the Third Party previously).

    The Parish must confirm that the Third Party is able to comply with all requirements. A copy of the completed Annexure is to be sent to the Diocesan Office prior to commencement of the arrangement. The Parish must have a process in place to carry out regular checks of the Cleaning Record and also the cleaning that is undertaken by the third party.

    Public health orders advise that excluding worship activities any class, gathering or organised event held in any church building can have 20 or less participants. 

    Note: This process does not allow for the recommencement of parish organised youth and child activities. Separate advice will be provided on this.

    Fact Sheet:

    Fact Sheet No.1: COVID-19 Safe Reinstatement of Hall Hire to Third Parties

    Resources:

    Hire/Casual Hall Hire Agreement – COVID-19 Annexure
    Record of Cleaning

    Signage:

    Conditions of Entry sign
    Maximum Capacity sign

    COVID-19 – Keep your distance
    COVID-19 – simple steps to stop the spread
    COVID-19 – good hygiene is in your hands

  • Safe Return to Child and Youth Activities

    Child and Youth Activities

    Parishes can now apply for permission to recommence Child and Youth activities within the Diocese.

    At this stage the risk to children and the role children play in transmission of COVID19 is not fully understood. While there has been a relatively low number of cases in children it is important that we have robust measures in place to protect not only the health and safety of children and youth that will engage in activities on our sites but also the adults who will be involved in conducting these activities.

    Formal written approval from the Bishop will be required prior to the recommencement of these activities and will be dependent on your ability to comply with all measures outlined in the relevant Fact Sheets.

    Public health orders advise that excluding worship activities, any class, gathering or organised event held in any church building can have a maximum 20 participants (this excludes the person/s that are conducting the activity and any parents, guardians or carers of participants – noting that the maximum capacity of the building will need to be adhered too).

    As part of the Child Safe Church arrangements there must be at least 2 adults present to run the activity and the Incumbent or other Supervisor must be able to attend and/or supervise the activity.

    Fact Sheets:

    Fact Sheet No.1: Registration and Record Management – Child and Youth Activities
    Fact Sheet No.2: Preparing the Site – Child and Youth Activities
    Fact Sheet No.3: General Requirements – Child and Youth Activities
    Fact Sheet No.4: Cleaning Requirements – Child and Youth Activities
    Fact Sheet No.5: Incident Response – Child and Youth Activities
    Fact Sheet: Safe Use of Masks

    Form:

    The application form must be completed by the Incumbent, a Church Warden and the Ministry Activity Leader.
    Child and Youth Activities Recommencement Application Form

    Additional Resources:

    COVIDSafe Induction and Training Checklist – Child and Youth Activities
    Attendance Record Sheet – Child and Youth Activities
    Parent Communication – Child and Youth Activities
    Volunteer Health and Medical Declaration Form
    COVID-19 – Do I need to wear a mask?

  • Safe Re-opening of Office Sites from Parish Workers

    Find answers to frequently asked questions here.

    This page last updated 3rd September 2020