As our churches and congregations begin preparations for Christmas and welcoming visitors to our churches we thought it important to provide you with some information and guidance.
The following directions apply for church services (other than weddings and funerals):
- QR codes must be scanned upon entry or manual check to be completed
- Density requirements are 3 people per 4m² up to a maximum as detailed in your COVID SafePlan
- Masks must be worn indoors including when singing by congregation and choir members
- Exceptions: an individual has a medical exemption; child under the age of 12 years; people leading worship – preaching, reading the Bible, leading singing, playing a brass or woodwind instrument (the mask must be put back on when they have finished their role)
- Social distancing is to be encouraged
- COVID Marshals are required
– Distributors must wear mask and gloves or use tongs
– Individual cups are to be used by congregation members
– Masks are to be worn to and from the altar
– Members may stand, kneel or sit for communion
– No self service of drinks or food, no shared utensils
– Indoor service – 1 person per 2m² and everyone must be seated, masks can be removed whilst eating and drinking
– Outdoor service – people can stand and masks can be removed, density limits do not apply. Enjoy the sunshine and fellowship outside
These requirements are not expected to change before Christmas and so congregations are encouraged to make plans with these in mind.
We encourage you to think outside the square about how you can welcome visitors and celebrate the gift of Christmas together.
From 6th December all people who enter an aged care facility must be fully vaccinated against COVID19 with an approved vaccination. Congregations who have people who visit aged care facilities will need to ensure their people are aware of these requirements.
Please be aware that visitors are also required to have received the 2021 flu vaccination.
A growing number of hospitals are requiring that all pastoral visitors are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID19. This includes pastors and lay members visiting under the auspices of the Church.
Recently Bishop David and other Lutheran Church leaders joined with other faith leaders to meet with Professor Nicola Spurrier and her team to talk about vaccination hesitancy and also the implications of the restrictions on churches and other faith based services. This is not the first time that we have met with the SA Health team and we continue to have dialogue with them. It was encouraging to hear that we are considered an integral part of the community and are well considered in determining restrictions. Leaders of Christian Churches SA are seeking a follow up meeting with SA Health to consider our questions about what we can expect in the new year and how churches might be able to meet and minister in both safe and inclusive ways. Professor Spurrier is seeking the help of faith leaders in addressing issues and questions of vaccination hesitancy. If your region would appreciate opportunities for clarification and information sharing then please let the District Office know and we will pass that on the SA Health. We thank you all for your consideration of each other and the community generally so far. Next year will bring new challenges but we pray that we might continue to address new issues and consider and care for each other in Christian love.