Statement of Current Response to Covid-19 virus by St Luke’s Enmore by Fr Jeff Parker (Rector)
- As I have indicated in pervious weeks, I have been following the progress of this issue very closely and that whatever safety precautions we were asked to make we would make.
- Late this week we received advice from the Archbishop as to what measures we would be asked to undertake as temporary measures to prevent, as much as possible, the spreading of the virus.
- Some of these measures will be awkward and unpleasant for many of you and I also share some of that, but given the advice we have received, we have no option but to do follow that advice.
- Firstly, we have been directed not to shake hands at the peace. This was something we would have implemented before receiving the Archbishops letter – it seemed common sense to do so. I mentioned this in the pew sheet today.
- Hand sanitizer has been provided at the rear of the church for use by all parishioners. Information re correct methods of handwashing are displayed in our restrooms.
- As far as our communion service goes, there will be a few other changes which are significant.
- We will continue to celebrate Holy Communion as we always do but as a temporary measure, the common cup will not be offered. We have taken measures to provide small individual cups for those who wish to receive the wine. This is not compulsory. I am obligated to offer you the wine, but you are not obligated to receive it. I know this will challenge the sensibilities of many and I share that. But these are extraordinary times. As soon as we are able we will revert back to offering the common cup. That is my solemn promise.
- The collection during these weeks will be a retiring collection.
- And the greeting of peace changes are also to be observed.
- At Morning Tea, we have to change a few things. We have been advised to, for the moment, avoid having plates of food on the tables. We will be putting our minds to working out how to respond to this challenge. The recommendation is to provide individually wrapped biscuits or cakes where possible. But please join us for tea and coffee afterwards.
- The other area of precautions is regarding children’s ministry. Our team is being asked to encourage the kids in terms of hand hygiene and also similar issues re food. Toys etc will need to be cleaned before and after use.
- We are speaking with experts within and without the congregation about all these things to make sure we stay up-to-date and that we can resume our normal practices as soon as we can.
- Lastly, if you or anyone in your family have been travelling internationally in the last month or so, then its probably a good idea to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
I feel very keenly the responsibility I have in regards to acting in the interests of your health and, knowing that members of our parish family are right across the spectrum in terms of risk, I have worked with the wardens on these things to take the necessary actions to meet that responsibility.
We can and we will get through all this, but we need to have flexibility and know that your parish leadership, including myself are taking all these actions in your interest.
What I want to do now is to lead us in worship. There will be a time for questions afterwards at morning teatime.
Thank you for your attention.