MESSAGE TO MINISTERS, HOME MISSIONARIES, SESSION CLERKS, TREASURERS, COM SECRETARIES AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS.
IN THE GREATER SYDNEY REGION (INCLUDING WOLLONGONG, CENTRAL COAST AND BLUE MOUNTAINS).
Further to our Update late yesterday, the Public Health Order (PHO) has been released regarding the COVID restrictions which are in place until 12:01am on Monday morning, 10May.
The PHO makes the following requirements for congregations located in the Greater Sydney region only (which includes Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains). NSW regional and ACT churches are not affected by these restrictions.
- Wearing Masks Indoors
We have confirmed with NSW Health that:
- All people over 12 years of age attending any indoor gathering in a place or worship (including youth groups, bible studies, Kid’s Church and Sunday School teachers and carers) will need to wear face masks.
- The person who is leading the service (preaching, Bible reading, announcements etc.) or leading the singing does not need to wear a mask when they are undertaking those roles.
- Congregational Singing Not Allowed
- The PHO states that indoor singing by congregants is not allowed (with or without face masks). Sadly we will not be able to sing as congregations this Sunday. However, performers or song leaders who are integral to the conduct of the service are exempted from this restriction.
- We have confirmed with NSW Health that choirs are not allowed this weekend, under these restrictions.
- Other Considerations
- NSW Health asked us to convey their desire for mingling after church to be limited where possible. This is a reminder to maintain the measures which you would currently have in place in your COVID safety plan in relation to mingling.
- It was recommended to us that morning tea after church be shared while sitting down, if possible. Again, limiting mingling during this time was requested.
It is our hope and prayer that with some extra vigilance this weekend, we are able to curb the possibility of a wider re-emergence of COVID-19 here in Sydney. The restrictions will come to an end at 12:01am on Monday morning.
Grace and peace,
Jeof Falls and Andrew Campbell (Moderator NSW)