Covid-19 Safe management plan, V19, 10 April 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.
- We encourage people to attend our services on-site, where we can better express our fellowship, unity and encouragement. But also recognise that some people may not be able or ready to do so. Therefore online and on-site ministry options will be made available for a limited period.
- 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.
Current worship services
The Diaconate believes that, by God’s grace, the Covid situation in Sydney is under control, and it is safe for members to return to church on site for worship services and activities. Therefore we encourage all to come back for congregational worship, fellowship and ministry. The time is right!
|Service||Date for return to on-site services||Service time||Also available on-line via|
|Strathfield English (S9)||Onsite & online||9am Sundays||YouTube livestream|
|Strathfield English (4:30)||Onsite only||4:30pm Sundays|
|Strathfield Cantonese||Onsite & online||10:30am Sundays, 8:45 am Sundays (Coming in May)||YouTube livestream|
|Strathfield Mandarin||Onsite & online||10:45am Sundays||Zoom|
|Croydon Park Mandarin (CPM)||Onsite & online||4:30pm Saturdays at Strathfield||YouTube recording|
|Croydon Park English (CP10)||Onsite & online||2pm Sundays at Strathfield||YouTube livestream|
Rules for bookings (as of 10 April, 2021)
- 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.
- Strict adherence to hygiene checklist, as per below, must be adhered to.
- Bookings must state the expected number of attendees. Total people on site must not exceed 340 (for internal bookings).
- EXTERNAL BOOKINGS:
- 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:
- 170 in chapel, 150 in upper hall.
- Total attendance on site for external bookings not to exceed 300.
- 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
- The maximum number of people allowable on the whole site is 340 persons including children (2sqm, based on a total publicly accessible space of 680sqm).
- Social distancing of 1.5m between people is a personal responsibility recommended between unrelated parties.
- Maximum attendance in each room is to be:
- For the chapel: 170 people
- For the upper hall: 150 people
- For the upper foyer: 40 people
Practical social distancing measures
- Fellowship after services/activities must be in a designated breakout area (the largest open available area).
- Fellowship on the church lawn is now permissible, with social distancing encouraged.
- No more than 2 people in the church elevator.
- Congregational singing is allowed. No masks are required during singing. There is no limit to the number of singers on stage (music team or choir). Singing in Sunday school and youth groups are allowed.
- Distribution of items:
- Handing out single-use items is allowed: bulletins, handouts etc.
- Shared items by individuals, eg church Bibles, should be wiped down between use, or not distributed.
- Shared items by multiple people in one meeting should be avoided, eg offering bags, and communion trays.
- Offerings: We encourage members to organise electronic banking for their offerings, however, a wooden offering box is available at the church entrance for your cash or cheque offerings.
- Car-rides home:
- 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
- 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:
- Respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, colds).
- Temperature of 37.5 degrees C or higher (as tested by church).
- Have visited a venue in NSW with a confirmed Covid case, as listed by NSW Govt.
- Close contact with someone known to have tested positive for Covid.
- Those people should immediately be tested for Covid at a testing unit.
- People awaiting the outcome of a Covid test should not attend church on site.
- 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
- A leader/coordinator is to be listed as responsible for each activity on site. They will be responsible for all of the following.
- Mandatory registration via Service NSW QR Code by all attendees at all activities at church.
- This is available in English and Chinese.
- Ushers or other regulars must assist others who have trouble with registration.
- Temperatures to be checked (by a designated person) for attendees.
- Face masks are not compulsory, and attendees may choose to wear one. Individuals must provide their own masks.
- Hand sanitiser will be provided by the church at each hall or entrance.
- Leaders of that event must organise someone to:
- After an event, using disinfectant available, wipe down tables, chairs, door handles, and handrails. If used, also music equipment, AV and elevator buttons.
- Those people cleaning must wear gloves and use disinfectant.
Other hygiene measures
- Doors to be kept open where possible.
- Hygiene/Covid information posters will be placed on walls.
- Formal thorough cleaning will be done by our cleaners twice a week.
- The church recognizes the importance of meals in the fellowship of our congregations.
- Fellowship meals for groups are allowable with the following guidelines:
- Cooking in the church kitchen must be by a designated team wearing masks and gloves. When the kitchen is used for cooking, anyone in the kitchen must wear a mask.
- 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. Food no longer needs to be pre-packaged.
- No food or utensils should be “help yourself”.
- No pot luck shared buffet/smorgasbord style meals.
- Food should be prepared by a designated team with strict adherence to Covid hygiene standards as well as the church’s Food Handling guidelines.
- We encourage church members to maintain fellowship and ministry activities at homes.
- Our guidelines are:
- People with symptoms, travel history or exposure to Covid-positive people should NOT attend others’ homes.
- Maintain 1.5m between families/couples.
- Maintain similar hygiene measures as per onsite ministries.
Attendees who develop symptoms
- Symptomatic members:
- 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:
- Appropriate medical care for the person as advised by Covid clinic.
- 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.
- Announcements to be made to church members, especially those who have attended the same events as the affected person.
- Diaconate to consider closing church building, or that service, for 2, 7 or 14 days.
- Thorough cleaning of premises.
Police inspections and fines
- From time to time the police inspect churches to ensure that they are complying with the regulations. If we are inspected, all members are to comply with the instructions of the police. The leaders (pastors and deacons) present should be informed immediately to work with the police.
- The church is responsible for applying Covid regulations to our activities. If there is a systematic breach, the church will be responsible for paying the penalty (eg fines or other restrictions).
- If the police deem that an individual has breached the regulations (especially the Covid regulations stipulated by the church), that individual will be responsible for their transgression and liable to pay the fine personally. The church will not be responsible for paying the fines for individuals who breach the regulations.