COVID-19 Update – Draft steps for opening church buildings and recommencing parish operations released

8 May 2020 – Number 1

  • Draft steps for opening church buildings and recommencing parish operations released

The Australian Government has released a document outlining the steps for a COVIDSAFE AUSTRALIA.

It is important to note that the requirements in NSW will not change until the NSW government issues the appropriate health orders.

Parishes will require the approval from the Bishop to move through each step.

Currently religious organisations are in step 0.

When religious organisations can move to step 1, parishes can apply to the Bishop to hold weekday services and start streaming services from church buildings. There won’t be Sunday services until step 2.

The approval framework is to ensure that at a diocesan and parish level we are confident that we can ensure people can maintain 1.5 metre distancing, hand wash is available for good hygiene, communal areas can be cleaned & disinfected regularly, people can book or signal their intention to attend a service and the parish can keep a record kept of people attending.

When church services can resume congregational singing will not be permitted, communion will be in one kind only, there will be no touching at greeting of peace, and the collection plate will not passed around.

This is a time for prayerful and careful preparation for step one.

Clergy and churchwardens will soon be invited to webinars to provide initial guidance.

A draft framework is available here,

+Peter