Provisional Mass Arrangements After July 19th

Although there have been a number of government ministers recently giving outlines of what we can expect, we understand that a definitive announcement will be made on July 12th. regarding the extent of a lifting of restrictions.  The Catholic Bishops Conference will then be giving its guidance as to how this will impact upon our Masses, following which we anticipate some advice from our own diocese.  There is no mention as yet about if or when dispensation may be lifted.

Whilst many parishioners will undoubtedly be pleased about some return to normality, I ask you to understand that many parishioners are understandably concerned about returning to the norms of pre-Covid times in the present climate of increasing infections. The scientists remind us that despite vaccinations we can still become infected, perhaps unwell or pass the virus on unknowingly. The Covid problem in our midst is certainly not over and as a Christian community looking out for one another, I ask you to be respectful of other people’s fears. To that end, some commonsense practices we might all think about in considering others could include:

  • Wearing face masks voluntarily as they can reduce the fall of viral droplets in one’s breath onto others nearby.
  • Kindly consider not sitting directly behind or right next to another person not from your household unless that is the only available space.  (When we enter the church it’s always worth looking around, and if there are only a few people, it’s best to scatter all over the building rather than take seats in one area for example).
  • Consider whether it is putting the person in front of you at risk if you kneel close up behind them
  • Continuing to sanitise your hands upon entering the church, for your protection and to reduce passing infection through touch.
  • Not coming to church if you are at all unwell.  Live streaming will still be available online for those who prefer this at the moment.

At St. Edward’s we will be returning the pews to their usual positions but we will be keeping all the Covid signage in church in case we need it again in the autumn/winter.  Stewards will still be on hand to assist you if required, at least initially, to ensure good ventilation during mass and cleaning afterwards.

The position of Communion in the Liturgy will revert to normal, starting with Mass on Tuesday 20 July.  This means that, instead of leaving church straight after receiving the Blessed Sacrament, communicants will now be able to return to their seats for prayer and receive a final blessing.  Communion will still need to follow an orderly pattern, assisted in the first instance by stewards.

Our booking line is open as usual this week for reserving seats at Masses next weekend.  It will not be taking bookings beyond July 19th. for normal Masses, but see * below.

When I receive the diocesan advice, I may make a further announcement next weekend.


NEW MASS TIMES AND BOOKING ARRANGEMENTS STARTING JULY 19TH

I propose to now offer daily Masses at St. Edward’s (except my day off on Mondays) at the following times.  The only Mass you now need to book for is Thursday 7pm.  Please see the special note below regarding this Mass and changes to the booking line.

  • Tuesday 10am (please note no evening Mass now)
  • Wednesday 10am
  • * Thursday 7pm.*  Socially distanced Mass * (please book – see below)
  • Friday 7pm.
  • Saturday Vigil Mass 6.30pm
  • Sunday 8.30am
  • Sunday Family Mass 10.30am

*  Thursday 7pm. Mass will be a Socially distanced Mass with the same precautions as we have been used to over the past year or so, with one exception – having sanitised, I will bring communion to you (receiving by hand only) in your seats at the normal time in the liturgy.  Be aware that the pews will have been returned to their normal positions; however, only every other one will be open at this Mass and the stewards will guide you to a pre-booked seat as before. You will be asked to voluntarily hand sanitise at the door and voluntarily wear a face mask.

It is important in our community to cater for all parishioners needs so I am making this special Mass to create a safer space for any parishioner who, because of their personal circumstances, remains worried about attending large indoor gatherings when restrictions are lifted. It is still currently permitted to attend on a weekday as if for Sunday and I will let you know if this changes. (If you are happy to go to other Masses, please leave this Mass for those parishioners who are concerned about attending, as this Mass could be quite full). To enable our Stewards to serve you safely, you will need to book for this Mass as follows.

From Friday July 16th. you can book for the Socially Distanced Mass only on the usual dedicated number and our part-time secretary, Eva, will book you in. This can be done by calling 0739 6606 881  between the hours of 9.30am and 11.30am on either Thursday or Friday mornings only.  Please note that the booking line times  change from July 16th.  The parish office number cannot take bookings.