|Letter from Fr Mark McManus 11th September|
|Dear Parishioners of St Joseph's & St Charles',|
|Public Masses this week at St Joseph's church are:|
|Saturday, 12 September, at 5.00pm &
Sunday, 13 September, at 8.30am & 10.00am
Tuesday, 15 September, at 10.00am &
Friday, 18 September, at 10.00am
|You can choose to attend one of any of the 5 Masses - there is no Sunday obligation at present. Live-streamed Masses continue to be broadcast. Let us do all that we can to respect the health and safety of each other. When the church is full you may not enter the church. However, if you wish, you may remain outside as the main doors of the church will still be open and you can follow Mass there. As people leave the church you may then enter by the porch to receive Holy Communion.
New Regulations But No-Change In ChurchThe latest change in regulations concerning social gatherings does not apply to Places of Worship - our purpose and focus is the worship of God - and our current provision and observation of the law remains unchanged therefore. However, it is a good reminder for us not to become complacent and to maintain the impressive level of socially-aware behaviour that people have exhibited so far.
Many ThanksOur thanks go to all those who assisted with cleaning the church, preparations in the sacristy, stewarding, serving, and playing the organ at or for Simon's ordination to the Permanent Diaconate last Sunday. Given the situation all went very well and the celebration possessed a prayerful simplicity and dignity. It is, of course, regrettable that we were limited in number and unable to have a suitable gathering and festivity afterwards. Finally, we also thank Fr Adrian Tomlinson, Deacon Bill Burleigh and Bishop Heskett for their assistance and work in leading our celebration.
To be honest, knowing that Blessed Karl Leisner was secretly ordained priest in Dachau in late 1944 by a French bishop who was also imprisoned there (a Jewish violinist played music near the barracks to create a diversion) meant that I was confident we could manage in far less trying circumstances. Blessed be God, even in dark and difficult times the community of faith has found its way to new growth and life.
Do please remember Simon and his family in your prayers particularly as he begins his ministerial life in unusual and demanding circumstances and continue also to pray for vocations to the Priesthood, Permanent Diaconate and Religious Life.
Reading & Altar ServingAs a deacon Simon may take his place in the sanctuary during the celebration of Mass and this would seem therefore, following the experience of the ordination, an opportune time for us to expand our range of ministries - at least at the weekend Masses.
Readers - I propose having one reader at Mass using a microphone situated by St Joseph's statue. You may read from your own missal, Magnificat, etc, or a sheet will be provided for you. If you are interested please let me know.
Altar Serving - I'm afraid handling the books and sacred vessels is still not permitted but carrying acolytes and ringing the bells (all suitably cleansed between Masses, etc) should be possible. Clearly, cassocks and cottas would have to be taken home and not worn by anyone else. If you are interested please let me know.
Car ParkingDo feel free to use the available parking space at the church but do be aware of the need to socially distance upon entering and exiting your car. Remember, the staggered nature of our departure from church means that you may have to exercise a little patience while waiting for someone ahead of you to move their car - a perfect opportunity to make a thanksgiving after Holy Communion.
FACE COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED IN CHURCH
We are required by HM Government to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet, this includes churches.For those who find such coverings uncomfortable please be encouraged that Mass is shorter than usual and also that there are exemptions to this requirement:
If you are not exempt and you do not want to wear a face covering you may remain outside the church; the main doors will still be open and you can follow Mass from there. As people leave the church you may then enter by the porch to receive Holy Communion.
Please contact me if you wish to arrange for the Sacrament of Baptism for your child. Baptisms will be carried out on an individual basis and your group must not exceed more than 12 people (this includes the child, the parents and Godparent/s). You may not exceed this number and no exceptions should be sought.
Finally, I attach this week's newsletter.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
St Charles Borromeo, pray for us.
With my prayers,
Fr Mark McManus