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Reopening Plan for St. Martin, North Vancouver




As followers of Christ, the people of St. Martin’s believe in the healing love and care of God demonstrated through the life of the Church.  We want our physical buildings to be a safe and healthy place for all who gather, and for our interactions with each other and the public to be compassionate, wise, and respectful.  In re-opening our church buildings for mission and ministry, we want to follow best practices of our public health authorities and our Anglican Diocese of New Westminster.  This plan is to outline how we will implement the details of the Diocesan plan for our particular community.


Phase I


During phase I of the Diocesan plan for parish activities, the community of St. Martin’s has been carrying out the ministries of the Church according to the published and circulated protocols.


Eucharist has been online only.  Services have been pre-recorded in the parish building with the priest, musician, a reader/communicant, and an intercessor, along with a videographer.  Sometimes the readings, intercessions, and sermon have been added to the recording by Zoom at another time.   The recorded services are posted on the parish Youtube channel for 8 am Sunday mornings.  Participants are socially distanced and follow safe practices.  Only the musician and priest sing the parts of the liturgy, physically distanced by 5 m.


Services of the word have been online only, using the above practices. Usually this is Matins from the Book of Common Prayer for Sunday mornings and a live once-a-month Zoom Sunday afternoon service.


A service of memorial has been held online in conjunction with St. Catherine Capilano to honour three parishioners who have died during the last 3 months.  No funerals, weddings, or other services have been held in person.


Parish activities have been carried out using teleconferences, Zoom, and email.    Parishioners have been contacted biweekly through a telephone tree.  Parishioners without email or internet access have received phone calls and have Sunday service bulletins mailed out to them.


Office use has been limited to the parish administrator and the priest.  Occasional access with prior notice has been granted to the musician, wardens, treasurer, bookkeeper, and janitorial service.  Protocols for disinfection after each person are in place.


All user groups have been suspended since March 18, 2020.  Three tenants: Lil Bloomers daycare, Good Stewards Korean Church, and SMP (a community theatre group) have not been using the building for their activities to date.


Phase II


During phase II, St. Martin’s understands that Eucharist remains online only.  Permission to have Services of the Word in person will allow a modified Matins on Sunday mornings.  We will continue to record the Sunday service to share with those who cannot attend in person.  We are moving from pre-recorded service to Zoom meeting service with subsequent recording available on Youtube channel.  The Agapé Gathering on 1st Sundays will continue by Zoom.  We anticipate requests for funerals and interments in our memorial garden and will follow diocesan  protocols in place to address these.  Our one confirmed wedding has been postponed to June 2021. 


Formation, fellowship, fundraising, and pastoral care will continue by virtual means.  We would like to have distanced one-on-one pastoral visits in outside memorial garden walk-way upon pre-arranged appointment with the priest. 


Activities in the building will continue to be limited to office and essential maintenance.  The plan is to spatially separate tenant groups who choose to resume meeting according to the health authorities.  St. Martin’s will base its worship in the parish church (maximum 38 people).  St. Martin’s can offer Good Stewards Korean Church the parish hall (maximum 50 people) for its services.  The daycare has a separate designated space in the facility and SMP is anticipated not to return to the fall.  An updated agreement for this tenant is in process.


Phase III


St. Martin’s plans to proceed with in-person celebrations of Holy Eucharist with restrictions and to continue its practice of offering Matins on Sundays once or twice a month.  We will continue to Zoom/post recording on Youtube for worship.  The Agapé Gathering will return to in-person worship with modifications coming to the table together (picnic style byo rather than shared food).  Other services and activities will be limited to 50 persons with social distancing, depending on whether we are using the church (38 max.) or hall (50 max.).   The restrictions on office building use will be relaxed while still maintaining physical distancing. 


During phase 3, rentals and user groups will be allowed to use the facilities with the provision of a safety plan and cleaning protocols for their members and with the signing of a waiver of liability for the parish.




Appendix B

Approval June 30, 2020 of Application
for Re-opening St. Martin, North Van. to In-Person Gatherings

This questionnaire/application is intended to guide your Parish through all of the steps and decisions you will need to make to move ahead safely with your proposed return to in-person gathering. It will also be used as a guide to allow the Archbishop’s Office to consider your request for authorization, including any suggestions that staff may have to assist you in moving ahead. The application includes questions related to both Phases II and III and need only be submitted once. The Archbishop’s Office will notify all Parishes when it is permissible to move to the next phase. Please submit your application 10 days in advance of the date you would like to re-open.


