5 August 2020 - NEW COVID-19 REGULATIONS
[The Text below is from the Bishop's most recent Ad Clerum [5 August] written to the clergy of the Diocese and additionally circulated to our people via the dNews. It has been reformatted from the original for clarity]
Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
From Midnight tonight, 5th August 2020, the whole area of the Diocese of Ballarat is once again under Level 3 restrictions, until at least 12 September 2020.
This will be a cause of real disappointment for most of us, and especially for those congregations who have resumed regular public worship.
We are once more required to close our buildings to regular public worship, nor may they be left open for private prayer.
Funerals are once more limited to 10 mourners and necessary ministers.
Weddings are limited to five persons in total.
Home visitation is not allowed. Weekday services may not be provided.
Face to face meetings may not be held. AGM's included.
Op Shops should remain closed.
As well, you must wear a face covering whenever you leave home.
This takes some getting used to, but is no doubt, much less intrusive than being intubated in order to save your life in case of developed COVID-19. It is another way in which we demonstrate our common responsibility to each other.
On 23rd March when I issued the first Ad Clerum concerning COVID-19, I was confident that things would quickly return to our regular patterns. I was wrong, but I was delighted that so many people in our Diocese came together to think and pray and enjoy each other’s company through electronic means. Also, I have received some lovely letters, and of course the telephone has been a most useful piece of pastoral equipment.
I am deeply grateful for the hard work and creative energy of so many of our clergy. Many have experimented beyond their own comfort zone in living the multiple functions of parish priest as liturgical leader, pastoral co-ordinator and holder together, facilitator and delegator. I am also conscious that there is a renewed commitment to prayer for those in need, amongst the people and the priests of the Diocese.
The need for us to be clear, non-anxious leaders of our communities has never been greater. Pray that we will all have the courage, the grace and the love to help our people navigate untested waters. And we must recommit daily to remembering that we are just sowers of the seed: the worry and the growth belong to God, but we are still invited to the privileged task of living the Kingdom hope in these difficult times.
This second round of restrictions brings no novelty. Patience and mutual tolerance may be stretched hard. It is tempting to listen to the small voice of anxiety within. We must be alert to our own mental health. Take opportunities to talk with colleagues, family, friends, even if it is on the phone or by ZOOM.
These are stressful days and so I want you to feel free to contact me at any time if you want to talk. I am available at any time you need to speak with me. My mobile number is 0428 112 221.
Our tasks, like last time, require of us patience, determination and a real desire to serve God in each other by:
- wearing our masks every time we are away from home.
- praying the Office in your Church with special intention for the people of the parish and local community.
- using the telephone a lot more than usual. You should plan to speak by phone with everyone on your parish roll within a fortnight and then at regular intervals, as well as making yourself easy to contact. Even in this time when many people have electronic communication, hearing a familiar voice can be comforting.
- checking up with the elderly or live alone parishioners who may need help with keeping ordinary life happening.
- using technology in appropriate ways – think about what is realistic for you and the people you serve.
- making sure that the dNews is hard copied and sent to any parishioners who are unlikely to receive it by email.
- keeping in touch with the clergy in parishes close by – it is easy to turn inwards during stressful times, and so a deliberate action to make regular contact with your neighbouring clergy will be important. For some little or isolated places, this may well have an ecumenical flavour.
- being realistic about the financial consequences of our current situation. Prepare the details you need to encourage people in electronic transfer to the parish account. Gently remind people that parish costs go on and work hard enough for parishioners to see that the ministry they receive is valuable.
- keeping alert to needs you have not seen before: some people will be under great financial pressure: fear and anxiety can warp relationships: fear of illness and death can paralyse some people.
- shopping locally and making sure that all parish bills are paid promptly.
The said Mass every weekday at noon in the Cathedral will continue during these next 6 weeks although it will not be open to public worshippers. We will be focussing our prayer at the Mass on the particular needs of our communities during the current pandemic. If you have special intentions, or specific matters which you would like offered at the altar, please ring Fr Martin at the Registry or leave a message with John or Cheryl.
I remind you that whilst it may be tempting to refer people to a streaming service available on another parish’s website / facebook page that the best person to minister to the people of your parish is you. I will continue to provide a short homily, and a prayer for each Sunday. How that is used will be up to you, because you have the local knowledge, the local trust and share in the “cure of souls.”
Be confident in the gift that you are to the communities you serve.
Grace and Peace as you lead God’s people with love,
Bishop of Ballarat
Mon, Tue & Thurs at the Bishop’s Registry (5331 1183)
Wed at home (4343 1405)
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Safe Church Officer
The Rev’d Glen Wesley
Mon-Wed at the Bishop’s Registry (5331 1183)
or 0429 146 566
Email - email@example.com
General Synod Advice re Streaming & Copyright
CCLI live streaming licence
Each church that intends to conduct live streaming must have its own individual CCLI Church Copyright live streaming licence. This licence allows you to stream or podcast your live-recorded worship service music on your church’s website or other streaming services. Group licences are currently not available. Further details see https://au.ccli.com/copyright-licences/.
Copyright for the use of material from A Prayer Book for Australia should be acknowledged during live streaming and a graphic added to end of any published videos.
Use of music during live streaming services
Those who are using contemporary songs will need to purchase a licence via CCLI as noted above. Those who are using traditional hymns played live rather than recordings should not require permission if the music is in the public domain, which much of it is.
Choral music will need to be in the public domain otherwise a license will be required. Parishes should seek the advice of their person who usually coordinates music in their parish in this regard.
Use of video during live streaming services
Showing film scenes, videos or clips will require specific licencing to prevent against any breaches of copyright.
Privacy law should also be considered in the case of live streaming. Ensuring that you have the permission of those who may appear in your live stream will minimise the risk of a privacy breach.