Updated 30 March 2015
The following guidelines for our parishes are based on guidelines received from the General Synod Office of the Anglican Church of Australia.
The current Commonwealth & State government directive is that places of worship are closed and not available for public worship or private prayer. These directives are intended to deter groups of people gathering in one place. For this reason the Diocese of Ballarat also has extended the cessation of services to include outdoor worship.
The new 'no more than two people gathering together' rule applies to those services that are being streamed or recorded. Unless, for example, the people are all of the same family unit.
Parish Meetings and Gatherings
Parishes should suspend face to face meetings of parish council and church committees as gatherings should be kept to minimum and include only a small number of attendees.
People are not to congregate together in groups outdoors of more than two (excluding family units).
Youth Groups and Sunday School
Gatherings of young people are to be suspended. e.g. Sunday Schools, youth groups. Children and young people are often dependent on parents for transport and supervision and this may difficult when many are choosing to self isolate.
All social and outreach activities requiring direct contact (Alpha courses, GFS, AMS, Bible studies, Guild Meetings, Mothers' Union) are suspended. These meetings and groups can of course still continue via phone, WhatsApp, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.
Opportunity Shops and Community Pantry
It is recommended that opportunity shops be closed and receipt of goods be suspended. Only a skeleton team of volunteers should be asked to sort existing goods.
Where parishes provide community pantry, offering free food and supplied to those in need, it would be an important community service to maintain if possible. Parishes may be encouraged to review their volunteer capacity to continue this service, subject to access to supplies.
Visits to people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are self-isolating as a precaution should be suspended, however other ways of providing support should be considered, such as by phone or email. Single people, the elderly and those who are isolated may need particular attention.
It is important that in offering practical support to individuals self-isolating, church members and clergy are aware of the need to protect themselves.
It is particularly important to be vigilant and follow government directives and the advice of facility staff when conducting visits to people in aged care homes or hospitals.
Weddings and funerals
All government directives concerning public gatherings and the precautionary measures outlined concerning church services should be applied when conducting special services.
Can be conducted but limited to 5 persons only – the couple, the celebrant and two witness. Social distancing recommendations must be complied with.
Can be conducted but limited to 10 persons in attendance. Social distancing recommendations must be complied with.
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.