1. Have you reviewed the following documents, and considered how this guidance may impact your plan to re-open to in-person worship and other gatherings?

A “The Re-Opening of Churches in the Diocese of New Westminster” (the full document to which this questionnaire is attached) (the “Re-Opening Plan”)


B BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidance for Faith Organizations (link here)


Parish Authorization and Approval

2. Have the “Responsible Persons” of your Parish (as defined in the Canons of the Diocese) reviewed and approved your proposal to initiate this plan. (For incorporated parishes: Priest-in-Charge, Church Wardens, and Trustees.  In addition, it may be appropriate to consult with your parish’s Parish Council.)


Please list the names of the “Responsible Persons” who have reviewed and approved your plan.

The Venerable Stephanie Shepard     interim priest-in-charge

Howard Dallimore                             warden

Ann Hasle                                        warden

Kathie Boyd                                     warden

Jennifer McGregor-Greer                   elected trustee

Harold Nelson                                  elected trustee

Heather Rhodes                               elected trustee

Jeremy Triggs                                  elected trustee

Date for Re-opening

3. On which date are you applying to re-open?

July 5, 2020 (soft opening for training), July 12, 2020 first public service

Preparing the Church Building for Re-entry

4. What (specifics) will you do to prepare the church building for re-entry at Phase II and wider use at Phase III? Who will do this work?


-       All non-essential items removed from worship space and common areas, including temporary storage of font and paschal candle and all prayer books and hymnals from pews

-       All soft furniture unable to be cleaned (old couches and chairs) permanently removed from meeting room and music room

-       Cloth paraments kept to minimum for Trinity season

-       Children’s area cleared of communal toys and materials and table temporarily removed to make room for “family pew” area during services


-       Cleaning has been maintained weekly by janitorial service for all sections of the building (used or not).  Areas of the building that have been accessed will receive special attention cleaning on Saturday July 4, 2020, including ongoing sanitizing of all switches, doors, rails, pews, and bathrooms

-       Daycare tenant contracts cleaning services for their designated portion of the facilities (lower hall).  The daycare will not be using the upper hall or any shared spaces and has own entrance.  They are currently closed but are considering reopening July 6, 2020.

-       The areas of the facilities being used on Sunday mornings will not have other groups during the week.  They will continue to be cleaned on Saturdays with revised work order paying special attention to surfaces


-       Signage posted exterior to building directing comers to main entrance of church

-       Signage posted in north parking bays to encourage parishioners to leave stalls for less mobile members

-       Pews will be marked with painter’s tape to designate safe and properly distanced seating, with special attention to the seating of mobility impaired on centre aisle

-       Doors will be “one way” entrance or exit and be clearly colour-coded (green for entry, red for no entry)

-       Arrows on floor will show paths that will minimize crowding and crossing.  The centre aisle in the nave is planned to be the way “in” to the seats (towards the altar).  The two side aisles will be marked as the way “out” (towards the main door exit)

-       A long narrow table will divide the narthex in two to channel people in one way and out the other side

-       The interior stairway down to the office area and lower bathrooms will be blocked with a moveable cart and signage removed


-       This plan will be posted on the parish website and the bulletin board in the outside lych gate

-       A summary of this plan will be communicated to all parishioners through the weekly Friday e-newsletter and by post for two weeks leading up to the re-opening

-       Liturgical leaders and people involved in worship will be briefed

-       There will be a soft opening for those who will be helping with the liturgies: sidespersons, musician(s), readers, intercessors one week in advance of first public service

Sunday Worship

What is your Sunday worship plan for Phases II and III? What form(s) of worship and how many Sunday worship services do you intend to offer (in-person or online) for Phases II and III?
-       Phase II:  10 am Matins service from the Book of Common Prayer 3 out of 4 Sundays a month, with more BAS Morning Prayer on the 4th Sunday.  If needed, St. Martin’s can re-institute the 8 am service as an early Matins, but at this point we do not foresee exceeding our capacity at the 10 am service, given our number of seniors who will probably continue to join us remotely through Zoom.  Any sung part would be by musician and soloist only

