As you are aware Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield have announced that from Wednesday 8 September our part of New Zealand has dropped to Covid-19 Delta Alert Level 2 (albeit with some changes).
The new normal will include:
- Face Coverings mandatory i.e. wear a mask.
- Scan everywhere you go, especially at church.
- Limit of 50 max people (indoor) and 100 max people (outdoor).
- 2 metre social distancing.
- And remember, please ‘Be Patient – Be Kind – Support Local’.
All the Delta Alert Level 2 State and Church rules will apply.
In response we will, from Sunday 19 September be able to re-enter our buildings, partake in worship, and have our usual meetings and gatherings again taking into account all Delta Alert Level 2 State and Church rules.
It is my express wish that we delay our restart to enable the new Delta Alert Level 2 to settle in, prepare ourselves and wait and watch to ensure the safety of all we serve with and minister to.
Whilst we are in Delta Alert Level 2 we will pray together using Morning Worship – this allows us to gather as the body of Christ working around two social distancing issues created by The Peace and sharing Eucharist. I understand the deep pain involved in this decision, but for now this is the way it needs to be.
We will need to wear a mask and scan when we gather together, with social distancing of 2 metres and a limit of 50 people indoors. Singing will not happen (I am hopeful that we can enjoy listening to some music in a prayerful and worshipful way without needing to vocalise).
Morning Worship will take place:
- 9am – St Matthew’s Church, Hastings
- 10am – St Peter’s Church, Riverslea
- 10.15am – St Matthew’s Church, Hastings (church not chapel)
Please share yourselves around what time and venue suits you best, as we try to average the numbers across our physical social distancing spaces.
To explain clearly the rationale for these times:- 1) On Sunday at St Matthew’s I wish to honour and value the two regular congregations equally by meeting at a time between the two normal opportunities, so 9am it is; 2) Should there be more than 50 people gather at St Matthew’s for 9am, I wish to be able to offer them the opportunity to attend St Peter’s at 10am.
We will be continuing the online resources that we have been offering during Level 4 & 3. Alongside this, I will be endeavouring to record the 9am Service in order to stream it at 10am as part of the Archdeaconry offering – more on that next week when I work out if I can.
This is also a great opportunity to remind you to please update your contact details with the Parish Administrator. It would be wonderful to have all your details up to date, especially mobile phone and email.
Yours in Christ travelling with you in this unknown
Ven. David van Oeveren
Priest-in-Charge of Greater Hastings