The Church of the Holy Trinity decided not to re-open to in-person worship on June 14, 2020, although this was allowed by the Diocese. However, the Diocese did stress that the decision to re-open was to be made by each church.
The Diocese of New Westminster published a Four-Phase Pandemic Guideline for parishes detailing required safeguards and precautions during those Phases. As the safety of all our parishioners is our top priority, especially given the age range of our congregants and the commensurate vulnerability, being cautious in re-opening seems best.
As a Church, we have just commenced the final two steps of Phase 1 with online Service of the Word and online Eucharist, with the latter commencing on June 14, 2020. We do not plan to enter Phase 2 until we have maintained Phase 1 for a few weeks.
We are worshiping as such until we have feedback from the Diocese on how other Parishes are managing in-person worship safely since they re-opened on June 14th. We are also keeping abreast of BC Public Health monitoring and management outcomes. Dr Bonnie Henry is reporting (June 23, 2020) that the virus was well managed at 30% social exposure. In the past two weeks since relaxing restriction, social exposure has risen to 65% and cases are growing again. This level of risk needs to be monitored for a few more weeks to ascertain when it is proven to be safe to expose our demographic to indoor gathering in numbers.
The Clergy and Wardens are currently preparing a plan for the reopening of the Church of the Holy Trinity as we approach a time of greater safety. Protocols are being reviewed with the Diocese to prepare for a safe place of worship for all our parishioners. More information will be provided as we prepare to move to Phase 2.
Updated July 25th 2020