COVID-19, Parish properties and Pastoral Care

As we adjust to the new realities of daily life amid social distancing regulations and, for some, the more stringent restrictions associated with compulsory and voluntary (precautionary) social isolation it may be helpful to restate what this means for parish life and in particular the use of parish properties.

Until further notice there can be no public worship offered at either of our churches. Weddings and funerals may still be conducted, with the proviso that there be no more than five people present at weddings and 10 people at funerals and at least 1.5m distance must be kept between each person present. I am very pleased with the way in which the parish has responded to e-services, and also with the creative offerings that I am receiving. A number of resources including prayers and reflections are on this blog at https://parishnews.postach.io/post/poems-prayers-and-resources and I am planning a couple of new initiatives for the parish web page after Easter Day, including:
  1. Reflections@Home - a series of reflections (poetry, prose or visual art) by parishioners.
  2. Parishioners@Home - photographic contributions by parishioners.

In addition, the government's regulations mean that gatherings either inside or outside parish buildings are limited to two people at least 1.5m apart. People from a single household may continue to meet and are not restricted to the 1.5m rule, but a household of two or more people meeting with one other person would not be OK under the Government rules. For this reason I must stress that formal or informal gatherings of more than two people on parish properties are not authorised at this time.

A number of parish members continue to have access to our parish properties for various reasons including cleaning (which has been scaled back to a monthly clean), and this can continue so long as the number of people present at any time does not exceed two and the 1.5m rule is observed. The Minchin Centre is no longer being used by either external or internal groups and the Cloisters similarly are unused and remain locked. I am mostly working from home but do visit and check on the Minchin Centre and st Mary's a couple of times through the week.

I am available for anyone who wishes to speak with me any day except Monday (which for the time being is my day off). Telephone or text message contact to my mobile 0433 174 112 is best in the first instance. You may prefer to speak face-to-face which is also possible using one of a range of methods eg Facetime (for iPhone users), Skype, WhatsApp or Jitsi/Meet (best on a PC using Chrome browser but this is also available with a free smartphone app). Just let me know which of these works best for you. I can also see you in person at All Saints so long as there are just the two of us - meeting in the lychgate which provides some shelter and accommodates the 1.5m distancing.

I encourage all members of the parish to keep in touch with one another by phone and email. the Parish Directory is available under the Members Only section of the web page www.swananglicans.org.au. To access this:
  1. You need to be a member of the parish web page. If you are not a member yet, on the web page go to the far right of the navigation bar at the top, select "More" and "Members" You will be prompted to sign up by entering your email address and a password (which you make up to suit yourself).
  2. Once you are a member of the web page, go to "More" and "File Share". From there you can open the Parish Directory.

Not everyone is on the Parish Directory, because under the Privacy Act 2000 it is illegal for me to share your contact information without your explicit written consent. If you are not on the Parish Directory and would like to be, please email saying "I give you permission to place my name and contact information on the Parish Directory". Conversely if you are on the Parish Directory and would like your details removed, please advise me.

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