Updated 03 March, 2022
Perhaps this might be the final COVID update!?
To all those who have served as COVID officers – our very great thanks. We consider your role now complete. Thank you for serving your church and the diocese in this considerable way. At times, when regulations changed weekly, your role was quite onerous. Thank you so much for all you have done in this capacity.
Here then are some brief points arising from the fact that most state restrictions have been lifted. For clarity, some of these are repeated from previous updates.
- No check in or attendance records required
- People are welcome to wear masks, but they are no longer mandatory. NSW Health still recommends the wearing of masks where it is not possible to socially distance
- There are no capacity limits for services, funerals, or weddings
- Hand sanitizer should continue to be available and be used before and after the distribution of the elements at communion by those assisting
- Anyone who has tested positive to COVID-19 either by PCR or RAT, must not attend any church functions as they are required to isolate for 7 days.
At the discretion of the parish leadership – to be discussed and decided locally
- An offering plate may be used to receive offerings, but should remain in the hands of the usher and not passed between members of the congregation
- Passing of the peace: while people are free to shake hands, it ought to be made clear that some people will not feel comfortable to do this. Hence, you may like to stay with a nod or smile. It would be helpful if people didn’t race around the church, but remained in the general area of their seat
- While use of the common cup is not recommended, it may be offered at communion ONLY so long as individual cups are always available as an alternative.
- The use of Bibles, prayer books and hymn books is permitted
- Clergy and lay ministers are free to shake hands at the conclusion of the service, so long as they feel comfortable in so doing
- Cleaning may revert to pre-COVID arrangements
- Hospitality may revert to pre-COVID arrangements, though hand sanitizer ought to be made available
- Youth and children’s ministry – no limitations or restrictions, though hand sanitizer ought to be made available
My very great thanks to Karen and Tim who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic to keep us safe and help us adhere to the PHOs.