COVID-19 Update – Important changes in COVID-19 arrangements for parishes

COVID-19 Update

  • Important changes in COVID-19 arrangements for parishes
  • Applications can be made for innovations or activities that do not fit in existing suite of forms
  • CovidSafe plans must be kept up to date
  • More people can attend church services
  • Church services time extended to 90 minutes
  • Parishes can recommence some hospitality ministries

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am delighted to advise you of some changes in our COVID-19 arrangements. We continue to review our COVIDSafe planning in the light of changes in the Public Health Orders for NSW. We are releasing today some updated documents, which further open up our churches for ministry and will enable additional activities to be planned, especially around Advent, Christmas and New Year. 

These include:

General Application Process

A new Application form has been created to cater for activities or events that do not fit within the Diocesan’s existing suite of COVIDSafe Application Forms.

This Application form must be completed by the Incumbent and Church Warden and submitted to whs@newcastleanglican.org.au.

Prior to the recommencement of this activity formal written approval of the Bishop will be required.

Ensure COVIDSafe Applications / Plans remain current

The Reopening Application is your Parishes COVIDSafe plan. Public Health orders require that an up to date copy of the plan remains on site at all times. Where a new Fact Sheet has been issued or updated the Incumbent and Church Warden must read and acknowledge the updated requirements by completing the Declaration and Undertaking Section. This is a new section which will now be included on all updated documents.

Change to Maximum Capacity for Religious Services

From 23 October the NSW Government increased the number of persons that can be onsite for religious services to a maximum of 300. In all instances you must still allow for 4sqm per person and ensure social distancing is in place for all non-household contacts. There is no current change to the maximum capacity for weddings or funerals. Please advise Heidi Randle of any change to your maximum capacity.

Service Times

Each gathering may now meet for up to 90 minutes. The Incumbent, in specifying the service times should consult with the Church Wardens. There must be sufficient time between the services for the building and adjacent areas to be cleared and fully cleaned before people can enter for a subsequent service.

COVIDSafe Hospitality

Parishes are now able to recommence the service of refreshments on site. Individual approval for this activity is not required however prior to the recommencement there must be compliance with the Fact Sheet COVIDSafe Preparation of Refreshments with a signed copy of this attached to the current Reopening Application.

A copy of this Fact Sheet must be communicated to all workers that will assist with this process. 

For any questions relating to these changes please contact Heidi Randle on 4926 3733 or email

With every blessing

+Peter