In response to the recent announcement of changes to access for churches and places of worship, the Archbishop has approved the following guidelines for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. The guidelines aim to assist Clergy and Faithful with questions pertaining to specific areas of liturgy and ministry in the Archdiocese of Melbourne during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes come in to effect as of 11.59pm, Tuesday 12 May 2020
. Accompanying the guidelines is a resource that might assist in thinking through the practicalities and capabilities of your Parish in working with these new allowances. Every Parish is different, and it is important that you address what is possible in your own location, and for your own people.
Four key points to note
In relation to the latest directives announced by Government, there are four key points that directly affect churches, places of worship and liturgical celebrations and ceremonies held within.
- All churches and places of worship may be opened for pre-arranged worship, small religious ceremonies or scheduled private worship times, subject to a number of conditions and to the decision of their Pastor.
- Multiple liturgical celebrations or ceremonies can be held on the same day and may be determined at the decision of the Pastor and by the capabilities of each individual Parish to meet all the required conditions.
- Prayer groups can be held in people’s homes (and in churches) subject to a number of conditions.
- Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals can be celebrated with new changes to numbers of attendees, and again subject to a number of conditions.
In general, conditions require:
- No more than 10 attendees in the Church at any one time outside those required to enable the service. (Weddings and Funerals excepted);
- Clear signage around service schedules, social distancing and hygiene requirements;
- Availability of sanitiser and disinfectant wipes, and safe disposal sites;
- Churches to be cleaned after a scheduled service or opening;
- Maintenance of 1.5m of separation and planned entry and exit pathways;
- All attendees to provide contact details.
Please contact the COVID Hotline (9am-5pm):