Covid-19 Parishioner Frequently Asked Questions
The information in this FAQ is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. The public health guidelines are rapidly evolving, and we will do our best to keep abreast of them, and apply them to our church and small group settings.
What is the purpose of this set of FAQ’s?
We want to help our congregations and pastoral staff respond helpfully, lovingly and Christianly to the current COVID-19 heath events. Our purpose is not to give medical advice - if you need medical advice please visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage, call (do not visit) your family GP, the COVID-19 helpline (1800 020 080), or your local hospital. If you are seriously ill with what you think may be COVID-19 (fever, cough, joint pains, fatigue) please call the helpline or present to your local emergency department.
What can I do in this current health crisis?
By far the most important and powerful thing you can do is pray and ask God to relieve suffering, give wisdom to our leaders, and to keep us safe. Our God is a powerful and loving God, and he answers prayer. Pray for your family, your neighbours and your work colleagues.
In addition to prayer, please show love for one another and our community by following the public health guidelines published by the Department of Health on their COVID-19 FAQ page. It is up to date, and committed to the well-being of our community. Check the advice frequently because as the situation develops and we grow in our understanding of the way the coronavirus is spread and affects people, the advice is modified.
Finally, don’t panic! Our Heavenly Father cares for us, and his world. Whatever he is working through this is for our good, and our trust in Christ, who loves and cares for us, means we look at the events of this world very differently to the rest of humankind. Matthew 6:25–34.
Who is most at risk of serious illness?
While we are still in the early phases of learning about the illness, current experience shows us that while all ages can be infected by the virus, by far the most severely affected group are those 60 and over. Younger than this, while the illness can still be serious, the mortality rate in otherwise healthy people is close to zero. In particular, children can be infected and carry and spread the virus, as long as they have no other underlying health issue, they are affected very little and sometimes have no symptoms at all.
Should I attend church?
The Archbishop has directed that the Anglican Church in Sydney should suspend all public church gatherings until further notice.
Given recent updates, this includes indoor and outdoor public gatherings on church premises. Only those involved in the production of online Sunday services or related ministries should be present on church property, always maintaining appropriate social distancing.
How about weddings and funerals?
Small weddings are only permissible under the NSW guidelines provided that there will be no more than one person per 4sqm and there are no more than 5 people in attendance. Small funerals are only permissible under the NSW guidelines provided that there will be no more than one person per 4sqm and there are no more than 10 people in attendance. We also encourage you to consider relocating funeral services to crematoria chapels who will have their own procedures to ensure their premise are appropriately disinfected after use.
Should I attend my growth group/Bible study group?
Under the latest guidelines, small group gatherings in homes are not permitted. Even extended family gatherings such as barbecues are not permitted. The Government is attempting to have people to remain isolated where possible, only venturing out to buy essential food items, medication or for work.
What do we mean by ‘Social Distancing’?
NSW health defines social distancing as follows:
Social distancing is an effective measure to reduce the potential for transmission, but it is recognised that it cannot be practised in all situations. While practising social distancing, people can travel to work, including on public transport. For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare – social distancing includes:
• avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others.
• attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 sqm between ourselves and other people where possible, for example when you are out and about in a public place.
• keeping a distance of 4sqm between ourselves and other people whilst indoors.
• avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example, family celebrations.
• avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.
Please be in touch with your ministry team if you have questions about the status of your own church meetings and small groups and children’s ministries.
If you are significantly ill and need medical attention please go straight to the local emergency room, or if you are too sick to attend, call the ambulance and tell them you think you may have coronavirus.
Please check back to these pages for general information about church life and the COVID-19 event. We will attempt to keep them as updated and current as we can.