The Parish and Coronavirus Restrictions

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: stmcov@gmail.com Facebook: @StThosMore

But the parish has not shutdown! THANK YOU for the heartening messages of support that  continue to come in now that Mass has no human congregation present.  Fr Stephen is only a phone call away if you need to talk.

Last updated: 5.15pm Friday 10 July


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 

REOPENING FOR MASS (AND OTHER ACTS OF WORSHIP)
Returning to public Mass is NOT a returning to ‘normal’ Mass as it was before lock down. Read on…

THE REOPENING OF THIS CHURCH FOR PUBLIC MASS: SUNDAY 12 JULY 9AM

Thanks to our volunteer stewards and cleaners, we are able to open for a Mass at 9am next Sunday 12 July.

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.

No-one should come to Mass who has any cold or flu-like symptoms, is shielding or has a medical condition that makes them particularly vulnerable. If you choose to come to Mass—and the choice is yours, the Sunday obligation has not been re-imposed and lives treaming 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. Our biggest concern is in estimating how many people will come. At the moment, we have organised one Sunday Mass at 9am. If this proves too little, we will add another Sunday Mass at 11am the following week.

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 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

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 & Funerals:
These may happen under certain conditions that include limited numbers attending, social distancing, use of face coverings and cleaning. Please contact Fr Stephen in the first place
Please keep an eye on this web page.
We are open for private prayer, as detailed immediately below.

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…

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

Latest News and Ideas….

*Reopening our churches for private prayer. Details above.
*Take part in the annual Sacred Heart devotions at
   Maryvale House Thursday 11- Friday 19 June (The Feast
   of the Sacred Heart) by clicking here. June is the month of
   the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
*Join in the Parish Art Project. It consists of making a 
   feather, using anything you choose (paper, fabric, wool         or whatever) which can be brought to church once we all
   return to create an image of the Holy Spirit. For full 
   details and helpful ideas from Annmarie and Debbie, 
   click here on Project 2020
*Pray for the victims of coronavirus, for those who care 
   for them, for families and friends, for our leaders 
   deciding on our response and for an end to this
   pandemic. 
*Masses for the victims of Coronavirus and their carers
   will be live streamed every Thursday at 7pm from a
  Catholic Cathedral and celebrated by its Bishop. Click here

WHAT CAN WE DO? Follow Mass on the webcam, read the notice sheet on this website, look out for other people’s needs, pray. Print off a news sheet for anyone you can safely give it to who has no internet access, that they feel included in the parish. Help those who are isolated for health reasons have everything they need – we have volunteers in the parish ready to help too. Do pray with the parish still, unite yourself to the offering of the Mass and follow it online and make a spiritual communion. See below.

Do consider sending in a selfie or other photos of yourselves, or a drawing by your children of themselves or the family. Fr Stephen will put them in the pews to create a visual reminder of people of the parish. Email stmcov@gmail.com  This has been done by a priest in Italy and although at first sight frivolous it is a real attempt to foster a prayerful remembrance of you all. You are missed!  You can claim the pictures back once the restrictions are over and we return to church.

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!

MASS  carries on in private with only the priest in church – not a deacon, not a server nor anyone else is allowed to be present. But Masses can still be seen and heard over the internet via our parish webcam. Just click here. Times of Masses and all other events are on the news sheet here.   There are many ways to take part in Mass on the internet, on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) available through satellite TV, click here for information. 

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 under the latest restrictions seems to be almost impossible except in emergencies. Updates as they come. Remember that an act of perfect contrition, when confession is impossible, suffices. God is not limited by His sacraments, but we need to seek them if we can. In normal circumstances when they are freely available, we need to make use of them. In these far from normal circumstances, we cannot make use of them: that is no sin and no barrier to God’s grace.  Here is an act of contrition recommenced by the Bishops for use at this time –

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 Unfortunately, there can be no baptisms (except in danger of death which would not be in church anyway) for the time being. Any already booked are postponed indefinitely until the current restrictions are lifted. Parents will then have to arrange with Fr Stephen a new date. It would be unwise to try to arrange any wedding over the next few months: no church wedding could be certain to go ahead until the restrictions are lifted. At first, it may be possible to be married in church but with restrictions on numbers and social distancing rules applying. Email stmcov@gmail.com .

FUNERALS may presently be celebrated at the crematorium or graveside only with a small number of immediate family only. Any public Requiem Mass will be be arranged once the current restrictions are lifted. It will be perfectly possible to hold a requiem Mass with ashes present, once arrangements can be made to do so. We are sorry about this. Prayers and Mass without a congregation are still being offered: all parishioners whether healthy or sick, living or departed and still prayed for at the daily Mass.

ANOINTING OF THE SICK This may be carried out under certain limited conditions

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR QUERIES? Simply 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