Booking a place at Mass...
The re-opening of our churches
We welcome the Government’s decision that all Places of Worship can reopen from Saturday 4th July. We have been working tirelessly to prepare for this. Our priority is to reopen our two parish churches in a safe and controlled way for the safety of both our parish communities and volunteer stewards. We cannot wait to welcome you back to Church for public liturgies after such a long period of closure. Please keep an eye on our newsletter for further details of our exact reopening dates for both private prayer and public masses and what you can expect when you do return.
First Stage – Re-opening for individual prayer.
We have been open for private prayer since 21st June and both our parish churches are open for private prayer at stated times in the newsletter each week. Please make careful note of these times as they may vary from week to week depending on availability of stewards.
The toilets in each of our churches at this time will remain closed.
Second Stage – Re-opening for public masses and liturgies.
As from 4th July we entered the second phase of where we can reopen for public liturgies and Holy Mass, but with social distancing rules in place and with limited numbers permitted in church at any one time. Our plan currently is to begin with the resumption of some weekday masses from the week beginning 20th July, details of which will be found in the newsletter each week. On the week beginning 20th July we will have one weekday mass at Annunciation on Tuesday 21st at 0930 and one weekday mass at St Patrick’s on Wednesday 22nd July at 0930. We will then review how those masses have gone with the two working parties plus the stewards and then I hope to offer four public weekday masses the week beginning 27th July, two at Annunciation and two at St Patrick’s. Again these masses will be reviewed by the working parties and then we hope to be in a position to offer weekend public masses from the beginning of August when we get enough volunteer stewards coming forward.
I do remind all parishioners that at this time the Bishop has dispensed you from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass and is encouraging those who can to attend week day masses to prevent churches exceeding the safe capacity at weekend masses.
The toilets at each of our churches will at this time remain closed.
Those in the vulnerable or severely vulnerable categories or with a pre-existing health conditions, should obtain medical advice before attending church.
Booking for a weekend Mass during August 2020 .
To comply with social distancing, numbers are restricted due to the size of each church, currently 15 persons in Annunciation Church, Netley; and up to 45 Persons at St Patrick’s Church, Woolston. It will thus be necessary to book a place at Mass if you intend to come to a weekend mass during the month of August and there are five weekends during August so hopefully you will be able to attend a weekend Mass more than once during the month of August.
All such bookings must be made through our parish office via email firstname.lastname@example.org , so that the parish telephone line is kept free for urgent matters. Telephone bookings will only be accepted for those who do not have internet access and then only during office hours Tuesday to Friday 0930-1230. We are required by the Government to facilitate contact tracing so when booking you must provide the following information:
Your contact details,
The church, the date and the Mass time you wish to attend,
The number of your household attending and their full names (you may not book for another household). We need names of everyone for contact tracing should a local outbreak of Covid 19 take place.
For those parishioners who attend Annunciation Church we are asking you to only attend Mass on a Sunday once every three weeks or if you prefer a weekday Mass instead. So when emailing to book a place please have in mind which Sunday you may want to attend and if there is availability you and your named household will be placed on the list for that particular mass. Please also indicate if you would like to be put on the list for the next available weekend mass should you not be successful in booking your first choice Sunday Mass.
For those parishioners who usually attend St Patrick’s Church Woolston, we are asking you to attend only one weekend Mass per month at either the Saturday Vigil Mass or the Sunday morning Mass or if you prefer a weekday Mass. The frequency you can attend a weekend mass may well change depending on the numbers wanting to book a place. So when emailing to book a place please have in mind which Saturday evening Sunday you may want to attend and if there is availability you and your named household will be placed on the list for that particular mass. Please also indicate if you would like to be put on the list for the next available weekend mass should you not be successful in booking your first choice.
You will then be notified which Mass you have been allotted by email or by telephone.
To gain admittance to a weekend Mass during August your name/named household must be on this list. No exceptions will be made. No multiple bookings will be accepted. Bookings for all Saturday Vigil and Sunday Masses for August will close at 12 Noon Friday 24th July 2020 and you will be notified the following week which weekend Mass during August you can attend.
I am sorry this has to be so regimented and disciplined, but if we get too many people coming and are unable to manage numbers properly then the local authority and the police have the legal powers to close the church.
We are not currently anticipating the need to book a place at a week day Mass, but the number who can attend a weekday mass remains the same at 15 persons at Annunciation and 45 persons at St Patrick’s. Please consider if you would prefer to attend during the weekday so that the weekend masses are kept free for those who work during the week.
If you are feeling unwell, have a high temperature or new persistent cough please stay at home and don’t even think about coming out to church.
The Celebration of Holy Mass
1. Those attending must wear their own face mask and only sit where a space is designated for them as being available to use by a steward. Social distancing norms must be obeyed.
2. Clergy are not required to wear gloves or mask for Mass or for the distribution of Holy Communion unless they wish to do so. Parishioners are asked to wear a mask when attending Mass and to please bring your own. Neither Church is in a position to buy in face masks for all those attending mass. Fr Ross and Deacon Peter will be wearing a face mask during the distribution of Holy Communion.
3. There will be no hymn books or Mass Books available. You are welcome to bring your own Missal. The weekly parish newsletter will only be available online or via the emailing list.
4. Until advised otherwise, the usual lay ministries (e.g. readers, servers) will be undertaken by the priest and/or deacon.
5. Until advised otherwise, we will comply with the Government’s request that the use of singing at Mass is strongly discouraged.
6. There will be no offertory procession of gifts. These will already be on the Sanctuary.
7. There is to be no physical contact when the Peace is shared.
8. Holy Communion will be distributed under one kind only (the Body of Christ). Those intending to receive should stay in their place, we will have a collective Amen after the priest has said to everyone from the sanctuary ‘The Body of Christ’ and then the priest will bring communion to you where you are and neither priest nor communicant need to say anything. If you don’t wish to receive Holy Communion just put your arm across your chest and the priest will give you a blessing.
Each person intending to receive Communion is asked to extending their arms as far as reasonably possible; the person receives the Body of Christ (the consecrated bread) in his or her hand and consumes the Body of Christ when the priest has moved to the next communicant.
Out of consideration for the priest or deacon distributing Holy Communion as well as all others, please receive Holy Communion on the hand. If a communicant insists on receiving on the tongue, please be advised that the priest or deacon will return to the sanctuary in order to put on gloves before returning to give Holy Communion on the tongue.
9. At the end of Mass, collection buckets will be available at the exits. At this time, we encourage all who wish to make a donation to set up a regular Standing Order or to Donate via Internet Banking (the details of which are found in the newsletter each week) or on our website (from which a fee is taken by the provider so the church does not get your entire donation).
Other Sacraments, Liturgies and Church activities at this time
Will resume in due course and Fr Ross will be contacting those whose baptisms were postponed during lockdown.
May take place subject to the usual Diocesan and Legal requirements, the Government’s guidelines on social distancing, cleaning and with the maximum numbers permitted at each church.
From 4th July these may take place in Church subject to the Government’s guidelines on social distancing, cleaning and with the maximum numbers permitted at each church and in consultation with the parish priest and the requested Funeral Directors.
We will aim to provide weekly opportunities to celebrate this Sacrament once we have everything in place, currently neither of our churches has a proper confessional with a screen between penitent and the priest. This is something we need to work on so that we are in line with current safeguarding legislation anyway, so no better time than the present to sort this out. Reconciliation rooms are no longer permitted under safeguarding legislation unless there is a firm barrier between priest and penitent and separate entrances/exit are required for both the priest and the penitent.