More can go to church at Christmas

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Jackson BarrettBunbury Herald
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Bel Canto Singers during a performance at St Augustines Uniting Church Bunbury.
Camera IconBel Canto Singers during a performance at St Augustines Uniting Church Bunbury. Credit: Supllied/Supplied

Places of worship have received some timely news, with new State Government exemptions meaning more South West churchgoers will be able to attend Christmas services.

Churches, mosques and temples across the State were previously subject to the 2sqm rule but will now be exempt, coming into line with over venues such as stadiums and theatres in being allowed a 60 per cent capacity.

The news comes as many people prepare to attend Christmas and Christmas Eve services around the region.

St Augustine’s Church Bunbury’s Reverend Greg Ross said the church’s two Christmas services were its biggest of the year and the new exemptions would allow more people to attend.

“It will allow more people to come, our licence capacity is 275 people in our building so we will be allowed the 60 per cent of that rather than less than 50 per cent,” he said.

“We will still keep doing the live-streaming we have been doing, because there are still between 50 and 100 households every week that are still accessing that.

“Christmas Eve is our family service and we have a band and all that kind of stuff.

“Christmas morning is the more traditional carols and things.”

The decision was made on the back of advice given by the State’s chief health officer, with Health Minister Roger Cook saying moves like this were to be made with caution.

“Given nearly all COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, WA is highly susceptible to a major outbreak so it is vital we keep up the hygiene and COVID-safe practices,” he said.

Rev. Ross said his church had put all possible measures in place to ensure church attendees remained safe.

“We have a dedicated team of people and on every roster we also have a trained hygiene officer,” he said.

“People have adapted to it pretty well and are getting used to caring for each other in that kind of way.”

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