04-07-2020 Superceding previous notices

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ARRANGEMENTS FOR PUBLIC MASSES
HOLY TRINITY and SACRED HEART SUTTON COLDFIELD

CHURCH REOPENING HOLY TRINITY
The Church will reopen for public Mass from Saturday July 11th 2020. Masses will be at 6.00pm on Saturday 11 July and 11.00am on Sunday 12 July. Do not suppose we are going ‘back to normal’. These arrangements are far from normal and have many restrictions and are set out below. They apply to all the Masses equally. Private prayer will continue for this week only as the 10.00am Masses on Tuesday and Thursday will be public as of July 14 and 16.

CHURCH REOPENING SACRED HEART
The Church will re-open for public Mass on Sunday 19 July when it is planned to introduce a 5.00pm Mass. In addition a facility for private prayer will be introduced - every Wednesday – commencing July 8 from 12 noon until 2.00pm.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING (applicable to both parishes)

❖ No one is obliged come to Mass.
There is no obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. Instead of attending Mass on Sunday, you are encouraged to attend on any other available day, or to watch live streamed Masses. Holy Trinity will have public Mass on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.00am

❖ Some people MUST NOT come to Mass.
If you have been advised to ‘shield’ or self-isolate, are sick, or have the Covid virus (even if not symptomatic) or any of the symptoms of the Covid virus (such as a raised temperature, cold, cough or flu-like symptoms, loss of taste/smell) then you must not come to Mass. If you are over the age of 70 you are also advised to avoid social contact as much as possible, and should take special care if attending Mass. For example, if you need help (such as with walking) from someone who is not a member of your household then you should probably not attend.

❖ Numbers in Church will be STRICTLY LIMITED.
We are applying the ‘one metre plus’ social distancing* . This means that the maximum number who can be accommodated in Holy Trinity at any one time is 50-60. This is a lot more than we usually get at a weekday Mass, but far fewer than we usually see at a Sunday Mass. No more than 60 will be admitted to Church, so you may consider attending Mass on an available weekday rather than on Saturday or Sunday.
For Sacred Heart that number will be about 40-50 depending on the level of stewarding and the demography of the congregation. * the ‘plus’ being the use of face coverings.

❖ There is no toilet
Diocesan guidance and our risk assessment require us to keep the toilets out of use. If this is a problem for you or someone who is with you, you should not come to Mass.

❖ Everyone must wear a face covering.
Inside the Church, face coverings must be worn. These need not be ‘masks’ but must cover both nose and mouth. It is your responsibility to provide the face covering, though some single use masks and gloves are available in Church. The only exceptions are children under 5, and those in the sanctuary (who observe a two metre distance). Anyone with a severe respiratory condition need not wear a mask, but such persons must keep a 2 metre social distance and are perhaps best advised not to come to Mass.

❖ Please observe the one way system in place in Church.
The safety of worshippers is essential; so how people move within the church is most important. Please follow the one-way system in the church and be guided by the stewards at all times.

WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT ABOUT THE CELEBRATION OF MASS

❖ Arriving and Leaving
▪ Please note that the Church has to be cleaned before and after each Mass by our stewards. It is advisable to try to arrive early to ensure the stewards ample time to show you to your seat before the start of Mass, say 20 minutes.
▪ A steward will show you to an available seat in the Church. Please sit as directed. This will probably not be where you usually sit. Do not move to another place or closer than 1 meter to someone on the same row.
▪ When you enter and leave the Church you will be invited to sanitise your hands. If necessary you will be invited to wear a face covering (which should cover nose and mouth).
▪ There will be no papers available in the porch (all have been removed under instruction accordingly). If you have your own prayer book you must keep it with you all of the time you are in church. At the exit a bin will be provided for the disposal of your gloves and mask.
▪ There will be no candles available for lighting before, during or after Mass.
▪ If you know that you will not be able to walk forward to receive communion or a blessing, please let a steward know when you arrive, so that a priest or minister can bring the sacrament or bless you at the appropriate time. If possible, the steward will ask you to sit at the front of the Church.
▪ At the end of Mass, please do not stay in Church to chat or socialise, but leave as soon as possible, sanitising your hands as you go. Make sure that you take all your property with you. We are instructed that any items found in the Church must be destroyed.

