We are well placed - 12 July 2020

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10 July, 2020

We appreciate that the last few months have been challenging for us all. We know that many are looking forward to being able to gather as a church in worship once more. We are equally aware that some remain at risk and will hope to stay connected in whatever ways we can find. It is in this context that we are implementing our next steps towards a mixed model of worship. These steps include the commencement of gathered worship on Sunday 19 July at 9.30am and Wednesday 22 July at 9.30 am.

In line with the recent easing of COVID 19 restrictions, our parish is signing up to the Industry Plan for Places of Worship. This Industry Plan is now the only way a church may offer gathered worship in any form. Although restriction easing was announced on 3 July, the actual industry guideline is not yet finalised, and so some aspects might yet change. We have chosen to approach this return to gathered worship cautiously and in a stepped manner.  

We believe that we take our part in ensuring the gains we have made as a community by following carefully the Health Directives issued by the State Government. As part of this commitment, we are required to appoint COVID Warden(s) "to champion safe practices ... and monitor and enforce compliance measures." To assist these Wardens, we ask you to be aware of the following;

  • All individuals must stay away if feeling unwell, even if mildly so.
  • Maintain Physical Distancing of 1.5m to the extent possible. This means we are to avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting, farewell or during the greeting of peace.
  • Practice good hygiene habits, including the use of hand sanitiser before entering the church.
  • Please avoid queuing or crowding especially at the church entrance.

We are setting in place several changes that will assist us in complying with the Industry Plan. These include;

  • The current maximum congregation is 40
  • There are 40 individual chairs appropriately distanced in the nave of the church. People living in the same household can sit together.
  • We will hold only one service on Sunday and one service on Wednesday to allow proper cleaning between services
  • All liturgy and hymn lyrics will be displayed on the screens although singing is now allowed.

If you intend attending the service you must register through our website or by phoning the parish office. For those who do not have internet access, we ask that you call the office by 10 am Friday for the Sunday service, or 10 am Tuesday for the Wednesday service and leave your name and how many people will be attending with you. 

We are required to remind people who are at a higher risk of serious illness that they should stay at home and avoid contact with others. Those identified at risk include those over 65 with chronic medical conditions, people over 70 years old and those with compromised immune systems. The decision to attend ultimately rests with the person in the high-risk group and should be made with advice from one’s own GP.

It is a requirement that we keep a record of persons who have attended each service. These records are kept for 56 days for contact tracing if required by the relevant authority. Please be assured that all documents are kept in a secure location. 

Please contact us with any concerns or questions regarding any of the matters raised in this letter. Our aim as a Parish is to continue to find ways to moving closer to God and each other, even in these times. 

God's Peace,

The Rev'd Michael Stalley, Priest in Charge

Karen Green, Warden

More From 'News'

Moving closer with small groups

2020 - Article by Lauren Martin and Barbara Newton

This year we have faced many changes and disruptions as to how we have been able to come together as a community. Despite this adversity we have seen some wonderful connections develop between many members of our community, through actions as simple as a phone call, and gathering together with friends to watch online services. We have also seen the rise of the parish phone tree, phone services, bible study and gardening group, and more recently, in-person worship!

As we continue to grow as a community, we acknowledge the importance of feeling connected and a sense of belonging, particularly as we grow in fellowship and faith. One particular area of growth is through small group activities. By spending time with friends we are able to share our stories, and we are able to support one another as we grow in understanding, comfort and confidence, both as a community, and equally as important, as an individual.

Small group activities can take many different forms, and do not have to follow a strictly regimented series of meetings. After all a small group is just a bunch of people spending time together - and we must not lose sight of this! This shared moment may simply be a cuppa and a chat, or perhaps be triggered by common interest (such as our gardening group, or the Stitches group, or even our avid board gamers), prayer, meditation or bible studies. Really the list is endless!

A number of people have mentioned the desire to participate in small groups, with the desire to connect more with each other, and to come together in fellowship and faith. As we continue to grow as a community of fellowship and faith, we would like to reach out to each and every person in our community. If there is something you would like to share with others or are interested in please let us know (you probably are not alone in this interest!). If you are interested in leading or helping to lead a small group, or if you just feel like you want to connect with others, again we are here to help explore ideas and help make this happen.

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