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St. Augustine's R.C. Church
WELCOME HOME

Masses have started again
Please see Mass Times for changes to service times

Now that Masses have resumed the latest news is in the weekly Newsletter

Face coverings should be worn at all times whilst in the Church unless you are exempt under Government guidelines.
Please also respect the 1 metre+ social distancing guidelines at all times.

Whilst the obligation to attend Mass on the Sabbath remains suspended for the time being Father is currently saying ten Masses each week so sincerely hopes that you will be able to attend at least one of these.
There has also been plenty of capacity at each of the weekend Masses so please do come along to one of these if you feel able.

There will be 2-3 Stewards at each Mass who will offer you hand sanitiser as you enter and leave the Church.
They will take your name and a contact telephone number as you enter the Church. This is necessary to comply with the Government's Track & Trace guidelines. We do thank you for your co-operation with this important requirement.
The Stewards will then direct you to a suitable seat with due heed to the 1 metre+ social distancing guidelines.

They will also co-ordinate the procession for Holy Communion. This will be one row at a time and to avoid any breach of the 1 metre+ distancing rules as you exit or enter your pew all parishioners will be asked to follow the Holy Communion procession route even if not receiving Holy Communion. When approaching Father for Holy Communion please do so with your arms at full stretch and with your hands, palms upwards, one on top of the other, extended as flatly as possible.

You will notice some differences in how the celebration of the Mass takes place.
There will still be no Holy Water, no congregational singing, no prayers of the faithful, no Offertory Procession, still no sign of peace and Holy Communion will be silent. What with a briefer Homily you will notice that overall the Mass will be shorter than usual. However none of this detracts from the centrality of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist.

As parishioners may be attending Mass at different times and on different days of the week than usual there will be a Collection held at each Mass. The collection baskets cannot be passed around so they will be placed by the doors as you exit the Church.

In accordance with the Covid guidelines the kitchen facilities must remain closed for the time being so there will be no tea or coffee after Mass with parishioners encouraged to maintain their social distancing and to depart for home as soon as possible after Mass has finished.

Please do listen to and co-operate fully with the Stewards as they seek to help us respect the Government guidelines. Their role is vital to us all if our Church is to remain open safely and successfully and for the enjoyment of us all.

Whilst it is great news that we can attend Mass once again we must all understand that we cannot return immediately to our customary practices. This first step is not in any sense us getting back to normal. We will need to show flexibility and all work together as we navigate these and the likely further changes that we are sure to face over the coming months.

Archbishop John reminded us that the Catholic Church along with other groups has been given the opportunity to resume limited public worship in advance of some other activities and it is important that we demonstrate our seriousness by co-operating to the best of our ability with all that the Government is asking of us. For the benefit of everyone, we will do all we can to "control the virus and save lives."

In summing up it is worth revisiting the message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England :
With the easing of restrictions on worship with congregations, we tread carefully along the path that lies ahead. Our lives have been changed by the experience of the pandemic and it is clear that we cannot simply return to how things were before lockdown. We remain centred on the Lord Jesus and His command at the Last Supper to "do this in memory of me". We must now rebuild what it means to be Eucharistic communities, holding fast to all that we hold dear, while at the same time exploring creative ways to meet changed circumstances.

If you are unable to attend Mass live Masses can also be viewed via https://www.churchservices.tv/ or at https://mass-online.org/
Holy Communion will not be available online so you may like to make an Act of Spiritual Communion