Reopening our Churches

In Person Services

 

TO ALL: Clergy, Churches, Wardens, Treasurer, Members of Committees, Lay Delegates to Synod, Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Members, Diocesan Staff and Postulants for Ordination

 

Dear friends,

Thank you for your understanding, co-operation and patience over the last 26 months as we have grappled with COVID-19, particularly how to function safely as Christian communities during this time.  While COVID-19 continues to be a consideration in each of our lives, all current diocesan COVID-19 protocols are being removed effective immediately.

There are several important points to mention about this move. Not all parishes are in the same place with regard to the protocols.  Some will feel we are lifting the protocols too soon, some will think we should have done this days, weeks or months ago. I encourage the leadership of each parish (rector and wardens) to take some time to assess the readiness of your congregation for this move, as well as the situation in your community, before you decide how to proceed. You may want to wait before changing protocols in your parish or you may wish to remove some restrictions while keeping others in place.

That said, please note that the diocese continues to highly encourage that all persons continue to wear a mask indoors especially when physical distancing may not be possible or proves to be challenging.  Wearing a mask continues to be the safe thing to do, especially for and on behalf of our vulnerable members. I encourage clergy and other parish leaders to continue to wear masks during services except while performing their leadership roles.  As well, please ask people not to comment on whether others choose to wear a mask or not. Continue to  encourage people to get all the shots they are eligible for and keep promoting social distancing. Also, now that the warmer weather is here, please open the windows and the doors throughout the church whenever people are present in it. A well-ventilated space is a safer space.

It’s increasingly clear the pandemic is not going away any time soon.  While we are lifting these restrictions at this time, it is important to be aware that restrictions could be implemented again if the virus resurges, as it has the two previous falls, after more open summers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please be in touch with Archdeacon Tanya Phibbs at tphibbs@huron.anglican.ca

Yours in Christ,
+Todd
The Right Reverend Todd Townshend
Bishop of Huron

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