Updated Mass Arrangements from July 19th, 2021

Masses from July 19th 2021

  • Tuesday 10am  (please note no evening Mass now)
  • Wednesday 10am
  • Thursday 7pm.  Socially distanced Mass  (please book on 0739 6606 881 for this)
  • Friday 7pm.
  • Saturday Vigil Mass 6.30pm
  • Sunday 8.30am
  • Sunday Family Mass 10.30am

We now have the principles from the Bishops of England & Wales Conference concerning responsible worshipping in church after July 19th. There is also no mention as yet about if or when dispensation may be lifted, so live streaming at home is still allowed.

Whilst many of you will be pleased about some return to normality, I ask you to understand that many parishioners are concerned about lifting restrictions when infections are rising rapidly.  The scientists remind us that despite vaccinations we can still become infected, perhaps unwell or pass the virus on unknowingly.  I ask you to be respectful of other people’s fears and to act on ways we might consider others.  So in church I urge you to:

  • Please wear face masks, unless exempt, as they can reduce the fall of viral droplets in one’s breath onto others nearby.  The government still expects that face coverings are worn in enclosed spaces.
  • Kindly consider not sitting directly behind or right next to another person not from your household if possible.  Please give them space.
  • Consider whether it is putting the person in front of you at risk if you kneel close up behind them.
  • Continue to sanitise your hands upon entering the church, for your protection and to reduce passing infection through touch.
  • Not come to church if you are at all unwell.  Positive cases identified by NHS Test and Trace will still be legally required to self-isolate.  Live streaming will still be available online from many churches.

At St. Edward’s we are 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.  Our booking line for normal Masses has now closed.

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 continue to be under one kind onto the hand and will still need to follow an orderly spaced pattern, assisted by stewards.  Currently we have decided that singing if any will only be done by up to six choir members at the Family Mass when available, at other Masses there may be instrumental music.  When infection levels reduce, and with face masks worn, we may gradually phase in congregational singing.

Holy water stoops cannot as yet be refilled.  For the collection, I will place two baskets on the altar steps for donations given at Communion, also one in the rear porch if entrance donations are more convenient.  The Sign of Peace remains suspended as it is not an integral part of the Mass, and its omission will help to reduce physical contact between people during the celebration.

Now I want to draw your attention to a new Mass being held on Thursday evenings from now on.  This Mass will retain social distancing to create a safer space for any parishioner who, because of their personal circumstances, remains worried about attending large indoor gatherings.  At this new Mass, I will bring communion to you (receiving by hand only) in your seats at the normal time in the liturgy.  Remember, it is still currently permitted to attend on a weekday as if for Sunday.  (If you are happy to go to other Masses, please consider keeping this Socially Distanced Mass for those parishioners who are concerned, as this Mass could become quite full).   We may increase the number of these Masses if demand warrants this, as recommended by the Bishops.

This Socially Distanced Mass must be booked on the usual dedicated number between the hours of 9.30am and 11.30am on either Thursday or Friday mornings only, starting July 20th.  Please note that the booking line days & times have changed.  The parish office number cannot take bookings.  The Thursday Mass is now the only one that needs booking.