We are fully open for public Masses, and virtually all Covid precautions have by now been abandoned, though we ask all our people to remember that there are still those who are clinically vulnerable, or just still feeling unsafe in public gatherings, so we should respect their wishes to wear masks, keep a distance, and not take part in handshaking or receiving from the Chalice on weekdays.
NB Llive-streaming of Masses ceased from mid-October 2021. Briefly, this service, which was useful to those who could not attend Mass in person during the stricter phases of lockdown, was latterly only being used by a very small number of people ; with the church now fully open and seating capacity back to near-normal, and with most people now content to mix mask-less, there is much less reason to offer an alternative to actual attendance, which is what we should all be aiming at if we can at all; also, it places an extra (though minor) burden on our priests, and has never really been achieved to the quality we would wish; finally the lengthy wires necessary to get an internet connection signal into the church are increasingly a trip hazard. We may restore it if there is demand from people genuinely housebound.
Here is a summary of the way we are continuing to handle things until further advised.
Seating arrangements – we have brought back most of the “soft seats” from storage in the Upper Room. They have not all been restored at once, so that bigger gaps can be left between rows.
Face-masks are no longer COMPULSORY in churches, since January 22 . Officially they remain “recommended”, but judging by general congregational behaviour, most people have decided for themselves that they are no longer necessary….
The use of hand sanitiser on entering the church is still commended.
Singing by congregation – is back to normal.
Hymnbooks are now able to be freely used, as are our Missalettes, so these have been reinstated.
Holy Water is again available in the stoups at the entrances, for those who wish to resume the traditional practice of crossing yourself with Holy Water as you enter, though no-one is obliged to do that.
Sign of peace – back to a normal handshake, if you choose, but please be sensitive to those who may not wish for this physical contact -a bow and smile will do very well.
Receiving Holy Communion – We have gone back to the pre-pandemic practice. On weekdays and Sundays, , communicants come forward in a queue to the centre gap. All those willing to do so are requested to receive the Body of Christ reverently in their outstretched hand. Those wishing to receive the Host on their tongue may join the normal queue, but if they are willing, are requested to come up once all the others have received, and to kneel along the altar rail, to make it easier for Father to count heads.
Communion from the Chalice has been reintroduced, now that it is permitted by the Bishop, at the weekday Masses and is being taken up by the majority who come. Fr Jonathan is willing for its reintroduction at Sunday masses but we need more volunteers to act as Extraordinary Ministers of Communion. If you are willing to serve in this way, whether or not you did so in the past, please make yourself known to either of the priests or Deacon Brin.
Collection baskets – the ordinary first-collection at weekends has resumed being taken by collectors bringing baskets to you. As always we ask you to make your regular donation by Standing Order rather than physical cash (needing handling and banking ) if you can. Second collections will continue to be taken by static baskets at the exits.
Use of the Upper Room – back in full service
Lighting candles – this much-valued form of private prayer is freely available but please have consideration for your neighbours and do not spend any longer than you can help over your prayers, as others are likely to be waiting in a queue to do the same. And if you have to queue, do keep some distance between you.
If anything changes, we will post it up on here as soon as we can. Watch this space !
The church is generally kept open for private prayer each day from after the morning Mass to the early evening. ,
Below are the current opening times of the other churches in our Pastoral Area. For updates, check their websites, which are easy to find via Google
St John Henry Newman parish : (OLG = Our Lady of Grace, Squirrel lane, Booker.)
Saturday vigil Mass at O.L.G 17:00
Sunday Mass ; 9am, (St Wulstans), 11:30 (OLG). Weekdays; 10am St W Tues, 7pm OLG Thursday
St Teresa’s, Warwick Road, Beaconsfield – Mass times 6pm Saturday and 0930 Sunday (Beaconsfield), 1030 (Bourne End). The 0930 Mass is live-streamed.
St Peter’s, Marlow – Mass times 9,11 am and 5:30pm.
St Josephs at Gerrards Cross – important to check their website to see Mass Times. All their Masses and services are live-streamed.
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Many people have lost, or are at risk of losing, their jobs as a result of the economic dislocation caused by the pandemic. We have been recommended, by a parish in Luton, to the free coaching and advice service provided by http://www.vitaeopus.co.uk – free online information and advice about Job Hunting, Self Employment and Active Retirement for Parishioners adversely affected workwise by the pandemic. Please pass the link on to anyone who may find it useful.