A Template for the Safe Reopening of Our Churches
June 17, 2020
The provincial House of Bishops has decided that our churches will not be reopening for in-person worship until at least September. This decision was made in consultation with public health experts as well as our diocesan executive officers and chancellors, with the well-being and safety of all our parishioners and the communities we serve uppermost in our hearts and minds.
As we contemplate reopening safely, we offer a common template for Anglican dioceses in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, to be adapted locally as pandemic conditions in our communities warrant the safe reopening of our church buildings.
We recognize that a decision to move forward from one stage to another, or back to an earlier stage, will be affected by the course of the pandemic, which is dynamic; and that subsequent waves are possible, along with regional variations.
As things unfold, the Bishops will meet and consult regularly and will seek counsel from our advising epidemiologists: The Reverend Michael Garner (Public Health); Dr. Rob James (Consultant); and Dr. Bill Gardner (Research).
The enclosed template is unanimously endorsed by the provincial House of Bishops:
The Most Reverend Anne Germond
The Right Reverend Michael Oulton
The Right Reverend Susan Bell
The Right Reverend Andrew Asbil
The Right Reverend Dr. Todd Townshend
The Right Reverend Shane Parker
The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz
The Right Reverend Peter Fenty
The Right Reverend Riscylla Shaw
The Right Reverend Kevin Robertson
The Right Reverend Jenny Andison