-       Phase II: 4:30 pm Agapé gathering on the 1st Sunday of the month will be online by Zoom

-       Phase III: resumption of 8 am holy communion BCP weekly with observed restrictions and 10 am liturgy of 1st and 3rd Sundays BCP Communion, 2nd and 5th Sundays Matins, and 4th Sundays BAS Communion.  (see also question 7)

-       By phase III we would like to gather in-person for the Agapé gathering on 1st Sundays at 4:30 pm observing restrictions around food: instead of bringing appetizers and drinks to share we would have bring-your-own snack and drink, with commercially portioned beverages and snacks for visitors.

How many people can your worship space or the space(s) where you intend to hold worship accommodate while complying with the requirements set out in the Re-Opening Plan, in households sitting two metres apart in all directions? (Must be no more than 50, including clergy or laity serving).
-       The parish church can hold 34 in pews, plus 4 in the chancel (priest, organist, videographer, and soloist).  We have designated the small pew in front of the lectern for the reader and a large pew at the rear for households of more than 3 persons. We have measured to ensure 6 feet in all directions between all seats in the main worship space and at least 15 feet between singing positions of musician and soloist.

Will it be necessary to modify where you worship, the position of furniture in the worship space or the way the space is marked to assist those attending in maintaining social distancing? If so, how?
-       For phase II Matins no repositioning of furniture is necessary.  The pews will be marked off for designated seating 2 m apart (see accompanying diagram).  Arrows and signage will indicate directions for access and egress.

-       For phase III, the host will be consecrated at the altar but the priest will bring the blessed wafers down to the chancel step for people come and receive standing.  Sidespersons will direct one-way traffic flow to receive (up centre aisle, down sides). Hand sanitizer will be available to those coming up for communion

How will you undertake training with your Greeters and what will you train them to do?
-       A written role description has been prepared by the Leadership team and given to Sidespersons who are healthy and young enough to help in phase II

-       Revised role descriptions for reader/intercessor, musician, priest, soloist, videographer, and altar guild have been prepared and is in the process of distribution

-       These persons will be briefed and then brought to the building for a rehearsal of duties in small groups

-       Masks will be encouraged for all worshippers.  People may bring their own masks but disposable masks will be also be supplied at the door.

-       one masked and gloved greeter will stand outside the main doors (under the eaves if it is inclement) and proffer sanitizer directly into people’s hands as they come to the door.  He/she will encourage individuals who are not wearing a mask to a basket to take a mask in a previously sealed ziplock bag. That greeter will have eye contact with a second greeter inside the narthex, and monitor when to invite that person inside.

-       The second greeter will, from a social distance on the other end of a table, check parishioners off on a list or fill out a form for visitors with their name and contact information.  He/she will then direct the worshipper to the nave to take a seat from the centre aisle

-       the sidespersons or their designate will also be trained and responsible for escorting a worshipper with urgent bladder issues to the hall, unlocking the door, and taking them to the designated stall of the upper hall bathroom.  After waiting outside, they will wipe the stall door handle, toilet handle, and sink faucets with a sanitizing wipe, then escort the individual back to the church.  A basket with extra p.p.e. and cleaning supplies will be stationed in the narthex for this purpose

What is your music plan for worship during Phases II and III?
-       St. Martin’s is a parish that cherishes the choral tradition that accompanies the Book of Common Prayer, including psalmody and the canticles.  Recognizing the health risks at this time for choral singing, the parish proposes the following for phase II and III until more singing is authorized:

i.               Instrumental preludes and postludes on organ or piano by the church musician

ii.              Soloist singing the canticles of Matins (Venite, Te Deum, Benedictus) from the back choir pew furthest from the congregation and facing away from congregation (see diagram)

iii.             Soloist to offer office hymn or anthem as appropriate (no words printed in bulletin so people aren’t tempted to sing along)

iv.             Presider to say Versicles and Responses, with people responding.  Alternately, parts sung by musician and soloist, both 5 m apart and facing away from congregation.

v.              Instead of sung psalm (we love Anglican chant!) we are willing to say it antiphonally with a reader and the congregation

vi.             Presider to speak parts of liturgy and not sing until diocesan authorization to do so.


