EMERGING FROM THE LOCKDOWN
From 19 July 2021 “there will no longer be restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.” This allows a return to pre-Covid-19 safety capacities whilst taking into account the latest guidance of the Bishops of England and Wales.
While we are glad to receive the news, we are aware that in our community, some of our parishioners, especially in the vulnerable category need extra care. We are also aware that the Covid -19 cases are still increasing. Hence:
- Parishioners who will need extra care when they come to pray with us should attend Saturday evening Masses – 5pm in St Theresa and 6.30pm in St. Columba’s. In these Masses, the previous measures will continue: social distancing as well as following the Capacity of our buildings. For these Masses, we advise people to book using the existing booking system.
- For 9.30am Mass – St. Theresa and 11.00am Mass – St. Columba’s, the measures as announced by the Government will apply, following the general guidelines below:
General guidelines to observe:
- We continue to have sanitiser at the entrances and exits to our churches; good ventilation, wearing of face coverings.
- Stewarding will no longer be required, however, they will serve as welcomers.
- Congregational singing is permitted from 19th July; however, in our parish, this will be phased in gradually. We will continue to use Cantors/Choir as we were doing. Congregational singing will not be allowed at this moment.
- Sign in will be done through the NHS QR code at the entrances of our Churches. NHS Test, track and Trace is still in operation in our church buildings.
- For the time being, our Holy Water Stoops will not be refilled. However, Holy water is available to all parishioners who need it.
- Servers, Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion can be fully deployed as needed.
- The Offertory Collection will resumed with baskets and pouches; however, online giving is encouraged.
- The Sign of Peace remains suspended in the Liturgy of the Mass to reduce physical contact between members of the congregation.
- Holy Communion will continue under one kind with no administration of the Chalice.
- Ministers are asked to sanitise their hands and wear face coverings as before.
- Holy Communion is still recommended on the hand though all who wish to receive on the tongue, but should be the last to receive communion.
- For the celebration of Baptism there are no restrictions on numbers though multiple Baptisms should be avoided.
- For the celebration of Marriages there is no restriction on numbers.
- For Funerals there is no restriction on numbers.
NB: For Sunday Mass and Holidays of Obligation:
The statement from the bishops’ conference: “It is not possible at the present time for all the faithful to attend Mass on a Sunday thereby fulfilling their duty to God.” We hope it will be possible for all Catholics to fulfil the Sunday obligation by the First Sunday of Advent 2021.
The ongoing pattern for public Masses in each of our churches will be:
St. Theresa’s Church:
Saturday Evening: 5.00 p.m.
Sunday Morning: 9.30 a.m.
Weekday Mass: Fridays 10.00 a.m.
Confessions: after the 10.00 a.m. Mass on Fridays, until 12 noon. Or by appointment by calling the parish office.
St. Columba’s Church:
Saturday evening: 6.30 p.m.
Sunday Morning: 11.00.a.m.
Weekdays: Wednesday 10.30am
Confessions: after the 10.30 a.m. Mass on Wednesdays, until 12 noon. Or by appointment by calling the parish office.
The live stream for Sunday 25 July will be the 9.30am Mass from St Theresa’s. The recording will be available to view online soon after on our Facebook page. Sunday Mass will continue to be streamed on a Sunday morning from either St. Theresa’s at 9.30am or St. Columba’s at 11.00am.
A directory of streamed services has been set up by the Catholic Bishops Conference, where you can search on postcode, Diocese, Mass type and language (e.g. Polish, Italian, Latin, Sign, Portuguese, Malayalam). Live streaming for Diocese of Shrewsbury can be found here.
‘Mass-by-Phone‘ service has been launched by the Diocese of Middlesbrough. If you know someone without internet access they can listen to Mass by calling 01642 130120. Calls are chargeable but free if in your included minutes. The cost of providing the service is being met by the Knights of St. Columba.
Pope Francis encourages the simple praying of the Rosary and also joining online Rosary initiatives to ask Our Lady to pray with us for deliverance from Covid-19 and has composed two prayers for this intention.
PASTORAL GUIDANCE The note details various aspects of parish life during our church closures and while sick visiting is severely restricted.
Please check our Latest Newsletter for any variation in current arrangements, and for general information about the forthcoming weeks.
The Newsletter, along with the website, is the main source of information for services and activities in the churches. The newsletter archive (in convenient pdf format) goes back several years.
* * * * * *