Covid-19 Step 4: we want you to feel safe and welcome at Mass!
As we move into Covid-19 Response Step 4 we have guidance from the Government and the Bishops’ Conference. We want to keep a safe environment in our church and be alert to local conditions. We will proceed with great caution as well as hope. At St Michael and All Angels we are blessed to have a spacious and well-ventilated church. Our congregations have been gracious and generous in their attention to others’ needs. We celebrate Mass and pray together with all the confidence that the situation allows. There will now be gradual changes and we will review everything as we go along.
The Sunday obligation to participate in Mass is still suspended until the First Sunday of Advent at least. Most weeks at St Michael’s we have nine Masses. You are welcome to attend on any day. At the weekends the less populated Masses are the 6 pm on Saturday and the 11.30 am on Sunday. If you are returning to Mass you might wish to come to one of those. Our Sunday 11.30 am Mass is an extra provision, to encourage a safe return to Mass for as many people as possible. It will continue for as long as it serves the current need.
Hand sanitiser will continue to be at the entrances and exits. We continue sanitising the church.
Face coverings We ask that face coverings are still worn in church please.
NHS Test, Track and Trace As long as the system is in operation, we have the QR codes for the NHS app available in the Welcome Area and at the rear doors. A simple paper form is available for people to sign in if they do not have the app.
The font is empty but if you wish to have holy water for home please bring in a bottle for blessing.
Seating We will retain the current arrangements, with some seats out of use, so that people can have enough space to feel comfortable.
Indoor congregational singing is permitted. It is recommended that singing should be phased in gently as part of worship over the summer period. Hymn books remain out of use for a while yet. Face coverings should be worn by members of the congregation whilst singing together, until infection levels reduce.
The Sign of Peace People have found many gracious ways to exchange this. Smiles, bows and the offering of hands held out in peace have been beautiful signs indeed! So, the shaking of hands remains suspended for now.
Communion Canon Gerard and Deacon Nick will continue to minister for these next weeks. Readers and servers will be most welcome to assist at Mass.
Collections for Parish Funds continue for a while by way of donation baskets at the entrances.
Visits Canon Gerard is glad to visit homes again in times of immediate need and looks forward to this becoming easier still.
St Michael’s remains open each day from early morning until evening for you to pray. For much of the day you can be still in the presence of the Lord just by yourself! And prayer is a most powerful aid against sickness; please do pray frequently.