Re-opening plans

Public worship will return to St. Olave’s Sunday, September 27 at 9:30 a.m. for a said service of Holy Communion. Online worship will continue.

Click here to read and download St. Olave’s Worship Guidelines and to watch our reopening video.

Our decisions and plans are subject to the regulations of both the Government of Ontario and the Diocese of Toronto and are being made with the health of our parishioners and staff in mind. We are working hard to ensure that we can safely open and be in full compliance with the rules set out for us. Everything is subject to change and, as we all know, the situation remains fluid. We must be prepared to make quick changes to our plans and adapt to new circumstances as they unfold.
 
While we share and recognize the desire of many to be together in our beautiful worship space again, and to receive Holy Communion at the Lord’s Table, we are also aware that some may not feel comfortable re-entering the building at this time. We also recognize that many people are enjoying the online services and wish to continue worshipping in this way until a greater sense of safety can be guaranteed.
 
The kind of public worship service we will be allowed to provide will be very different from the type of service to which we are accustomed. For example, there can be no congregational or choir singing and no coffee hour; only the Consecrated Bread will be offered to the congregation at Communion; clergy, lay readers, musicians, and the congregation must wear masks at all times, except only when consuming Communion; physical distancing must be strictly observed both in the seating arrangement and while entering and exiting through designated doors. In addition, all touched surfaces must be cleaned thoroughly after every service.

Considering all of the above, our plan for reopening can be summarized as follows:

  1. Our primary service will continue to be high quality, pre-recorded YouTube services every Sunday and on other special occasions throughout the fall. These services will continue to have organ music, anthems, congregational readers, sermons and hymns. Starting in September, these online services will reflect our regular pattern of Holy Communion (rather than Ante-Communion) on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays in which viewers will be encouraged to share in a spiritual communion and Morning Prayer on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. 
  2. On Sunday, September 27, we will begin offering a weekly public service of Holy Communion at 9:30 a.m. To conform to all the regulations prescribed for us, this will be a said service without singing but will include a short sermon and organ music. The reason we will only offer one service is because of the thorough cleaning of the church required after every service. This change to our usual pattern is temporary and we look forward to the day we can resume having two services each Sunday.
  3. The clergy will continue to livestream the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, Tuesday to Friday, on our Facebook page. You can also view it on our website here if you’re not on Facebook.
  4. Throughout the fall, we will continue to offer opportunities for learning and spiritual growth using online platforms such as Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.
  5. Corporation, Advisory Board and committee meetings will take place online using Zoom.

As with all things, we welcome your feedback and suggestions about our reopening plan and intend to send out a survey in the coming weeks. Please feel free to email any of the wardens with your ideas. Keep in mind, everything mentioned above will remain subject to change at all times, especially as the pandemic evolves and as restrictions are either increased or relaxed by the Government or the Diocese. It is our hope that one day soon we will be able to resume our normal schedule of services and events.

If you have any questions or pastoral needs please contact the Rector, Rev’d Rob Mitchell, at rector@stolaves.ca or 416-769-5686 ext. 1, or the Assistant Curate, Rev’d Alexandra Pohlod, at curate@stolaves.ca, or 416-769-5686 ext. 3.