Church Opens for more Masses and Confessions

With effect from Saturday 12th July the Church will be open for Confessions and for evening Mass on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Mass and Confession times and revised opening times

Sunday Mass:  6:00 pm (Saturday); 9:30 am; 5:30 pm.  As well as Mass in the church, there will be over-spill Masses in the hall at the same times.

Weekday Mass times: (incl Saturday morning): 9:00 am; 6:00 pm*
*The 6:00 pm Mass on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be available on our webcam only until further notice.    

Confessions: in the Lady chapel from 5 pm – 5:45pm on Saturdays. 

Opening times of the church:

On Sundays: the Church will be open only for Mass.  It will open half an hour before each Mass and will be closed immediately after Mass. 

Weekdays: the Church will open 20 minutes before Mass and will close immediately after Mass for sanitising.  There will be no Rosary after morning Mass.

Adoration, via the webcam only, will continue until 5:00 pm.

Capacity of the church and attendance at Mass

The need for social distancing means that, even with six Sunday Masses, we will be able to accommodate only about half the number of people who normally come to Sunday Mass.  The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays was suspended at the beginning of the lockdown, and the Bishops have asked the faithful to consider coming on a weekday instead of a Sunday.  If you can come on a weekday instead of on Sunday, this will take a lot of pressure off us and will make more room on Sundays for those whose work, caring and school commitments prevent them from coming on a weekday.

Many of you will, understandably, feel wary about coming to Mass just yet, so please remember that health considerations must come first: do remember that all Masses will continue to be live-streamed.         

Coming into church:

  • The church will be opened half an hour before Sunday Masses (weekdays: 20 minutes).
  • There will be a one-way system in place for entering and leaving the church, with entry and exit through the main doors. The side door at the top of the ramp will be for the frail only.
  • There will be no holy water in the stoups.
  • There will be no Mass sheets.
  • There will be no collection during Mass; instead there will be a basket at the back of the church as you enter or leave.
  • Stewards will be on duty at every Mass. They will ask you to use the sanitiser provided as you come in and as you leave. 
  • To comply with instructions from the Archbishop, the stewards will require you to provide your contact details to help us to ‘track and trace’ you in the event of somebody at Mass later showing symptoms of the Coronavirus. Alternatively, it would help if you could write this information out for us before you come to Mass and hand it to the stewards.  Providing this information, for individuals or for households, is mandatory
  • The stewards will direct you to appropriate seating, according to whether you are alone or in a family/household group.
  • Seating will be set aside for those who are frail but if you wish to avail yourself of such seating please come at least fifteen minutes before the start of Mass. If you arrive after this time, we cannot guarantee to find you a place.
  • For the time being, and except for the frail, admission to Mass will be on the basis of ‘first come, first served’ and once there are as many people as can be safely accommodated the doors will be closed. Nobody else will be admitted for whatever reason.        
  • Even if the church or hall is not already full, the doors will be closed five minutes before Mass is due to begin so that the stewards can prepare themselves for Mass.
  • We will be maintaining a two metre distancing policy so you will not be obliged to wear a face mask but you should wear one if you wish.

Inside church and Mass

  • All seating in the church is sanitised by volunteers before Mass, so please do not touch any seat other than your own. For the same reasons, you will not be able to light candles or touch statues.
  • The lavatory will not be available.
  • To keep Mass as short as possible there will be no intercessions.
  • For health reasons there will be no congregational singing and no exchange of the sign of peace.
  • For Holy Communion you will be directed by the priest and stewards; you should maintain appropriate distancing from others.
  • Holy Communion will be given by the priest alone, under one kind, and it will be given only into the hand.
  • When receiving Holy Communion you should maintain as much space as you can between yourself and the priest. You should reduce the possibility of physical contact by stretching out your flattened hands, at arms length, unless your state of health does not allow this. 
  • There will be no exchange of words when you are offered Holy Communion. The priest will simply administer the host onto your hand in silence and you will accept it in silence and consume it as usual.    

Leaving church

  • After the Final Blessing and Dismissal, please do not remain behind for additional devotions but leave the church, as directed by the stewards, observing the one-way system.
  • You are strongly recommended to sanitise your hands as you leave church.
  • Do not congregate outside the church.
  • Do not enter the sacristy. If you need to make contact with a member of the clergy, please do so by phone or e-mail.  If the matter is truly urgent, please wait outside the sacristy at a safe distance.
  • The church will be closed immediately after Mass so that it can be properly sanitised.

After Mass   

  • If, in the days following attendance at Mass or other devotions in Saint Edmund’s, you find that somebody from your household is displaying symptoms of the Coronavirus, please ensure that we are called or e-mailed urgently so that we can alert others in accordance with government guidelines.    

[Updated 8 July 2020]

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