The Omicron variant of the Covid 19 virus has highlighted the importance of continuing to be diligent about health and safety practices to mitigate the spread of Covid. The Cathedral’s leadership - the Dean, along with Trustees and Wardens - Has reviewed the Cathedral’s existing health and safety policies to determine if these measures need to be updated or reinforced. We will continue to pivot as necessary as we learn more about the severity and transmissibility of this new variant. Our foremost goal is to continue safeguarding the health and safety of everyone who calls this Cathedral home. This includes everyone who works, worships or attends events at the Cathedral.
As a result, some existing safety measures are being reinforced. Some extra steps are also being taken, out of an abundance of caution until further data is available.
What you need to know about attending worship services at the Cathedral:
-Masks must be worn at all times while you are in the building. You may only lift your mask to consume the communion wafer at your seat.
-All readers, preachers and presiders will keep their masks on at all times during worship services. Previously readers, preachers and presiders were able to remove their masks to read or speak as part of their roles.
-You are asked to sit on your own, or in your household/bubble group. Please leave space (two seats is recommended) between you and other congregants who are not in your bubble.
-The seating configuration in the nave will be adjusted slightly and every second row will be blocked off.
-The size of the choir has been reduced to 8 people. The choir will sing in the Chancel to allow for more physical distancing.
-Godly Play is temporarily on hold. Our goal is to be back together on February 6th. In the meantime, on Fridays, Lauren Odile Pinkney will provide a video that includes a story and a craft that can be done at home. If you do not already receive the children, youth, & families newsletter you can sign up here to receive it and the video.
-The children’s play area at the 10:30am service will not be available for the time being. You are asked to please keep your child/children with you during the service. This is also being done to help maintain safe physical distancing.
-The St. Brigid’s 5:30pm service will move to Zoom for the month of January. During this time it will be a service of Evening Prayer. The 10:30am Eucharist service will continue to be live streamed. For those who will be shifting to on-line worship at this time, but want a more interactive on-line experience, you are invited to try out the St. Brigid’s Zoom service. Click here at 5:30pm on Sundays to take part. You may contact the Rev. Clare Morgan for more information.
-The Maundy Cafe will continue to serve meals to-go from the Burrard St. Plaza. Group lunches for volunteers will be suspended until further notice. The introduction of indoor activities is currently on hold and will be reviewed as public health data changes.
-Effective Thursday January 6, 2022 the upper level will only be open for worship services. Specifically the upper level will be open for the 7:30am Eucharist on Thursday mornings. The Wednesday 12:15pm Eucharist will not take place at this time. This schedule will remain in place until Ash Wednesday.
All of these measures will be in place throughout the month of January, unless otherwise noted. Cathedral clergy and Trustees are continuously monitoring the provincial public health recommendations. Modifications to Cathedral safety protocols will be made as necessary and we will continue to keep the parish community informed.
What has not changed:
-In order to attend any worship service at the Cathedral you must show proof of being fully vaccinated. This includes the Wednesday midday Eucharist, Thursday morning Eucharist and Tuesday evening Contemplative Prayer.
-All clergy, lay staff and volunteers must be fully vaccinated in order to remain in their roles.
-The lower level of the Cathedral is closed to the public at this time.
-If you were planning to attend a worship service in person but feel at all unwell, you are asked to stay home and take part on-line instead.
-All non-worship gatherings are suspended until further notice. This includes in-person coffee hours and similar gatherings after worship services. Fellowship after services is an important hallmark of the Cathedral community and an important way to stay connected to the community. You are invited to take part in the Virtual Coffee Hour after the 10:30am livestream service. Click here to join in on Sundays after the 10:30 a.m. service.