With the lifting of restrictions, guidance has been provided by the Bishops Conference and the Archdiocese on how we should proceed into the future. The tone of the guidance is one of moving forward with the easing of the restrictions progressively and cautiously recognising local circumstances.
From Monday 19th July 2021 the following will apply for our church.
1. Track and trace will continue at the door of the church.
2. You will be required to sanitise your hands on arrival at church.
3. Face masks will continue to be worn in church. This is very much in line with what is happening in other public places.
4. There will be a gradual lifting of the social distancing requirements in the building when cases begin to decrease.
5. Singing will be permitted by the congregation and will gradually be reintroduced.
6. Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is encouraged, but receiving on the tongue is permissible. Please do remember the priest will have to sanitise his hands every time he gives Holy Communion on the tongue.
7. Altar servers and readers will be reintroduced. Fr Jonathan will be in contact with those concerned.
8. Holy Communion will be distributed at the front of the sanctuary. We are keeping with the same safe practices we have done at communion the past few months, a steward will invite each row to come forward for Holy Communion, a blessing or just to walk round back to the bench. There will also be a Holy Communion point at the crossway for those seated in the back of the church.
9. From Monday 26th July the church building will be open each weekday from Mass time until early evening for private prayer.
10. Stewards will continue to clean the benches after Mass and lead people to and from their seats. Major touch areas still need to be sanitised after celebrations of the liturgy.
NOTE: Anyone who is not feeling well or showing even mild symptoms of what could be the coronavirus should remain at home.
Slowly but surely, we hope to move forward to more normality for our gatherings in the weeks ahead. Thank you as always for your patience and for the great help and support of our stewards.
Fr Jonathan Veasey
18th July 2021
More on the lifting of restrictions in Churches in England and Wales:
Bishops Conference press release
Sunday Obligation comes back into effect First Sunday of Advent 2021