Re-opening guidelines

event_note July 15, 2020

In June, Salal + Cedar was cleared to re-open for worship gatherings in person. Here are the specifics of our application to the Diocese of New Westminster.


Have you reviewed the following documents, and considered how this guidance may impact your plan to re-open to in-person worship and other gatherings?

“The Re-Opening of Churches in the Diocese of New Westminster” (the full document to which this questionnaire is attached) (the “Re-Opening Plan”)


BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidance for Faith Organizations (link here


Parish Authorization and Approval

Have the “Responsible Persons” of your Parish (as defined in the Canons of the Diocese) reviewed and approved your proposal to initiate this plan. (For incorporated parishes: Priest-in-Charge, Church Wardens, and Trustees; for non-incorporated Parishes, Priest-in-Charge and Church Wardens. In addition, it may be appropriate to consult with your parish’s Parish Council.)


Please list the names of the “Responsible Persons” who have reviewed and approved your plan.

Priest In Charge: Laurel Dykstra

Wardens: Lini Hutchings, Caitlin Beck

Date for Re-opening

On which date are you applying to re-open?  Saturday, June 27

Preparing the Church Building for Re-entry

What (specifics) will you do to prepare the church building for re-entry at Phase II and wider use at Phase III? Who will do this work?    Not Applicable 

Sunday Worship

What is your Sunday worship plan for Phases II and III? What form(s) of worship and how many Sunday worship services do you intend to offer (in-person or online) for Phases II and III?

We worship most often on Saturday afternoons. During Phase II we plan to meet for in person outdoor worship no more than twice a month in locations where there will not be casual passers by. In Phase III we plan to meet in person for outdoor worship in low-traffic public locations no more than three times a month. At our outdoor worship will make use of technology to include those who are not physically present. The weeks that we do not meet in person we will gather online.

We will take a no-contact record (photo if people consent) of those who attend each service as a means of documenting attendance for future contact tracing.

How many people can your worship space or the space(s) where you intend to hold worship accommodate while complying with the requirements set out in the Re-Opening Plan, in households sitting two metres apart in all directions? (Must be no more than 50, including clergy or laity serving). Worshipping outdoors means that space is not a limiting factor, however our gatherings are usually fewer than 10 and almost never exceed 20 persons.

Will it be necessary to modify where you worship, the position of furniture in the worship space or the way the space is marked to assist those attending in maintaining social distancing? If so, how? No

How will you undertake training with your Greeters and what will you train them to do? We do not have designated greeters, training and communication for all members will include instructions regarding
principles: harm reduction, informed consent, risk assessment, prioritizing vulnerable members
and practices: distancing, sanitizing, congregating and the use of masks.
These protocols will be communicated through our newsletter, facebook page and website. Relevant information will be reiterated verbally at the beginning of each gathering and persons in leadership will model best practices. An experienced community member will be identified at each gathering to engage with and establish physical distancing bounderies in the event that we are approached by any passers by. 

What is your music plan for worship during Phases II and III?

We will not resume congregational singing until Phase IV. In Phases II and III music may included recordings, (non-woodwind/brass) instrumental music, a distanced soloist facing away from the gathered community. 

How will you ensure cleanliness and sanitization in regard to the following items and spaces?

Worship leaflets/bulletinPrayer Books, Hymn Books (if used)Physical items such as pews, the altar, pulpit, lectern, kneelers, communion rail.


Other common spaces or high-touch areas

We will provide sanitizer at all in person events. We will not share phones or pass books or paper for readings. Any worship content involving written material will be provided electronically before the services and readers can bring their own device, print copy or bible. Wearing masks will be encouraged and modeled. During Phase II those attending outdoor worship will be asked to arrive independently, during Phase III limited carpooling can occur between households who have intentionally added each other to their “bubble.” Locations will be chosen with a view to making it feasible for people to get there by the safest means possible.

How and who will you sanitize worship and other spaces between any worship services?
Not applicable 

Other Forms of Worship or Prayer

What other forms of worship or prayer do you intend to offer in Phase II and III (weekday in-person worship or online worship)? How will you provide for physical distancing in any in-person weekday worship? 

We will resume monthly contemplative walks for healthy/low risk members in Phase II when coordinators feel safe to do so. Participants will observe 2m distance from others and be encouraged to wear a mask. Sanitizer will be available.

Office Building Use

What is your plan for those working in the Church Office during Phases II and III?

Not Applicable

What is your plan for meetings of Parish Council and other parish working groups during Phases II and III?

We will continue to meet via Zoom

What are you doing or will you be doing in Phases II and III to support financial giving to your operating fund or towards special needs?

Giving during or connected to worship has not been a part of our model so we are not currently seeing diminished income (although we expect to in the future). With less frequent program activity and community engagement our spending is reduced. Our very small operating budget and experiments in economic alternatives and mutual aid make us ready and responsive. We are monitoring our bottom-line and will begin our planned online fundraiser earlier than planned if needed.


Phase III – Introducing in-person Holy Eucharist
What is your plan for introducing and managing Holy Eucharist (should you choose to do so in Phase III), paying particular attention to sanitization and physical distancing?

We do not plan to reintroduce Eucharist until Phase IV. 

Phase III – User Groups and Rentals
What is your plan in Phase III for re-opening the building to any user groups? 

Not Applicable

What is your plan in Phase III for re-opening the building to rentals?

Not Applicable

Phase III – Formation, Fellowship and Pastoral Care

What is your plan for any in-person formation activities/offerings for adults?
We will continue our monthly bible study online.
We will begin our Action for Climate Justice training online over the summer and review protocols for distanced indoor training in the fall.
Any other offerings will take place outdoors with social distancing and sanitizing protocols in place and masks encouraged

What is your plan for any in-person formation activities/offerings for children or youth?

If our Canada Summer Jobs employee feels comfortable doing so and families of youth permit it we will have socially distant in person gatherings for youth out of doors.

What is your plan for hosting in-person fellowship?

Any in-person fellowship would happen out of doors, socially distant, masks encouraged, sanitization protocol observed, and if food is consumed people will bring their own.How will you be handling any in-person pastoral care in Phase III?

Pastoral care meetings will happen out of doors, socially distant, masks encouraged and sanitization protocol observed. 

Service and Outreach

What is your plan to support existing or re-open outreach programs in Phases II and III? Have you completed and submitted the appropriate material for approval to the Synod Office? 

We do not have outreach programs or service as such but have been actively involved in a variety of community organizing an events. During Phase II, healthy and willing individuals may wish to resume some of these activities as private individuals. During Phase III carefully considered outdoor events with appropriate protocols may be added promoted through our community networks. Collective participation in community events will not resume until Phase IV with appropriate protocols in place as per diocesan recommendations. We would exercise particular caution regarding indoor events. 

For food ministry programs, have you completed and submitted the appropriate forms for approval to the Synod Office? (Please see here)

If someone who has attended in-person worship at your Parish contracts COVID-19, how will you communicate with your congregation and members who may have come into contact with that individual, while remembering privacy and pastoral care?

Priest or wardens will inform those people who attended the event(s) in question  that they have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with C-19. Contact will be made by phone or e-mail depending on preference of individual. Each person contacted will receive the most up to date provincial info on what to do if you have been exposed. This contact will be followed by a pastoral check-in to see if additional supports are needed, and to ensure that if they are diagnosed further contacts can be made.

What practical support do you need from your Regional Archdeacon or from the Synod Office to help with the implementation of these plans?