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Statement regarding Government of Ontario’s stay-at-home order

Today’s announcement from the Province of Ontario does not directly affect the Diocese of Toronto’s Red Stage Guidelines, under which we all continue to operate. (In this slide deck from the provincial government, you will see that the maximum allowance for indoor and outdoor gatherings for places of worship remains at 10, and masks must be worn both outdoors and indoors when not alone.)

Having said that, the government’s “stay-at-home” order compels each of us to review our practices. For those parishes producing livestream or pre-recorded worship, we urge you to consider how you might further reduce the number of people gathering in our church buildings. Although we have permitted up to 10 participants for the provision of worship, we ask that you minimize that number as much as possible so that all of us can better abide by the “stay-at-home” order.

Apart from worship, church buildings and offices can be accessed only for urgent and essential purposes, and for short periods of time. As much as possible, all clergy and staff should be working from home. Important outreach and frontline ministries are to continue in the provision of their essential services, and workers may access our buildings for that purpose using our Outreach Guidelines.