COVID-19 Update – Slight amendment to service time instructions

13 June – Number 1

  • Slight amendment to service time instructions
  • Incumbents and Churchwardens responsible for determining the number of church services on any day in a church building
  • Volunteers in at risk groups can seek medical exemption to return to volunteer roles
  • SRE set to return in term 3
  • Further activities will be allowed when NSW moves to National Step 3 requirements

Dear colleagues,

It has been an amazing effort from Incumbents, Churchwardens, parish staff, volunteers and Diocesan Office staff to enable the reopening of church buildings and opportunity shops. Around 5 parishes have indicated that they are not yet ready to return to face-to-face services. It is evident that the Sunday and weekday service rosters are different to our pre COVID experience.

Service Time Instructions – Our initial was advice was that services should be scheduled 3 hours apart (eg 8am and 11am). The current requirement is that services should be at least 2.5 hours apart (eg 7.30am and 10am).

Number of services in a church building on any day – This decision is delegated to the Incumbent and Churchwardens. I encourage them to balance the ministry and mission needs with the need to balance sustainable ministry in these demanding times.

Volunteers aged over 70 and other volunteers with ongoing medical conditions or weakened immune systems can discuss their situation with their General Practitioner. It will be possible for them to resume their volunteering if they have the support of their GP. The volunteer and the GP will need to complete a medical declaration which will need to be submitted for review by Heidi our Risk Officer. The information will be assessed and retained in strict confidence.

Special Religious Education – The NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell has advised that SRE can return to schools in Term 3. Further details will be provided on this shortly.

COVID19 Step 3 – The Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday that the limit of 100 people will be lifted in step 3. The maximum number of people in a space will be determined by the 4sqm rule. Once the NSW Public Health Order is amended and comes into effect I will be looking to enable parish annual meetings, Synod, some clergy professional development days, and ordinations. More information will be provided in the next few weeks.

+Peter