Churches across Ballarat hosted their first expanded Sunday service for up to 20 people since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
The easing of restrictions in Victoria on June 1 allowed places of worship to open for private worship or small religious ceremonies for up to 20 people, plus the minimum number of people required to perform the service.
Wayne and Helen Dorning attended the Christ Church Anglican Cathedral service for the first time on Sunday since COVID-19 hit.
"We have done church in the lounge room in various ways, listening to the Bishop's sermon (on YouTube) every Sunday and other add ons," Mr Dorning said.
"Coming back to church, you look forward to the time when you can share the cup and share the bread together, but just to share the building together was really delightful and emotional."
Mrs Dorning said it was difficult not being able to go to church at Easter.
"Church is part of your expression of faith. But it is the people and the relationships you make with people, that is what you miss out on when you can't go," she said.
While the couple had been watching the Bishop's sermon on YouTube throughout lockdown, Mr Dorning said it was different to see and feel it in person.
"Church is significantly about people as well as faith," he said.
Parishioners were required to register to attend the Sunday service to ensure the 20 person limit capacity was not breached and some service times were changed to allow for cleaning.
The one person per four square metre rule and social distancing guidelines continue to apply.
Churches have changed elements of services to prevent the risk of spreading infection.
Service booklets, hymn books and prayer books are not used unless they can be disposed of or are privately owned and removed by the worshipper.
The collection plate is not being passed, coffee and tea after services is suspended and Holy Communion is only offered in the form of distribution of bread.
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