During these exceptional times

We have now been open for Mass for a month, and a good number of people are coming regularly. Normal Mass times have been resumed; 9.00 am and 11.00 am on Sunday and weekday Mass will normally be at 9.00 am (7.00 pm on Thursdays). We will be asking you to observe the guidelines concerning social distancing, and Holy Communion will be given under one form, the host. From 8th August Government rules require the wearing of a face-covering at Mass (except wile receiving Holy Communion). Please bring your own mask with you. Families and people living together will be able to sit together but we ask that every other bench is left clear in order to follow guidelines. While you are welcome to light candles, please be careful to maintain social distancing in the church, both at the shrines and while moving around. Stewards will also be on duty to help you with any enquiries. Please come in through the main entrance on Park Avenue North and you will be asked to leave by the side door. (Wheelchair users and those pushing buggies may enter by the side door, but please make sure that social distancing is maintained.) The toilets will not be in use and we ask everyone to use the hand sanitiser.

If the capacity of the church is reached, the sound of the Mass will be transmitted to the garden, and you may be asked to be there. It is impossible to be sure how many will come; please bear with us as we try to find the best way of managing the present situation.

Those who are shielding or are vulnerable, and any who are feeling unwell should not attend Mass; the dispensation from Sunday Mass remains in force, and will continue to be available on the parish website and on Facebook.

Bearing in mind that the dispensation from Sunday Mass remains in force, any who would prefer a smaller congregation might prefer to come to one of the weekday Masses rather than on Sunday.

Mass will be celebrated without singing, and will be shorter than normal. In between the two Sunday Masses the floor and seats must be disinfected – volunteers will be needed for this. There will not be refreshments after Mass.

In the procession to receive Communion, please also be careful to maintain social distancing. Communion will be given in silence.

We will be able to have funerals in the Church but it is recommended that all other celebrations should be deferred to the autumn if at all possible.

It is wonderful to be able to open up and welcome you back to Mass but we still have to be careful and we will review how it goes over the coming weeks. Let us hope and pray that we will emerge stronger from this difficult and painful time.

This is the opening prayer of the special Mass “In time of pandemic”. Please make this prayer your own:

Almighty and eternal God,
our refuge in every danger,
to whom we turn in our distress;
in faith we pray
look with compassion on the afflicted,
grant eternal rest to the dead, (here name any known to you)
comfort to mourners, (Again, think of any you know)
healing to the sick, (Pray for those whose names are in our Newsletter as well as any you know)
peace to the dying, (Pray for those in hospital and any others)
strength to healthcare workers, (Pray especially for those in our town)
wisdom to our leaders (Pray for our government and for local government)
and the courage to reach out to all in love, (Pray for all who are volunteering)
so that together we may give glory to your holy name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

Technology can be something of a ‘black art’, and it is not always a simple process to get the recording of Mass and other recordings onto the website! Sometimes it can take quite a long time to get the video into a form that is suitable for the internet. We do always try to put Mass on the parish Facebook page. On this site the recordings of Mass are on the “VIDEOS” page.

If you are unable to get to church, please pray in union with the Church in your own home and make an act of Spiritual Communion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is now available while the church is open, but please email to Fr Andrew to arrange a time (priest@stgregory.org.uk)

All other activities in the church; courses, and prayer groups are suspended during the present crisis. However Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is on Thursday evenings after the 7.00 pm Mass until 8.30.

Preparation for First Holy Communion and Confirmation is also suspended, and will resume when the crisis is over; probably in the autumn. Please keep in touch through the newsletter which can be downloaded from this website. We have a provisional date for Confirmation in the autumn; 20th November. (Please note the change of this date.)

Please look out for neighbours and friends who may be in need of help, for example in shopping, and if you need help yourself, please contact the parish by email.

Donations for the Hope Centre may be made on their just giving page:
www.justgiving.com/campaign/helphope , and donations for CAFOD may be put in a clearly marked envelope and put in the CAFOD money box near the office door whenever the church is open.

Please continue to pray for a speedy end to the present crisis, and for all who are infected or affected by coronavirus.