COVID-19 Information

Updated 24th September

Dear all,

A further easing of lockdowns for Local Government Areas of Gilgandra and Brewarrina as of midnight 22nd September and as of midnight tonight for Orange have been announced.

It is flagged that in the LGA of Narromine, lockdown may ease as of midnight Saturday however this will be confirmed in the next few days.

A reminder of the rules: a capacity of one person per  4m2 applies; masks are required and there can be no singing. There may be some people who do not wish to meet, so please continue to make either your own online resources – or mine – available to them.

For these parishes all other rules around weddings and funerals are as they were prior to lockdown. Please note that people attending the service will only be permitted if they have not travelled to a LGA of concern within the last 14 days.

Parishes free to meet this weekend:

  • Brewarrina
  • Gilgandra
  • Narromine **
  • Orange

** To be confirmed in the next few days

Parishes free to meet as announced last week:

  • Blayney
  • Canowindra
  • Cobar
  • Condobolin
  • Coolah-Dunedoo
  • Coonabarabran
  • Coonamble
  • Cudal-Molong
  • Forbes
  • Grenfell
  • Nyngan
  • Oberon
  • Parkes
  • Trundle
  • Warren
  • West Wyalong

For all other parishes, lockdown continues and we will pass on more information as it comes to hand.

May the Lord give you grace to persevere and wisdom to provide and care for your people.

Mark

Updated 16th September

Dear all,

The NSW Deputy Premier has announced a further easing of lockdowns which have been lifted as of 1pm today for the LGA’s of Blayney, Bogan, Cabonne, Forbes and Parkes as they have had no community transmission in the last 14 days.

Please note that the 4m2 rules will apply, masks are required and there can be no singing. There may be some people of course, who do not wish to meet, so please continue to make either your own online resources – or mine – available to them.

For these parishes all other rules around weddings and funerals are as they were 4 weeks ago.

Please note that people attending the service will only be permitted if they have not travelled to a LGA of concern within the last 14 days.

Parishes free to meet this weekend:

  • Blayney
  • Canowindra
  • Cudal-Molong
  • Forbes
  • Nyngan
  • Parkes
  • Trundle

Parishes free to meet as announced last week:

  • Cobar
  • Condobolin
  • Coolah-Dunedoo
  • Coonabarabran
  • Coonamble
  • Cowra
  • Grenfell
  • Oberon
  • Warren
  • West Wyalong

For all other parishes, lockdown continues and we will pass on more information as it comes to hand.

May the Lord give you grace to persevere and wisdom to provide and care for your people.

Mark

Updated 9th September

Dear all,

The following parishes may meet this weekend because lockdown lifts for you as of Saturday morning. Please note that the 4m2 rules will apply, masks are required and there can be no singing. There may be some people of course, who do not wish to meet, so please continue to make either your own online resources – or mine – available to them.

For these parishes all other rules around weddings and funerals are as they were 4 weeks ago.

LIST OF PARISHES ALLOWED TO MEET

  • Cobar
  • Condobolin
  • Coolah-Dunedoo
  • Coonabarabran
  • Coonamble
  • Cowra
  • Grenfell
  • Oberon
  • Warren
  • West Wyalong

For all other parishes, lockdown continues and we will pass on more information as it comes to hand. May the Lord give you grace to persevere and wisdom to provide and care for your people.

Mark

Updated 27th August

Dear all

An announcement has been made today that lockdown for regional NSW has been extended until 10th September. Please observe all the lockdown rules as they apply to places of worship.  

I have prepared a short video message (1min and 40sec) which you may like to use on your social media pages and send out to your email contacts.

Here is the link for YouTube – https://youtu.be/68_AxEKAWfk

And should you wish to download it for use in your livestream over the weekend, you can access the file directly from my Dropbox here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/krnn8b7qehi1bt9/COVID%20comfort%2026%20Aug.mp4?dl=0

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions or if there is some way I can be of help.

