UPDATE: Monday 17th May 2021
Step 3 Guidance for Communal Worship during the COVID-19 Pandemic
As of 17th May, Saint Mary’s Parish enters the next step of the Government’s COVID-19 Response Roadmap. The regulation on social distancing requires that a reduced capacity exists in all churches. We have increased our capacity to 75 by factoring into our calculations the mitigations of face coverings and 1m social distancing between those who occupy the church benches. This has been approved by the diocesan health and safety adviser and Vicar General.
Stewards are still required for Sunday worship. Our stewards will take full names and telephone numbers of those who enter the church for Contact Tracing purposes (Please provide these on a note in BLOCK CAPITALS). Stewards will also ensure you are wearing a face covering. If you do not wear a face covering for medical reasons, we ask you to remain at home. Stewards will sanitise your hands and take you to your allocated seat where you must remain throughout Mass. Father Jerome and the stewards will look after you throughout the Masses which will be shorter in duration. Toilets remain closed, as does the shop.
Baptisms may be attended by 30 people per family. We will request the details of those guests for contact tracing purposes. However our first set of baptisms in May will be limited to 15 guests per the four families we have booked to allow us to gauge the logistics for opening the number to 30 for future baptisms. Marriages may taken place with 30 guests.
75 people may attend Funerals, which is in line with our reassessed covid-secure capacity. The family will be supplied with the floorplan of the church and a Contact Tracing Guest List Form which they will be responsible for completing. Only those people named on the form the will be allowed to enter the church for funeral.
The obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation Mass remains suspended. Daily Mass is offered without a congregation. The recitation of a good Act of Contrition is sufficient for the dispensation from attending Confessions.
UPDATE: Wednesday 2nd December 2020
THE RULE OF SIX (APPLIES OUTDOORS ONLY) This is a correction to last week's newsletter.
UPDATE: Friday 27th November 2020
Saint Mary's Covid-19 Safe Stewarding
At each Mass, we provide at least four stewards. They provide the following essential functions:
Steward one: Ensures that those who enter the church are wearing a face covering. They then register the name, and telephone number of individuals for contact tracing purposes. Finally, they inform the individual where they will be seated in the church
Steward two and three: Sanitise individuals hands when they enter the church and direct them to their seat. They also assist with Holy Communion stewarding.
Steward four: is responsible for the exit procedures of sanitising hands before the individual leaves.
We are grateful to our team of dedicated stewards. During Advent our priority is centred around the provision of weekend Mass. Due to work commitments, illness, time constraints, our stewards may not be available to assist with stewarding from Monday-Friday.
UPDATE: Wednesday 4th November 2020
The second lockdown has been voted into legislation. As of midnight, the Public Celebration of Holy Mass may not take place in Saint Mary’s Parish church. However, the church will be open for Private Prayer from 11am-12:30pm this Sunday 8th November. Father Jerome will continue to celebrate a Private Mass each day. This lockdown is due to last until Wednesday 2nd December. We run a rigorous system of Covid-19 Safety in Saint Mary’s Parish and we will continue to do so.
Second Government Covid-19 Lockdown of Places of Worship
From Thursday 5th November Saint Mary’s church will close again for the celebration of weekday and weekend Public Mass.
The church will be allowed to open for Private Prayer from 11am-12:30pm each Sunday.
Father Jerome will be in contact with our Baptism and First Holy Communion families to notify them that we must sadly once again postpone their dates and times for the celebration of these Sacraments.
Funerals may take place in church during the second lockdown, with a maximum of 30 people in attendance. We will still require full names, addresses, and telephone numbers of close family and friends who the family decide can attend their funeral. During the current restrictions we can only conduct Funeral Services and not Funeral Mass. Father Jerome will offer a Private Requiem Mass for the bereaved person.
We are uncertain what may happen from December 2nd onwards. Therefore, we would advise you to refrain from making any new bookings with us until early 2021.
Church Opening Guidelines for Private Prayer
1. Saint Mary’s parish church is staffed by stewards when the church is open for private prayer.
2. Stewards will monitor the number of people allowed in church. (67 is the current limit)
3. Social distancing is to be strictly observed. You must sit in your allocated seat. Please remain in your seat for the duration of your time in church.
4. There are no toilet facilities available.
5. There is a clearly marked one way system for entry and exit. Enter only via the main front door and exit only via the disabled access door.
6. Hand sanitizer must be used on entry and exit. Please remove your own gloves when you enter the church and keep them off until you leave. Yours hands must be sanitised.
7. Children must remain with and be supervised by adults at all times. It is recommended that children aged over 3 wear a face mask or face covering.
8. If you have any symptoms of the virus, or cold/flu like symptoms, then you must not under any circumstances come to, or visit the church.