St Patrick’s Church Reopening Notice

Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation – Latest Information:

Parish notice July 1st: Dear parents and guardians, after all our efforts for the third time we are very disappointed to convey the following government information to you; "that religious ceremonies such as Baptisms, First Holy Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time. Further advice will follow on resumption of these ceremonies when it is safe to do so".
The Archdiocese has reiterated this advice.  It is most unfortunate as it leaves many families disappointed once again. We realise that so many have made special arrangements and undertaken clothing expenses for the second time.  We hope and pray that the next government announcement will be in our favour. Please attend to the parish website/Facebook page for ongoing information especially as the schools are on summer holidays.

 

Summary of other reopening measures: 

  • With effect from the 10th May 2021 churches can reopen for public Mass.
  • Numbers continue to be restricted to 50 people in the church building
  • Admission will be in a first-come first-serve basis
  • First Holy Communion and Confirmation Masses have been rescheduled to the Autumn
  • Current restrictions means that there can be no gathering outside the front of the church, should the church building reach the maximum capacity of 50.  Parishioners can however remain in their cars in the car park and receive communion.
  • Private Prayer: Church can continue to be accessed daily for private prayer.  Access is through the side door at pastoral centre on far side of Church between 10.30am and 12.30pm

Funerals

  • With effect from the May 10th 2021 up to 50 mourners can attend

Weddings

  • Up to 50 guests can attend a wedding ceremony and reception, whether indoors or outdoors

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Q.   What are the eopening plans for the Church?

  • The church will be open on weekdays and Saturday between 10am and Noon for private prayer (funerals permitting). From May 10th 2021 Mass has recommenced weekdays at 10am, Saturday evening at 7pm and Sunday at 9am and Noon.  The Sunday 10.30am family mass will continue for the present as a live broadcast on the parish website. All weekend and weekday Masses can be also be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Q.   How many people will be allowed in the church? 

  • The church building is limited to 50 people in attendance based on new guidance issued by the government. This figure is on a first come basis and is inclusive of staff and volunteers.  All are expected to follow the social distance guidance and seating arrangements when in attendance (see below).  The Archbishop has advised that the use of face coverings is required for indoor settings.

Q.   What happens if the Church is full?

  • The maximum number in attendance in the Church building is 50 inclusive of congregation, liturgical staff and volunteers. For those who cannot enter the Church due to the maximum number having been met, parishioners can attend in their cars in the car park to cater for the overflow. Holy communion will be brought to the cars. It is expected that parishioners respect 2 meters social distancing at all times. Worshippers can also listen to the celebration of Mass while in their cars on the school campus and receive Holy Communion.

Q.   Will mass continue to be live streamed on the website?

  • All Masses are now streamed live on the parish YouTube channel while 10.30am Family Mass will continue to be only live streamed. This online mass is aimed at younger parishioners and their families; it is an accessible liturgy for children and enables them to participate more fully in the Sunday Mass.

Q.   What safety measures will be put in place?

  • Doors will be held open to reduce the need for people to touch surfaces such as door handles.
  • Everyone will have to use the provided hand sanitisers as they enter the Church.
  • There will be a one-way system and social distancing in operation in the Church, assisted by our stewards.
  • All seat assignments will be 2 metres apart.
  • During mass, the front and back doors will remain open (weather permitting) to allow for better ventilation.
  • Surfaces which may have been touched will be sanitised after mass.
  • Holy Communion will be brought to the benches.

Q.   What do I need to do when attending Mass?

  • Do not come to Mass if you have a cough/cold or feel unwell.
  • Hand sanitisers will be provided, please use them as you enter.
  • Try to make minimal contact with door handles or other surfaces.
  • Do not shake hands or hug anyone.
  • Please do not congregate to chat after Mass; exit in an orderly fashion, observing social distancing at all times.

Q.   How can I help?

  • To be able to put the safety procedures in place for the benefit of everyone we need volunteers to help with stewarding and sanitising the Church at masses.  Thank you to those who have come forward.

Q.   How do I enter/exit the Church?

  • Entrance will be via the main doors at the front of the Church and after mass the exits will be the two doors at the back either side of the altar.

Q.   Can I choose where I sit in the Church?

  • It may not be possible for you to sit in your usual or favourite seat for this initial period; please be patient until things have settled down and restrictions can be eased further.

Q.   Have the mass times changed?

  • Yes, please see above and continue to look at the parish website for further changes.

Q.   Can I still use the toilet facilities at the Church?

  • Unfortunately, there will be no access to the toilets in the Church as we do not have running hot water which is needed to clean them thoroughly between each use.

Q.   How are collections going to be done?

  • Collection boxes will be placed at the entrance and exit doors. The collection baskets will not be passed around. Envelopes/donations for collections can be left in the boxes. Volunteers will bring the collection box to those outside of the church for donations. On-line payments are also welcome on our website and ought to specify which collection is intended. The parish will shortly introduce electronic tap payments in addition to the collection boxes in and effort to reduce the handling of cash.

Q.   Will the parish office be open? If not, how can I contact the office?

Q.   What are the arrangements for Confession?  

  • Confession can be requested after Mass.  The confession box is not to be used. However, a space that respects open privacy is available in the Church to receive the Sacrament on request.

Q.   Will the Church be open for private prayers?  

  • Weekdays and Saturday between 10am and Noon. Access through pastoral door at far side of the Church.

Q.   What to do if you have any issues and concerns

  • A Reopening Committee has been established and contact can be made through the parish email address.