-       We are trying to find creative ways to offer an Evensong or Hymnsings virtually, and would love to work towards a couple of summer offerings outdoors in the parking lot or memorial garden

How will you ensure cleanliness and sanitization in regard to the following items and spaces?

Worship leaflets/bulletins
-       Bulletins printed and placed on seats in designated spots on day of printing (72 hours prior to service).  Parishioners encouraged to take them home afterwards or to drop them in designated recycling bin on the way out (which will be quarantined until Tuesdays before emptying).  Any left in pews will be collected after the service by a gloved sidesperson and added to recycling bin

-       Bulletins mailed out to parishioners spend two days In the post and should not prove a hazard after being packed by sanitized hands

Prayer Books, Hymn Books (if used)
-       None being used. They are all removed from the pews.  Parishioners who have requested are able to take a prayerbook or a hymnbook home with them.  They will be left in a labeled zip-lock bag outside the outer office door by request

Physical items such as pews, the altar, pulpit, lectern, kneelers, communion rail.
-       During phase II the altar, pulpit and communion rail will not be used and the sanctuary will not be touched except by the altar guild members changing flowers.  We are encouraging those who have signed up to give flowers in memory or celebration to take them after the service and enjoy them or gift them themselves

-       Pews, pulpit, lectern, kneelers will receive a weekly cleaning on Saturdays and a sanitizing after the Sunday morning service.  The worship space will not be used during the week in phase II

-       In Phase III the altar will be set by the altar guild member after washing and sanitizing hands.  The priest will wash hands before the service, and sanitize at the offertory and before distribution, as well as the end of the service.  The elements on the altar will be covered by a purificator except for the elevation

-       Communicants will receive standing at the chancel step and will not use the communion rail

-       Collection plate: to be on the small credence shelf at the entry of the nave.  People will be encouraged to make their offering upon entry.  Spare offering envelopes will be available beside it but no pen.  There will be no passing of the plate and it will not be brought up to the altar during the service.  An explanation in the bulletin will tell givers that all offerings are blessed, whether they come forward to the altar or not, and that people are welcome to mail in their offering or drop it in the donation box on the way out.

-       In Phase II The lower office bathrooms will be out of bounds.  They will be sanitized after each use by the user (one of the few with access during the week) and cleaned weekly

-       In Phase II the hall bathroom will be out of bounds except for emergency use as outlined above.  It will be sanitized by the sidesperson after use and double-checked after the service by a volunteer.  It is cleaned weekly.  The bathroom will be cleaned again by the janitorial service before the parish re-gathers the next Sunday.

-       Cleaning and sanitizing protocols will be posted in all bathrooms.

Other common spaces or high-touch areas
-       The main doors of the church and the interior doors will be propped open so that there is no need to touch them before, during or after worship.  The “in” door to the church will be closed at the end of the service to discourage people to go back through it to the exit.  It will need to be watched by a sidesperson for accidental touches (wipes available in the narthex if needed)


-       Kitchens:  tea kitchen in office area off-limits to all except parish administrator and priest or individuals with access to offices who have given prior notice of use.


11.  How and who will you sanitize worship and other spaces between any worship services?

-       If there is only one service on a Sunday and one group using the church, we are able to let the surfaces lie fallow for the week.  If however, we move to two services on a Sunday morning, we will designate a volunteer to clean the backs and seats of pews, light switches, knobs, and the lectern and microphone

Other Forms of Worship or Prayer

12.  What other forms of worship or prayer do you intend to offer in Phase II and III (weekday in-person worship or online worship)? How will you provide for physical distancing in any in-person weekday worship?

