Covid-19 Safe management plan, V15, 11 January 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a time of great challenge for the world, and any country can experience a sudden outbreak. As a church, our priorities remain:

  • To honour God in all we do, seeking to grow Christians spiritually, and continue to share the gospel of hope and joy.
  • To continue ministry but in necessarily new and adaptive forms. Our priority is faithful preaching of God’s Word.
  • We recognise that fellowship and unity are important, but to be nurtured in safe ways.
  • Our desire is to maintain on-site services for all members of all congregations, but also recognize that some people may not be able or ready to do so. Therefore online and on-site ministry options will be made available.
  • Health and protection of our members is a high priority, especially the elderly, and we will comply with the NSW Government guidelines regarding meetings and hygiene.

This Covid-19 Management Plan forms the policy by which our church will operate our activities during the Covid period. The plan is updated regularly, as per government directives, and all members (especially leaders and coordinators of events) must comply with these rules.

New changes to these rules (compared to the previous version) have been marked in red

WSCCC has been registered with the NSW Government as a Covid Safe Organisation.

New restrictions from 11 January 2020

Due to the spreading new wave of Covid across greater Sydney, including the inner west.

Provisional reintegration of worship services

ServiceDate for return to on-site servicesService timeAlso available on-line via
Strathfield English (S9)Onsite & online9am SundaysYouTube livestream
Strathfield English (4:30)Onsite only4:30pm Sundays
Strathfield Cantonese (combined)Onsite & online10:30am SundaysYouTube livestream
Strathfield MandarinOnsite & online10:45am SundaysZoom
Croydon Park Mandarin (CPM)Online only4:30pm Saturdays at StrathfieldYouTube livestream
Croydon Park English (CP10)Onsite & online2pm Sundays at StrathfieldYouTube livestream

Rules for bookings (as of 20 December, 2020)

  • All activities on-site, including pre-existing internal ministries, must be first approved by a deacon or pastor, and availability booked through Gigi.
  • Worship services have priority.
  • Bookings must state the expected number of attendees. Total people on site must not exceed 172 (4sqm).
  • EXTERNAL BOOKINGS: Limited bookings by external organisations will be considered for February 2021 onwards.
    • Due to the current local threat of Covid, reduced external bookings will be considered. All external bookings require special approval by Diaconate as a whole (not ad hoc by individual deacons or pastors), and will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the monthly Diaconate meeting. 
    • Other booking conditions apply (as per church guidelines).
    • All bookings are tentative only, pending changes in Covid restrictions and our church’s internal ministry requirements. The church will endeavour to honour approved bookings, and we will seek to provide at least 2 weeks’ notice of cancellation (but Covid regulations may be more rapid).
    • Only one external ministry booking may be held on site at one time.
  • Maximum numbers will apply:
    • 90 in chapel, 75 in hall.
    • Total attendance on site for external bookings not to exceed 172.
  • External organisations will be responsible for Service NSW QR code registrations, not the church, although the WSCCC QR code will be available.

Maximum numbers and social distancing

  1. The maximum number of people allowable on the whole site is 1 per 4sqm. For WSCCC Strathfield (687sqm) this is calculated to be 172 people; this includes children.
  2. Social distancing of 1.5m between people must be maintained. Exceptions:
    1. Family members to each other. Therefore social distancing applies 1.5m between each family/couple etc.
    2. Children/youth from each other (but adults to stay 1m from children).
  3. Maximum attendance in each room is to be:
    1. For the Chapel: 90 people
    2. For the Hall: 75 people.
  4. The above maximums may be lower in order to maintain 1.5m social distancing. (This depends on the number of families sitting together).
    1. On booking an activity (with Gigi), the number of attendees must be stated, so as to allow other groups to also use the church.
  5. There is to be no overlap of groups between timeslots. That means each group must vacate the premises promptly before the next group arrives. There are also to be no early arrivals if there is an earlier group booking on site.

