CORONAVIRUS, RESTRICTIONS AND
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PARISH
The page for parish information while we go through the coronavirus pandemic:
how we may be involved in parish life and in helping others
Twitter: @StThosMore Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: @StThosMore
Fr Stephen is only a phone call away if you need to talk.
Last updated: 6.20pm Tuesday 15 September
SATURDAY 5.00pm (Vigil Mass for Sunday)
SUNDAY AT 9.00am
The 6.00pm Sunday Mass remains suspended due to a lack of volunteers for it.
Public Masses in the week are currently limited to
Fridays at 9.00am, followed by Adoration
We hope to have more depending on the number and availability of volunteer stewards and cleaners
TRACK AND TRACE NOW APPLIES AT ST THOMAS MORE
We are now operating a ‘Track & Trace’ system so that everyone who comes to Mass should leave a name and phone number so that, if we are contacted by NHS Track & Trace, we may help inform people that might have been exposed to Covid-19. We ask that you leave a slip of paper with only your name and phone number, or alternatively you may give your details to a steward. Details and forms you might use are here:
If you decide to come –
You must not have any cold or flu-like symptoms
Please come wearing your face covering: they are compulsory in church and must cover nose and mouth
Please stay 1.5m apart from anyone you do not live with
Please sanitise your hands on entry and exit
Please follow the stewards’ directions at all times
Please remember that it is only by following guidelines and having extra cleaning that we may stay open
You should not come if –
You have an underlying health condition that makes you vulnerable
You are ill or convalescing
You are caring for someone who is vulnerable
You have any cold or flu-like symptoms
You are not confident that it is right for you to come
There are three useful sources of information to read here…
Arrangements for attending Mass – this explains the new circumstances and the changes we need to make here when attending Mass for the foreseeable future. These changes are designed to minimise the risk of infection.
Role of Stewards and Cleaners – this explains what the stewards and cleaners are expected to do to keep us as safe as possible in our church. The parish could not have public Mass without them and so we are very grateful for their efforts.
Celebrating Mass following the guidelines – this explains the changes made to the way in which we celebrate Mass and receive Holy Communion here at St Thomas More
This is most definitely NOT a return to normal, however welcome a return to Mass clearly is. The Catholic Archbishops of England have produced a very helpful letter about this that you may read here Archbishops’ Letter.
If you choose to come to Mass—and the choice is yours, the Sunday obligation has not been re-imposed and live streaming will continue—you will notice many changes as we follow compulsory guidelines designed to minimise the risks involved in gathering indoors in this time of pandemic.
Please remember that no parish, no priest and no parishioner has been asked to do anything that they do not feel comfortable with.
In implementing these guidelines, we are all in unfamiliar territory—no-one has had to do this before. Please be patient and bear with us if things do not go as smoothly as they might.
PLEASE VOLUNTEER TO BE A STEWARD AND CLEANER IF YOU FEEL ABLE TO DO SO, BUT PLEASE DO NOT FEEL ANY PRESSURE TO VOLUNTEER IF THAT WOULD NOT BE SAFE FOR YOU.
BAPTISMS, WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
These may all happen under strict conditions; no more than 30 people may attend, a face covering is required by law, hands must sanitised on arrival and exit, those not living in the same household should stay 1.5m apart, stewards need to be in attendance, the church needs to be cleaned afterwards. Please contact Fr Stephen in the first place
STEWARDING AND CLEANING – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We shall need volunteers to steward and clean. There is no expectation of any existing cleaners or wardens to volunteer. Those who volunteer will receive information by email about what the duties of stewarding and cleaning are – nothing too difficult but in summary making sure that everything is done as hygienically and safely as possible. If you can volunteer, please email email@example.com to offer your services.
Giving to the Parish
There are still ways to do this at the moment…
There are boxes in church for giving envelopes and donations as we cannot pass collecting bags round at the moment
By standing order…
Standing order forms are HERE Please print off, complete the top part with your bank details and then return to the presbytery by post or hand. The parish completes it and sends it off. THANK YOU
You may now securely donate to the parish via the Diocesan website HERE. Enter your name and address in the first box, then move to the second box to select this parish ‘Coventry Styvechale’ from the ‘Donating to…’ list, and finally in the third box enter your card details. THANK YOU
Or through the letter box…
You may of course put donations in labelled envelopes through the presbytery letterbox. Most sets of giving envelopes are still in church ready for our return. You might prefer still to set aside your giving each week and bring it along when public Masses resume. THANK YOU
We now have a FaceBook page @StThosMore here which is developing. We hope this will grow.
If you have any suggestions about the information on the website, improving our communication, what we can do to support each other and especially the vulnerable, please do get in touch. Or even if you just want to say hello and are finding isolation a bit trying…
NEED ANY HELP? KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES?
We have volunteers who are willing to help anyone who through isolation needs a hand with shopping or anything else. Please do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know needs help. You may ring 02476 411900. Our SVP group is co-ordinating our growing band of helpers. We would rather hear about a need six times over than not hear at all – and do nothing! Don’t hesitate.
There is a list of local businesses providing meals or groceries or both to people self isolated or vulnerable, as put together for a local GP surgery, here
KEEP IN TOUCH Please make use of this website and the parish Twitter account @StThosMore Our most recent Tweets are on the right hand side of this page. Please keep others informed if you can, who do not have access to the internet. You could print off a news sheet and put it through their door, for example. Please, keep in touch!
The Catholic Church has, under these exceptional conditions, removed the obligation to be at Mass on Sundays. You must not worry about missing Mass. It is a difficult thing but it is no sin not to be there when you can’t be. When viewing Mass, we are encouraged to make an act of Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS There are some prayers and reflections suggested by parishioners Meditations and Prayers . If you have something to share, please email it to us.
CONFESSION is now possible. If in the church face coverings must be worn and a distance of 1.5m maintained. Confession may heard outdoors. Here is an act of contrition recommenced by the Bishops for use at this time if you cannot get to confession –
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God have mercy.
BAPTISMS AND WEDDINGS Both baptisms and weddings may be celebrated under certain conditions. Numbers attending must be limited. There can be no singing, face coverings must be worn and social distancing maintained. Email email@example.com .
FUNERALS in church are now possible, including a funeral Mass. We are not allowed to have a coffin received into church the night before. No more than 30 people may attend, face coverings and social distancing are compulsory. All the necessary guidelines will be explained to you beforehand.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK This may be carried out under certain conditions
HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR QUERIES? Ring 02476 411900 or email as usual.
Cardinal Vincent has issued an encouraging statement, also on video here.
Archbishop Bernard has created a heartening video here.
You may explore the Vatican website from here.
Please pray! Suggestions here.