Frieze of St, Matthew, the evangelist – our patron Saint – by Benno Schotz.

You may have heard by now that Mass can be celebrated in our churches from 15 July.

Scottish First Minister gave the go-ahead for the celebration of Mass in our parishes, subject to the limitation in numbers required by social distancing. We will celebrate our first Mass on Wednesday at 11.00 am, since this was the time we set over the past two weeks for visits to the church .

Unfortunately, requirements of social distancing will mean that at any one time the maximum numbers of people that out temporary church can accommodate is 20, so we will need to introduce a system to allow as many people as possible access to Mass.

There are procedures which must be followed,and which are designed to keep us within the requirements of social distancing and within the law.

Here’s how it will work for us (although we may need to make adjustments).

Maximum number of people who can be admitted to the hall for Mass is 20.

a. EVERYONE MUST WEAR A FACE COVERING/MASK

b. On arrival, everyone will be required to ‘sign in’, by supplying their name, address and a method of contact. This is in case someone who has been to Mass displays signs of having Covid-19. The authorities would then need to contact everyone present in the building for possible testing, so please come early to allow time to sign in.

c. Once 20 people are admitted, there can be no more on that day. However, if you add your name below the 20 cut-off point, you will have first option for the following day day. This applies to Sundays as well as weekday – remember: you are already dispensed from the usual obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

d. As is happening at present present, you will be directed by stewards to to where you can sanitise your hands, and then escorted to a seat.

e. For your information, there will be no Mass books or hymn books (singing is not permitted at all at this stage). When we gain access to the church itself we should have the facility to project Mass responses etc onto the rear wall of the sanctuary.

f. As noted above, Mass (Wednesday- Saturday this week) will be at 11.00 am. On the following week we will revert to 10.00 am daily Mass, Monday to Saturday.

g. Sunday Masses , beginning on Sunday 19 JUly, will be at 9.00 am and 11.00am. We need time after each Mass to close the church and clean all benches and surfaces – including floors.

FINALLY – WE NEED MANY VOLUNTEERS TO HELP US TO OPEN THE CHURCH AND PROVIDE MASS EACH DAY.

STEWARDS NEED TO BE 18 YEARS OLD OR MORE; CLEANERS, 16 YEARS OLD OR MORE. SAFEGUARDING PROCEDURES REQUIRE THAT EVERY VOLUNTEER IS GIVEN CLEARANCE TO WORK FOR THE CHURCH. IN EACH PARISH, THE PARISH PRIEST SIGNS THE RELEVANT DOCUMENTATION FOR YOU.

Canon Robert J. Hill

Return of the Celebration of Mass in St. Matthew’s Parish

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