Slideshow image
Yesterday we received some welcome news from our Bishop in response to Dr. Bonnie Henry's March 10th announcement. There will be some changes in the COVID protocols within our diocese.
In the Diocese of New Westminster effective immediately for worship services ONLY:
  • There are no longer any capacity limits for worship services in the diocese. This applies for vaccinated or unvaccinated people. This means that for worship only it is not mandatory to check vaccination records. 
  • Masks are no longer mandatory for worship. 
  • Distancing is no longer required. It is advised that you continue to encourage people to keep a distance between themselves, but it is not mandatory.
  • Offertory Plates. Once again, we may return to passing the Offertory Plates amongst the congregation prior to these gifts being presented for the Prayer Over the Gifts. 
  • Congregational and Choral Singing. Singing may take place without the wearing of masks. This applies for both the congregation and choirs.
Until April 8 proof of vaccination must be shown for:
  • Coffee or lunch after services. 
  • Bible Studies, Lent Series, Christian Formation events. 
  • Youth Groups. 
  • All other parish meetings and gatherings
The Warden's and Rev. Sharon have agreed that at St. Catherine's we will be easing into these slowly.
Beginning this Sunday (March 20th) we will be doing the following: 
- mask wearing is optional in all the spaces of the church building, including the Sanctuary
- we will continue to be respectful of each others need for distance
- we will no longer check vaccine passports for worship (but will need to do so for coffee time until April 8th) 
- A masked Eucharistic Administer will assist Rev. Sharon (also masked) in administering communion of one kind with sanitized hands.
- Offertory stations will continue to be in use.
In the Diocese of New Westminster effective April 8:
  • Proof of vaccination. This will not need to be shown for gatherings (social, Christian formation or other events) in the parish.
  • Communion in two kinds. Parishes are once again able to move to offer Communion in both kinds (the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine). This change may be a challenge for many people and for a number of parishes. The reintroduction will need to take place gradually with plenty of communication. You must plan for this and prepare people for the return of offering the chalice to communicants. Many will be anxious about it and clear communication will be helpful. Not all will want to participate in this. Appendix A, below, describes best practices, but to be clear, the common cup and the bread can once again be our practice for Communion. Intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) or small glasses for the consecrated wine are not practices of our diocese.
  • Sharing the Peace. We can return to sharing the peace as part of our liturgies. Again, this should be phased in, and it will be important to educate people on how to respect those who would prefer not to greet others with more than a nod or a bow. 
At St. Catherine's we continue to have conversation about how we might administer consecrated wine as part of communion following April 8th. 
Please be gentle with yourself and with each other as we transition. Some resources to assist us with our mask transition can be found below.
In Faith,
Rev. Sharon, Robb Watt, Linda Robertson, Chris Wensley.