Guidance for Parishioners attending Mass in our churches

Below is full guidance about behaviour in our Churches and before, during and after visits.

For latest updates just read our NEWSLETTER. You can open the latest newsletter using the link at the top of this page.

Please, wear face coverings when you visit our churches. Thank you.

In our Parish public Mass has resumed on Sat 5th December. Many Catholic churches are already open for private prayer and the same safety measures will be in place plus more specific guidelines for funerals, weddings and baptisms.

To ease concerns regarding overcrowding, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have maintained the dispensation for the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation. If they can, Mass goers are invited to attend during the week rather than busy Sunday mornings.

Guidance on choosing which Mass to attend

• If you do not work during the week please try to attend one of the weekday Masses.

• We are not introducing a booking system (except for Christmas) yet but if we need one, we will try to work out something. As we reopen for Mass, please let us be patient with one another, especially with those more vulnerable.

• If you have received a letter from either the Government or the NHS, inviting you to maintain shielding and avoid public places, please continue to do so.

• No one is to set out to Mass if they have any of the symptoms of Covid-19 such as a fever, a sore throat, a cough or a loss of a sense of taste or smell.

Before Mass

• If you arrive by car, please park your car 2m apart from other cars if you can. This will not always be possible, especially at St Wulstan’s, so don’t worry.

• As you approach the church entrance please respect 2 metres social distancing and the markings on the ground near the door. Please wear a Face Covering before entering the building.

• When you arrive at the church entrance please be prepared to find that a steward may refuse you entry if the congregation is already at the maximum permitted capacity.

• You will be asked whether you or any within your household or “social bubble” have any Covid-19 symptoms.

• In the Narthex please use the hand sanitiser provided.

• The interior of the church will have been thoroughly cleaned before and after each Mass and any other service. As far as possible please avoid touching surfaces inside the building.

• There will be no hymn books, holy water stoops nor Mass response cards.

• You will be highly encouraged to adhere to the ‘Track and Trace’ strategy, by providing at each visit your details, either by including your name and contact number in the book provided or by clicking on the NHS app QR code.  This is so we know who is at each Mass and you can be contacted if someone attending that Mass is later found to be infected with Covid-19. 

• A steward will guide you to your seat. Please avoid moving around the church and do not spend much time by the candle stands. If you would like to light a candle, inform the steward and do it before you are shown to your seat.

• Inside the church follow the one-way system highlighted on the floor by arrows.

• Please do not touch statues and do not step on the sanctuary or any other room attached to the church.

Toilets are closed and will not be available for use.

• The side rooms at OLG and the Parish Room at St Wulstan’s will not be available.

During Mass

• Remain by your seat when you stand or kneel.

• The seating area will be just bare wooden pews (at St Wulstan’s) and plastic chairs (at Our Lady of Grace). If you need a cushion, please bring one from home. At Our Lady’s your cushion could be used as a kneeler too.

• Only the Cantors will be permitted to sing, if they are in church. No one else in the assembly is allowed to join in the singing.

• Please be patient and cooperate with guidance from stewards and the Priest who will be acting to protect the safety of everyone.

Liturgy of the Word

• We are going to have just one reader per Mass, when possible. Rotas are back in place.

• The reader will be supplied with single-use gloves and should avoid touching the microphone or the Lectionary, apart for page turning.

Mass continues normally

• There will be no procession of the gifts.

• There will be no collection at the usual time. You will find a basket at the exit for your donations.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

• There will be no exchange of the Sign of Peace so the congregation will say together the Lamb of God.

• After we all say “Lord I am not worthy…”, as the Priest holds up the Sacred Host and Chalice and says: “The Body and Blood of Christ!”, the whole congregation will reply “Amen!

Communion

• The Priest will receive Communion as usual. Then, the Deacon or extraordinary minister and the whole congregation will receive Communion.

• Communion will be only under one kind.

• If you are receiving Communion please stand at your seat with arms at full stretch, hands positioned one above the other with their palms upward and flat as possible.

Wait for the Priest or for the extraordinary minister to put the Sacred Host on your hand before you pick it up and bring it to your mouth. Consume any little pieces that might be still on your hand, before kneeling or sitting down.

NB: there will be no blessings at communion as the blessing at the end of Mass is the only one needed.

• Please do not set off to light candles at this stage.

IMPORTANT: At the end of Mass, please wait by your seat for the priest to leave the church. A steward will prompt you when to approach the exit.

After Mass

• Spend as little time as possible in church and please respect 2m social distancing as you leave.

• Do not expect to leave by the door you used on your way in.

• The way out at Our Lady’s is the fire exit opposite to the normal entrance.

• The way out at St Wulstan’s is the fire exit on the left-hand side near the statue of the Sacred Heart.

• Sanitise your hands using the sanitiser provided by the exit door.

• Observe the rule of SIX in the carpark.

Donations

• You will find a basket by the exit door for any cash or envelope donation.

Live streaming

Holy Mass at 9.00am on Sundays

at 10.00am on Mondays

at 10.00am on Tuesdays

at 10.00am on Thursdays

Please, check Newsletter for Mass times on weekdays and eventual changes