REOPENING OF CHURCHES
Our churches will be open for Mass and private prayer at the following times in the next week:
The Bishops of England and Wales working with Public Health England have since issued ‘Guidance for the Celebration of Mass’. The Guidance is very detailed and recognises the great responsibility we have to one another and the wider community. Bishop John echoes this and reminds us that we all have a public duty, rooted in the common good, to be guided by public health awareness at this time. He urges us to do all we can, to ensure as far as is possible, that COVID 19 is not passed on via any church gatherings. If anyone is displaying any symptoms, they should not attend. Bishop John says: It could be suggested that when Sunday Mass does resume, people might try to attend a public celebration of Mass on any day of the week. I remind you all that at this time of Pandemic, there is no obligation to attend Mass even on a Sunday. Bishop John reminds us that some parishes have reopened for prayer, others are not ready to do so yet. We must all move at a pace at which we feel able and safe to do so.
So following this advice, we shall begin here in Whitefield with weekday Masses, before we offer any public celebration of Sunday Mass. From Tuesday – Friday this next week there will be Masses as set out overleaf on this newsletter. The numbers of people permitted in our buildings will be limited and arrival into them will be facilitated by our stewards, our patience will be much appreciated. Building on this experience, Sunday Mass will follow in due course. Fr Steven, Fr John & Fr Joe continue to hold you and your intentions in their Mass intentions and prayers and are grateful in turn for your continuing prayers, support and good wishes in these strange days.
PARISH OF ST MICHAEL & ST BERNADETTE
FROM JULY 2020
GUIDELINES FOR MASS AT THIS PRESENT TIME
- We are reminded that there remains no obligation to attend Mass at this time. Anyone with any COVID type symptoms should not attend any public gathering.
- We have organised our buildings with a 2 metre distance, so that we do not need to sign “Track and Tracing” paperwork, nor wear face coverings.
- Unfortunately in these circumstances, we are not in a position to have our much appreciated sacristans and servers.
- Please come in “households” arriving by the ramp door at St Bernadette’s and the main door at St Michael’s. Social distancing needs to be observed whilst entering the church.
- The seating capacity in each building is limited. Peoples’ “usual seats” are not available. If you would prefer, you will be able to remain outside and hear Mass relayed through the outdoor loud-speakers. Bring a garden chair if you would rather be outside (or for when the church is filled to capacity).
- We will rely upon stewards to guide our arrival and seating, both our churches will be open half an hour before Mass to enable the stewards to begin their guiding.
- For the duration of Mass we will stand and sit as appropriate, please refrain from using the kneelers.
- We are unable to have singing, please make spoken responses softly to limit the vapour transmitted in the air. There will be no bidding prayers and no offertory procession. Offertory donations can be left in the basket by the exit.
- Holy Communion will be distributed under one kind and in the hand only, at the end of Mass as people then depart. Please outstretch your arms fully to receive Holy Communion which will be offered and received without speaking.
- Please ensure you have not left anything where you were seated, leaving via the side entrance at St Bernadette’s and the Arch-Angel room at St Michael’s.
- Once the departing congregation has received Holy Communion, it will be brought outside to anyone wishing to receive.
- In our delight at seeing parishioners and friends – socially distanced – please do not congregate around the exits!
Welcome to the parish community of St Michael’s and St Bernadette’s
We are in the process of updating our website as we begin amalgamating our two parishes into one parish community with two churches! We will be updating information over the coming weeks to reflect what goes on across our expanded parish community. However, most of the information applies across both churches and parishioners are invited to join in any of the activities.
Weekend Mass Times
Sat: 6:00 pm Mass (St Bernadette’s)
Sun: 9:30 am Mass (St Michael’s)
Sun: 11:00 am Mass (St Bernadette’s)
For weekday Services and Confessions, please check the Parish Newsletter as these vary from week to week and alternate between our two Churches.