We are pleased to announce that we expect to re-open Holy Cross at St Andrews, Much Hadham for a new Sunday Parish Mass on 18th October 2020 at the new time of 5pm.
Due to the regulations the Church will only be able to hold 32 people (from individual households) on 16 available pews with two persons per pew.
However please be aware there will be strict rules in operation and, for the time being, coming to Mass may not be quite how you remember it.
In order to comply with both Government and Diocesan COVID-19 regulations, there will be strict limitations on the number of people that are allowed in the Church at any one time and therefore, as with the other 2 Parish Masses, we will be operating a ‘Booking System’ for attendance at each Mass via our website or a telephone call to the Parish Office during working hours (9am – 3pm). The Church will have to be thoroughly cleaned after each Mass and closed afterwards ready for the next Anglican service.
The obligation to attend Mass on a Sunday is still suspended. We, therefore, encourage people, if it is possible, to consider attending Mass on one of the weekdays at St Joseph’s as this will free up more places for those unable to travel to Bishop’s Stortford
The online Booking System will be open daily for booking your slot for Mass. You can only book for one individual Mass. You cannot block book for Masses. This is to encourage everyone to have a fair chance to attend Mass at least once a week. If you do not book your slot for Mass, and your name is not on our list, you will not be able to attend the Mass.
Places will be made available for a coming week up to 10 days in advance and will close at 3pm on the Friday before to allow time for the ‘ Guest list’ to be printed out in the Parish office ready for Father to take to Holy Cross.
Why do I need to book to attend a Mass?
In line with the latest Government and Diocesan Guidelines, it is most important that we can ‘track and trace’ everyone who comes to Mass in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19 at the Mass which you have attended. It will help us to ensure that we have the number of people permitted in the Church at any one time and keep both our Priests and Parishioners safe. Therefore, you must inform us beforehand by ‘booking’ your place via our website or telephone if you are asking to attend to a particular Mass. You cannot ‘just turn up’ as you would have previously done. If your name is not on the list, you will not be able to enter the Church. Please understand that this is for your wellbeing and that of others.
How do I book to attend a Mass ?
Here you will find a list of Mass dates and times for both Holy Cross and St Joseph’s. You must not book a place if you are feeling unwell or have COVID-19 related symptoms.
To start with, we shall initially release 24 ‘ single seats’ and hold back 8 seats ( 4 pews) at Holy Cross for those Parishioners without the internet, who will need to telephone, or for those who wish to book a ‘Household pew’ which will seat more than 2 people from the same family all together in their own ‘bubble’ allowing potentially more people to attend Mass.
Choose the Mass date / time / Church which you wish to attend and click on ‘Book Ticket’.
You will then be led through a short screen requiring you to enter your name and a contact telephone number for the particular Mass you wish to book. Once submitted, your details will be registered on the parish ‘guest list’ so that we are aware as to who will be attending.
Your name will be checked off by one of the stewards when you arrive. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the starting time of Mass to allow time for sanitising your hands and being shown to your place before the Mass begins. Your details will be kept for 21 days following each Mass to enable us to provide details to the ‘track & trace’ system should an outbreak occur.
If you wish to book for a family or a household ‘bubble’, please do not use the website booking but phone the office (01279 654063), Mon to Fri, 9am – 3pm, to make your booking directly with Debbie in the Parish Office
What if I do not have access to the internet ?
Please contact the Parish Office on 01279 654063 ( Mon- Fri 9am-3pm) and your details will be entered manually onto the Booking System by Debbie so that you appear on the guest list if there are free places. If you have not supplied your details before hand you will not be able to attend the Mass.
Parking at the Church
There is no ‘Church car park’ at Holy Cross, so please park on the High Street and then walk down Church Lane. There is very limited parking available on Church Lane between the High Street and the Church itself, but please keep well tucked in and park considerately.
What happens when I arrive at the Church ?
• Entry to Holy Cross will be through the large west doors ONLY . There is a strict One-Way system in operation in the Church and the central aisle is part of the One-Way route.
• Please try not to bring lots of bags, children’s toys, belongings etc. with you as space will be limited in the Church.
• Please wear a face mask in Church to help to protect yourself and others unless you are exempt. Volunteer Stewards and Cleaners will be provided with gloves and masks.
• You will be greeted by Volunteer Stewards who will have the ‘Guest list’ for that particular Mass. This list gives your name and the number of places booked only and not your contact number. As long as your name is on the list you will be invited into the Church. If your name is not on the list regrettably you will not be able to enter the Church.
• You will be asked to ‘sanitise’ your hands with the hand gel provided upon entry and shown to your seat. It will not be possible to sit in a particular seat. People will be seated from the front of the church in the order in which they arrive. Each seat will be at a safe distance from the next.
• There will be NO Holy water as you enter and NO hymn books provided as sadly singing is not permitted. We will also not be providing weekly Mass sheets either. If you wish to print out your own Mass sheet, and bring it with you and take it home afterwards, this will be available on our website as it is currently. Please remember to take your printed copy home with you.
• The Toilets will be closed. No Exceptions!
• There will be NO requirement for Readers, Eucharistic Ministers or Servers to assist at Mass at the current time. The Sanctuary area and the Sacristy will be restricted and accessible only to Fr Peter and Fr Carlos, and from the end of the month, Fr Antonio.
• There will be NO physical sign of peace by shaking hands.
• At the end of Mass, Communion will be distributed under one kind by Father into your hand only. Parishioners on each pew will be called up in turn. Please take all of your belongings with you at that time as immediately after you have received the Blessed Sacrament you will not be permitted to return to your place but will be requested to leave the Church following the one-way system exiting down the side aisles and through either the North or South doors. The main doors are for entry only, however, any Parishioners with mobility issues or who require to leave via the entry door upon request will be assisted by the Stewards.
• Please sanitise your hands again before you leave with the hand gel provided.
• Collection baskets will be provided near to each exit point for your weekly donations under the eye of the Stewards.
• Immediately, when the Church is empty, the Stewards / Cleaners will sanitise each pew, door handles, sweep and wash the floor. Disposable aprons, gloves and cleaning equipment will be provided.
• Collection money will be ‘bagged’ by the Stewards and given to Father to be kept in the safe for 72 hours before counting and banking.
• Any rubbish (including paper, gloves, masks and aprons) will be ‘double bagged’ and disposed of in the appropriate black bin.
• Any ‘found property’ left in the pews will be double bagged and if not collected will be disposed of.
As the current situation is anticipated to continue in the months ahead, we still need more volunteers to make all this work.
We need more people to act as Stewards each Sunday that the Churches are open, and also more people to help with the cleaning of the Churches after each Mass.
If we cannot recruit enough people then we will not be able to open as often as we have said we wish to.
If you can help, please do contact the Parish Office or Juan Salinas, for Holy Cross, who is very kindly coordinating the Holy Cross rota. Thank you very much! 🙂