Beginning public worship

The Eucharist will be celebrated publicly again from Sunday July 19th which is wonderful news. Here are some matters to consider.

Until further notice, the following must be observed upon entry to the building:

  • Please enter as usual through the main entrance,  but leave by the door labelled “exit” to the front of the church, to the left of the pulpit
  • Please sanitise your hands straight away with the disinfectant gel provided.
  • Take your place and sit down immediately. You will see that some rows of chairs will not be accessible, and service papers have been put on chairs already. Please sit only on those. There are a few rows where there are chairs together for family groups
  • Please maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from any other person in the building.
  • Parents are asked to keep a particular eye on their children and to keep them physically near at all times . There must be no playing or running in church.
  • We estimate that we cannot have more than 30 people in the building at any one time. If the church risks becoming too full to worship in a Covid-safe way, you may be asked to come back for Mass on another occasion, and I will look at providing an extra celebration of Mass.. You are strongly advised to arrive EARLY for Mass.
  • Government advice does not require the wearing of a face covering or mask during worship, but people may wear one if they wish.

The following changes will be made to the Sunday Mass:

  • There will be no singing at any point by the congregation or priest. A solo might be sung, but from a side chapel or organ loft, appropriately distanced. There will be music played through the sound system before and after the service.
  • You are asked to take home the printed service sheet, and recycle it.
  • Communion will be in one kind (i.e. only offered in the form of the Eucharistic bread and not the chalice). You are asked to queue for communion keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from the next person. Communion will be given only into the hand, and not on the tongue.
  • There will be no refreshments at the end of Mass.
  • You are asked not to congregate in church at the end of Mass in order to preserve social distancing. If people wish to chat in a socially distanced way, please make your way into the car park which i where I will be to greet you after the service.

Who should and should not attend services at St Francis’s?

  • Government and church advice emphasises that it is a matter of personal conscience for each person to decide whether or not to resume attendance at church. Those over the age of 70 and those in vulnerable categories will want to weigh up the risks in a way that is appropriate to their circumstances. We would advise people only to do what they feel comfortable with. If anyone has particular concerns, do contact me directly.
  • One particular suggestion made by the Church of England is that individuals over the age of 70 who are anxious about returning to worship at services with large numbers of people may wish to think about coming to Mass at another time. I would be pleased to hear from you if this is the case, and look at what day and time would be most appropriate.
  • Those who are particularly vulnerable and who have been advised to shield should continue to follow government advice about restricting their contacts and should not attend public worship at the moment.
  • Those showing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend public worship and should begin a period of 14 days of self-isolation.

Online worship From Sunday 19th July 2020 onwards, one Mass a week will be recorded to be uploaded to YouTube for those who do not wish to leave their home. This will be uploaded to our parish YouTube channel on Saturday mornings