As you may know, the NSW government has announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions from Friday May 15. This includes:
- Religious gatherings / places of worship up to 10 worshippers, including the minister
- Weddings up to 10 guests, not including the minister.
- Indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30.
- Up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time.
- Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
In line with the Stage 1 of the government and also diocesan requirements, the Wardens and I have decided the following:
- Bible study groups, Saturday prayer group and Refuge may begin to meet at the church (10 or less on the property) or in homes (5 visitors or less). These groups may also continue online.
- Sunday services will remain closed, but livestreamed.
- TOTS, Andy’s Club, Kids’ Club, Community Pantry morning tea, men’s and women’s dinners, and Prime Time remain suspended.
To meet in the church, the following requirements will need to be observed:
- Ensure that no more than 10 people, by invitation only, come onto the property at any one time.
- Stay home if you are unwell. Do not distribute hard copies of information. Bring your own personal food if need be.
- Ensure 1.5m distancing, allowing for at least 4m2 per person. Tables will be set out in the church and seat positions marked 1.5m apart.
- Ensure good hygiene through the use of hand-washing facilities and hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser is available at the front door and elsewhere in the church.
- Clean and disinfect communal areas frequently. This means disinfecting seats, chairs, doorknobs and other frequently used surfaces after every meeting. Infrequently used surfaces can be disinfected weekly. The following cleaning advice from Safe Work Australia is helpful.
- Record and store the contact details of those who gather. There will be a register at the front door to record: date of meeting, participant’s names and contact numbers, space for the group leader to sign off that frequently used surfaces have been disinfected after the meeting.
Signs will be put up around the church. At the front door will be hand sanitiser, information, attendance record, and cleaning products.
Let’s be diligent in these measures for one another’s safety, and thankful to God that we can begin meeting together in this way.
– Sam Pursell