A senior minister sitting in an evenly spaced circle in the foyer of a church when the usual 10am service would be starting on a Sunday may seem a little out of the ordinary.
But COVID-19 is causing everything to change.
At St Mark's Anglican Church in Wollongong on Sunday morning Rev Peter Hutchinson was gathered with a small group of only a few people who were contributing to the live streaming service.
"We are just starting now and I am quite surprised there are 75 family groups there already," he said.
"That probably represents around 200 people. We are keeping the music simple. Today it is simply a guitar and 10 of use sitting around sitting".
On Wednesday afternoon the Arch Bishop for the Diocese of Sydney advised all senior ministers that a decision had been made for "no more church service gatherings".
"It was quite a shock. I never thought the day would come when we would literally tell people not to come to church. I don't think this church has been empty at this time of day for over 50 years".
"We can still do bible study groups and things like that.
"And the guidelines we have been given for funerals and weddings is that we are only to have immediate family members. And that will also be quite a big change about the way we go about doing things".
Prior to the message from the Arch Bishop this week Rev Hutchinson had placed red dots on pews around the church suggesting where people could sit to keep a safe distance apart.
He said not doing the service inside the church was not terrible news.
It is what is necessary to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
"And we are interesting in seeing what God is going to do," he said.
"Our hearts really go out to people who are struggling with health, the medical professionals and people who are facing stresses in their work environment. As a church we have a role to care for people in practical ways.
"And if people want to grab a meal we are still serving free meals on Monday nights at 5pm. They are pre-packaged and we are going to do it as a take away".
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