21st Sunday of the Year
As many of you will already be aware, St. Patrick’s Church was risk assessed by the Diocese last Wednesday and we have been given permission to begin the process of a phased reopening. I am sure many of us will be delighted to hear this news.
At the same time, following advice and guidance from the Bishops, I am afraid we are not in a position to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church at present. I appreciate that this will be disappointing news for some of you, but I hope you will continue to be patient and understanding in what are still difficult and challenging times.
It is perhaps helpful to recall these words of our Metropolitan Archbishop Malcolm McMahon: “As we begin to return to Mass we have to provide guidelines to ensure a safe and reverent environment. We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe and healthy. We are not going back to normal. It is not going back to what it was like before March. We have to think differently.”
We must all take his words to heart.
To maintain social distancing there will be a maximum of 70 people allowed in St. Patrick’s Church at any one time for a parish Mass. Any other services which we may be able to accommodate, subject to the availability of stewards, will be limited to the current Government restrictions of a maximum of 30 people.
The Church will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized on Monday.
Later in the week there will be two training sessions for those who have volunteered to act as stewards. Their role is to make you feel welcome and safe when you choose to return to Church and to ensure the Government guidelines are being followed.
If all goes according to plan, we hope to open St. Patrick’s Church for the celebration of Mass on Tuesday, 1st September and on Thursday evening, 3rd September. These dates will be confirmed in next weeks Newsletter along with the times of Mass.
I am aware that some of you may not be ready to return to Church at the moment and you are under no obligation to do so. Please see the item on page two of this newsletter for more details. Remember too, Sunday obligation is still suspended.
Please continue to look after and pray for one another and please pray for me.
May God bless you all.
Mass to view on line
Alternatively, you may like to follow daily Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 or which may also be viewed any time later.
I continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.
- Monday – A Special Intention (ID)
- Tuesday – Maurice Brown
- Wednesday – Kathleen Harland
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Isabella Taylor
- Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
- Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with me, 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
Please keep in your prayers this week
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital 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.
Should I come to church?
If you have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable you are very susceptible to an adverse reaction to Covid-19 and you would have been advised to take extra precautions during the peak of the pandemic in England. This is known as ‘shielding’. The government is advising that you do not need to shield at the moment, because the rates of transmission of the coronavirus in the community have fallen significantly, although they are now on the increase in some parts of our country. If you are in this category, you should still try to keep your overall social interactions low. You can read the HM Government Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 on the Government website.
Some people, including those aged 70 and over, are described as being clinically vulnerable, meaning that they are at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Individuals who fall within this group are advised to stay at home as much as possible and if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.
If you fall into either of these categories, or if you feel unsure about returning to Mass, you need to consider the wisdom of doing so. Please remember, you are not obliged to attend Mass. Sunday obligation is suspended.
Needless to say, if you are feeling unwell or if you suspect that you have Covid-19, (high temperature, new persistent cough, lack of taste or smell) or if you are living with someone who has or is suspected of having Covid-19, you MUST self-isolate in accordance with HM Government guidance and contact the online 111 service to arrange for testing. You must not come to Church.
It is also important to note, that while we will attempt to take appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, to ensure our Church is Covid-19 safe, 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.
What to expect when returning to Church
The Archdiocese of Liverpool have put together a video which gives us an idea of what to expect when you can return to Church.
A Pastoral Message from Bishop Robert
Church at Home – A Pastoral video Message from Bishop Robert Byrne. Bishop Robert offers all of us some pastoral support in what are still very challenging times.
Your generous Offerings are greatly appreciated
Fr. Patterson continues to be so grateful to those parishioners who, in these financially challenging times, are able to make their weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish accounts and to those who have sent cheques.
He is also appreciative of those parishioners who have dropped their weekly offering envelopes through the presbytery letterbox This all helps to meet our day to day financial commitments.
However, for security reasons, please do not put any envelopes through St. Alban’s Presbytery door. Envelopes for St. Alban’s parish should be posted through St. Patrick’s Presbytery door only.
If you Gift Aid your offertory contributions, the parish can reclaim the tax on your offering should you wish to make a bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.
If you choose to send a cheque please make it payable to the appropriate Account name below or you might wish to continue to put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church once we can reopen our doors.
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