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With churches in the diocese planning how to safely restart in-person worship services, many are wondering how they might implement an orderly and equitable way of controlling how many souls attend and how they are seated. One possible method would be to have a system where parishioners "reserve" places for themselves and those in their cohort. To this end, St. Augustine's Parkland is investigating the implementation of an online booking system.

Such a system would function similar to the way one acquires event tickets. People without online access would call a designated parishioner to handle the task for them. Greeters and sides-people would have a printed report each Sunday morning, listing booked attendees and the sizes of their cohorts to aid in seating.

Of course, such a system would gracefully limit attendance by capping the number of attendees. The system could easily be centralized in a single website. Worshipers would simply choose a church and the service they wish to attend.

Any church - within our diocese or beyond - interested in potentially participating in such a system should contact Ian Bowden at An online meeting is planned sometime soon for more information and discussion. It is hoped the system will be live by mid-August.

Submitted by Ian Bowden, St. Augustine Parkland in Spruce Grove