Churches to re-open for public mass

Cautious Re-opening of Churches for Public Worship
The Archbishop will give permission for churches to re-open for Mass and other public
services beginning on Monday 6th July under the strict conditions set out below for the
prevention of infection and the protection of those attending. Permissions will be reversed should rates of infection rise. The normal schedule of Masses will therefore recommence from that date in the usual locations.
• Each church will have a limited number of people who can be in the building.
(for St.Oswald’s, this number is 130; for Our Lady’s 100; for St. Wilfrid’s 75)
• There should be no concelebrating at a public Mass.
• A church can only be opened for Mass once it has been made ready and has been
approved by the Dean. A risk assessment and other documentation must be completed and
returned to the Dean.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
• The vulnerable should carefully consider the wisdom of returning to Mass too soon. They are not obliged to do so. The Sunday obligation has not been re-instated.
• Those who are able are encouraged to gather on a weekday rather than a Saturday
evening or Sunday, to release the pressure on weekend Masses.
• Social distancing guidelines are still in force i.e. 1 metre plus.
• Every 2nd row must be closed off.
• Church doors and windows should be left open.
• Volunteer stewards are required to be on hand to direct hand sanitising on arriving and leaving, to direct people to benches and to encourage worshippers to maintain
reasonable social distancing.
• Votive candles may be lit, but only from a lit candle.
• Single use newsletters, Mass sheets, or other papers may be used but must be taken home.
• Only the priest should be on the sanctuary – without deacons, servers or readers.
• There will be no Sign of Peace.
• There will be no singing.
• There should be no handshakes or hugs etc. after services.
• Collections should be in a basket on the way in and the way out.
• Lingering clusters of conversation in the porch or outside the church are to be avoided.
• Volunteers are required to sanitise bench surfaces and doors etc. after each Mass.
• Toilets must remain closed and only be used in a genuine emergency.

FACEMASKS
• People coming to Church will have to wear a facemask, which they will be permitted to lower to receive Holy Communion.

RECEPTION OF HOLY COMMUNION:
• Holy Communion will be given as the Sacred Host only.
• The priest will wear a visor while distributing Holy Communion and sanitise his hands
before and after distribution.
• Holy Communion will be distributed after the final dismissal of the Mass.
• The priest will receive Holy Communion at the usual point of Mass.
• The words: “The Body of Christ. Amen” will only be said once at the beginning of
distribution. They are not to be repeated for each communicant.
• Communicants will be directed to approach the altar and then leave the church directly after receiving Holy Communion without returning to their benches.
• Parishioners should avoid bringing shopping or other large personal items to church in order to avoid returning to their places after receiving Holy Communion.
• Volunteer stewards will moderate the flow of those processing for Holy Communion.
• Communicants are instructed to approach with arms outstretched in order to maintain a
reasonable distance from the minister.
• Reception of Holy Communion on the tongue is not permitted.
• Communicants must avoid skin to skin contact with the minister’s hands. If contact
happens the Priest is to pause and sanitise his hands.
• Communicants should step to one side and then place the Sacred Host in their mouth and then follow directions to leave the church.

We thank you in advance in observing these guidelines which are there for your own safety and the safety of others.

We now look forward to welcoming you back into church whenever you feel comfortable to do so.

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