COVID-19 Update

3 April — Number 1

  • Employee with COVID at Anglican Care Storm Village
  • Palm Sunday and Holy Week Diocesan Page
  • Safety net and support for parishes – we are taking a diocesan approach
  • PM announcement about church services being reviewed – update midweek

Positive COVID19 Test

Anglican Care has advised me that an employee of Storm Village, in Taree, has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). On Monday 30 March, Anglican Care elected to stop all general visitors from entering its residential aged care homes. This decision was made well before this development. Anglican Care makes the health and safety of its residents and employees remains their highest priority. They are asking that the privacy of its employees and the facility be respected at this time. A media release from Anglican Care can be found here.

Please pray for all involved.

Diocesan webpage with Palm Sunday and Holy Week Resources

We have set up a webpage with liturgical and prayer resources focussed on helping people pray and reflect during this great week of the Christian year. It can be found here and will added to throughout the week. Make sure you refresh your browser when you make your return visit.

Safety net and support for parishes

We have been advised that we need to wait to see what the form of any legislation, regulation and associated policy is before we can give concrete advice to parishes. Given the way the diocese is structured and the various interrelationships, the diocese is making the approach on behalf of all parishes and will communicate advice accordingly.

Parishes are asked to maintain the current approach of not making separate approaches to government or government departments.

Parishes are asked to maintain the current approach of not changing any staffing or other arrangements at this time.

A significant amount of work is underway locally and nationally to find optimal solutions.

I imagine that there will be little information until at least Thursday and possible after Easter.

PMs announcement about church buildings be work places for limited staff involvement to film church services.

As with each announcement, we must wait to see the specific regulation or health order proposed by the NSW Health Minister and consider any principles, risks or concerns from a diocesan perspective. The framework envisaged by the Prime Minister envisages a very small number of people being involved.

There is a balancing between enabling the deep sense of connection with people who are being asked to live at home and offering spiritual care that engages fully that comtext with the benefit that may come from being able to use buildings to assist people’s spiritual lives at least visually.

There is an important role for every parish engaging in a similar way. There is a role of civic leadership.

I am taking advice and I imagine making a decision late Wednesday evening about the approach in the Diocese.

At this stage, there is no change from the current permissions.

+Peter