Our Lady and All Saints Church will open for Masses from Saturday 4th July 2020 at 5pm. In order to open safely space will be limited. We must follow the new seating capacity regulations for our Church.
I would personally very much like to welcome you all back straight away but realistically that cannot happen. As the Sunday Obligation for attending Mass is currently suspended do please remember that you can attend Mass at 9-00AM any week day.
Inside the Church the way we will do things now will be very different to the way things have been done in pre-Coronavirus Days [March 22] and so we can all expect to see changes.
Hygiene is paramount in keeping the Corona Virus at bay so we will be observing strict hand washing and social distancing in the months ahead. I ask you all to understand and comply fully with the guidelines that have been issued.
PLEASE DO NOT COME TO CHURCH [MASS] IF YOU HAVE ANY COLD OR FLU SYPTOMS.
- Our Church will be opened 15 Minutes before Mass begins. Please do follow strictly the guidance on Social Distancing outside Church. [The Sacrament of Confession cannot be celebrated before Masses].
- Because of the social distancing requirements there will be a huge reduction in our seating capacity. Social distancing of 2 metres must be observed in the church at all times.
- Entrance to Mass will be on a first come, first served basis. Our Church may be filled with its new capacity when you arrive. When we are full we cannot let anyone else in. We are really sorry. Please be understanding about this.
- Please do not share or offer lifts to people who want to go to Church unless you live in the same household.
- In order to track and trace, all attending Mass will be asked to leave their name and contact details with us.[These will be held securely in accordance with GDPR Rules].
- A one-way system will be in operation.
- The Holy Water stoops will remain empty.
- Please be aware - the Parish Centre will be closed. No toilet facilities will be available.
- For your own safety and the safety of others we ask all attending Mass to use the hand sanitiser provided on entry and exit and to wear a face covering, which may or may not be a surgical mask. The face covering should cover your nose and mouth and must be worn for the duration of Mass.[Our Church will not provide masks / face coverings. Please do bring your own].
- You will be directed to your seat by a steward. This will not be where you would normally choose to sit. Please be compliant - seating will be limited as many of the benches cannot be used.
Please do follow the instructions given by the Stewards at all times.
There will be no Mass books provided. The Lighting of Candles will not be available.
Candles will be lit at the Font, at the Lectern, and on the Altar before Mass.
- At this time and in accordance with Diocesan Guidelines, there will be no Singing,
Prayers of the Faithful, Offertory Processions, Sign of Peace.
I value enormously all our Ministers for Mass - Altar Servers, Readers and Eucharistic Ministers. Again, at this time, we cannot avail of your services. [social distancing / hygiene regulations].
- To limit movement and the always possible contamination inside our Church, Holy Communion will be distributed at the end of Mass. A Steward will direct you to Holy Communion and so, please wait for instructions before getting out of your seat. It will not be possible to return to your seat after you have received Holy Communion. Please therefore keep your belongings to a minimum and ensure you take everything with you. Any item left will unfortunately have to be disposed of.
- A basket for the weekly collection will be available in the porch as you leave Mass.
- While it will be lovely to celebrate Mass together – please DO resist the urge to congregate afterwards.
- If you are in the vulnerable category please heed Government advice and keep yourself safe by staying at home.
These regulations may seem very severe but they are very necessary at this present time for all of us.
Understandably, too, many people will be/are/may be uneasy at the prospect of returning to our Church at this time.
PLEASE REMEMBER: OUR BISHOPS HAVE SUSPENDED THE OBLIGATION TO ATTEND MASS.
You do not have to attend Mass and those who are afraid or vulnerable in any way are strongly encouraged to stay at home and follow Mass using our Live Stream. [www.olas.org.uk]
Please continue to be very careful and take every precaution to keep yourself, your loved ones, and us all safe. The Corona Virus has not gone away. By working together we have a chance of making our country and world COVID 19 free. Keep in your Prayers that that day may come soon.
Thank you to all those who have volunteered to help with the Opening of Our Church for both Private Prayer and for Mass. Anyone who has volunteered has been contacted and a rota has been organised. The guidance has now changed and those over 70 are able to help as stewards/cleaners. However you must not have any underlying health issues or live with someone who is in the clinically Vulnerable Category. Please do think carefully before you volunteer as we do not want to put anyone at risk.
If you are able to help please contact Fr Des or email Sarah (who is working from home) at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will need more volunteers as this may be our "PRACTICE" for the weeks ahead.
Finally, I want to thank Sarah, Steve and Mervyn – along with our volunteers and stewards – for their time, commitment and goodness at this most difficult of times,
As I say – TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO.
And – GOD BLESS FOR THE MOMENT. FR DES