3rd Sunday of Lent
As the gradual reduction of Covid-19 cases and deaths locally continues along with the fact that a growing number of our community are receiving their vaccinations and given that the Government guidelines permit us to leave home to attend a place of worship, having consulted with our volunteer stewards we agreed that
St. Patrick’s Church will reopen for Mass – initially on a Sunday only – commencing next Sunday, 14th March at 10.30 am.
To ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, and to prevent breaching our maximum capacity of 70 parishioners in the church for a parish Mass, we will follow Government and Diocesan Guidelines and ask parishioners, who wish to attend Mass to reserve a place in advance. This should prevent anyone having to be turned away, which I am afraid would have to happen if our capacity is reached.
To reserve a place for Mass on Sunday, 14th March at 10.30 am please telephone:
on Wednesday, 10th March between 10.00 am – 12.00 pm or,
on Friday, 12th March between 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm
This number will be unavailable outside of the above booking times.
Bookings cannot be made via the presbytery telephone number nor by email and can only be made for the approaching Sunday and not for dates in advance. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.
You will be asked to provide your name and telephone number to comply with the NHS Test and Trace system and also the number in your family if you are attending as a household. Under the current Lockdown restrictions you must only sit with members of your own household or bubble and not mix with people from other households.
On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list.
The procedures which need to be followed when you attend Church are outlined on the information sheet attached to this Newsletter
Please remember though, the Public Health Message is that we are still legally required to “Stay at Home.” You are under no obligation to attend Mass. The Sunday obligation is still suspended. You should not come to Church if you have received a letter to say that you must shield nor if you are experiencing any signs of Covid-19 or feeling unwell in any way. Remember too that if you have received your first dose of the vaccine it takes 3 to 4 weeks to develop antibodies and the vaccine does not give you total immunity. So please consider the wisdom of coming to Church.
While we will attempt to take all the appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, the Bishops’ Conference and the Diocesan Authorities, parishioners should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 any time they enter a public space, since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection.
Unfortunately we still do not have sufficient volunteers to reopen St. Alban’s Church to ensure it would be Covid secure and fully compliant with all the guidelines which continue to be required by the Government. Hopefully, in the light of the Government’s Roadmap, we can begin to explore how we can reopen St. Alban’s Church once the Covid restrictions have been lifted. I will outline my hopes in the coming weeks. The Bishop will be meeting with priests via Zoom in the next couple of weeks which may provide more guidance for us. I will, as always, keep you informed
In the meantime, please continue to look after one another and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe from harm.
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
Mass Intentions for the coming week
Fr. Patterson will continue to celebrate Mass privately each weekday. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.
- Monday – Dennis Rogan
- Tuesday – Kathleen and Bill Harland
- Wednesday – In Thanksgiving (NF)
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Gladys Beeson
- Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
- Sunday: 10.30 in Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking necessary
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with him in Church, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now 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.
In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holyday, which prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions
Please keep in your prayers this week:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital
- Fr. Ronnie Richmond who is very poorly and,
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time
A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors
Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch. In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.
A time to pray
Please join me in prayer for the 124,261 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure)
Gracious God, as we remember before you
the thousands who have died from the coronavirus,
surround us and all who mourn with your compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope. We make this prayer
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.
To support you during Lent.
You may like to join Bishop Robert Barron in a “Reflection on the Way of the Cross”.
You may also pray The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary with Bishop Barron.
The Diocese offers daily reflections for your Lenten journey at home.
The following letter has been received from Moira Ashman, the Chief Executive of St. Cuthbert’s Care. “At St Cuthbert’s Care, we provide a very personal and sensitive approach to our care. The pandemic has made this so much more challenging for us. Throughout the past year, we have carefully transformed the delivery of all our frontline services, to ensure residents and service users still enjoy life to the full. Replicating this care to every resident throughout our nursing homes alongside our disability provision and children’s homes, has been at a significant cost, and these increased costs look set to continue for some time to come. Circumstances have been difficult for us all this year. For this Lenten Appeal, any donation we receive however small, would be deeply appreciated. I know that for some parishioners, financial donations may not be an option and I fully accept this. Thank You.”
If you feel able to support Lenten Alms this year you can make a donation via St Cuthbert’s Care.
“Make sure your behaviour does not create a rise in infections which could prolong restrictions“.
These are the words of Professor Paul Elliot in what has been a very positive week of data revealing that the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus continues to decline along with the number of people who are dying from Covid-19.
You may find this data from our region of interest:
Cases per 100,000 per population in our region
|Area||w/e 5 January |
|w/e 28 February|
At the same time there are still 12,136 people in hospital who are suffering from the coronavirus and are very poorly.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme from Imperial College’s School of Public Health, London said: “The fall in infections our study has observed since January demonstrates that national public health measures are working. But recent findings also show that the rate of decline has slowed and some areas are experiencing apparent growth, reinforcing the need for everyone to continue to stick to the rules and help keep infections down. At this critical time, with lockdown soon to be eased, we need to make sure that our behaviour does not risk a rise in infections which could prolong restrictions, which we all want to avoid.”
So to quote Professor Jonathan Van-Tam “Do not wreck this now!”
Roadmap Step 1: Changes from 8th March
Monday marks the beginning of Step 1 of the Government’s Roadmap and the gradual easing of the Lockdown restrictions. These are the changes that come into effect on 8th March.
All children and students return safely to face-to-face education in schools and colleges. Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume where necessary to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities. Twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils – in addition to regular testing for all teachers – to reduce the chance of the virus spreading in schools is being introduced. Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return from 8th March.
People will be allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, if they are eligible for one, or with one person from outside their household. Care home residents will also be allowed one regular visitor.
All other restrictions are still in place including the mandatory rule to “Stay at Home.”
Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed
Fr. Patterson renews his thanks to you for your offerings during these difficult times especially to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by bank transfer helping to meet the regular financial commitments of our churches.
Whilst we are being urged to “Stay at Home,” it may not be wise to drop your envelopes through the presbytery letterbox, unless your daily exercise route happens to take you past the presbytery. Please be sensible. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.
The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.
The details for bank transfers and cheques are as follows:
St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984
St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453