We welcomed parishioners back to Mass last Sunday and Wednesday, and it was joyful. We had 22 attending on Sunday and 12 on Wednesday. The Masses will continue every Sunday and Wednesday at 9.30 am, currently with a maximum of 28 people in Church and still available via livestream for those who cannot attend at this time. The stewards as usual were at their best and everywhere much organised with a comprehensive hygiene standard in place.
We are also going to start a Saturday evening (vigil) Mass on the 25th July at 6.00pm in the car park. It will be a typical drive in Mass. Drive into the car park and stay in your car or stand out beside your car. A small chair may be of help if you cannot stand for 35 minutes. This is an outside Mass only and there will be no access to the Church itself. We pray for clement weather to have it going and welcome more people back to Mass.
Have your name and contact number ready
As you arrive, we will be asking for names and a contact number (please have this ready). This is to comply with regulations for “test, track and trace” – your information will not be shared other than in the event of someone testing positive for the virus. The information taken will be shredded after 28 days.
Sanitise your hands on entry
Hand sanitising is provided and is essential for entry to the Church even if you are using disposable gloves. Face masks are also available and are advisable. There will be no Offertory collection during Mass – a box will be on the hygiene station table as you leave for any donations.
Follow the one-way system, and keep 2 meters apart
Holy communion will be at the end of Mass, please wait in your seat until the Steward signals for you to come forward, follow the one-way system keeping 2 metre distance, receive Communion with arms stretched and in silence and then please leave Church without returning to your seat.
Please do not come to Mass if you are unwell, have a temperature or have been exposed to Covid19
During this health emergency the celebration of Mass on Sundays, Holy Days and weekdays will continue to take place, but without a public congregation, and you are encouraged to unite yourself spiritually to the daily offering Mass. This might be helped by participating by the live streaming of the Holy Mass and following its prayers at home and making an act of spiritual communion. Saint Thomas Aquinas described this act of spiritual communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.”
You can access a livestream of the Mass via the Diocesan website, here: http://www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org/.
Asking the Lord’s blessing on the days ahead
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing. However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.
Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.
We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.
You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk). Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.
The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.
During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.
The Lord is my shepherd, There is nothing I shall want.’
May God bless us allVincent Cardinal Nichols President
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP President Vice-President