On Saturday 21 March the Anglican Church’s Pandemic Advisory Group sent a recommendation to all bishops and registrars to protect at risk parishioners and those over the age of 70 from the coronavirus by asking them to stay safe and not to gather at church services effective today.
The Pandemic Advisory Group sent out the following advice to Anglican leaders at 3pm on Saturday 21 March:
Following the Prime Minister’s declaration of a Level 2 situation at midday on Saturday 21 March, we request at-risk groups to remain at home, which includes those over 70 years and those with respiratory or other health conditions.
We recommend that you ask clergy who are holding services this weekend to meet people at the church door and if they are in these groups to pastorally ask them to return home, knowing they will be prayed for by those who do gather, even for a simple act of worship.
We also encourage all church offices to begin remote working protocols for anyone in these groups.
The Anglican Church encourages whānau to help care for and protect their kuia and koroua (elderly men and women), and anyone in their whānau who is at risk, by respecting the call for rāhui at this time. Please continue to check on your elderly whānau, to help meet their needs, and to uphold them all in prayer.
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All in-person Anglican worship services will cease after Sunday 22 March.
Live-streamed services are now being set up in a number of churches around the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and ways to connect with those events online will be available as soon as possible.
Churches livestreaming services and social events online are asked to contact the Anglican Taonga editor to enable the church to compile a provincial guide to online Anglican events.