The following statement has been released from the Bishops’ Conference regarding the Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy.
“The timing and the manner of the opening of churches touches profound sensitivities and spiritual needs. The Government’s document and statements fail to recognise this.
The Government’s position, established today, includes these steps aimed at opening churches as soon as possible: the establishment of a task force for places of worship, to work closely with ‘stakeholders’ in ensuring that premises are COVID-19 secure; and heeding the experience of other countries in which churches are already open for worship.
In dialogue with the Government, the Catholic Church will continue its engagement in this process and has already submitted a detailed plan, in full accordance with public health guidelines, for churches to be opened for private prayer. The Church is ready to play its full part in the task force, understanding that this includes the possible earlier use of churches for private prayer, as a first safe step towards their use for public worship.”
As a parish we have to look and see where we may open and be safely socially distancing.
It is a possibility that the Church may stagger opening and pick parishes to open first then others at set stages.
It may be we can open both Churches or only one at first, we may be asked to wait while other parish Churches are opened, such a decision will be made at Diocesan level in conjunction with negotiations with Public Health England. Such a decision is not a judgement on a particular church or parish.
When we do open we will have to have regular rigorous cleaning of the buildings, have stewards to ensure safe social distancing. Training will be given to the stewards, probably web based.
Those who are vulnerable will be asked to not volunteer, and may be asked not to attend Church until its really safe to do so.
Vulnerability could be by reason of age or health conditions.
If you think you could be a volunteer to clean or to be a steward please text Fr Rob on 07785254078
We are in discussion with the diocese to be one of the first churches in the diocese to open for private prayer for a number of hours each day.
To do that we have to have 2 volunteers in church whenever we are open.
Are you available to give an hour or two to keep the church open.
We are looking at Mon – Fri or Mon – Sat.