The announcement by the Government on 23rd June easing some further restrictions in our everyday lives in England, makes it possible for our churches to re-open their doors for the celebration of public Mass. This follows from the recent permission to re-open for private prayer. This will be a moment of much relief for so many. The Government announcement means this will be possible from 4th July.
Whilst this is an important moment for us, please take some time to understand and appreciate how this will manifest itself.
It is important to remember that, whilst restrictions are being eased, we remain under important Public Health restrictions. In addressing the resumption of public Mass, our Metropolitan Bishops have written to us all. Please download a copy for yourself:
As our Metropolitan Bishops counsel us in their greeting, the re-opening of our churches is not a case of ‘back to normal’. Know that we are presently receiving advice on how we must manage these matters. This will undoubtedly continue to be received in the days ahead. Please keep checking our website for the latest information.
To help as we plan for this moment, we are reminded of the following:
- the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended
- we cannot return immediately to our customary practices
- when we return to Mass there will be differences in how the celebration takes place
- there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass due to social distancing requirements
- it is for each of us to think carefully about how and when to return to Mass, including considering joining in a weekday Mass as an alternative
How will this manifest itself to us here in Holy Trinity?
- From the guidance already received, please appreciate that the restrictions under which we are able to open reduces the capacity of the church. This means that there will not be space for all Parishioners to attend as you would normally do. (see below for details).
- Mass will continue to be LiveStreamed via the Parish website to assist those who cannot/chose not to attend Mass.
- Attendance at Mass will be Stewarded to help all present and help ensure our church remains a safe and manageable environment for all.
- The celebration of the Mass will be in a simplified form. For example, there will be no singing; no Offertory Procession; no Sign of Peace. There will be alterations to the Communion Rite.
- Entering and leaving the church as well as movement within will need to be carefully managed mindful of Social Distancing requirements.
As you will appreciate, there is much we will need to work through and put in place in the week ahead. To Parishioners who will come to Mass, we ask you to come in the knowledge that things will be different to how you have known them; and in a spirit of community to work with everyone to help keep the celebration of Mass a safe, manageable, yet still prayerful, experience for all.
What will be the arrangements for attending Mass?
In view of the reduced capacity within the church for the time-being, it will be a requirement that those wishing to come to Mass (certainly at weekends), must pre-book.
Initially, we will be addressing the planned (Sunday) Masses next weekend, 4th/5th July. We will begin taking bookings from Wednesday.
To reserve a place at Mass, please phone or email the Parish Office (details on foot of website) or text 07932 141757. We will ask you how many places you are reserving and whether or not you are operating as a ‘family bubble’. We may also ask you for contact information including telephone number and email address. Please be mindful of the Parish as a whole and only phone for yourself/your own family. Please don’t contact us before Wednesday – we will be busy getting ourselves ready for you!
Anything else to be aware of?
- Stewarding: for the arrangements we must have in place to work, we will need to ask for help from Stewards. If you would like to help us as a Volunteer Steward, please contact the Parish Office.
- we will post further information shortly regarding those in the ‘over 70 and/or vulnerable’ category.
- we will post further information shortly explaining how the celebration of Mass will be varied.
A reminder….please keep referring back to the Parish website through the days ahead so you can remain up to date with any new information we publish.