Welcome to the Sacred Heart Church
OF PUBLIC SERVICE
IN OUR CHURCH
Public Celebration of Mass in England and Wales
Following the recent Government announcement that Places of Worship will be able to re-open for Services from July 4th/5th 2020, Bishop Richard Moth has written to announce that Masses may be celebrated publicly once again in the Diocese from next weekend. The Bishop asks for your continued understanding about the use of hand sanitiser and social distancing measures in Church, and adds his voice to that of the Bishops’ Conference in asking everyone to respect and follow the guidance that will be issued, and the instructions given, in each Church.
With regard to the public celebration of Mass and minimising the risk of virus transmission, the Archbishops of Westminster, Liverpool, Birmingham and Southwark have written to all Catholics in England: “It is important to re-affirm that, at present, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended … Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass in our Churches. This will be determined locally in accordance with social distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary practices … We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to Mass. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for more people. Moving forward, there will still be many people who cannot attend Mass in person. We therefore ask Parishes, wherever possible, to continue live-streaming Sunday Mass, both for those who remain shielding and vulnerable, and also for those unable to leave home because of advanced age or illness”.
Following what the Archbishops have written regarding the possibility of the Faithful attending Mass on a weekday rather than over the weekend, we have decided to celebrate our daily 6:00 p.m. Mass in the Church rather than in the House Chapel from Monday 6th July 2020 until further notice.
Our Sunday Eucharist and COVID-19
Here at the Sacred Heart Church, we understand that the current situation has been a testing time for everyone, but also that we need to ensure we are still able to care for you and your spiritual needs. That is why we have been working to adapt the way we will now have to publicly celebrate the Eucharist so that we can begin to welcome you back as safely as possible.
Every single decision we have made, and every step we have taken, has been with a focus on the safety of you, the Faithful, and of our Priests. We appreciate that things will feel a little different to your usual experience, and that you may be concerned, so here is some information on how things will look and feel for the time being.
We must adhere to Government (Public Health England) Guidance and so are restricted to the number of people we can allow in the Church at any one time. The Government maintains that a ‘two metre’ social distance is required where possible, and that ‘one metre plus’ is only permitted where a mitigation of risk is also applied. We are advised by the Bishops’ Conference that in the case of Catholic Churches this would mean the compulsory wearing of a face covering for all Members of the Congregation and for the Priest celebrating Mass.
After careful consideration, we are forced to the conclusion that we can only allow sixty-eight (68) of the Faithful attend any one Mass: fifty-four (54) in the main Church and six (6) in the Choir Loft and eight (8) in the Side Loft. The places where people can sit are clearly indicated with a green sticker. We appreciate that this may cause inconvenience to a number of people who usually attend our Masses and we can only apologise in advance.
The doors at the main and side entrances will generally be left wide open before and after Mass so as to allow people to enter and leave Church without having to touch the door handles.
We ask that you sanitise your hands with the ‘hands-free sanitiser’ that is provided at the main and side entrances to Church and that you avoid touching the door handles of any of the interior doors. All door handles will, however, still be sanitised before and after all Services in Church.
Missalettes and Church Newsletters will be available at the Church entrances - please take copies for yourself. We ask that you take them home with you and do not leave them in the Church after Mass.
Although there will be no Holy Water provided in the font/stoop at the main and side entrances to Church, miniature bottles of Holy Water that are handy for your pocket or handbag will be available to use and for you to take home.
The places within the pews or the chairs where people should sit will be clearly marked, and one of the ‘Stewards’ will show you to your place. Families can sit together but again do please adhere to the ‘two metre’ social distancing rules with regard to all other individuals around you.
If lighting a candle, we ask that you ensure you take just the candle(s) you are going to use and light it/them from the candle already burning at the side altars.
There will unfortunately be no Altar Servers during this time, and we can only look forward to the time when our young people can again serve the Lord at the altar.
With regard to Offerings, collecting bags will not be passed from person to person, but rather will be held by the individual
Usher who is asked to move around the benches and then take their respective bag to the altar. The Offertory Procession is suspended until further notice. There will be naturally no invitation to shake hands during the ‘Sign of Peace’.
The Priests will sanitise their hands before and after distributing Holy Communion, and this will be given with the Communicant standing at the altar rails silently and in the hand only. Holy Communion will be distributed to those in the front pews first and people are asked to wait in their places until it is their turn to move forward to the altar rails, and then move back to the pews in an orderly manner.
Those seated in the Choir and Side Lofts are kindly requested to remain in their places, until the Faithful in the main body of the Church have received Holy Communion, and then are asked to make their way to the altar rails.
Please leave Church, with the leaflets you have used, in an orderly way allowing plenty of space for each person leaving around you.
There will be no traditional greeting by the Clergy after Mass as the Bishops’ Conference asks that the Faithful are encouraged to return home and not remain around the main entrance to Church.
After Mass we will have a team of volunteers on hand to sanitise all the benches, chairs, altar rails et al that need to be disinfected.
We hope that with the above instructions you can rest assured when visiting the Sacred Heart Church that every reasonable precaution has been taken to ensure the safety of everyone. This is our top priority as we begin re-opening our doors and return to sharing the Celebration of the Eucharist with you. If you have any questions at all regarding this guidance, please do not hesitate to contact Father Julio or Father Martin.
Saint of the Day
Born a Princess c.635 in England, Saxburgh was the daughter of the King of East Anglia, sister of Saint Etheldred, Saint Ethelburgh and Saint Withburgh, and half-sister of Saint Sethrid.
She married Erconbert, King of Kent and gave birth to Ermenhild and Ercongotha who became Saints, and was widowed in 664.
Saxburgh founded the Convent of Minster in Sheppey and became a Nun at the Convent of Ely in 679 where she eventually became Abbess.
She died c.699 of natural causes.
Saint Saxburgh of Ely
Saints of the Week
Monday 6th July:
Saint Saxburgh of Ely
Tuesday 7th July:
Blessed Pope Benedict XI
Wednesday 8th July:
Thursday 9th July:
Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions
Friday 10th July:
Saturday 11th July:
Saint Benedict of Nursia
6:00 p.m. -----------
10:00 a.m. Ellen & Patrick Cuddihy RIP
11:30 a.m. Mrs. Presentacion Portuguez RIP
Book your Mass Intention
Please tell us the date you would like the Eucharist offered for your Intentions.
Wednesday 7:30 p.m.
E-mail us with your Prayer Request of the week
in the House Chapel
at 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Evening at
at 10:00 a.m.
All other Services are announced in our weekly newsletter and on our website.