Churches choose to broadcast services

Very reverend Dr Tony Curtis. Photo: RNZ
Very reverend Dr Tony Curtis. Photo: RNZ
While church communities are eager to come together again to worship, church leaders in Dunedin are adopting a safety-first approach.

Dean of St Paul's Cathedral the Very Rev Dr Tony Curtis told The Star the church had returned to the ‘‘tried and tested’’ method of broadcasting recorded services during Covid-19 Alert Levels 4 and 3.

After looking over the new regulations for Alert Level 2, and in discussion with other cathedrals around the country, it was decided to continue with a pre-recorded service broadcast this coming Sunday.

In-person services would resume on Sunday, September 19.

‘‘It gives us another week to make sure everyone is safe and happy with following the regulations,’’ Dr Curtis said.

St Paul’s Cathedral would have to adjust its approach to accommodate the maximum gathering of 50 people, as Sunday services were usually larger.

‘‘We may have to spread out services, or hold them more often,’’ he said.

In the meantime, parish members were staying in touch via Zoom, and Sunday school and craft group meetings were also being held via Zoom.

‘‘We are really hoping that we will soon be back together under Alert Level 1, but we will continue to be sensible and safe.’’

Knox Church members were advised this week that the church council had decided there would be no face-to-face services this Sunday, September 12.

Online worship would continue, following the same pattern as in Alert Levels 4 and 3, minister the Rev Kerry Enright said.

The situation would be reviewed on a week-by-week basis and it was envisaged church services would resume while at Level 2.

“But we want to take a couple of weeks to identify and address risks, consult the congregation, look at options and plan ahead,” Dr Enright said.

He noted that “people may have heightened anxiety because of the nature of the Delta variant”.

This was likely to affect attendance, as several older members of the parish told The Star they would not go to church until Dunedin was back to Alert Level 1.

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