|Letter from Fr Mark McManus 30th October|
|Dear Parishioners of St Joseph's & St Charles',|
|Public Masses this week at St Joseph's church are:|
|Saturday, 31 October, at 5.00pm &
Sunday, 1 November, at 9.00am & 10.00am
Monday, 2 November, at 10.00am
|You can choose to attend one of any of the 4 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.
The Blessing of Graves & Prayers for the Dead will take place in the cemetery following the 10.00am Mass on All Souls Day, Monday, 2 November.
Tier 3 Very High Covid-19 Alert LevelThe 'Rule of Six' is still the basic guide for us to follow inside the church along with all the accompanying social contact and distance rules, etc. I must also remind you that these rules apply to any brief social mixing outside after Mass. Again, I have found the following a useful guide for keeping up to date with things: Very High COVID-19 Alert Level Poster
Church Cleaning & StewardingThe continuing work of our voluntary church cleaners and stewards remains the bedrock of our ability to open and use our church. Without them the church would still be closed and we are immensely thankful for all that they do. If you have returned to church, have seen how things are done, and now feel ready and able to volunteer then please contact me. More hands help spread the load. Thank you.
Polish Masses at St CharlesBearing in mind the number of different groups who customarily use the church, the size of the church and the present demands regarding public health, the bishop has decreed that the church of St Charles should temporarily serve only the Polish community. I shall of course inform you of any future change and I apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience caused.
St Joseph's CemeteryWe thank all those who came along and donated their time and labour to clear the debris in the cemetery. So successful was their effort that a second skip was needed and filled. Well done!
November Dead List 2020 - 2021The celebration of a holy Mass is the simplest yet also the greatest means by which the Church on earth provides care and assistance for the dead - though we can also assist them in their 'journey' through the purification of purgatory by means of our prayers, offered sufferings and penances, especially when they have indulgences attached to them.
Beginning in November we offer Masses for the Parish November Dead List throughout the year. If you would like to enrol a loved one on the list so that they will be included in these Masses please, write the names of your deceased family, friends and benefactors, and put it, together with your offering, into the offerings box in the church. Alternatively, you can hand it to me or e-mail me the details also. Finally, please mark the list for St Joseph's or St Charles.
Christmas Cards & MissalsWe can offer a limited supply of CTS Missals: price £7.95 & Christmas Cards: box £5.00, pack £2.00. Please see Marie O'Hara outside the church after Mass. N.B. You will need the correct money as no change will be given.
First Holy CommunionGiven the current pandemic we have not yet celebrated our 2020 First Holy Communion and yet the time for registering for our 2021 classes is drawing near. Such an occasion is an important and memorable moment in our journey of faith and I would, in the circumstances, nonetheless like our children to have the best experience that we can safely manage (e.g. not making their First Holy Communion masked if possible). With this in mind - and seeking to maintain the identities of the two different groups - I would hope we might be in a position to celebrate these important events next year in March or April for this year's group and May for next year's group. Should any parent or child from this year's group feel differently please feel free to contact me. The details for registering for the 2021 group will appear soon.
Reading & Altar ServingThank you to those people who have volunteered. I have regretfully concluded that, for the time being, it would be prudent to begin with the readers and just wait a little while longer before having altar servers.
Readers - One reader at Mass will use 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 (you must take the sheet away and dispose of it yourself).
Altar Serving - Although this is paused at present those volunteers who have collected a cassock and cotta are asked to hang on to them for the time being.
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.
Track & Trace App & QR CodeWe now display at the entrance to the church and also inside a QR code so that, if you have a smartphone, you can scan the QR code when you arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
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 6 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