Reopening of Churches - Update June 2020
Friday June 26th pm
I am sure that people will have heard that churches are to be able to be open for public worship from 4th July. The operative phrase is "to be able to open". That means that all kinds of measures will have to be in place before they CAN ACTUALLY open.
Hand-sanitizers, correct cleaning equipment, a one-way system with signage for entry and exit routes, benches and areas closed off to enable social distancing, and so on, will all need to be in place first.
In this diocese we are to be given the necessary equipment and training for this in phases of openings. Neither of our local churches is yet designated for reopening, but it may not be too far away.
When it does happen and public liturgy may once again be celebrated everything will be rather different than before.
Clearly if distancing has to be imposed capacity will be significantly lower. Therefore...
The Sunday Mass Obligation will not be re-imposed.
People who are able to attend Mass on weekdays will be encouraged to do this in order to allow those who work during the week to attend at the weekend.
Some people will still not be able to attend Mass because they are sheltering because of underlying conditions. As a result we have been asked to continue the live streaming of Masses even after the churches reopen.
There will be no communal singing (singing is a particularly virulent method of spreading a virus across a wide area).
There will be no Sign of Peace, Communion may only be received on the hand.
There is no fixed ruling on this, as yet, but face masks may have to worn by members of the congregation.
Obviously we will not be able to reinstate coffee after Mass for the foreseeable future.
As soon as I hear any firm news about opening ether, or both of our churches I will let people know.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me