Anglican Diocese of Grafton

The Diocese of Grafton is one of the 23 dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia. The Diocese of Grafton covers a diverse region of outstanding beauty on the north coast of New South Wales with 26 parishes conducting local ministry from Tweed Heads in the north to Port Macquarie in the south and with the Cathedral city of Grafton at its centre. Other major population centres of our diocese are Lismore, Ballina, Coffs Harbour and Kempsey.

The activities of our Diocese also include our welfare agency Anglicare North Coast and Anglican schools at Terranora/Tweed Heads, Ballina, Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.

It is our hope that our web site will provide you with the information that you are searching for. If you don’t find all that you are looking for, please use the Contact page to let us know and we will do our best to assist.

Our prayer is that you may experience God’s blessings through Jesus Christ.

Important Statement Regarding COVID-19 and Anglican Churches

While churches in the Diocese of Grafton were closed to the public in March due to COVID-19, with the easing of restrictions on 1 June, some churches are beginning to re-open.

We are continuing to offer online worship and other online ministry options in addition to ongoing ministries such as Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens and Op Shops. Throughout the crisis, Parishes have continued to provide spiritual and pastoral care in creative ways.

The church can play an important leadership role in the community by acting responsibly and following expert advice on the best ways to make our schools, churches, halls and other facilities and ministries safe. The advice below is based on advice from NSW Health and complies with the latest NSW Public Health Order of 29 May 2020.

I am drawn to St Paul’s words in his letter to the Christians at Philippi, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

May we too find the peace that God offers in an anxious world.

+Murray Harvey
Dr Murray Harvey, Bishop of Grafton
2 June 2020

Online worship and other resources for Parishes and individuals can be found at uploads/2020/03/Resources-for-Parishes.pdf


1. The NSW Government requires that Places of Worship have a COVIDSafe Plan in place prior to re-opening. We suggest that you start developing a safety plan for each worship centre as soon as possible. Even if you decide not to apply to recommence public worship at this stage, we suggest you start preparing a plan now so that it is ready for when you want to apply to re-open.

2. To develop a plan, please read the Grafton Diocese guidance notes (A COVIDSafe Plan for Church Premises below). Then develop your plan using the NSW Template for this purpose as provided below (Template for COVIDSafe Plan for Worship Centres). You do not have to use the Government Template but please make sure you address all the points they want you to cover.

3. You need a separate plan for each worship centre.

4. Once your plan is ready, please complete the Re-Opening Application Form below and submit it to the Bishops Registry. You need a separate application form for each worship centre.

5Do not re-open any of your worship centres to the public until your application to re-open is approved.

6. We have been advised by NSW Health that Op Shops do not need a COVIDSafe Plan. However, the Diocesan Registrar has asked that Op Shops do a risk assessment before re-opening and that they follow all the social distancing and hygiene requirements expected of retail outlets. You do not need to apply to re-open an Op Shop. This is a local decision.

7. We have been advised by NSW Health that Soup Kitchens need a COVIDSafe Plan. Use the Template for COVIDSafe Plan for Restaurants and Cafes provided below. The decision about re-opening a Soup Kitchen (or similar) is a local one (do not submit an application form). Even if you are providing “take away only” there are still some aspects of the plan that you will need to address.

8. We have been advised that Parish Offices and Church Halls are covered by the same plan as the respective worship centre on that site. That is, the COVIDSafe Plan for the Worship Centre is meant to cover all the buildings on that site, including, if relevant, any Parish Office or Church Hall. You do not need to apply to re-open the Parish Office or Church Hall because this is a local decision.

A COVIDSafe Plan for Church Premises

Template for COVIDSafe Plan for Worship Centres

Re-opening Application Form

Attendance Record Sheet

Conditions of Entry COVIDSafe Poster

General COVIDSafe Poster

Incident Notification Form

Template for COVIDSafe Plan for Restaurants and Cafes

COVIDSafe Return to Gathering 3 Step Plan