15th March, 2020

As a result of Public Health officials working with Bishop’s Conference, it is required to implement the following in our parish.

  • Communion to be given on the hand only, the chalice & sign of peace are suspended and holy water stoups out of use.
  • Hymn books must not be used and the collection plate not passed around as shared use could help transmit the virus.
  • We are trying to sanitise church pews, door handles, etc. but the emphasis must be on parishioners sanitising their own hands when entering and leaving church please.
  • Bishops have advised those most vulnerable (the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and long-term conditions) to refrain from parish gatherings and stay at home. You can still receive a spiritual communion and hear Mass live from our Cathedral at http://northamptoncathedral.org/live/ .
  • Certainly, anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms is asked NOT to attend church or confession.

If needed, Ministers of the Eucharist should sanitise their hands before and after distributing communion. You can read more at https://www.cbcew.org.uk/ where there is also advice for those doing home and hospital visits. Additionally, we are asked to suspend catering at parish gatherings.

What this means for us:

  • Collections will be at the end of Mass by placing your kind donations into the baskets placed on the altar steps.
  • Hymns might not be sung unless we can arrange projection onto the screen or are choir led.
  • Sanitation: I hope that some able parishioners will volunteer at the end of each Mass to wipe disinfectant along all pew hand rails & door handles using materials provided, so that areas commonly touched are sanitised ready for the next Mass.
  • Eucharistic Ministers will not be needed unless asked to assist by the priest on the day.
  • Soup Kitchen is take-away only, Coffee Mornings and coffee after Mass have unfortunately been suspended.

The church is now officially at Stage 2 of measures to contain. Stage 3 would involve Mass being suspended, as has happened in some countries.

Please pray for containment success, for our parish vulnerable and for the victims of this virus globally.

Thank you and God Bless you. Fr. Gregory.