-       Online Zoom group on ways of prayer in process

Office Building Use

13.  What is your plan for those working in the Church Office during Phases II and III?


-       Temporal segregation of people using office:  Monday volunteer 9-12; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday parish administrator 8:30-3 pm; Thursday bookkeeper; musician has access in evenings.  All are following sanitizing protocols at beginning and end of time for doors, switches, office equipment, tea kitchen, and bathroom

-       Priest has separate office adjoining parish office and physically distances from parish administrator and office volunteer Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  Priest is following sanitizing protocols at beginning and end of time for doors, switches, office equipment, tea kitchen, and bathroom

-       Tea kitchen in lower office area restricted to those with access to office.  Physical distancing and sanitizing of equipment, supplies, and cupboards touched before and after usage.  During phase II and III tea kitchen is off-limits to non-church groups

-       Visitors and trades are required to phone first and make an appointment for a site visit.  They are to come to outside door and phone office for entry and to report what parts of the building they will be using/need access to.  Trades are to be asked for company protocols on distancing and sanitizing work surfaces.  Parishioners/volunteers need to sanitize themselves or report to office what areas they touched in building for further cleaning if needed before another person can use

-       A log of visitors and trades will be kept by the office


14.   What is your plan for meetings of Parish Council and other parish working groups during Phases II and III?

- continue use of meeting by Zoom and using telephone and email to connect for Phase II

- possibility of distanced meetings for Leadership Team in Phase III, possibility of distanced meetings for parish council if meeting room continues to meet requirements for a group of 12


15.  What are you doing or will you be doing in Phases II and III to support financial giving to your operating fund or towards special needs?


-       Use weekly e-newsletter with financial updates

-       Continue encouraging ways to give with clear descriptions of giving options

-       Special needs appeal (if needed) through mailout and phone

-       Giving has remained stable during the months when the building has been closed through good communication, community good will, and boost from diocesan sources to offset rental losses.  The daycare has continued to pay monthly amount

Phase III - Introducing in-person Holy Eucharist

16.  What is your plan for introducing and managing Holy Eucharist (should you choose to do so in Phase III), paying particular attention to sanitization and physical distancing?


-       Holy Eucharist will be re-introduced in Phase III with modifications for celebration and distribution:

-       Continued emphasis on no touching or moving from pews except to receive communion, e.g. during passing of peace

-       Continued physical distancing in liturgy

-       Continued format for cantored rather than congregational singing IF NECESSARY using musician and soloist

-       Gospel read from chancel step instead of in the middle of the centre aisle

-       Preparation of table by priest rather than server

-       Collection plate brought to altar rail by gloved sidesperson to be placed on altar and remains on altar until end of service (not elevated by priest)

-       Priest sings Sursum Corda and is answered by cantor

-       Elements covered by purificator until point of elevation in Eucharistic Prayer

-       Following protocols, priest re-sanitizes, dons mask, and then brings consecrated wafers in bowl to chancel step

-       Congregation invited up centre aisle single file by sidespersons, receives standing by wafer dropped into outstretched hands, then returns to seat via side aisle.  If turns are taken from left and right sides of pews, there should be adequate physical distancing in movement

-       Priest returns to altar, disposes of mask in receptacle, re-sanitizes,  and consumes consecrated bread and wine

-       Ablutions are done and vessels moved to credence table in sanctuary by server after priest has retired to seat in sanctuary

-       At dismissal, congregation are reminded to leave by side aisles and rear one-way exit through narthex to outside.  They are reminded to take their bulletins with them and put them in recycling bin near main door if not taking them home.  One-use masks are to be disposed of in the garbage container near the main door

-       Priest is to go directly to sacristy to remove eucharistic vestments rather than stand by door and greet


-       The Agapé Gathering on 1st Sundays at 4:30 pm practices table fellowship with scripture, reflections, and prayer.  For Phase 3, the plan is to resume meeting in person with provision for people to join by Zoom.  The nave will be set up to allow for physical distancing around a table.  Every participant will be encouraged to bring their own portion of drink and snack rather than shared plates.  There will be commercially packaged portions for visitors.  There will be contemplative instrumental music (live distanced musician or recorded music or a mix) rather than singing if congregational involvement still poses a risk

Phase III - User Groups and Rentals

17.  What is your plan in Phase III for re-opening the building to any user groups?


- community groups are required to have a cleaning and safety plan and sign a waiver provided by the Church

- community groups who have paid for the full month of March will get a credit

- continuing community groups who pay monthly will get first refusal on their original time slot but may have to make adjustments to meeting times to leave enough opportunity for sanitizing before and after

- community groups will be restricted in numbers and activities in accordance with public health authorities

18. What is your plan in Phase III for re-opening the building to rentals?

- tenants (Good Stewards Korean Church, Lil Bloomers Daycare, SMP) will be required to establish cleaning and safety plan in accordance with public health authorities and sign waiver provided by the Church.  The return of tenants (other than daycare) cannot occur until Phase III.  All tenants must sign a waiver.

