According to the most current advice we have received, the gathering of small groups is permissible under current legislation as long as the social distancing regulations are being adhered to. This includes but is not limited to:
- Bible study groups
- Prayer groups or intercessory prayer groups
- Production Teams. The teams could constitute:
- Audio Visual Crew (usually one to three people)
- Lighting Crew (one or two people)
- IT crew (Usually one or two people)
- Musicians and singers (Usually from four to eight people)
- A host or worship leader
- A minister to present a sermon
- A production generalist
- Board meetings or elder’s meetings
These allowances do not extend to:
- Youth Groups
- Young adults meetings
- Kid’s Church or Sunday School
- Children’s groups or play groups
- Mother’s groups
- Women’s and men’s meetings
- Prayer breakfasts
- Large baptisms
- Large weddings
- Large groups of any kind
- Outdoor events such as Church BBQ’s etc.
What is the current Social Distancing Rule?
Under current rulings, each person must maintain a distance of 1.5 Mtr from other people. In gatherings, each person is to be allocated four square metres.
- If a room in which you are gathering is six metres by five metres, the internal area of the room is
- 6 X 5 = 30 square metres
- 30 / 4 = 7.5
- Therefore you can have a total of 7 people in that room under current rulings
Some Ways to obtain the Correct Social Distance
- Measure the rooms you will be using and record the results in a journal, log or some other record which is kept to prove that you have ‘done your sums.’
- Keep a record of people present and when they entered and left.
- Ask participants to sign the record.
- Do not allow people to hug, shake hands, give high fives or show other forms of affection with physical contact.
- Provide soap and running water for hand washing.
- Provide hand sanitiser for hand cleaning.
- Clean all hard surfaces with an anti-bacterial disinfectant spray/wash/wipe before and after the meeting.
- Before the meeting, talk about the risks of infection and give instructions regarding personal hygiene and behaviour
These are not hard and fast rules, they are merely suggestions on how you can keep yourself and your church/ministry family safe. There are many sources of information available with up to date and official data on how to stay safe in this time. Please see your local government and state government websites for the most up-to-date information.
Social Distance is not Emotionally Distant