re-opening of churches – update 7: our doors are open!

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It felt a notable moment to reach the point last weekend when we were able to open our doors once again for the celebration of Public Mass.

Being able to re-open our doors in no way makes us forget that we continue to live our daily lives against the backdrop of Coronavirus still being in circulation across the country. To be able to do so, we have had to meet very strict requirements whose aim is to help us ensure, as far as possible, that our church is a safe environment for all who come inside. We hope that those who came to Mass at the weekend and those who have been returning to Mass through this week, feel this is the case. It is something we are very mindful of.

It is because of this that we are following the ‘2m Distancing’ rule; that we have reduced the capacity of the church to allow this, including only using alternate rows for seating; that during Mass, the narthex area is kept free of standing; that floor markers and seat markers have been placed to help us easily maintain a friendly Distance from each other. It is why we must also clean the church after each use.

To remind yourself of the information concerning the re-opening of the church and requirements for attending Mass, please see Update 4 and Update 6.

To answer some obvious questions that you may still have:

  • Do I need to book to attend WEEKDAY Mass? : at present, this is not needed – the capacity of the church can cope with the anticipated numbers of those choosing to attend. Please come along. As you enter the church please use the hand sanitiser and please write your name & contact details on the attendance list. (this is a requirement of our being open for ‘Track & Trace’ purposes). At the end of Mass we are asking all present to pitch in with cleaning the church (your seat area) ready for its next use.
  • Do I need to book to attend WEEKEND Mass? : Yes. As you will have read in our earlier update, this is due to the reduced capacity of the church in the present circumstances.
  • How will seating be arranged at weekend Masses? : we are operating a seat allocation system at present. This is to help us use the available space to the best extent possible for those booking to come to Mass. We are aiming to keep it simple but there are a few (understandable) variables. Please bear with us and, if it means you might not be sitting in an area of the church in which you might normally sit, our apologies.
  • What changes to the Mass have been introduced?: as previously mentioned Mass will be in a simplified form so that we are not gathered together in the enclosed space that our church presents, for longer than necessary – Public Health considerations. We have prepared an information sheet explaining these changes:

We hope this information helps you become familiar with the current arrangements.