New Zealand bishops pause in-person worship as country enters lockdown

Posted Aug 20, 2021

[Anglican Taonga] Anglican churches and whare karakia across Aotearoa New Zealand will remain closed to in-person services this weekend as bishops up and down the country direct clergy to move worship online and undertake ministry via phone or other non-contact interactions. The country is entering its strictest level of lockdown due to its first report of a locally transmitted COVID-19 case since February.

Two significant in-person Anglican events scheduled for this week have already been postponed, including ‘The Abbey 2021: A house without walls’ youth leadership festival that was due to happen in Waikanae this weekend, and the Pākehā Deans’ conference that was due to take place in Otepōti Dunedin from Thursday-Sunday this week.

Bishop of Auckland Ross Bay encouraged his people to go back to virtual services this weekend and to plan for online worship again next week, as experience now proves that a slow reduction in alert levels is more likely than a quick return to the “almost normal” of Level 1.

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