If the service of Evening Prayer will of help to you, you’re welcome to join many of us at for 5pm start this afternoon via the following zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84735181829

Mark

Updated 19th August

Dear all

Lockdown for regional NSW has been extended to 28th August. This means our present circumstances prevail with no church activities permitted including public worship.

A reminder that

1. Clergy and admin workers ought to work from home unless involved in ministry which cannot reasonably be done from home
2. Clergy are permitted to attend a place of worship to conduct livestreamed services (with minimal assistance)
3. Funerals are limited to 10 people plus those necessary to conduct the service, officiant and funeral directors
4. No weddings may take place at all
5. A member of clergy or an authorised lay minister may visit someone for the purpose of offering pastoral care, but should take every precaution in so doing including wearing masks and hand sanitising. An authorised lay minister for this purpose, is a lay minister who is recognised by the Diocese as leading a parish or specific ministry.
6. I have offered many resources online to assist at this time. Please refer to yesterday’s email with services linked and today’s regarding Evening Prayer at 4.30pm. If you are unable to access services online, service DVD’s are still available, please contact Karen Trafford to organise.

May you all know the peace that passes understanding that can only come from completely trusting God’s wise sovereign plans.

Mark

Update 14th August

Dear friends,

We now facing lockdown for all of regional NSW beginning at 5pm today, Saturday 14 August. There can be no church activities across our Diocese at this time which includes worship services.

I have prepared a word of comfort and hope in the light of these latest developments and the figures released on Saturday. You can find that here on Youtube: https://youtu.be/BpY9uxDD_EM  Please share around your congregation and through your social media pages.

These two services from last year, may be shared and used profitably for online church on Sunday:

Traditional Holy Communion: https://youtu.be/bv1Gw0ITcFc

Contemporary Holy Communion: https://youtu.be/86-Z6L-iAIY

And of course, you can also share the sermon distributed for this week, which continues our 1 Corinthians series.  https://youtu.be/WWMYukJzWT4

Cling tightly to our saviour Jesus. Run to God as refuge, strength and very present help and therefore, do not be afraid.

Mark

Bishop Mark Calder

Update 12th August

Dear all

Things change so quickly and last night several more LGAs in our diocese were sent into lockdown, namely: Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine, and Warren. There can be no church activities in these locations at this time which includes worship services over the weekend.

These two services from last year, may be shared and used profitably for online church on Sunday:

Traditional Holy Communion: https://youtu.be/bv1Gw0ITcFc

Contemporary Holy Communion: https://youtu.be/86-Z6L-iAIY

And of course, you can also share the sermon distributed yesterday for this week, which continues our 1 Corinthians series. This week we look at the Lord’s Supper from 1 Corinthians 11: https://youtu.be/WWMYukJzWT4 This video includes a word of comfort re COVID – which in terms of lockdowns is now out of date – but in terms of comfort – is timeless.

My prayers are for all in lockdown, that you will know God’s presence, peace and patience. Please don’t hesitate to ring if you have any questions or challenges.

Mark

Update: 11th August 2021

Dear all,
The Dubbo LGA which includes Wellington, Wongarbon, Geurie, Brocklehurst, Stuart Town, Mumbil and Eumungerie entered lockdown at 1:00pm today (Wed 11 Aug), which is scheduled to finish on 12:01am, Thursday 19 Aug 2021.

There can be no church activities in these locations at this time which includes worship services over the course of the weekend however livestreaming with limited people involved is permitted.

In all other areas across the diocese, there are no changes to the public health orders at this time and our last update (noted below) is still relevant:

1. Calculate your capacity as at 1 person per 4m2
2. Ensure your church QR code is placed in obvious places
3. Ask welcomers to check people use the QR code as they arrive
4. Ask welcomers to ensure hand sanitiser is used by everyone as they arrive
5. “Have you been in greater Sydney (or other identified hotspot) in the last 14 days? I’m so sorry we can’t welcome you today”
6. “Do you have a mask? They are mandatory”
7. Celebrant and assistants sanitise before and after communion (gloves not required) and wine in individuals cups only – handed to each communicant by assistant (not self-serve)
8. Those “giving a speech” ie reading, leading, preaching, may remove their mask while speaking
9. Only 5 people distanced away from the congregation and away from each other may sing (while masked)
10. Maintain distance on exit and don’t gather inside the building or outside in large groups
11. Discern whether hospitality can be offered safely. Those participating must be seated. Food and drink served by sanitized and gloved hands only.
12. Post service cleaning as we have been doing.

