As you may know, the NSW government has announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions. The headline is of 50 people for religious gatherings. The reality for most churches is less due to the space available in their buildings.
Two points impinge on how many people we may have at church:
- Total floor area – Space used for public worship, divided by 4m2 per person. This includes children.
- 1.5m physical distancing at all times. Household groups can sit together.
At Oak Flats this means we may have up to 35 people based on total floor area, but may be less due to seating arrangements in order to physically distance. Each of our live stream services has had about 8-10 people present.
Therefore, the wardens and I have decided that initially just those members who have not been able to access the live stream online will be invited to attend from June 14. They will be personally contacted.
- In the NSW public health order congregational singing is not allowed, and a solo singer must be spaced 3m from other people.
- We will not have morning tea at church. If you can, visit someone’s home to watch the service and/or have morning tea. Some people are already doing this, which is great. Currently 5 home visitors are allowed at one time.
After we have observed how this change works in practice, and in communication with others, we will decide further changes as appropriate. Further easing of restrictions from 1st July 2020 is possible and you will be kept updated.
Thank you to everyone for your patience and graciousness.
– SAM PURSELL