St. Edmund Campion, Maidenhead

Guidelines for Returning to the Church for Prayers and Public Worship

 

General Guidelines

The suspension of Sunday Mass obligation is still in place, and so our online zoom Masses will continue to serve that purpose until further notice.

Out of concern for one another, those in the 'shielding group', or at especially high risk of infection should be advised to follow government shielding guidelines and stay at home and return to the church only when it is appropriate.

In stating that, it remains a person's own choice to come to church to pray.

 

Returning for Private Prayers and Mass

Mass will be celebrated each day Monday to Sunday . The church will be open for 30 minutes before, and after, each Mass for private prayer.

Zoom is now live from 9.30am to 11am from Monday to Friday. This means you can connect for the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and 10am Mass.

Opening times and Masses

  Church Open Mass Online
Sunday 8:30am - 12:30pm 9am & 11am Yes
5pm - 7:15pm 6pm No
Monday 9:30am - 11am 10am Yes
Tuesday 9:30am - 11am 10am Zoom
Wednesday 9:30am - 11am 10am Zoom
Thursday 9:30am - 11am 10am Yes
Friday 9:30am - 11am 10am Zoom
Saturday 9:30am - 12noon 10am No
5pm - 7:15pm 6pm Yes
    • Apart from families going to pray together, everyone is required to observe the 1.5 metre social distancing in the church - that is equivalent to a space of three chairs from someone who is not of your household, or 'bubble'.
    • Alcohol hand gel will be provided for use on entering and leaving the church.
    • A steward will be around to help should you need anything and will ensure that the cleaning routine is carried out after each visit to the church.
    • Only a number of rows of chairs will be operational.
    • We are encouraged to stand and pray if that is possible. However, during Mass you may sit. Kneeling is not encouraged.
    • The less contact we make with the furniture in the church the more we reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
    • At this time, large gatherings are not encouraged and we must follow government and Diocesan guidelines. The Church can cater for a maximum of 80 people at a service.

 

For Masses in the Church

    • No physical sign of peace (outside your bubble).
    • Holy Communion is to be received on the hand and the priest will go around the rows of chairs to distribute to the congregation.
    • The chalice is suspended.
    • Entering (Church entrance) and Exiting (parish centre exit) of the church for Mass should be ordered and as directed by the Stewards. Please follow the directions given by the stewards.
    • Once Mass starts we ask people not to enter the church, as it will cause a lot of distraction, especially as Mass will continue to be live streamed. So please come at least ten minutes before Mass begins on week days and at least fifteen minutes before weekend Masses, as it does take time to register the names, sanitise and be shown you seat.
    • For sitting, we shall be using every other row, starting from the front row of chairs as will be directed by the stewards. Families can sit together and parents with children should keep them close.
    • All should use the hand sanitising gel on entering the church.
    • The government has advised that cloth face coverings (and not surgical masks) be worn for reassurance by people in enclosed areas. Churches do not need to supply face coverings for visitors.
      Therefore you are asked to bring your own face-covering. Continue to wear your face covering until you leave the area where other people are. We want to make sure that you can do so safely and comfortably as social distancing guidelines are still in place
    • The use of kitchen and parish hall is suspended.
    • The use of toilets is suspended at any other time except during Mass for pressing needs.
    • Whenever the toilet is used during Mass, for pressing needs only, it has to be cleaned and sanitised after each use.
    • Please do not gather in the church porch or exiting doorway for conversations.
    • The Mass Attendance Card will begin once again from September 1st, and can be stamped on whatever day you and your family attend.
    • The families of the children for First Holy Communion are very much encouraged to attend Mass at least once a week, to familiarise themselves again with the Sacrament of the Eucharist. We hope to celebrate the Masses of First Holy Communion during October. Mrs. Opalko will be sending out a letter soon in regards to this.

 

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Saturday 11am – 12pm & 5pm – 5.45pm, or any other time that is arranged privately with the priest.

 

Request for Volunteer Stewards

We will depend greatly on the stewards for ordered movements in the church and for sanitising the church after each service. Please enlist if you are not within the vulnerable or shielding category. (lcummins@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk)

 

Financial Collection

It is greatly appreciated that many of you transferred your 'church offering' from cash to direct debit and standing order over the last number of months. Our parish has had its financial income greatly reduced and this has impacted on our church activities, donations to various charities and parish maintenance. From September 1st, there will be an Offertory Collection Box at the church entrance and exit each day if you wish to make a very welcome donation. We hope in the very near future to install a Contactless Machine where you can 'tap' a donation.

NB: It would be really helpful for the parish if the vast majority of our Weekly Collection could be done via Direct Debit / Standing Order. At present, we are a vastly cash—giving parish, and with the dramatic decrease in donations, it is very hard to plan and donate to those most vulnerable and in need, as well as care for our parish community.

I ask that you reflect and, if possible, switch your donation from cash to bank. This would be invaluable and would give the Parish Council and Finance Committee more solidity in planning for the months/years ahead.

 

Finally, while we will continue to take appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, parishioners should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 any time they enter a public space since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection.

I thank you for your understanding and cooperation during these strange times as we move into the 'new normal'. These guidelines will be updated as appropriate until such time as we are back to full opening, which will include access and use of the Parish Centre and its activities.

 

St. Edmund Campion, pray for us.

 

Yours in Christ,

Father Liam

 

These guidelines were updated on 31st August 2020.

 

You can download a PDF version of these guidelines here