Following the recent letter given by the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England which concerned the opening of our churches for public worship, we can now share the changes we will have to take on board in order for this to happen within our parish.
Social distancing: We are now well used to this in our everyday lives. It is important in church too so that people feel safe. Usually it is 2 meters – but for the purposes of Mass we are permitted 1 meter +. This means social distancing can be 1 meter - as long as there is an extra precaution taken. This extra precaution is a face covering.
Face Coverings: Many of you use them already around the shops and on buses and trains. Some use medical type masks, and others use homemade ones out of handkerchiefs etc. I’m afraid that to attend Mass means face coverings are obligatory for the time being, which you will have to bring with you – although there is an exception for under 5’s and those with serious respiratory diseases or breathing difficulties - In the latter case please keep 2 meter distance from others.
We will be working out a Mass schedule, so this will change the pattern of opening and closing in the coming weeks.
We hope to run a similar pattern of Masses as before – although spaces will be more limited, and I’m afraid it will be on a first come first served basis until we can measure the need. Please be patient. We will try our best!
From Saturday 4th July, Masses in St Dunstan's will be at 11am and 5.30pm, and Sunday at 10am, Noon and 6.30pm. As the letter makes clear, all Masses will be said, and fairly short. Whether our previous schedule of Masses will continue will depend on numbers attending and wider deanery duties of the priests. A list of weekday Masses will be posted soon on this website.
We are also conscious that some of you will be uncertain about attending Mass due to health concerns. Please remember that the Obligation to hear Mass on Sundays is still lifted for the time being – alternatively you might prefer to attend Mass during the week, and leave the Sunday Masses for those who work during the week.
Initially we will reopen St Dunstan’s for Mass and see how it goes before opening St Jude’s.
Click here to read the letter from the Metropolitan Archbishops' of England.