There is a growing sense of normality in the church, but we still need to be cautious while Covid-19 poses a threat. The following guidelines continue to apply for the time being:
- There is no longer any formal limit on Mass attendance, but admissions for Mass may need to be restricted in order to ensure everyone’s safety. You can sit in any of the seats, but it is advisable to maintain an appropriate distance from those who are not part of your household group.
- Anyone who is showing any of the symptoms of Covid-19, as well as every other member of their household, and anyone required to self-isolate, should not come to the church.
- The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains suspended. If you wish, you can attend Mass on a weekday instead, when there are normally fewer people present. The Bishops of England and Wales are hoping that all Catholics will be able to return to full participation in the Eucharist by the First Sunday of Advent (28th November 2021).
- Face coverings are no longer mandatory while you are in the church, but their continued use is recommended. Those who choose not to wear a mask are encouraged to maintain a social distance from people they would not normally mix with.
- Hand-sanitising units are available and should be used as you enter the church. They are pedal-operated – hold your hand under the white dispenser and then press the pedal with your foot.
- Holy water is not available at present.
- Votive candles may be lit on the candle stands around the church.
- Copies of the newsletter are available at the church entrance. They include the words of the Gloria and Creed, and the Sunday responses for the Liturgy of the Word. Once used, those copies should not be left in the church. They should be taken home, together with any personal items you bring to the church with you. Recent issues of the weekly newsletter can also be read online via the News page. You can use the Alerts service to have the latest copy emailed to you every week. (You will find the link to subscribe to Alerts at the bottom of this page.)
- Ministers of Communion should wear a face covering while they are distributing the Sacrament. After receiving Holy Communion themselves, they should put on their mask and then sanitise their hands before distributing Holy Communion to others.
- There is no offertory collection for the time being, but there is a wall box in the main porch in which you can place your donations for the parish, as well as an Offerings box at the front of the church. The preferred method of giving is by direct payment to the parish bank account. You can find the details you need, for making a one-off payment or setting up a standing order, on the Donations page, where you can also make secure donations using a debit or credit card.
As you enter the church, you will find the hand-sanitiser unit on your right, and the NHS QR code poster on your left, before you pass through the inner doors.