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In-person worship discontinued as services remain available online.

From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic we have sought to keep one another safe. In recent weeks the case number in Hamilton case numbers have continued to increase. For the last four days, the city has reported weekly cases per 100,000 in the 90s, with a reproduction value >1.0, and a positivity rate close to 4%.

It is vitally important that for everyone's safety we all follow the advice to remain home as much as possible, and when we are in public for essential reasons to wear a mask, keep a physical distance from others, and practice good hand hygiene. 

We continue to have confidence that the safety measures in place for the reopening of our churches have been effective, however, out of caution and as a witness to the wider community that now is a time to stay home for the love of our neighbours and in order to protect the most vulnerable in our community, the Bishop has suspended all permissions to re-open for in-person worship granted to parishes within the City of Hamilton in accordance with the Amber Stage of the ecclesiastical province’s re-opening framework. 

Effective tomorrow, the Bishop has issued new lockdown ministry guidelines for parishes within the City of Hamilton, which include:

  • Church buildings generally being closed to the public, except for the operation of licensed day care centres, where permitted by the Ministry of Education.
  • Occasional and time-limited access to church buildings being permitted only in limited circumstances.
    Pastoral care being provided primarily by remote means for all but essential visits and/or emergency care.
  • In-person worship is not being permitted, although small teams may gather for the production of online or other resources.
  • In addition, all weddings, funerals, and baptisms are to be postponed until further notice. In rare and exceptional circumstances, permission may be sought from one's regional archdeacon to conduct a pastoral office for which the extraordinary pastoral needs are such that postponing the service is not possible.

These measures will be in effect through the Christmas season and remain in effect until further notice. Clergy and wardens, especially those in Hamilton, are invited to be in touch with their regional archdeacon if they have questions related to these guidelines and their implementation.

We continue to closely monitor the situation as case numbers are trending upwards across the diocese. We will advise of any further changes to our ministry guidelines, providing as much notice as practically possible.