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Aotearoa NZ is now using the Covid-19 Protection Framework or “Traffic Light System”. No doubt you will be coming to terms with what this means for many aspects of your life. The following breaks down how things will play out at Taranaki Cathedral.
Before we start though, we want to be clear that we support your individual right to choose. Unvaccinated people are still very welcome to be part of our parish. However, because of the nature of the COVID-19 virus and in order to protect all our parishioners – the vaccinated and unvaccinated – we will be using the Vaccine Pass system for in-person gatherings at Taranaki Cathedral.
In-Person Worship from Sunday December 12th
We will be implementing a new system that will enable in-person services to continue to go ahead at all colours of the traffic light. This means that to attend Sunday morning worship from December 12th onwards you will need to:
- Show your Vaccine Pass to attend in-person services.
- Record your visit (via your tracer app or the usual sign-in sheet).
- Practice Social Distancing
- Follow all usual Public Health advice (frequent handwashing/sanitising, staying home if unwell etc)
- We strongly encourage you to continue wearing your mask.
We acknowledge there will be mixed reactions to this information. For some, it will elicit a sense of relief, for others sadness and frustration. These are difficult times, no system or plan is perfect — but we are doing our best, with the information at hand, to be sensible, protect the vulnerable and work for the common good. If you do have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Dean Jay or Revd Dan.
Grace and peace,
Jay, Dan, and The Taranaki Cathedral Team
When Does the Traffic Light System start? At 11:59pm on Thursday 2nd December (effectively Friday 3rd December) Taranaki will move to “Orange” in the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.
Why are we choosing to be part of the Vaccine Pass system? Diocesan guidelines (read them HERE) mean that moving forward anyone who comes to any Taranaki Cathedral/Mere Tapu event (including services) will need to show their Vaccine Pass. The Vaccine Pass system has many benefits including:
- It protects both vaccinated and unvaccinated members of our community.
- It means that during “Green” and “Orange” times we do not have any gathering size limits and can reintroduce many beloved elements of worship including singing and hospitality.
So it’s a return to normal then? No. While running vaccinated events allows us significantly more freedom, we must remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect ourselves, our neighbours, and our community, particularly the vulnerable amongst us, e.g., the continued wearing of masks is strongly encouraged
Why isn’t Eucharist being offered? For the remainder of Advent we will continue with Services of the Word on Sunday mornings. The return of the Eucharist to our services is being discussed and considered. Please be patient while we work things through. As always, our decision is contingent on protecting the vulnerable, Government and Diocesan rules, and the unfolding situation on the ground
Can Cathedral and Parish groups run events with both vaccinated and unvaccinated people? We are thinking through how best to serve and meets the needs of our unvaccinated whanau.There is provision to run events outside the Vaccine Pass system. However, special permission needs to be obtained from the Diocese. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and begin the process.
How can I get a Vaccine Pass?
- Online at mycovidrecord.health.nz
- By calling 0800 222 478.
- At a pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccinations.
This is a lot! What does this all mean? Put simply, after this Sunday bring your Vaccine Pass (printed or an electronic copy) when you visit us. People will be at the door to check your pass and welcome you.
To finish it is worth reminding ourselves of the principles that having been guiding the diocese and ourselves as we try to navigate these times. They are:
- We are a family in God who are followers of Christ – our strength comes from our commitment to one another.
- We care for our neighbour, especially the most vulnerable.
- We express our gratitude to God for being able to gather when so many in the world cannot.
- We keep it simple. We begin with what we know we can manage, and gradually expand from there.
- We are kind, tolerant, and patient towards each other, especially people feeling particularly vulnerable or those who hold different views from you.