As Christians prepare to celebrate Easter Sunday, church leaders have reminded the faithful that some COVID-19 restrictions still apply.
After most public Easter worship was cancelled in 2020, believers can at least congregate this year.
Senior pastor at Bundaberg Baptist Church, Richard Cathie, said worshippers could gather but had to wear masks.
“I just want to encourage you, plan to come out to worship … and bring a mask,” he said.
In a message to parishioners, Catholic Bishop Michael McCarthy said masks have to be worn in all indoor spaces, including churches, until noon on Thursday, April 15.
“Churches are required to maintain the two-square metre rule and social distancing of 1.5m (choirs especially),” Bishop McCarthy said.
“You may, however, have 100 per cent capacity if your church is properly ticketed or has allocated seating (not just contact tracing records).
“I note that for hospitals and nursing homes, only end-of-life visitors will be allowed.”
Bishop McCarthy said churches should display clear signs at entry, advising that masks must be worn and the capacity of the building.
“With best wishes for a happy Easter. I pray you and your people all remain safe,” he said.
The Anglican Parish of Bundaberg has a COVID-safe plan which includes:
- No physical greetings or exchanges such us handshakes or hugs, including sharing of the Peace;
- Washing hands and maintaining good hygiene practices;
- Registering in advance to attend a service.
SurfChurch Bargara is holding a special Sunrise Easter Service outdoors at Nielson Park Beach, starting 5am on Sunday, April 4.
Worshippers are asked to bring a torch, chair and rug or towel as the service will begin before dawn.
St John's Lutheran Church has reminded Easter worship participants that face masks are mandatory, also unfortunately the Easter Sunday service at Gracehaven is unable to go ahead due to COVID restrictions.
Bundaberg Uniting Church is live streaming services for those who can't attend, also Bundaberg Baptist Church, which will start the Easter Sunday service at 9am, and Bundaberg Church of Christ from 9am.
“Tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Come and hear ‘The Hope of Easter' at our special 9am service in the hall,” Bundaberg Church of Christ said on Facebook.
“If you can't join us in person you can join us online here: https://youtu.be/yBETPRUQf8Y.”
Heritage Christian Centre at 58 Woondooma St, Bundaberg, said people intending Easter worship should register here.
“The Queensland mask mandate applies. Please ensure to wear your mask,” they said.
Citicoast Church on Elliott Heads Road confirmed that worship, prayer and Communion was still going ahead.
“Due to the updated restrictions, we are required to wear a mask for two weeks. Let’s make it a night and gather in one accord,” they said on Facebook.
“Giving our worship to him who died and rose again for us. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to pm us and we’ll get back to you. Be Blessed!”
For information about current COVID-19 restrictions, visit the Queensland Health website.
- Other news: SurfChurch Bargara Stoked program flourishes