CORONAVIRUS, RESTRICTIONS AND
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PARISH
Last updated: 2.58pm Saturday 17 July.
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: email@example.com Facebook: @StThosMore
Read the latest notice sheet here for information
Join in Mass over the webcam here
Fr Stephen is only a phone call away if you need to talk.
Details of access to professional counselling to support your mental health may be found here Coventry Haven
SATURDAY Vigil Mass for Sunday 5.00pm
SUNDAY AT 9.00am
From Monday 19 July all Masses will be said publicly in the main church.
See notice sheet for full details HERE
From July 19 the Bishops and the Government urge us to maintain the good and safe practice churches have demonstrated throughout lockdown. Although the law has changed, the pandemic is not over.
The guidance from the Bishops has been made public. It is no surprise that it fully echoes the Government’s call for caution and the scientific community’s warning that the pandemic is not yet over. The Bishops write –
It is important to reiterate that… the general principles of continuing to create a safe environment in places of worship and their ancillary buildings are not abandoned.
It is therefore strongly recommended by the Bishops (listening to healthcare professionals and the Government) that we continue to –
- Use face coverings
- Use hand sanitiser
- Ventilate the church building
- Use Track & Trace and stay distant
- Clean the church after weekend Masses
- Keep the existing unused pews to help with social distancing and cleaning (Of course, if congregations get bigger, this will be reconsidered)
There is, therefore, very little that we should be changing in our routines to minimise Covid risk. Relaxing rules may be legal but not necessarily safe or moral. All of us would love to give up on Covid and the restrictions, but that is simply not sensible yet. All of us still have a duty to consider the health of others.
The Bishops furthermore recommend that changes to routines are made slowly– getting back to normal is a process and not a sudden event.
So what will change first?
Gradually, according to the numbers of volunteers servers, music and tea and coffee will reappear. Congregational singing is not recommended yet.
From Mon 19 July weekday public Masses will resume. These will continue in the main church for the time being so that Masses may be shared with our online congregation and, with all that space, allow people to be as distanced as they wish. The weekday routine may vary a bit as we consider different possibilities.
On Sunday 25 July, tea and coffee will—we hope— be available after the 9.00am Mass.
Please remember that ‘normality’ will be difficult to reach until we have ‘normal’ numbers back at Masses. At present, something like only a third of pre-Covid attendance is happening. The summer holiday season is about to start. It would be unreasonable to expect all parish groups, events and societies to be as normal while so many people are absent. But if any group wants to re-establish itself, then please tell Fr Stephen and we can do our best to make that happen safely.
Just because something isn’t re-established soon does NOT mean that it won’t reappear later! First, there has to be both demand for something and volunteers to do it.
All of what we are doing will be under constant review: we simply don’t know enough details about the future to map everything out precisely.
WATCH MASSES IN ST THOMAS MORE CHURCH ON THE WEBCAM HERE
SEE TODAY’S MASS READINGS HERE
STAY IN TOUCH WITH WEEKLY NEWS LETTERS HERE
WEEKLY CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY SHEETS HERE with the news letters
TRACK AND TRACE 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: Track&TraceForms
Alternatively, we are also displaying QR codes in the church porch for use with the NHS Covid-19 smartphone app.
If you decide to come –
You must not have any cold or flu-like symptoms
Please come wearing your face covering which should cover nose and mouth
Please stay 1m 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
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 the guidelines designed to minimise the risks involved in gathering indoors in this time of pandemic.
BAPTISMS, WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
These are now celebrated with a strong recommendation to wear face coverings, sanitise hands, use track and trace and keep a distance from one an other.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your services.
Giving to the Parish
There are still ways to do this…
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 email@example.com 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 possible. If in the church face coverings must be worn and a distance of 2m maintained. Confession may be 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.
HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR QUERIES? Ring 02476 411900 or email as usual.