The Victorian Christian community welcomes the Premier’s announcement easing restrictions for churches. For the first time in more than 6 months, Christians can begin to return to worship services in metropolitan and regional Victoria.Read more
Churches are not being treated fairly in Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown.
In regional Victoria, churches 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 and illogical treatment will be extended to Melbourne from midnight on 1 November.
It is despite nearly 300 church leaders and 10,000 Victorians asking the Premier for equal consideration.
It is despite churches being model citizens in recent months, working patiently and cooperatively with the government, complying with all COVID-Safe measures and the DHHS guidelines.
We know how many are struggling after prolonged isolation with loneliness and mental health issues. We know many need spiritual nourishment and fellowship. We also know that God’s interest ought to be first in line. We don’t ask this for ourselves so much as for God and our neighbours.
Another, stronger outpouring of concern is needed on this important matter.
Therefore, I’m encouraging you to take action today.
Please sign the petition to urge Premier Daniel Andrews to treat churches fairly, allowing churches to open for indoor worship in parity with the hospitality sectors.
Please read the letter below and sign. You'll notice that we've asked for your address. This is to validate you're a Victorian so that your voice counts!
The Hon Daniel Andrews
Premier of Victoria
1 Treasury Place
Melbourne VIC 3002
Dear Premier Daniel Andrews,
As people of faith from 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 1 November.
With our support, our 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.
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 make this request on behalf of our wider communities. Many of us are lonely, isolated, facing mental health challenges, and aware of our 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 for the good of Victorians.
As Premier, you are continually in our prayers, and we look forward to your plan to work out a safe and fair solution for people of faith and the communities they serve at this challenging time.
The following opinion piece was published in 'The West Australian' on 25/6/20:
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