An Open Letter to the Hon Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

To the Respectable Church Leaders in Victoria,

Blessings to you.

I am sure many of you will feel disappointed that churches have not been treated equitably in the “roadmap” out of lockdown. The disparity between religious gatherings and hospitality venues is clear.

In response to this discrepancy, the Australia Christian Lobby is initiating an Open Letter to the Premier asking that churches at least be afforded fairness as the State opens up, especially considering the important role they have in Victoria.

This is an important moment for church leaders to unite to make a stand for freedom and faith. The joint effort of 295 church pastors and over 10,000 people of faith calling on the Premier to allow churches to open is to be applauded, but their message has so far fallen on deaf ears. It is so important, therefore, to keep up the pressure until we see people of faith allowed back in church to worship and serve God.

Therefore, I am inviting you to sign this letter as the Church Leaders in Victoria, representing the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, to form a concerted voice to call on Premier Daniel Andrews to respond to our request.

Let’s make it at least 1,000 signatures to ensure it gets noticed!

Jasmine Yuen
Acting Director, Victoria
Australian Christian Lobby

November 2020

The Hon Daniel Andrews
Premier of Victoria
1 Treasury Place
East Melbourne VIC 3002

Dear Premier,

RE: Equitable Treatment for Churches

As church leaders representing the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, we are writing to express our concern that churches be treated equitably in the “roadmap” out of lockdown.

Churches in regional Victoria must meet outdoors in groups up to 20, whilst people can wine and dine indoors in pubs and restaurants, without masks, in groups of 40, or outdoors in groups of 70.

This unfair treatment will be extended to Melbourne from midnight on November 1.

Churches have been working patiently and cooperatively with the government, complying with all COVID-Safe measures and the DHHS guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic. We are used to managing compliance issues across a range of fields, from food hygiene to emergency management and child safety.

With spacious buildings, COVID-Safe plans, and time limited services, our churches are safer places for people to gather than many other venues.

Therefore, we cordially urge you…

  1. To allow churches to open for indoor church services;
  2. To give churches equal and fair treatment in each of the subsequent steps in the “roadmap” out of lockdown.

We do not so much make this request for ourselves as for the communities we serve. Many are lonely, isolated, facing mental health challenges, and aware of their need for spiritual nourishment. With a spike in health issues around these matters and more, we feel a special urgency to safely open our churches.

As Premier, you are continually in our prayers, and we look forward to your early response to work out a safe and fair solution for churches and the faith communities they serve at this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

The undersigned church leaders in Victoria

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