WE'RE BACK ... but not to the "old normal"
If you exhibit any symptoms of cold or flu, or have a serious medical condition, you should NOT attend church. The Bishops of England and Wales have suspended the obligation on all Catholics to attend Mass on Sundays. You may wish to come to a weekday Mass instead, or to pray at home and continue to access the virtual celebration of Mass online.
Social distancing must be observed at all times (one metre at least or more) and so every second bench has been closed off. Only sit together if you live in the same household. You may sit or stand but do not use the bench kneelers. Face coverings (a mask or scarf covering mouth and nose) should be worn while you are inside the church (you may lower it to be able to receive Communion).
To allow social distancing in smaller gatherings, there will be TWO Masses celebrated each Sunday here at Holy Family Church at 11.00am and at 5.00pm. Each Mass will be limited to 90 persons. Mass will be shorter, there will be no singing or processions, the Gloria and Creed will be omitted. Holy Communion will be distributed after Mass, not during it.
Hand sanitizer has been placed in the porch to use before you come into or leave the church. (You may wish to bring your own hand sanitizer with you to use each time before you enter or leave the church.)
The church toilet may not be used except in a case of genuine emergency.
Take a copy of the Sunday Mass Sheet and the Weekly Newsletter and any other papers as you enter church and take them home with you afterwards, either to keep or to dispose of. Do not leave them on the bench or at the back of church after Mass.
There will be no hymn singing at Mass and so hymnbooks are not required. Weekday Missals will not be made available for weekday Mass.
Place your Offertory Collection donation into the baskets provided as you enter or leave church. There will be no Offertory Collection or Procession of Gifts during the Mass. Mass Intention requests and any other donations can also be placed into the baskets.
Holy Communion will be distributed after the Mass is ended; only the priest will receive Communion at the usual place during Mass. Stewards will direct you to come up, observing social distancing. Do not form a queue for Communion. The chalice will not be offered and the Sacred Host will be placed only into your extended open hand, not onto your tongue. The invitation "The Body of Christ" and its response "Amen" will not be spoken. The priest will wear a mask when distributing Holy Communion.
You should leave church immediately after receiving Holy Communion. You should follow the one-way system and continue to observe social distancing, leaving individually, not as a crowd.
Lingering clusters of people in conversation either inside the church or in the porch or outside the church, are to be avoided.
And finally ..... We understand that, after being in isolation for such a long period of time, some will be afraid of suddenly being in a large gathering with others. In which case, instead of coming to Sunday Mass you may wish to come along to a weekday Mass on Tuesday or Thursday at 10.00am when there will be fewer people present. The obligation of Mass on Sunday remains suspended.