|Letter from Fr Mark McManus 19th June - Sacred Heart
|Dear Parishioners of St Joseph's & St Charles,
|Happy feast day!
The first set of churches that the diocese designated to reopen should have all completed their necessary inspection and approval by early next week. They are all limited to the amount of hours open, etc., and most of them are for a couple of days a week only.
I am pleased to be able to tell you that St Joseph's Church will be among the next set of churches to reopen for private prayer and I hope to have more definite this news time next week.
What happens now?
None of this can happen without the help of volunteers.
- The necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the cleaning and opening of the church will be delivered - hopefully sometime next week.
- The church will need to be physically prepared (benches marked out of use, etc.) and then 'deep cleaned;' once dried, the benches and other surfaces people might come into contact with, will have an anti-viral agent applied.
- The church has to be inspected and approved for opening by the diocese.
- I will let you know as soon as possible when we can then open.
One added complication particular to St Joseph's is that the repair work to the church ceiling will also be commencing shortly. The necessary permissions have all been granted but it is the shortage in supply of certain materials due, like many building projects, to previous furloughed closures that is the issue at the moment. It is planned that we will still have access to the church but our seating capacity which will already be heavily reduced by social distancing will, for a short time, be reduced even further.
- If you have volunteered I shall be contacting you early next week with more details regarding the cleaning and stewarding that are required of us.
- Our pool of voluntary labour is limited to those persons who are both under seventy years of age and who are free also from any underlying health condition that is deemed to place a person at risk.
- We have 10 people so far who have volunteered. I would hope this would mean we can open every week on a Sunday and perhaps one other time. Given a number of these people are working it is difficult to see how we could do much more. We thank them for their generosity.
- I would like us to have a small team available for funeral services. Again, these will be authorized once the church is able to open. The number of people permitted to attend will still be small alas and it is only for a service; I'm afraid Requiem Mass is not yet allowed.
- If you would like to volunteer to clean or steward please contact me.
It seems we must exercise the virtue of patience for a little while longer.
Finally, I attach our weekly 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