Please continue to be vigilant asking people attending church services or other activities, whether they have been to any COVID hotspots and have evidence of any COVID like symptoms.
The QR code remains essential as it assists the contact tracers if a case is detected at one of our locations.

May the Lord give us grace to be patient and thankful that we can draw closer to him.

Blessings

Update: 29/7/2021

Dear all,

Orange, Blayney and Cabonne LGAs will be released from their lockdown at 12.01am tomorrow (Wed 27 July).

These LGAs will revert to the same restrictions as were in place prior to their lockdown – ie – the same restrictions in place throughout the rest of regional NSW.

We praise God that there was no further spread of COVID in these areas. And please join me in prayer that the numbers in the Sydney greater region will surely turn around soon.

May the Lord give us grace to be patient in the meantime, and thankful that we are not facing the same limitations as we would if in Sydney.

Mark

Dear Friends,

You will be aware by now that the LGAs of Orange, Blayney and Cabonne are in the midst of a 7-day lockdown which is scheduled to finish on Wednesday 28th July 2021

So it will be no surprise to you that there can be no church activities in those LGAs at this time, including services of worship over the course of this coming weekend.

I have prepared a service which churches covered by these LGAs may use – by sending out the YouTube link and forwarding the attached order of service. This service includes the fourth and final sermon in the ‘Give me 15 minutes’ series I have been preaching throughout July. https://youtu.be/9fic3x0T3h0

For Blayney parish, a special version has been prepared as they were due to start the ’15 minutes’ series in their services this weekend. The service for Blayney parish includes the first of these talks: Give me 15 minutes to tell you who Jesus is. https://youtu.be/cuHe_RpPls4

In all other areas across the diocese, there is no change to current public health orders at this time, and our last update (see below) remains current. You should be ever vigilant of course in asking people attending church services or other activities, whether or not they have been in COVID hotspots and ensuring they have no COVID-like symptoms. Of course, checking in with the QR code is still mandatory.

Our Ministry is for Everyone conference has had to undergo a complete change of format. See this video for the details: https://youtu.be/bgn8AUF4phM People are not required to register for the revamped format and are welcome simply to join the zoom meetings using: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82913187527. The new format begins both at 4pm and 7pm on Monday 2nd August with the keynote address by the Rev’d Kevin Simington. On the following 6 Monday afternoons and evenings (at 4pm and 7pm), the 6 seminars will be offered. People are welcome to participate in all 6 if they want and are not limited to the two for which they may have originally registered.

Of course, all of this disruption and change of plans can cause anxiety, so please take time to care for yourself and to draw near to God, trusting in his sovereign plans and resting in his purposes.

Every blessing,

Mark

Checklist as previously published, following COVID restrictions in regional NSW 

1. Calculate your capacity as at 1 person per 4m2
2. Ensure your church QR code is placed in obvious places
3. Ask welcomers to check people use the QR code as they arrive
4. Ask welcomers to ensure hand sanitiser is used by everyone as they arrive
5. “Have you been in greater Sydney (or other identified hotspot) in the last 14 days? I’m so sorry we can’t welcome you today”
6. “Do you have a mask? They are mandatory”
7. Celebrant and assistants sanitise before and after communion (gloves not required) and wine in individuals cups only – handed to each communicant by assistant (not self-serve)
8. Those “giving a speech” ie reading, leading, preaching, may remove their mask while speaking
9. Only 5 people distanced away from the congregation and away from each other may sing (while masked)
10. Maintain distance on exit and don’t gather inside the building or outside in large groups
11. Discern whether hospitality can be offered safely. Those participating must be seated. Food and drink served by sanitized and gloved hands only.
12. Post service cleaning as we have been doing.