On the 29th June we will reopen our churches for the celebration of the Mass and Sacraments with the People of God present and actively participating. For the foreseeable future, the Sunday obligation will remain suspended but good judgement and reason will guide your decision as to when you come back to Sunday Mass. For many, being able to return to church to worship as a community is truly a blessing. However, we will need to have regard to ongoing health and safety measures. We expect to begin in a cautious way at first, and there will be a need for patience and careful monitoring of the situation. Social distancing will be an ongoing requirement with approximately 2 metres separation between persons. This does not apply to family members from the same household.
At a recent meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council the following was agreed:
- Numbers attending will need to be monitored to meet the required distancing guidelines.
- Hand sanitizers will be available at church entrances.
- People entering Newmarket and The Wells churches are asked to use the main door and exit through the side doors. Carrigerry will continue as before.
- People are asked to wear face masks (face coverings) to church and only remove them to receive Holy Communion.
- Ushers (stewards) will meet people on entry and show them into their seats.
- Eucharistic Ministers will wear visors as they distribute Communion.
- Baskets for church offerings will be left at the entrance to the churches.
- Holy Communion will be distributed at the very end of Mass.
- Local volunteers will be required to help with sanitizing after each Mass.
These arrangements will take some time to get used to and so we ask that you pay attention to ushers or others who may be directing. As we move to reopen, prudence and the ability to discipline ourselves by the use of reason, must govern our actions. There is no substitute for good judgement.
If anyone would like to volunteer to be an usher or to help with sanitizing after Masses in any of the churches, please call the Parish Office during the week at 061 368127.
We are moving cautiously in the right direction and, with God’s help, we will soon begin to return to our normal routine and practice.