As of Tuesday 10th March, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has taken the decision to escalate Coronavirus safety measures. Extensive new measures have been put into immediate effect in parishes. Therefore, in addition to the current measures the following will take immediate effect in the parish of St. Teilo’s with Our Lady of Lourdes:
- Anyone who has cold or flu symptoms should refrain from attending Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation (Confession). Please do not take a risk with other people’s lives. The obligation to attend Mass applies to those who are well. If your need for Confession is urgent please contact Canon and agree specific arrangements.
- Wherever possible please spread out at Mass or Adoration, not to inadvertently infect others.
- Those most vulnerable, that is the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and those with long term conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, are encouraged to make an Act of Spiritual Communion instead of receiving Holy Communion. The obligation is to attend Mass, not receive Communion – an Act of Spiritual Communion will be sufficient.
- If you are unable to attend Mass due to self-isolation you are encouraged to pray the Rosary, the Chaplet of Mercy, or other devotions. You may also find that the use of online resources can support your faith. Daily Mass is broadcast in English on EWTN at 12Noon (https://www.ewtn.co.uk/live/tv) and Shalom World TV at 9am – repeated at 9pm (https://shalomworld.org/watchlive) which are available online. The daily Mass celebrated by Pope Francis is also available online (This Mass is celebrated in Italian): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7E-LYc1wivk33iyt5bR5zQ
- Please do not replace copies of the newsletter/antiphon sheets back in the containers in the Church. Please take them away with you. This will avoid cross-contamination when more than one person uses the same item.
- Hymn Books and Parish Mass Books have been removed from the Churches as they have also been identified as a source of cross-contamination. You may of course continue to use your personal Missals/Mass books.
- Collection – Baskets will be placed at the back of the Church for your donations. Do not pass the baskets between each other during Mass.
- Veneration of statues in the Church should be in the form of a bow of the head. Please do not touch or kiss the statues as this would be an easy way through which the virus could be passed on.
- At present all liturgies will continue as normal but this will be reviewed on a regular basis. If possible please check for notices on the Parish Website – or on Facebook – you do not need to join Facebook to see the page.
- Coffee Mornings and other social gatherings are to be cancelled until further notice.
- Parish groups (including prayer groups, SVP, ladies guild etc.) are to refrain from meeting and associated activities until further notice. Online meetings/chats may be arranged via What’s App or Messenger, but these arrangements are the responsibility of the individual groups.
- Parish Catechetical sessions will continue as normal to enable advancement to the Sacraments. Such sessions are to follow the guidelines issued to schools in Wales, at such time that schools are suspended, parish catechesis will also be suspended. NB – No refreshments are to be provided.
The Bishops’ Conference has confirmed that, if liturgies are still taking place in Holy Week:
- The Holy Thursday Mandatum (Washing of the Feet) is suspended.
- Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday will not be by kissing or touching a cross, but by silent prayer while the cross is held aloft by the priest or deacon.
Please do not undertake this role, given the recommendation that people do not hand things to other people for fear of contamination.
It is good practice to ensure that the collection baskets are clearly visible at the back of the Church. Please do not handle the baskets or pass them around. People will be invited to make their donations in their own time. Please encourage people to move away once they have donated not to cause large gatherings/queues around the baskets
Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
- Please ensure that you sanitise your hands before and after distributing Holy Communion. This can be done by washing hands with soap and hot water in the toilets before proceeding to the sanctuary or by using the hand gel on the credence table.
- At present, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist who currently visit the sick and housebound may continue to do so but discretion is advised, taking into consideration the vulnerable state of the people who are visited. Anyone who wishes to suspend visiting activities is free to do so. Visiting must cease if you are feeling unwell or if the person visited is self-isolating. Please be sensitive to the needs of those you visit.
Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and members of the SVP who visit parishioners at home should ensure that no physical contact takes place.
- Anyone carrying the Sacrament to the housebound must wash their hands for at least 30 seconds in hot water and soap. You must follow the same practice after administering the sacrament.
- There are to be NO pastoral visits to people who are self-isolating until isolation ends. Feel free to offer telephone support as necessary.
- Visits to people in care homes or hospitals should only be undertaken when necessary. Please follow the advice from the staff on appropriate infection control.
These are uncertain times, so let us all pray frequently for an end to this pandemic, that all parish functions may return to normal and that we may be preserved from the worst that the Coronavirus can bring.
Please always remember to practise good hand hygiene and to Catch it – Bin it – Kill it! If you feel you have the virus, self-isolate and contact the NHS Coronavirus helpline by dialling 111.
Canon William Isaac
If you have any queries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A printable copy of this message can be downloaded here and is available at the back of both Churches.