- Lil Bloomers Daycare will use designated lower hall and playgrounds.  They will not have use of the upper parish hall until phase IV.

-       - Good Stewards Korean will be restricted to using the upper parish hall, kitchen, and two stalls of the hall washrooms (the 3rd being reserved for parish use on Sunday mornings).  They will be responsible for their own cleaning of this bathroom before and after they meet on Sunday afternoons, Tuesdays, and Fridays.  The kitchen may only be used as health authorities insofar as the health authorities allow the preparation, serving, or consumption of food for the group gathered.  Materials and equipment currently stored in the nursery will be transferred to 2 rolling carts in the upper parish hall with closet space as available.  A negotiated new agreement for building use during phase III may include an adjusted monthly amount. Main parish hall kitchen only available to Good Stewards Korean Church under provisions of provincial health authority according to their safety plan.

- SMP (local community theatre company) unlikely to restart until gatherings rise above 50 people, however we are currently in discussion about possibilities for managing practices and workshop space as allowed by health authorities in Phase III.


Phase III - Formation, Fellowship and Pastoral Care

19. What is your plan for any in-person formation activities/offerings for adults?

- plan to resume in-person Bible studies and courses in the fall at the church using meeting room for social distancing with provision for people to join in by Zoom

20. What is your plan for any in-person formation activities/offerings for children or youth?

- Phase II and III: no in-person activities.  Younger members will be provided individual activity packs in sealed zip-lock bags that they can take home after the service

- cooperative events outside building possible around major festivals, e.g. park cleanup at Thanksgiving

21. What is your plan for hosting in-person fellowship?

- resumption of fellowship time after church in parish hall with social distancing when appropriate

- beverages served by coffee hour volunteers through serving hatch with gloves, commercial or previously frozen treats served from hatch with tongs to compostable small plates

- anyone serving food at an in-person fellowship gathering in Phase III must be gloved and masked

- Meeting room will be set up to enable social distancing. Sanitizing area before and after use.


22. How will you be handling any in-person pastoral care in Phase III?

- depending on status of care facilities where parishioners reside, resumption of once a month pastoral visit by clergy, supplemented with phone and mail contact through parishioners

- counselling at parish office or public place, e.g. nearby Starbucks, or going for a walk

Service and Outreach

What is your plan to support existing or re-open outreach programs in Phases II and III? Have you completed and submitted the appropriate material for approval to the Synod Office?
-       Resumption of non-perishables gathered for local Food Bank donation

-       Openness to sharing hall or parking lot facilities with health authorities for testing, vaccination clinics or other health initiatives

For food ministry programs, have you completed and submitted the appropriate forms for approval to the Synod Office? (Please see here)


If someone who has attended in-person worship at your Parish contracts COVID-19, how will you communicate with your congregation and members who may have come into contact with that individual, while remembering privacy and pastoral care?
-       The parishioners who attended that worship service will be informed a person who attended has contracted COVID-19 and therefore they will be contacted by the Coastal Health Authority as per provincial policy.  They are to immediately self-isolate, including the worship leaders and to follow all instructions from health authorities

-       The leadership team (clergy and wardens) will keep in telephone/email/video contact with all isolated individuals for pastoral care

-       the church building is immediately closed for deep cleaning, with posted signage and notice through email, website, phone

-       the worship services will revert to online only for 14 days (or be led by a parish volunteer who was not present at the affected service if this is feasible)

-       office personnel may use the lower offices and areas that were not open to the public during the worship event as long as they did not attend the affected service

-       other groups may use parts of the building that were not used during the affected service

-       attendance and contact information is to be kept for 30 days in case someone needs to be notified about being exposed to the virus

What practical support do you need from your Regional Archdeacon or from the Synod Office to help with the implementation of these plans?
There is a recognition at St. Martin’s that certain aspects of the interim process may be difficult to attend to during the next phase of the re-opening plan until such a time as we are able to invite discussion amongst members who do not have access to electronic means of communication.