The Parish and Coronavirus Restrictions

CORONAVIRUS, RESTRICTIONS AND
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PARISH
Last updated: 12.55pm Saturday 21 November

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: stmcov@gmail.com Facebook: @StThosMore

  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

ADVENT PARISH ART PROJECT: join in whether you are able to come to Mass or not. You are invited to make a star to be combined with others… Details here Advent 2020 Stars

The Government has placed England under new Covid-19 restrictions since Thursday 5 November. These include the closure of churches for public worship. Masses will continue to be celebrated and livestreamed here
Across the partnered parishes of St Thomas More and St Joseph the Worker Sunday Masses will be
9.00am St Thomas More, click here
10.45am St Joseph the Worker, click here
12.30pm Warwick Univ Catholic Chaplaincy, click here
(The Saturday 5.00pm Vigil at St Thomas More and the 5.00pm Sunday Mass at St Joseph’s will cease until public worship resumes)

Please keep an eye on national news and this website for confirmation of when we are open again. The Government’s intention is that the lockdown ends on 2 December.
We are considering what might happen at
Christmas. Whatever it is, it will not be normal in these most abnormal times. Please do not expect normal events happening at normal times!
There will be public Masses if allowed, of course.

Baptism may currently be celebrated only if danger of death
Weddings are currently suspended
Funerals are limited to 30 people only at the family’s invitation
Confession may be heard outside, by appointment


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

PUBLIC MASSES FOR SUNDAY – now suspended by lockdown
SATURDAY 5.00pm (Vigil Mass for Sunday)
SUNDAY AT 9.00am
Public Masses in the week are currently suspended but were 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

The information below will apply again only when we are reopen for public worship.

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: 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. If you can volunteer to steward or clean, please do.

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.

BAPTISMS, WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
The may happen under the guidelines for social distancing, face coverings, sanitising and so on plus –
BAPTISMS: no more than 6 people present
WEDDINGS: no more than 15 people present
FUNERALS: no more than 30 people present

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 stmcov@gmail.com to offer your services.

Giving to the Parish
There are still ways to do this at the moment…

At Mass…

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

Online… 

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 stmcov@gmail.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 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.

 

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR QUERIES? Ring 02476 411900 or email as usual.

LINKS
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