As part of step three of Ontario’s re-opening plan, places of worship are now allowed to have larger indoor gatherings, and Sunday marks the first day of Sunday service at St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston’s downtown core. The church’s interim dean, David Selzer, shared some safety measures in place during service.
“A lot of what we’ve been doing for all the steps — the masks, the hand sanitizing, physical distancing — has remained pretty much the same since April. it’s just that we have a lot more people,” said Selzer.
He also adds that there was a vaccination clinic run in the church for vulnerable communities, and a fog machine to clean the air after each service.
The Anglican church now allows up to 200 people, which is a significant leap from what was permitted in stage two, when places of worship were limited to 25 per cent capacity.
The dean says that although there are safety precautions, more milestones have to be reached for some to feel more comfortable in groups.
“What I’m looking forward to is more people being double vaccinated, and the number of cases going down,” Selzer said.
As for those who attend Sunday service on a regular basis, they are grateful to be able to worship in larger groups once again.
“It was wonderful, it was the first time being back in church in over a year, and to just to hear people singing … just the general communion of people, it was wonderful,” said Alga Palmer, a church attendee who comes from Ottawa.
“it is a fabulous feeling. I mean, it’s a gradual pace, we’re still getting used to this. I think, a short while ago, of course, we weren’t here at all,” said Paul Robertson, a local attendee.
This week’s service consisted of hymns, readings from the Bible, and prayers for the LGBTQ2S community, Indigenous and racialized communities whom the church believe face discrimination.