At Diocesan Council last Friday 5th November 2021, the issue of vaccine mandates was discussed.
Please find attached (click here) the Bishop’s Bulletin detailing the resolutions of Diocesan Synod in regard to Vaccine Mandates. In short:
- Proof of vaccination will not be required for attendance at worship or other church activities for Church members, BUT
- Proof of vaccination will be required for those ministering to vulnerable adults and children, and for those leading public worship
It was decided that due to the low risk of cross-infection at Anglican worship services, that public worship should continue after 17th December without requiring proof of vaccination. However a ministry unit can request me to authorise a restricted service, where everyone has to show proof of full-vaccination or proof that they cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds. I understand for example that there is a restricted service scheduled at the Cathedral on Christmas Eve at 7.30 pm, for the benefit of people in the Townsville region.
Whilst members of congregations have a low risk of infecting others, clergy and other ministers conducting services or pastoring to the elderly, children and other vulnerable persons pose a higher risk of infecting others. Consequently from 17th December 2021 clergy and other lay ministers will not be able to lead worship, visit aged care homes or hospitals, or provide pastoral care in person; unless they provide proof of full-vaccination.
The situation is still fluid, and will change depending on real world events and Government Health Directions.
In advance, I thank you for your cooperation. Please contact me if you any queries.
Yours in Christ
The Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph
Bishop of North Queensland
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