We have just heard that beginning from Monday we will have greater opportunities to get together once again with families and friends. We are expecting that before long the Government will advise us that we can open our churches again for individual prayer only.
As we will still be in an emergency situation, I must stress that this opening will be done very cautiously. We will have to follow Government guidelines regarding the safety of those who enter the church. It will not be possible simply to throw open the doors and say, ‘In you go!’. Preparations will have to made carefully and each Parish will make its own arrangements depending on its resources.
Already planning is going on behind the scenes. When the date is announced, churches will announce when they will be open, and for how long. This is where I need the help of parishioners who are under 70 years of age and have no underlying health problems.
For each hour that the church is open, I estimate we will need three volunteers, one to oversee entry to the church itself and two more to ensure that guidelines regarding cleanliness and social distancing are respected.
I would suggest at this stage that we try to open between 10 and 12 on weekday mornings, and maybe a little longer on Sundays.
Bearing this in mind, if you are able to offer some of your time, in hourly slots, would you please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your name, contact details (email and phone) and the days and times on which you will be available. If you cannot be available at these times, but could come at a different time, please let me know, as we may be able to extend our hours.
May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Feast of Pentecost this Sunday. Today we remember the day when the Apostles who followed Jesus in Galilee before his death became the foundation of the Church thanks to the gift of the Holy Spirit – the birthday of the Church!
May God bless you all
Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land,
has been arranged from 1st to 8th February 2021.
Monday 1st February: Fly from Luton to Tel Aviv and onwards to hotel in Bethlehem.
Tuesday: Visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem then to Jerusalem, retracing the steps of Jesus on Palm Sunday and visiting the garden of Gethsemane.
Wednesday: In the morning we follow the way of the Cross and visit the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. In the afternoon we visit Mount Zion and the Western wall, before returning to Bethlehem. That evening we will meet a member of the local committee of the Friends of the Holy Land in Bethlehem.
Thursday: Visit two projects for the local Christians, St Martha’s House and the School of Joy. In the afternoon we go to the Shepherds’ Fields
Friday: We head north from Bethlehem to Galilee, stopping at Jacob’s Well and the ancient city of Sebastiye.
Saturday: We travel to Nazareth, stopping at Cana on the way, and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation. In the afternoon we go to Mount Tabor.
Sunday. In the morning we will celebrate Mass on the shore of Lake Galilee then travel to the site of the Feeding of the Five Thousand and the Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum. The day will finish with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
Monday morning we check out of the hotel and visit the river Jordan and the Baptismal site before heading to the airport, arriving back in the UK in the early evening.
This is just a taste of the places we will visit. If you are thinking of going I can provide you with a fuller itinerary.
Price: £1,490 per person sharing a twin/double room on a half-board basis. Single rooms are available at a supplement of £250. Price includes return airfare including hold baggage, accommodation in 3* hotels, all transport whilst in the Holy Land, services of a professional guide, gratuities and all entrance fees. Price does not include lunches, drinks or items of a personal nature. Please note that this itinerary is not suitable for the less able traveller. Deposit of £400 and completed booking form required by 01.04.2020 with balance and any single supplement due by 1.10.2020.