I hope that you are all keeping safe and well and that public worship is continuing to go well in your parishes. Most of our churches are now open for Mass which is good news but, in light of the latest news about increased Covid cases and increased restrictions across the country, it is vital that we continue to follow the Guidance from the Government and Bishops’ Conference. We are aware of a number of cases where this has not always been the case and have received two notifications from Local Authority Enforcement Officers of breaches in our churches that they are aware of. This could lead to fines or closure of churches and, therefore, for everyone’s benefit, we stress the importance of following the rules, probably more so now than ever.
Churches can continue to open for communal worship and private prayer and the guidance you need to follow can be found on the Bishops’ Conference website.
A few reminders
- We are very pleased that Bruce Gander has joined our Health and Safety Team and he should be your first port of call for most enquiries. Please use the email address email@example.com
- Amanda Balicki continues to have overall responsibility so please feel free to contact her. As Director of Property, the name change took place a few months ago, Amanda is responsible for all Property and Health and Safety matters across the diocese and together we report to the Bishop and Trustee Board in relation to all such matters.
- The Bishops’ Conference Guidance has not changed. Key points to note are
- Cleaning remains fundamental
- The social distancing rules remain in place
- Face coverings in Church are mandatory - parishioners and visitors should be made aware of this and signs at the entrances would be sensible. Full details on the use of face coverings can be found in the Bishops’ Conference Guidance for the celebration of Mass attached below
- Congregational singing is not permitted
- Test and Trace is a key tool in controlling the spread of the virus. It is not mandatory in Churches, although this may change, but we think that we should be using this across the diocese as far as possible. The burden of collecting this data has been reduced with the introduction of the NHS Covid APP. We continue to collect test and trace data for those who do not have access to the technology for the APP. Please note that Test and Trace is mandatory in halls.
- The maximum number of attendees at a wedding from Monday 28 September 2020 will be 15.
- Baptisms and other life cycle events have a maximum of 6 attendees unless it takes place during communal worship.
Thank you to everyone for your support.
Vicar for Administration Brentwood Diocese
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Pope Francis’ prayer....
…..to unite the world in call for Mary’s intercession for the end of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Pope recommends this prayer to be recited after praying the Rosary.
Oh Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a
sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.
‘Protectress of the Roman people,’
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to confirm ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows to bring us,
through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.
We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities.
but deliver us always from every danger;
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
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