Proposed Mass Times from July 4th
11am - Exposition & Private Prayer | 12pm - 1st Mass of Sunday
5pm - Mass
8am - Mass | 10.30am - Mass
Tuesday to Saturday
9am - Mass each day
At last, after more than three months, from July 4th, mass and other sacraments will again be celebrated publicly However, it would be quite rash to describe this as “back to normal”: far from it.
A letter from the Archbishops about this return is being sent out with this Newsletter. (It has already gone to those on the WhatsApp list). Much more detailed information for the clergy, can be downloaded from here: bit.ly/3dHrqEx
From July 4th, our own masses will continue to be live streamed, and although we will move to mass times closer to what we had before the lockdown, we are now moving to an “inbetween” stage.
Not all Churches will be open, and those which are, such as ourselves, will have to follow precise social distancing and hygiene measures.
The Church understands that many faithful catholics will not be ready to take part in public masses. The Sunday obligation has not been reintroduced. No one has to attend mass on Sundays and holidays. The Church encourages us to hear mass, but on any day when it is offered, and only if it is safe to do so.
Also, mass will be celebrated with some unfamiliar features. There will be no congregational singing, and face coverings must be worn. Social distancing (1m+) must be observed. Communion (in the hand only) will be distributed after mass, and you will leave the Church immediately afterwards.
We will need volunteer stewards for every mass or service. Many of you have volunteered already. The celebration of daily mass will depend upon stewards being available.
If you can volunteer as a steward and/or help with cleaning please complete the online form here: https:// bit.ly/2BY2hsh
We will also need the co-operation of Eucharistic ministers, readers, counters and so on. I will be in touch will all of you again very soon.
Last weekend, the government announced that from June 15th Churches will be allowed to open for private prayer “in line with social distancing guidelines”. This requires much practical organisation and a great deal of paperwork. Many churches will not open, simply because of the work involved.
Fr Jeremy at Hednesford and I are keen to reopen our Churches for private prayer. We will keep the situation under review, but provided we can meet all the requirements in time, we hope to open for the first time at the end of the coming week, and from 21st to open each Church for a couple of hours three days a week, so that on most days one of the churches will be open. We plan to open St Mary’s on Friday 19th from 11am to 1pm.
If you can volunteer as a stewards and/or help with cleaning please complete the online form here: https://bit.ly/2BY2hsh
This week we received further guidelines which have now been agreed between the Government and the Churches which will apply when the Churches are opened for private prayer. However, THERE IS NO DATE YET FOR THE REOPENING Before Churches are allowed to reopen risk assessment and other documentation will have to be completed. As well as signposting, floor marking and so on. This is no small task.
If you are can volunteer as a steward, cleaner or other helper when we are permitted to reopen, you should read the guidance which you can download here
Please note that the advice to those who are over 70 has been relaxed a little, but you should still take additional care.
Do not let us know yet, but we may need to ask for volunteers soon. Fr Jeremy at Hednesford and I are also keen that we work together when the churches reopen.
Latest News & Updates from St Mary & St Thomas More, Cannock