‘Together you are Christ’s body, but each of you is a different part of it.’ (1Cor 12:27)
Our church building has been closed, but the Church, Christ’s body has always been open.
Following Government advice and guidelines from the Bishop, we can now carefully
return to celebrating the Mass and other Services in the Church. At present, due to social distancing, numbers are limited to about 35 people in our Church at any one time.
The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday has been suspended by the Bishops of England and Wales and you are asked to consider if you may find it more convenient to come to one of the week-day Masses. There will also be a couple of week-day evening Masses in the coming weeks to facilitate the spread of attendance.
We have begun a step by step re-opening of the Church.
The first step was the opening of our Church for individual silent prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament from 7.30 to 8.30 pm on Thursday evenings beginning on 25th June.
The second step will be the celebration of the Mass on weekdays beginning on 6th July as follows:
Monday 6th 9.30 am and 7.30 pm
Tuesday 7th 9.30 am
Thursday 9th 9.30 am
Friday 10th 9.30 am and 7.30 pm
The third step will be to begin the celebration of the Mass on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 11th /12th July as follows:
Saturday 11th 5.00 pm and 6.00 pm
Sunday 12th 9.30 am and 10.30 am
These Mass times will be reviewed and are likely to change in the coming weeks depending on the numbers at each Mass. Please check the website www.olhcfarnborough.org.uk or the parish Facebook page for more information.
As you return to church you will immediately notice a number of changes and new procedures, which are in place to assure everyone’s health and well-being.
You will see stewards at the doors of the Church who will ask you sanitise your hands as you enter and leave and to maintain appropriate social distancing. Please wear a face-mask, if you have one, while you are in church, except when you are receiving Holy Communion.
There is a one-way system in place to enter and exit the Church. It would best if people could enter and leave the church via separate doors, however if this is not appropriate for you, please do all you can to keep an appropriate social distance while entering and leaving church by the main door.
You will also see how the seating layout has changed. Your ‘usual’ seat may not be there, so you may have to sit in a different part of the Church.
What you may not see straight away is how fellow parishioners are returning with their own experience of the lock down. The pandemic has taken a great toll on everyone, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Feelings among us all may range from excitement and relief to anxiety and even fear of being out in public and around others in Church. Please be patient, confident and calm.
After Mass it is important that we clear the Church to allow the Stewards to wipe down the seats and hard surfaces before the following Mass. Please note that the toilet facilities and hall are not available for use at the moment.
Your co-operation is greatly appreciated as we all adapt to the change we have experienced.
Welcome back to your parish Church!
With the assurance of our prayer for you and your family.
Fr. Christopher and Deacon Paul.