Latest COVID update:
There has been a Government directive that further restrictions to mitigate against viral transmission will be imposed, especially in light of the new omicron variant, and Bishop Declan has sent us the update from the Bishop's Conference of England and Wales on this matter.
How does that affect us in Church?
*It is now mandatory for everyone entering the Church to wear a face covering, unless they are medically exempt, and also exemptions apply for those leading the worship and, whilst reading the scriptures.
*Congregational singing can continue with mask wearing in place.
*Anyone displaying any symptoms of covid-19 should stay at home and get a LFT and / or PCR test.
*Hand sanitiser is encouraged to be used on entry by everyone.
*We will continue to keep the church well ventilated so we remind you all to wrap up warm when attending church (although we will keep the heating the church in order to help make it as comfortable as possible)
*Our small volunteer team, inc Fr Frank, who are engaged in pastoral ministry will continue to take regular lateral flow tests to ensure they are safe to visit.
*The requirements for NHS covid passes will not apply to places of worship or for small social gatherings. However, it is always encouraged that people take lateral flow tests before attending any such gathering.
We wish, most importantly, to encourage you ALL to get yourselves vaccinated & boosted whenever possible as this is proving to be the best way we can protect ourselves from any covid-19 variant, to protect our friends and family and help to protect our NHS.
Please remember that Pope Francis encourages us all to take the vaccine. He has said "Thanks to God's grace and to the work of many we now have vaccines to protect us from covid-19. These bring hope to end the pandemic but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another." He also said that the vaccine is an "act of love. Love for oneself, love for our families and friends and love for all peoples... especially the most vulnerable."
Clarification of the Sunday obligation. We are asked to reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist to our lives of faith and to take into consideration our own personal circumstances as to whether we can all now attend the Sunday Eucharistic celebrations. Hopefully, for most of us, we will feel safe enough to be returning to Church at weekends or during the week when the numbers are lower. However, should a person honestly feel that there is still grave concern then there is no sin associated with their non-attendance at Mass and they are encouraged to devote themselves to prayer at home, either personally or by participating in a live-streamed celebration from a Church.
Let us all do what we can to protect and help ourselves and each other.
Fr Michael Fontaine talks beautifully about the Heart of God being within us and within the Church.
Wreaths at Christmas
the red berries or red flowers represent Christ's blood and the evergreen represents eternal life.
When Christians hang a wreath on their door or in their window, it's an invitation for Christ to come into their home
A big Thank You to Tom Hudd and his family for bringing this beautiful Christmas wreath to us in memory of his mother, Gladys, on her 1st anniversary of Christian death.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest In Peace.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated gifts to be made up into soup run Christmas parcels over the past week.
We had a massive basket we hoped to fill and just look at the wonderful response!
The school children also donated over 100 gifts and wrote Christmas cards for the parcels. How lovely is that!
This will, no doubt, bring some happiness and comfort to those who are struggling in our society over the Christmas and New Year period, knowing that people care enough to want to help.
Thank you to all those who volunteer to go out to meet people on the streets and offer them food, drinks, practical items and company.
All of this is true Christianity in action.
God bless you all.