Greater Melbourne, greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Mitchell Shire
All face-to-face meetings, groups and services are prohibited. Five people can live stream or video a service, and you can travel more than 5km to do so.
Funerals are limited to ten mourners, plus those leading the service.
No weddings can occur, other than for end-of-life or deportation emergencies.
Masks must be worn, other than the one person leading a funeral or speaking/singing to camera. Church offices cannot be used as workplaces, other than by clergy who live directly onsite. Visits to aged care facilities and hospitals are not generally allowed other than for end of life. Care visits are allowed, including beyond 10km, which could include pastoral visits where essential. Essential food provisions must be takeaway or delivery only. Op shops must be closed. Mail can be collected and security checks can be done. One person, alone, volunteer or professional, can maintain gardens and lawns outdoors at church property. A work permit is required for that.
QR codes must be used by anyone attending to broadcast a service or for a funeral.
Regional Victoria (other than greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Mitchell Shire)
Masks remain mandatory indoors and outdoors, other than the one person leading/preaching/singing. QR codes are mandatory. A COVID check-in marshal must be at the entry to ensure check in.
Up to 20 people can attend church services plus those essential to conduct the service.
Funerals can have up to 20 mourners, plus those essential to conduct the service. If someone attends a funeral from greater Melbourne, the limit of ten mourners applies.
Weddings can have up to 10 people, plus those essential to conduct the service.
Groups can meet in church facilities with a maximum of 20 people on site. The 4sqm rule applies.
Refreshments after church can be served. The 4sqm rule applies.
Op shops can open with 4sqm rule. Masks are mandatory and cannot be removed for eating or drinking indoors.
Meetings cannot be held in homes. Clergy and staff can work from church offices, maintaining 4sqm rule. Masks must be worn.
People living in greater Melbourne cannot attend general church services in regional Victoria other than those who are workers, including volunteers, essential to conduct the service.
Work permits are not required for work within regional Victoria.
Work permits are required for any clergy, staff, and volunteers who are involved in any or all of the following: broadcasting church services, essential food provision, and conducting funerals. Work permits are required whether or not the work is greater than or less than 5km from a person’s home. If and when funerals and funeral arrangement meetings occur, a supplementary work permit can be completed then.
The relevant episcopate permit for clergy and ALMs follows:
For volunteers, please use this link here to a blank form and have the Vicar and local parish details for the employer. Unlike 2020, there is no need to send the volunteer forms to the bishop.
Work permits for regional Victoria take effect from midnight Monday night, 23 August. They are already mandatory in greater Melbourne. Please complete the day/time section at the end. Please ensure the correct description of permitted work is included.
Please note that work permits are not needed for essential care visits.
FINANCE & PAYROLL INFORMATION
- If parish or clergy face financial hardship please speak with your bishop.
- Reducing time worked or stipend. Some clergy and parishes are enquiring about reducing time worked or stipend. Please discuss this with your bishop.
- Benevolent programmes assisting people in need. We all know people suffering hardship as a result of the crisis, and many are now, or will be, in great financial need. Parishes can respond practically and compassionately by applying to the Melbourne Anglican Benevolent Society Inc. for an approved programme or fund, operated and administered at parish level. Programs approved by the Melbourne Anglican Benevolent Society are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations from any people, organisations and businesses. For full details and explanations click here to find the application form. To enquire or apply, contact Fiona Langton via email@example.com.
- Financial Counselling Victoria Helpline – 1800 007 007. Please be aware, for yourself and for parishioners, that if you have difficulty managing financial commitments financial counselling is available. All financial counselling services (including Anglicare Victoria) are registered with Financial Counselling Victoria. If you ring the above number they will link you with your nearest local service. The Financial Counsellor can work with the relevant authority to determine options and work with you to develop a plan and budget.
Rental and Property Issues. The diocesan property department is providing advice on rental matters where the diocese is landlord and in cases where the diocese is tenant. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Policy on Appointments and Licences during COVID Pandemic
- Policy on Clergy Reducing Days or Stipend During Virus
Diocesan Governance and Communication
Archbishop in Council approved the formation of what is in effect an Executive to handle this crisis and make decisions nimbly. This Committee is chaired by the Archbishop, with Neil Sigamoney (Chair of Finance Committee), Dr Jenny George (Chair of People and Culture Committee), Ms Elizabeth Alexander AO (MADC Board), the Rev’d Kathryn Watt (Chair of Governance and Nominations Committee), Archdeacon Dianne Sharrock, as a clergy representative and Professor Ian Harper AO. In addition, Malcolm Tadgell (Registrar) is the Secretary and Justin Lachal (GM MADC) and Bishop Kate Prowd attend this committee.
The bishops each have different portfolios or areas of focus during this crisis:
The Archbishop carries overall oversight of matters relating to addressing this pandemic and its effects. He chairs the Crisis Team, Archbishop in Council and meetings of Senior Leadership and Bishops, as well as the Brotherhood of St Laurence Board.
Bishop Brad oversees matters relating to theological and liturgical responses to and during this pandemic.
Bishop Kate is responsible for well-being, in conjunction with Area Deans. There will be materials provided to help with building resilience, developing coping strategies and maintaining spiritual and emotional health. She will be working with all the Area Deans to create a “toolkit” of resources.
Bishop Genieve is responsible for enabling our compassionate and collaborative response as a church together with our partner agencies. She and the Archdeacon for Parish Partnerships will be providing advice to parishes on using our resources (especially our people) for how we can best serve the vulnerable and be a good neighbour.
Bishop Paul is overseeing interpretation and communication of guidance on rules and regulations, including the COVID-19 section of the website.
COVIDSAFE REQUIREMENTS & COVIDSAFE PLAN
COVID-Safe Plan, COVID-Safe Officer and reopening
The Vicar and churchwardens together are the ones to appoint the COVID Safe Officer. When ready, complete the COVID-Safe plan and send to: email@example.com.
Several people have expressed anxiety about the legal liability of the parish COVID-Safe Officer. Please be assured that the diocese has public liability insurance. If somebody caught COVID19 on our premises, they would need to prove negligence on the part of the diocese or its representatives to make a claim, which our insurance covers.
Click here to see the Diocesan COVID-Safe Plan template.
Click here for the Business Victoria explanations for the COVID-Safe plans.
Important links are also available below for reference.
- You can find the latest stay safe, stay at home and restricted activity directions of the CHO here.
- Safe Work Australia on cleaning can be found here
- Printable Posters for display available here
- Safe Work Australia on COVID-19 at the workplace detail available here
- Safe Work Materials in other languages can be found here
- Op Shop Guidelines: here
- Poster Template on Maximum Capacity: here
- Industry Restart Guidelines on Religion and Ceremonies: here