Parish News

Hospitality in a post-Covid world

By Julia Denny-Dimitriou

Anglicans in Conversation:  “Food, Fellowship and Friendship in a Covid world” 

How do parishes offer hospitality, and share Communion in a Covid-safe manner?

The Community Engagement Ministry Unit, CEMU, posed these and similar questions at a workshop attended by 30 or more people from more than 12 parishes in early September. St Margaret’s Woodville hosted the gathering.

Darien Lecke, an executive chef with many years’ experience in the hospitality industry, shared expert advice on Covid-safe food service. As a Parish Warden at St Martin’s Cambelltown, he has first-hand experience of hospitality in a parish context.

Masks are the new normal for serving food and drink.

The Parish Priest at Woodville, Bishop Chris McLeod, and members of the parish leadership team demonstrated how they share Communion wine safely using small glasses.

This generated a fruitful time of general discussion that covered topics such as the need for high-temperature industrial dishwashers; how to dispose of sanctified wine; the difference between recyclable, compostable and biodegradable cups and utensils; how to offer Communion in nursing homes and the option of “BYO” wine glasses and cups for coffee.

 Peter Burke, Manager, Mission & Anglican Community Engagement AnglicareSA, offered an upbeat perspective on “Fellowship in a Covid world.” He encouraged participants to look for the positives amongst new restrictions and opportunities to offer hospitality differently.

Bishop Chris talks about the new way of sharing Communion.

For example, he suggested eating outdoors, and refocussing on the opportunities to have smaller more intimate and Gospel-centred conversations by sitting at small tables in small groups at parish functions: “ Less mingling and more listening”. The event ended with a “Covid-safe” morning tea served by St Margaret’s. 

Look out for the next Anglicans in Conversation workshop on Creation Care, including community gardens, planned for early 2022.