Following the announcement by the government that churches are able to open again for public worship, we are pleased to be able to tell you that public Masses will resume in church from Sunday, 5 July. Mass will be offered at 10.00am and 6.00pm.There are, as you might imagine, restrictions that have to be in place, so Mass will not be quite as we know it on a Sunday morning. However, the sacrament will be celebrated, and we will have the opportunity to be nourished by the Bread of Life.
There are several things to be aware of.
Many people tend to arrive at around the same time just before Mass begins, which often creates a huddle around the door. Please arrive in good time so that we avoid people being crowded together at the door.
We will need to keep a record of who attends as part of the track and trace system. If anyone present tests positive for the virus, we will need to be able to supply details of everyone who has been in church. If we are not required to submit that information to the relevant authorities, the record of who attended will be destroyed after 21 days.
When you enter, you will be asked to use the hand sanitiser at the door
We will not be using the usual service books, but will have specially printed sheets for each Sunday containing everything you need. You will not be given your sheet, but will be invited to pick up your own, and to take it away with you at the end of the service
We must ask you to maintain a distance of at least two metres from other people at all times. That may mean that you cannot sit in your usual place for the time being. We are not removing chairs or cordoning off seats, but do ask you to exercise judgement in deciding where to sit. There are usually plenty of empty seats nearer the front of the church.
There will be no singing for the time being, but we hope that it will be possible to have some organ music in the near future.
During the service there will be no choir and no serving team to ensure that distancing is observed in the sanctuary. The Rector will be adhering to all the hygiene requirements to ensure that the elements are handled safely throughout.
No collection will be taken during the service, but there will be a plate at the back of church on which you can leave your offering for the work of the church.
The Peace must not be shared physically. A nod or a smile to those nearby is all that is needed.
Communion will be distributed in one kind only at a standing station at the front of the nave. Please approach from the centre aisle and return to your place by one of the side aisles.
We will not be offering coffee after Mass, and encourage you not to stay in church for long after Mass has ended.
We realise that all of these restrictions feel like a burden, but they are necessary as the virus is still present, as the number of cases in Nuneaton and Leicester demonstrates. Please bear with us as we seek to offer the Mass as safely as we can.
We also realise that some will not feel able to return to Mass straightaway. If you are in one of the vulnerable categories or simply do not feel ready to come to Mass, please do not feel any pressure to do so. But know that you are always welcome when you do feel ready and able to return.
The Mass at 6.00pm is being offered to ensure that anyone who is anxious about attending a service with a larger congregation can attend a smaller gathering. The numbers present at 6.00pm are likely to be small, and so distancing will be much easier. We hope that the availability of that service will be helpful for some, and we will continue to offer it for as long as it is helpful.
We are not resuming public weekday Masses just yet, but we will keep under review the question of which services are resumed when.