May 15, 2020
To all members of the diocese of Islands and Inlets
On May 13, Dr Bonnie Henry announced that faith communities could begin to gather again for worship in the near future. In so doing, she emphasized the need for strict adherence to current and future public health orders.
It is important to note that she was addressing a broad range of faith traditions who gather in diverse ways. Anglican liturgical practice poses unique challenges related to such things as movement, touch (of people and surfaces), length of exposure to recirculating air, congregational singing, and so on. Further, many active Anglicans—including our clergy and staff—are vulnerable to the coronavirus by reason of age or underlying health conditions.
The health and safety of all concerned is our priority.
Therefore, in this diocese, we will continue to keep our churches closed for a while yet. This includes gathering for worship, and for other ministry activities.
Meanwhile, our synod office staff is researching best practices, and next week we will provide diocesan guidelines for a safe reopening of our churches and ministries. We hope also to provide a target date by which all of us can meet the necessary requirements, so that we can move forward on a similar timeline. Thank you for all that you are doing to breathe life into our shared ministry.
(The Very Reverend) M. Ansley Tucker
dean of Columbia and diocesan administrator