COVID-19 Safety Plan 17th July 2020
We’ve developed this COVID-19 Safety Plan, recommended by the NSW Government to help maintain a safe environment for all St Swithun’s staff, congregants and visitors. A PDF Version is available to download at the bottom of the page.

Business Name: St Swithun's Anglican Church Pymble

Plan Completed by: COVID-19 Safe Advisory Group

Approved by Wardens: Ross Millar, Robin Hall, Bruce Kinghorn

Date: 17 July 2020 

Wellbeing of Staff & Congregants

Exclude staff and congregants who are unwell from the premises.

1. Signs to be displayed at the entrance to any venue to be used.

“DO NOT ENTER if you are feeling unwell or if you, or anyone in your household, have any of the following:

      • A temperature over 37.5 degrees celcius
      • Cough
      • Sore throat
      • Any respiratory symptoms o Loss of taste or smell
      • Have had contact with any person with COVID-19 in the preceding 2 weeks

Persons over 70 years of age, or who are immunocompromised, are warned they are at particular risk.
Any person who has any of the above symptoms / signs are advised to have COVID-19 testing & then self-isolate until a negative COVID-19 test is recorded.


2. All persons entering these premises are required to register contact details, have their temperature recorded and to hand sanitise.

Provide staff with information and training on COVID-19, including when to get tested, physical distancing and cleaning.

1. Provided in policy document approved by Parish Council in May 2020 – to be circulated to all staff.

Make staff aware of their leave entitlements if they are sick or required to self-isolate.

  • Any staff member required to self-isolate pending test results should continue working at home if well enough to do so.

  • Any staff member actually infected with COVID-19 may work from home without taking sick leave if well enough to do so.

  • Sick leave will be granted to any staff member who is too sick to work; consideration will be given to an extended period of sick leave in the case of a COVID-19 infection if this is supported by medical certificate(s).

Display conditions of entry (website, social media, venue entry).

1. Venue entry as above.

2. On all social media and website, notices to state:

      • A temperature over 37.5 degrees celcius
      • Cough
      • Sore throat
      • Any respiratory symptoms o Loss of taste or smell
      • Have had contact with any person with COVID-19 in the preceding 2 weeks

Persons over 70 years of age, or who are immunocompromised,
are warned they are at particular risk.


Physical Distancing

Ensure COVID-19 Safety Plans are in place for external parties
using the Church premises.

  • All external parties must have their own COVID-19 Safety Plan.
    This Plan to be approved by the Wardens before external parties use the Church / PACE premises.

  • Commercial cleaners will be engaged and the external party will be charged $150.

  • External parties to be provided with number of people allowed in venue to be used.


Capacity must not exceed 4 sqm per person in all services / gatherings, including weddings in the Church and on the PACE Centre.

  • Ushers / vergers are to be at the point of entry to record attendance, direct seating and, when capacity reached, are to direct persons to overflow areas, if available.

  • Ushers / vergers are to ensure that the 4 sqm per person capacity rule is adhered to.

  • Each service / event is to have one person nominated as having overall responsibility for adherence to this Safety Plan.

  • Measuring sticks of 1.5m to be available should they be required by the ushers / vergers.


For funerals or memorial services, the 4 sqm rule must apply.

  • The Funeral Director to be responsible to the Minister to supervise the 4 sqm capacity and to ensure the 1.5m distancing rule is adhered to.

  • The Funeral Director must maintain a contact register of all persons attending, including contact details and temperature on entry, and provide a copy of the register to the Office.

  • The Funeral Director must supply a copy of their COVID-19 Safety Plan.

  • Funerals or weddings should not be scheduled within three hours of any following service or event in the Church building.

  • Commercial cleaners will be engaged and the Funeral Director will be charged $150.


Signage to communicate the maximum safe capacity.

Signage showing the maximum safe capacity to be prepared and posted at entry to each venue and advise the 1.5m distancing requirement.


Move or remove tables and seating as required.

This to be done by the responsible person for each gathering / event.


Reduce crowding wherever possible and promote physical distancing.

  • Limits on numbers, signs at entry to encourage distancing.

  • Signs on pews to indicate 1.5m distancing in all directions but flexibility needed to allow household members to sit together.

  • Vergers / ushers to supervise.


Where reasonably practical, ensure staff maintain 1.5m physical distancing at all times.

  • Office and workspaces have been configured appropriately.