❖ During Mass
▪ The basic intention of the way in which the Mass will be celebrated is to do all things with appropriate dignity and reverence, observing social distancing, yet keeping people in Church for as short a time as possible. Your co-operation with the stewards is essential in this.
▪ There may be some recorded music during Mass, but there will be no congregational singing. Please do not join in!
▪ At the sign of the peace, there will be no handshake or other physical contact.
▪ Some of the Masses are live-streamed (broadcast live on the internet and recorded so that they are available to watch later). At no point does the camera record the congregation, though anyone visible on the sanctuary - including Priests, Deacons altar servers and communicants may be seen.

❖ Offertory and Collection
▪ There will be no offertory procession during the Mass. Collecting bags will not be passed from hand to hand.
▪ There will be collection boxes at the exit points at the rear of the Church for the usual collection of Gift Aid envelopes and for loose cash. You are invited if desired to make a Mass offering place the offering into an envelope at home and post it to Father Michael or Mary Holden with all the details through the presbytery front door. In the case of Sacred Heart you may wish Mgr. Cousins to say a Mass for your intention (which will be private) so post your offering through his door.

❖ Receiving Communion or a Blessing
▪ Communion will be given after Mass, no words being spoken.
▪ The format will be as follows:
▪ After the prayer ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof …’, the priest will hold up the consecrated host, and say ‘The Body of Christ’, to which we all reply ‘Amen’. Then he will hold up the Chalice, and say ‘The Blood of Christ’, to which we similarly reply ‘Amen’.
▪ The priest will then receive communion himself, invite those watching at home to make an act of spiritual communion, then say the prayer after communion, give the blessing and pronounce the dismissal.
▪ Music may then play, as the ministers come to the altar, sanitise their hands and receive communion from the priest, who will hand them a separate ciborium to distribute communion to the people.
▪ Please wait for the Stewards to direct you to Holy Communion. Those sitting in the sides aisles of the Church will go first, (if those places are occupied)
▪ The Priests and/or Deacon and the communicant stand either side of a small table which forms a kind of communion rail. Both will need to stretch out their hands as far as possible. Receiving the host directly onto the tongue is not permitted.
▪ No words will be said at the administration of communion or a blessing. The communicant will of course lift her or his mask to receive communion.
▪ In the case of Holy Trinity, after receiving communion, following the one-way system, the people will go down the side aisles into the porch exiting on the left via the Boswell Road side, and on the other via the presbytery side. Hands should be sanitised on the way out and masks/gloves disposed of in the bins provided.
▪ In the case of Sacred Heart exits will be via the side aisles and out through the main door or the small door on the right as appropriate. Hands must be sanitized and gloves/masks disposed of in the bins provided.
▪ If you need to receive communion in your seat, please stay where you are and a minister will come to you after all others have left.

❖ After Mass
When you have received communion, please leave the Church immediately. Feel free - if the weather permits - to engage in socially distanced chatting outside the Church building or in the car park, maintaining social distancing.
Please note - that these arrangements can and will change, partly as we find better ways of doing things and partly also as legislation and government guidance changes.
All of the above will be reviewed on a weekly basis by your Priests and with your help.
Also, if demand dictates further public Masses may be added in both churches.

OTHER MATTERS

Holy Communion to those unable to come to Church
We have been given no direction about this. There is no bar to giving communion now, but we must work within the social distancing guidelines, and also advice about going into other people’s homes. This has changed so often and in such a complicated way that I really don’t know where we stand now, and hope that some clear directions will come soon.

Confessions
Confessions can be heard on request. Social distancing must be observed, so the confessional cannot be used. Guidance suggests somewhere outside, in the Church grounds. It is recommended that priest and penitent both stand and do not directly face one another.

Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
We are still awaiting specific guidance. All we know at present is that there will be a government limit on numbers of 30 people at these events, wherever they take place.

Children’s Liturgy
There will be no Children’s Liturgy until further notice.

Holy Water
There is no holy water available from the Church. If you wish to have some holy water please bring water in a clean container ask the priest to bless it for you after Mass.

Piety Stall
The piety stall will remain closed at present.

Fr. Michael Ho
4 July 2020