Principles and Practices for Safe Worship, Witness and Service

Guidance Note from the NSW Premier added on 4/8/20.

Download Rev. Bronwyn Murphy's Associate Secretary letter on returning to worship and other activities here.

Download the Public Health Restrictions on Gatherings and Movement for NSW here.

Download the Public Health Restrictions on Gatherings and Movement for the ACT here.

5 Steps to COVID-Safe your gathering

  1. Select your activity
  2. Review related Covid-19 materials and communications
  3. Prepare and have your Church Council endorse a Covid-19 Safety Plan
  4. Send plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au and your Presbytery PRC
  5. Commence re-gathering when ready

Discerning a way forward to re-gathering

Click here to visit the FAQs page for more information.

Guidance Notes and Information Updates

  • COVID-19 Guidance Note - Restrictions tighten from 24 July [GN12]: Download here - (Issued 21 July)
  • COVID-19 Guidance Note - Jobkeeper 2.0 [GN13] Download here (Issued 30 July)
  • COVID-19 Guidance Note - Update from the NSW Premier [GN14] Download here (Issued 4/8/20)

For archived COVID-19 Guidance Notes visit the archive page.

Mandated Practice for Physical Gatherings

COVID-19 Safe Plans for Activities

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

1. Read This

The Government Guidelines for Places of Worship are available here. This page has your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping.

2. Complete

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

Consult FAQs for more information about singing, contactless communion, greeting and pre and post cleaning.

Please note the Government Health Order states that Places of Worship may only be open to the public for weddings, funerals or for private worship.

Please Also Note that for contact management in the ACT, a congregation is legally required to “provide a visitors book in which attendees can voluntarily record their first name and phone number", if they choose.

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

1. Read This

These pages have your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping.

2. Complete

For NSW Congregations fill in the:

For ACT Congregations fill in the COVID-19 Safety Plan Template (Word Doc)

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

Consult FAQs for more information about singing, greeting and pre and post cleaning.

Please note the Government Health Order states that Places of Worship may only be open to the public for weddings, funerals or for private worship.

Third Party Hall Hire falls under the government restrictions for Community Centres. Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe. 

1. Read This

The Government Guidelines for Community Centres available here. 

Please note that until the 1st July classes or organised events must not have more than 20 participants, not including the persons conducting or assisting in the conduct of the class or event, or parents, guardians and carers of participants.

2. Complete

The Hall Hirer (third party) will need to complete their own COVID-19 Safe Plan and a copy should be sent to Church Council for approval. Hall Hirers are required to keep this plan.

3. Send

Your Hall Hirer COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

Consult FAQs for more information about greeting and pre and post cleaning.

 

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

1. Read This

The Government Guidelines for How to Make Your Retail Space Safe here. This page has your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping. 

2. Complete

Fill in the COVID-19 Safety Plan for Clothing & OpShop Ministries (Editable PDF)

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

FAQs

Please Note that high risk and the vulnerable should be actively discouraged from volunteering at this time. Refer to information in the FAQ section.

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

1. Read This

The Government Guidelines for Restaurants and Cafes are available here. This page has your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping.

2. Complete

Fill in the COVID-19 Safety Plan: restaurants and cafes (Word Doc)

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

FAQs

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

For risk management and insurance support, please contact the Head of Risk and Compliance directly to risk@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

FAQs

 

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

FAQs

 

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

1. Read This

The latest Government Guidelines for Places of Worship now includes the provision for Children, Young Adult and Youth ministries available here. This page has your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping.

2. Complete

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

Consult FAQs for more information about singing, greeting and pre and post cleaning.

Please Note that for contact management in the ACT, groups are legally required to “provide a visitors book in which attendees can voluntarily record their first name and phone number", if they choose.

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

1. Read This

The Government Guidelines for Places of Worship are available here. This page has your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping.

2. Complete

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

Consult FAQs for more information about greeting and pre and post cleaning.

Small groups and essential meetings conducted in a private home are subject to the General Health Orders. As a minimum requirement a record of attendance should be maintained.

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

Please note the Government Health Order states that Places of Worship may only be open to the public for weddings, funerals or for private worship. For this reason, counselling should continue online at this time.

FAQs

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

Ministers shouldn't visit congregation members if they are unwell and the Public Health Order applies to number of people allowed in a home. Ministers have requirements in regard to hygiene and physical distancing.

FAQs

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how you will keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe. 

1. Read This

The Government Guidelines for Non Food Markets are available here. This page has your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping.

2. Complete

Fill in the COVID-19 Safety Plan: Non Food Markets (WORD doc)

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

FAQs

SRE teachers should follow protocols from the schools. Playgroups should use the general activities plan. 

1. Read This

The Government Guidelines for COVID-19 Safe Planning are available here. This page has your downloadable checklists for hygiene, physical distancing, wellbeing and record keeping.

2. Complete

Fill in the COVID-19 Safety Plan General Activities (WORD Doc)

3. Send

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan to covid19@nswact.uca.org.au

Helpful Resources

Further Information

Department of Education have listed responsibilities of Approved Providers in its Return of SRE Guidelines. Two of these relating to vulnerable people are:

  • Providers have arrangements in place within their own organisation to determine if a person can continue to work if they are at risk of developing severe illness in accordance with Health advice.

People with concerns about their risk can ask their health care provider to help them make a risk assessment. It would also be appropriate to develop an individual COVID-19 action plan. The best time to do this is now while there are low rates of COVID-19 in the community.

 

General Planning Template

Church Councils may wish to make use of the COVID-19 Master Re-Gathering Control Plan to help create and maintain a big picture view of the breadth of worship, witness and service activities and respective Covid-safe preparations.

Download the COVID-19 Safety Plan General Activities (WORD Doc)

General Community Gathering Restrictions

For current NSW Government restrictions on groups and gatherings click here.

  • 20 guests inside the home and 20 for gatherings in a public place. However, as the home is a high transmission area, the NSW Chief Health Officer strongly recommends a COVID-Safe precautionary approach of limiting visitors to the home to 10 people as a general principle. 
  • Work from home if it works for you and your employer.
  • The number of people who can attend a religious service at a place of worship is limited to the 4 square metre rule whilst still maintaining physical distancing.
  • Weddings: 150 people maximum adhering to the 4 square metre rule.
  • Funerals: 100 people maximum adhering to the 4 square metre rule.
  • Choirs have been stopped until further notice.
  • Regional and some interstate travel.
  • Every gathering must record contact details.

For current ACT Government restrictions on groups and gatherings click here.

  • There are no limits to the number of people allowed in homes
  • Places of worship and religious ceremonies can have up to 100 people (including church leaders and others involved in the services or ceremonies) or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.
  • Wedding ceremonies can have up to 100 people (excluding those conducting the service or assisting in the conduct of the wedding) or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.
  • Funerals can have up to 100 mourners or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.
  • Gatherings will need to remain at a maximum of 20 people with one person per 4 square metres.

For current NSW Government information on vulnerable people click here.

  • People aged 70 years and over
  • People aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
  • People with a compromised immune system
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions