On November 30, 2021 Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new health orders for worship services. As a result, Bishop John Stephens has issued new policies for the Diocese of New Westminster.
To comply with these new rules, the Dean and Wardens & Trustees put in place the following policies at the Cathedral, effective immediately:
Bishop Stephens has stated Parishes may choose whether they will ask to see a vaccine passport for those attending worship OR if they will plan for a reduction in the capacity of the church to 50%.
At the Cathedral this will mean:
Anyone over the age of 12 attending a worship service must show proof of being fully vaccinated. Greeters and staff will ask for proof of vaccination as you enter the building. This applies to all worship services taking place at the Cathedral.
-There will be one Christmas Day service (8 AM December 25th) for which proof of vaccination will not be required. Further details about that service are available below.
-Masks must be worn at all times while you are in the Cathedral building.
-Choirs will need to remain masked while singing. Soloists and readers may remove their masks while carrying out their role.
Anyone over the age of 12 attending a non-worship gathering or event at the Cathedral must show proof of full vaccination. This applies to events organized by parish ministry groups and external user groups.
STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
The Diocese of New Westminster is requiring all clergy, lay staff and volunteers in the diocese to be fully vaccinated by December 31. An appeal process will be available through the diocese. Any exemptions will be given on a case by case basis.
The Cathedral will be collecting proof of vaccination from staff and volunteers. Cathedral staff will be in contact with ministry groups in the days ahead to discuss how this information will be collected.
ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS
These new regulations come at the start of Advent and will be in place through Christmas - and beyond. Coming together for worship as a community is an important way of grounding ourselves in our faith, nourishing our souls with the Word of God, and carrying that into the wider world. It is especially significant during Advent and Christmas. Cathedral clergy and staff recognize these new measures may make the season especially difficult for some people.
This is a community that strives to be the city’s Cathedral and a spiritual home for all who seek to deepen their relationship with God. The decision to require proof of vaccination for worship was a difficult one. The Dean and Trustees felt it was necessary to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all who consider the Cathedral their spiritual home.
To honour the Cathedral’s motto “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds” and ensure that all who seek Christ can celebrate Christmas Day in prayer, proof of vaccination will not be required for the 8am Eucharist on Christmas day. However, attendance will be capped at 50 percent capacity. Further details on how to take part in this service will be released in the days ahead.
Even with safety measures in place, many people may not feel ready to attend a worship service in person. Others may not be able to do so. The Cathedral will continue to live stream the Sunday 10:30am Choral Eucharist. The Cathedral will also live stream Christmas Eve and Christmas day liturgies. Several of the Cathedral’s Advent formation offerings and gatherings will be offered in a hybrid format. You may choose to take part in-person or on-line. A full list of the services and programs available on-line are available here.
FROM THE DEAN
Reflecting on these new regulations and policies Dean Christopher A. Pappas said, “We find ourselves in challenging times and are balancing our desire for using science to maximize the safety of worshippers with providing access for all people. There is no one-size fits all solution, and vaccines are not perfect but we feel that requiring vaccines and also masking we maximize the safety of teh most vulnerable in our population and still allow people to attend worship. We feel that especially at Christmas, there needs to be an option for a reduced capacity worship that will allow those who are reluctant to reveal their vaccine status to worship in person and finally, by continuing to invest in hybrid and on-line technology we can provide an access point for all. We understand that all people will not necessarily agree with our decision but are confident that we are using evidence-based data in a compassionate way to provide a safe option for worship to all.”
If you have questions about the new safety measures, or wish to have a pastoral conversation, please contact our Warden of Hospitality Jane Hope or Dean Christopher Pappas or a member of the pastoral team listed below.
Dean Christopher A. Pappas
604.682.3848 ext. 29
The Rev. Jonathan Pinkney
604.682.3848 ext. 30
The Rev. Melanie Calabrigo
The Rev. Armand Mercier
604-682-3848 ext. 35
Jane Hope - Warden for Hospitality