The Guidelines issued by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales regarding the coronavirus can be read here (see here).
Please consider the well-being of the more vulnerable members of our congregation and stay at home if you are suffering from a continuous cough, fever or shortness of breath, if you have been to an affected place in the last 14 days, or if you have come into contact with someone who has been positively diagnosed with coronavirus. Attendance at Mass in these circumstances is not required by the teaching of the Church.
It is paramount that everyone maintains good hygiene at Mass, other services and parish gatherings. The Fathers are taking extra measures to sanitise their hands before and after distributing Holy Communion.
The NHS advises:
always to carry tissues and to use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
to dispose your tissue as soon as possible, because germs can live for several hours on it.
not to touch your face unless you have washed your hands with soap and water, because hands can transfer germs to every surface you touch.
We will provide sanitising gel dispensers at the back of the church so that you can sanitise your hands.
The holy water stoups in the church have been emptied.
At the public veneration of relics, there will be no kissing or physical touching, but only a general blessing.
Sunday morning coffee is suspended for the time being.
Note that fulfilling your Sunday obligation (which is a Precept of the Church) means attending Holy Mass, not receiving Communion. If you are concerned about the hygienic aspects of receiving Sacramental Communion, you can always make a Spiritual Communion. In Spiritual Communion, we express our fervent desire to receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and to be united with Him. The Church teaches that if you are in a State of Grace and make a Spiritual Communion, you will receive the fruits of the Sacrament.
Prayers for Spiritual Communion
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ's side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In Thy wounds I fain would hide;
Ne'er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.
(Anima Christi, attributed to Pope John XXII and translated by St John Henry Newman)
I wish, Lord, to receive you with the purity, humility and devotion
with which your most holy Mother received you,
with the spirit and fervourvof the saints.
Following a recent meeting of the Healthcare Executive Group of the Catholic Bishops a few guidelines were put in place to help restrict the spread of the virus within the church and the wider community. The most noticeable were outlined by Father Pio during last weekend’s mass. This included the suspension of the physical sign of peace. Unfortunately as we have seen a continued increase in cases within the Diocese, we now have to implement more of the guidelines to help further reduce the risk of catching the virus. We have removed the holy water stoups and have ceased the use of shared hymn books and missals within the church until further notice. We also ask everyone who attends Mass to sanitise their hands as they come into the Church, most importantly, we also ask anyone who has an underlying health issue or anyone with cold or flu symptoms to refrain from attending mass at this time. Should there be any urgent updates that we need to communicate, we will post them on both our Facebook page and Website: so if you have already not done so, please like our Facebook Page to make sure you stay informed.