  • Staff aware to maintain 1.5m distancing.


Use telephone or video for essential meetings where practical.

  • Currently happening using Zoom.

  • Any face-to-face meetings properly distanced.


Review regular deliveries and request contactless delivery and invoicing where practical.

  • Office Administrator to coordinate with suppliers. Sign to be posted at PACE entry.


Have strategies in place to manage gatherings that may occur immediately outside the premises.

Ushers / vergers to ensure social distancing is maintained.


Choirs, bands, soloists and speakers

  • No choir singing at services or rehearsals, no congregational singing.

  • Humming allowed, closed mouth during services.

  • Any solo singer must have a minimum of 3m distancing from any other person.

  • Speakers and singers should use distance mics or non-shared individual microphones, and sanitise these between uses as practical.


Hygiene & Cleaning

Adopt good hand hygiene practices.

  • Sanitiser stations at entry to all Church and PACE Centre venues.

  • Notices to advise the use of sanitisers on entry and when leaving.

  • Personal sanitisers are recommended for all people.


Ensure bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels.

  • Maintain current practice.

  • Display a sign in each toilet area requesting that the lid of the toilet be closed before flushing PLEASE CLOSE THE TOILET LID & THEN FLUSH


Consider modifying communion practices.

  • Communion elements must be prepared after washing hands. Gloves and masks to be worn.

  • No common cup to be used.

  • Disposable cups for the bread and the wine to be used.

  • Disposal of cups lined bins to be provided nearby.


Avoid sharing books or other shared objects.

  • Bibles, hymn books, pencils, cushions all have been removed from the Church.

  • Personal bibles & personal sanitisers encouraged.



  • Natural ventilation to be used after or between services for 1.5 hours.


Clean frequently used areas including children’s play areas, before and after use, with detergent or appropriate disinfectant. Clean frequently touched areas and surfaces several times each day.

  • All touched areas and furniture to be cleaned with appropriate disinfectant before and following each service / meeting.

  • The vergers / ushers to be responsible.


Disinfectant solutions need to be maintained at appropriate strength and used in accordance withmanufacturer’s instructions.

  • Appropriate supplies to be purchased and made available for use.

  • Surfaces are to be cleaned with an appropriate disinfectant which the manufacturer claims antiviral activity (chlorine- based or hospital grade disinfectants, or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol (e.g. methylated spirits).


Staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and to wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.

  • Instructions to be issued.


Food and drink

  • Food and drink to be provided only in accordance with separate policy, as attached.


Record Keeping

Keep a record of name and contact details for all volunteers, visitors and contractors for a period of at least 28 days. Ensure records are used only for the purposes of tracing COVID-19 infections and are stored confidentially and securely.

  • Entry to PACE Centre via single door only contact details and body temperature checked and recorded.

  • Register at entry to Church premises to be supervised by the ushers / vergers showing contact details for every person and body temperature checked. Register to be given to Office Administrator.

  • Entry to the Church via single door only.


Make your staff aware of the COVIDSafe app and its benefits to support contact tracing if required.

  • Encourage all staff and Church members to have the COVIDSafe app and keep it active.

  • COVID protocols approved by Parish Council to be circulated to staff.


COVID-19 Safety Plan Food & Drink Service

The following conditions apply to the provision of food and drink:

  1. Services. No refreshments either food or drink are to be provided at any services, including Family Church and Night Church. Attendees may bring their own drink bottles if desired, but these must not be shared.

  2. Funerals,weddings,etc.Refreshmentsfollowingeventssuchasfuneralsorweddings may only be provided by professional caterers specifically engaged for that event. Any caterers must have their own COVID-19 Safety Plan and must submit that plan to the Wardens in advance for review.

  3. Staff morning teas, etc. These may proceed as usual; caution and distancing are encouraged, with minimal sharing of plates and food.

  4. Outreach Events (Youth, Mainly Music, etc). Attendees are to bring their own food if desired, individually wrapped and food is not to be shared. Tea and coffee are to be centrally dispensed into disposable cups, by no more than two people, each wearing gloves.

  5. Parishioner Events (morning teas, social gatherings, etc) at the PACE Centre. Rules as for Outreach Events.

If desired, caterers may be engaged for outreach or parishioner events, again with the caterers to supply a copy of their Safety Plan in advance for review.

Any variations or extensions need to be agreed with the Wardens in advance.