Process of Re-opening the Church for Mass
In St. Joseph's, we celebrated the first Mass under the new dispensation on Sunday, 19th July at 10am. We have now returned to normal Sunday Mass times: 9am and 11am.
There is now a more settled system for requesting a place at Sunday Mass. This is obligatory.
The preferred option is to use the dedicated email address:
By using this, you can be sure that your request goes directly to the booking system. You will receive confirmation of your reservation of a place, or perhaps it may be necessary to explain that the Church is at capacity for a given Sunday.
There is also a new mobile phone number: 07396642594
The simplest way is to text this number. Please only phone the number as a last resort.
Whichever method you prefer, it is important that you give the following information:
The name(s) of whoever wishes to attend Mass (please give an accurate number)
The Sunday (date) that is being requested and the preferred time. (This cannot be guaranteed.)
A Contact phone number (for 'Contact and Trace' purposes)
If you have made a reservation, but for some reason discover that you cannot attend Mass, please use the methods above to inform us of this change. Other parishioners can take your place.
As we move into this new regime, we have to prepare for it by putting quite a range of measures in place. These make access to, and movement within the church very different from before.
Even if the church is opened only for a very limited time, strict protocols will be in operation. There will be only very limited capacity and some groups of parishioners are advised that they should not yet consider coming to church: those who are 'shielding', those with any underlying health conditions.
While shielding government restrictions have been "paused", those who have any concerns about age or health, should only attend Church, if you feel absolutely safe in doing so. Do not take any risks.
DATA: It is also part of this process that the name and a contact number for each person be required to be recorded and retained for 21 days. This is following legislation, and in accordance with GDPR, the information will be destroyed after the stipulated period.
The Bishops' Conference and each diocese now have Working Groups to make sure that all the precautions which are needed will in fact be enforced. In our parish also we will have a group to oversee our compliance with the various regulations and to assist parishioners as we progress.
We need quite an amount of materials for mapping out different areas in the church, for hygiene and disinfecting and we need quite a number of volunteers to supervise any activities and to attend to disinfecting / sanitising any spaces used. Without sufficient numbers of such helpers, we cannot function safely. While these are not 'regulated activities', we need also to consider Safeguarding issues for all who would be working in the church.
It has been a great hardship for many of us to have had no access to our church or the Eucharist. We can now see that possibility on the horizon once more. We will journey forward with due care and diligence.
I would be grateful if those who feel they would be able to volunteer in some capacity could indicate this by filling out one of the forms below and returning this to me, either by email or post etc. Form A should be used by those who already have some role in the church (SVDP, Reader etc). Form B is for those who have not had any such role till now.
As you know, I celebrate Eucharist each day in the Oratory. Your intentions are remembered and your care for those most affected by the current restrictions.
We look forward to coming together once again and beginning again to experience being part of the wonderful parish community of St. Joseph's.
Mgr. John A. Hughes,
Application Form A for those who already volunteer in the Parish. Click below.
Application Form B for those who are new volunteers. Click below.
Application Form C for 16-18 year-old