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Arrangements for Mass from Saturday 4th September

Fr Peter has updated the arrangements for Mass from Saturday 4th September

The obligation for Catholics to attend Sunday Mass (or Sat vigil) remains suspended until Advent of this year.

Distancing will no longer be a requirement by law. For those who feel they need some space around them at weekend Masses it is suggested that they
have a visible notice either side of them indicating that they need a space around them. We can make notices available in the porch. ‘Around them’ means
beside, behind and in front.
We will listen to the experience of our parishioners and make adjustments where necessary.
For weekday Masses we will continue to use the seats with the green ‘sit here’ labels. This will help the cleaners as it means they will not have to clean the
whole bench. Retaining distancing at all weekday Masses will also ensure a guaranteed ‘distanced place’ for those who needs that reassurance.
Masks will be recommended and expected despite the fact that they will no longer have the force of law.
The Track &Trace system required for churches now seems to have been superseded by newer government / NHS arrangements which have evolved. As a result we can suspend the collecting of names at church and the online preregistration facility as well as the QR code.
NB. The T&T mentioned above is different from the T&T ‘ping app’ on phones which continues to be useful but is managed by each individual.
In accordance with the Bishops’ guidelines we can dispense with stewarding before weekday Masses. Stewards will still be required for cleaning benches. For the time being, Stewards will continue to be on duty before weekend Masses.
Sanitising of hands should continue to be facilitated with bottles of sanitiser available as before.
Cleaning of benches and touch points should continue after Masses.
Ventilation of buildings continues to be essential.
Communal singing may resume. People are asked to keep masks on when they sing.
Here at St Aidan’s I think we should leave this change until September when we can discuss the way forward with choir leaders and those involved with liturgical music.
Stewarding: the Bishops’ guidance states that stewarding need not continue but that welcoming should. My view is that if welcoming and cleaning should continue, we still need our stewards. Also for a transition period people will need help when they arrive at Mass regarding what they should or shouldn’t do. We will therefore be asking the stewards to continue their much valued work at church.
Special Ministers who wish to do so may resume duties. We will stick to the current rota for now until Leonie Wilding reviews it for the next rota.
Servers may also return but we will not be in a position to organise it formally until after the school break.
The chalice will not be offered at Mass for the foreseeable future.
The Parish Council will discuss all the implications of Stage 4 for our parish when they meet in September. By then we will have had a transition period and should be in a position to address any problems that arise and plan with confidence for the future.