COVID-19 Update – Change in visiting ministries from 1 May 2020

28 April – Number 1

  • Change in visiting ministries from 1 May 2020
  • Home communion possible with the bread alone

The changes announced by the NSW Premier enable us to make some changes to our pastoral practices.

From Friday 1 May, clergy and lay people can undertake visiting ministries as a result of changes to the restrictions in NSW.

It will be possible for up to 2 adults and their dependent children to visit another household.

You should not visit if you feel unwell even if you only have mild symptoms such as tiredness or a sore throat. This direction is based on the risk of us transmitting the virus while being unaware that we are infected.

it is important to ring ahead to ensure that the person you are visiting is able to receive you. It is important to check whether the person you are planning to visit cold or flu-like symptoms. If they are unwell, then a phone or virtual visit should be undertaken.

It is helpful to remember that some people have compromised immune systems and would prefer not to receive visitors at this time.

If you are planning to undertake this ministry remember that the people you are planning to visit may have family or other close friends planning to visit with them at the time you propose.

During your visit, you should aim to remain 1.5 metres apart. You should not shake hands, hug or kiss as a greeting.

Clergy are permitted to administer Home Communion but with the bread only. Lay people authorised to distribute the Holy Communion may do so at the request of the Incumbent of their parish.

Immediately before and after the visit you should make sure you clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub. This is essential between every visit. You should follow all good hygiene practices.

You should keep a written record of the people you visit together with the details of those who are present.

This is a significant change to visiting rules in NSW which is being closely monitored by the health authorities.

+Peter