Practical social distancing measures

  1. Informal fellowship: 1.5m between people/couples.
    1. Fellowship after services/activities must be in a designated breakout area (the largest open available area).
    2. There is to be no mingling on the lawn outside church.
  2. No more than 2 people in the church elevator.
  3. Singing:
    1. Unfortunately, no congregational singing allowed. Humming is permissible.
    2. Up to 5 singers (choir or music team) may perform or lead on stage, with 1.5m between singers and 3m from the audience.
    3. Singing in children’s ministry (primary age and below) is allowed.
  4. Physical contact.
    1. No hand shaking or hugging.
    2. No distribution of shared Bibles, bulletins, offering bags, platters by ushers.
      • If a bulletin is prepared, they should be placed on seats prior to service.
    3. Offerings: We encourage members to organize electronic banking for their offerings, however, a wooden offering box is available at the church entrance for your cash or cheque offerings.
  5. Car-rides home:
    1. Appropriate measures should also be followed if providing other church members lifts to and from church activities. Cars should contain no more than 4 persons at one time.

Screening of all attendees

  1. All attendees at church premises, whether staff, other attendees or contractors, must be screened as per below. If any of the following conditions are met, those people should not enter the building, and self-isolate:
    1. Respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, colds).
    2. Temperature of 37.5 degrees C or higher (as tested by church).
    3. Travel within the past 14 days overseas.
    4. Have visited a venue in NSW with a confirmed Covid case, as listed by NSW Govt.
    5. Close contact with someone known to have tested positive for Covid.
  2. Those people should immediately be tested for Covid at a testing unit.
    1. People awaiting the outcome of a Covid test should not attend church on site.
  3. People with persistent respiratory symptoms, despite a negative Covid test, should still isolate from church until symptoms resolve.

Hygiene checklist – to be followed by all groups

  1. A leader/coordinator is to be listed as responsible for each activity on site. They will be responsible for all of the following.
  2. Mandatory registration via Service NSW QR Code by all attendees at all activities at church.
    1. This is available in English and Chinese.
    2. Ushers or other regulars must assist others who have trouble with registration.
  3. Temperatures to be checked (by a designated person) for attendees.
  4. Face masks must be worn by all adult attendees at all church events on site (not just services). Individuals must provide their own masks
    1. Exceptions:
      1. Those speaking/singing on stage: preachers, chairpersons, announcers, readers, prayers, singers (on stage). When not speaking, they must resume masks. Others on stage (musicians) must wear masks.
      2. Children 12y and younger do not need masks.
      3. Youth aged 13-18y do not need to wear masks in youth groups (Glue), but need to wear masks in mixed-aged activities (services).
  5. Hand sanitiser will be provided by the church at each hall or entrance.
  6. Leaders of that event must organise someone to:
    1. After event, using disinfectant available, wipe down tables, chairs, door handles, and handrails. If used, also music equipment, AV and elevator buttons.
    2. Those people cleaning must wear gloves and use disinfectant.

Other hygiene measures

  1. Doors to be kept open where possible.
  2. Hygiene/Covid information posters will be placed on walls.
  3. Formal thorough cleaning will be done by our cleaners twice a week.

Food service

  1. The church recognizes the importance of meals in the fellowship of our congregations.
  2. Fellowship meals for groups are allowable with the following guidelines:
    1. Catered food must be served by a designated team wearing masks and gloves. This includes serving of rice, main dishes, pizza, cake, donuts etc. They must also distribute cutlery and plates to attendees.
    2. No food or utensils should be “help yourself”.
  3. No pot luck shared buffet/smorgasbord style meals.
  4. Food should be prepared by a designated team with strict adherence to Covid hygiene standards as well as the church’s Food Handling guidelines.
  5. Cooking on site is not allowed. Heating your own meal in a microwave is permissible.
  6. Tea and coffee are permissible and attendees can help themselves.

Home-based ministries

  1. We encourage church members to maintain fellowship and ministry activities at homes.
  2. Our guidelines are:
    1. As per NSW recommendations, maximum of 5 visitors to one home (excluding the host family).
    2. People with symptoms, travel history or exposure to Covid-positive people should NOT attend others’ homes.
    3. Maintain 1.5m between families/couples.
    4. Maintain similar hygiene measures as per onsite ministries.

Attendees who develop symptoms

  • Symptomatic members:
    1. Members should not attend if they have respiratory symptoms or fever, and should be tested for Covid.
  • If a member tests positive after a church event:
    1. Appropriate medical care for the person as advised by Covid clinic.
    2. Close contacts (as advised by Dept of Health) should be tested for Covid, and be quarantined for 14 days. All church members are encouraged to download the CovidSafe app so they know if they are exposed.
    3. Announcements to be made to church members, especially those who have attended the same events as the affected person.
    4. Diaconate to consider closing church building, or that service, for 2, 7 or 14 days.
    5. Thorough cleaning of premises.