A Message to all Clergy, Parish Officer Bearers and Employees of the Anglican Diocese of Perth

Friday 13 March 2020

Download COVID-19: A Message to All [PDF]

The following advice concerning COVID-19 is provided to supplement the information previously provided to by the Archbishop in her Ad Clerums of 7 February and 6 March, particularly around Holy Communion and Greeting of Peace, and information provided to employees by the Diocesan Secretary.

Holy Communion

  • Communion should be given in one kind. A communion cup would be present on the altar but not distributed to the whole community.
  • Any communion practice of people breaking bread and passing it from person to person is not advised.
  • The practice on intinction is not to be used.
  • Hand sanitiser should also be used by the presider at the lavabo before the Prayer of Great Thanksgiving.

Greeting of Peace

  • People should refrain from shaking hands or embracing at the Greeting of Peace (see note 11, p164 APBA).

Personal Protections

  • Clergy, parish officer bearers, volunteers and staff are to exercise good personal hygiene by frequent hand washing.
  • Exercise social distancing by minimising physical contact with others and to the extent possible standing 2m away from others.
  • Hand sanitiser is to be made available and everyone entering buildings and gatherings are encouraged to use it.
  • Welcomers, those who hand out books or take roles in the liturgy, should use hand sanitiser both before and after services.
  • All clergy and other communion ministers or servers should thoroughly wash their hands in hot, soapy water and dry them completely both before and after services.

Building Preparations

  • Routine cleaning should be enhanced by regularly cleaning surfaces, pews and chairs, door handles, light switches, and flush buttons on toilets and taps, etc with hospital grade disinfectant.
  • Plans for a deep clean of buildings should be made and implemented if someone with a known infection enters a building.
  • The amount of fresh air being circulated needs to be maximised. This might just mean opening all windows.
  • Some churches which have holy water stoops should empty those for the time being. As it is Lent, no font will have water in it and they should be closed.

Procedural Matters

  • Consideration should be given to not conducting morning teas and other hospitality. If hospitality is provided enhanced food hygiene standards should be practiced, for example use of tongs and utensils when handling all food.
  • People who feel at all unwell should be discouraged from attending gatherings, clergy should consider how pastoral care might be offered to those unwell.
  • People who have travelled should be questioned about where they have been and if this has increased their chances of being infected, they should be discouraged from attending gatherings.
  • Clergy and staff should consider deferring non-essential work and travel.If you have travel plans for the near future, please be aware of any risk that you may be subject to or you pose to your community upon your return.
  • Whatever your plans do take notice of the government health and travel advice.

Working From Home/Leave

  • In some circumstances it may reduce risk by clergy and staff working from home (if possible).
  • Clergy, office bearers, volunteers and staff who have received medical direction to self-isolate, must do so
  • Stipended clergy and salaried employees must inform the Archbishop’s Office (clergy) or their manager (lay employee) if you are required to self-isolate.
  • Volunteers and parish office bearers should contact their parish priest to advise.

In general, the Diocese will follow the direction of Government, particularly with regard to cancelling public gatherings and any other public health advice.

The Venerable Angela Webb                               Mr Keith Stephens
Administrator                                                       Diocesan Secretary & Executive Officer