On the day before heading off on his summer break, Fr Peter was approached by a young parishioner – having just celebrated the 11am Mass on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – and she gave him a picture she had drawn. So excited had she been to be able to come back to Mass and to be back inside the church building, that she just had to share in that excitement with Fr Peter, who was so touched by her piece of artwork and the sense of joy it conveyed! Here it is:
Many of us may still feel somewhat nervous about returning to Mass in person and, of course, caution is still needed as we continue to fight this pandemic. However, we are excited about being able to welcome you back when you feel ready and – following the lifting of restrictions – we want to reassure you that we remain committed to ensuring our churches are safe places to gather to worship.
If you are considering returning to Mass and have not already done so, here are a few questions you might have and the answers to them!
Do I still have to book a place to attend Mass?
No, there is no longer the requirement to book a place to attend Mass, simply turn up to worship as you used to do at St Joseph’s and Holy Cross. At the current time Most Holy Redeemer remains closed, but our hope is that we will be able to reopen in September.
What happens when I arrive at Church?
You will be greeted by one of our volunteer stewards who will provide assistance, should you require it. We still have a sign in QR code displayed at the entrance, so please feel free to use this. Please sanitise your hands with hand gel which is provided upon entry and decide where you would like to sit.
Where can I sit?
In St Joseph and the English Martyrs, we have maintained socially distanced seating on the left-hand side of the Church, with every other pew available to use. If you choose to sit on this side of the Church please wear a face covering. On the right-hand side of the Church every pew is available to be used.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Face coverings are strongly recommended and welcomed in our Churches. If you sit in a socially distanced pew ( on the left hand side of St Joseph’s) please wear a face mask in consideration of those around you.
What will happen at Mass?
We can now celebrate a full length Mass with singing. The physical Sign of Peace remains suspended and Holy Communion is distributed in the hand under one kind by Father Peter and Father Antonio, who will continue to wear a face shield. After receiving the Blessed sacrament, you are able to return to your seat and do not have to leave the Church.
What about Altar Servers, Readers and Eucharistic Ministers?
If you are an Altar Server, Reader or Eucharistic Minister and would like to continue with your service or have decided that you no longer wish to continue, please advise the parish office, so that we can start to prepare a rota, plan any training that is needed, along with any required DBS updates.
Can I use the toilet in the Church?
Regrettably our toilets remain closed at the current time.
Is the Repository open?
Yes, the Repository at St Joseph’s is now open for the sale of cards and gifts
Is the Church still being cleaned?
Yes. We have a fantastic team of volunteer cleaners and stewards who have done and continue to do an amazing job. After each Mass, all of the pews/ kneelers are wiped down, as are all touch points ( door handles, hand gel bottles etc), the floor is swept and mopped. The whole of the Church is then ‘ fogged’. We leave out anti- bacterial wipes, spray and paper towels at the entrance alongside our hand-gel and ask you to help us by wiping down your own pew if you have entered the Church for private prayer. All donations of anti bacterial wipes and spray are very gratefully received as we do go through a lot! We also continue to need help, so please stay after Mass for a few minutes to assist us if possible as many hands make light work! Thank you.