Advice has been received this morning from the Archbishop, following briefing from Dr Louise Flood, Director, SA Health Communicable Disease Branch.
The new advice is:
- Avoid hugging, kissing and hand shaking (including passing the peace)
- Avoid shared eating and drinking utensils including the common cup
- Provide alcohol based sanitisers for use
- People who are unwell with a fever or acute respiratory infection (such as cough or sore throat) should be discouraged from attending face to face gatherings.
- Persons who have recently returned from overseas (in the past 14 days) should be discouraged from attending large face to face gatherings.
- With immediate effect, passing the peace by hand shaking, hugging or kissing should cease; and the common cup should not be used. The best way forward is to provide communion in one kind only (the bread) with no opportunity for intinction. Alcohol based hand sanitizer should be available for communicants to use prior to their receiving communion and of course anyone involved in the preparation or distribution of communion should cleanse their hands with alcohol based hand sanitizer prior to touching the bread or communion vessel
Therefore we will put the following in place with immediate effect.
- Communion in one kind only – the chalice will be used ceremonially by the priest but, until further notice, will not be offered to attenders. As introduced last week clergy and lay assistants will sanitise their hands prior to assisting with communion.
- No shaking of hands either at the Peace or by clergy at the door – but please make eye contact with people and share a smile and greeting.
- No passing of collection plates up and down the rows of pews – instead there will be points front and back for you to place your offerings as you go to communion or as you leave.
- No morning tea or supper following services or catering at parish events for the time being.
- As far as we are able we will make hand sanitiser available in the church, but as we are aware it is in short supply. Instructions have been placed in the church bathrooms about thorough washing of hands. One fun way to wash for long enough is that we should wash our hands for the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday.
We will be using the following prayer from the Church of England in our worship tomorrow. I hope you find it helpful.
God of love and hope,
You made the world and care for all creation.
But the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus.
Many people are anxious because of it.
Many people are anxious that they might get ill.
Many people are anxious about their family and friends.
Be with them in their worries and help them to find some peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists who are working
to discover the right medicines to give hope to those who are ill.
Thank you that even in these strange and worrying times, you are with us.
Help us to look for the signs of your goodness and love towards us.
With my prayers
Ven Andrew Mintern
Anglican Parish of Glenelg