COVID-19 – Change to guidance – Church attendance and pastoral ministry must be adapted in light of increased COVID19 concerns

Dear sisters and brothers,

  • Church attendance and pastoral ministry must be adapted in light of increased COVID19 concerns
  • Slight amendment to rules for weddings
  • Permission for use of multiple buildings on the same site

Dear sisters and brothers,

Transmission risk – changes to ministry

The NSW Government has “strongly advised” people from Greater Sydney and the Central Cost to refrain from visiting aged care centres until 12 September.

Clergy and lay ministers should abide by these rules. Where clergy or lay ministers are requested to provide Ministry to the Dying they should seek to negotiate their ministry with Residential Care Manager or Director of Nursing prior to visiting the site.

Significant concern remains about the risk of contracting COVID-19 by travelling to regions of Sydney. There is general advice about refraining from travel where possible to limit the risk of community transmission.

Clergy and lay ministers are encouraged to refrain from travelling to Greater Sydney and NSW hotspot areas.

Where people are planning to travel ‘beyond the Hawkesbury River’ they should contact Heidi Randle, in advance, to discuss their travel plans. Heidi will consider your circumstances and discuss any risks with you and with me as Bishop.

As a general guide, where the travel is undertaken, people will be asked to refrain from engaging in face-to-face pastoral ministry in the 14 days following their visit and to refrain from distributing Holy Communion for 8 days following their visit. This is in addition to the requirement to socially distance, maintain appropriate hygiene and wear a face mask when attending places of worship.

Weddings

There are now some circumstances where a wedding may have up to 150 guests is the 4sqm rule permits that number of people.

Sites with more than one building

The paramount rule remains the 4sqm rule for determining the number of people in a space. Where there is more than one building on a site, each building can be used for public worship to a maximum density allowed by the 4sqm rule but  no more than 100 people in each building.

Grace and peace

+Peter