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Dean Alex Meek and Bishop Stephen London, have communicated with clergy about changes to the diocesan COVID policy, based on provincial restrictions announced by the Alberta government Wednesday evening, September 15. Their message is as follows:  

As we have in the past, we will comply with the regulations set out by the government (see COVID-19 Public Health Actions and scroll down to Gathering Restrictions).

In accordance with the updated restrictions set in place, effective today, September 16, we will follow the mandatory restrictions listed below until further notice:

  • Capacity limited to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
  • Masks are mandatory.
  • 2 metres physical distancing between households, or 2 close contacts for those living alone.
  • All provincial guidelines for funerals and weddings must be followed.
  • Working from home for all clergy and staff, unless there is need to be in the office/church.   

We are not, at this time, moving back to online services only as a diocese, although we recognize there may be situations when this is a necessary decision. We have planned and tested safe gathering practices throughout the pandemic and can feel confident as we follow the restrictions listed above with these additional requirements in place:

  • Coffee hours and social food events must be suspended until further notice.
  • Children’s ministry must be carefully thought through. Masks and social distancing are required. Please remember that children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated.
  • Communion will continue in one-kind.  

Churches are not required to follow the restriction exemption program and we will not be instituting this program for worship services. However, if you would like to require proof of vaccination for volunteers working with others, you may do so.  

The Dean and Bishop-elect acknowledge the strain that clergy and parishes are under and want to encourage all, saying, “The work you are doing is extremely important. You are doing the work of the Gospel: you are proclaiming the Word of hope; you are being there for people in their vulnerable time and praying with them; you are advocating for people who need it, and you are a sign of God's grace and love in a troubled world. Thank you for what you do.”