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

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

PREPARING FOR THE REOPENING OF OUR CHURCH

We’ve reopened St. MATTHEW’S Church (well…the temporary church in the Hall!) for Mass

  • Mass is now being celebrated on Sundays at 9.30 and 11 am; weekdays, Monday to Saturday inclusive at 10.00 am
  • The following conditions for private prayer and public worship will continue to apply
  • We have in place social distancing measures (2 metres, in case you’ve forgotten), and clearly marked areas for people to sit or kneel .
  • We are most grateful to those who have volunteered to be stewards (­at least 16 years old) to direct people to their seats, and direct them on how to leave the building. Can you offer some time for this too? Please let us know as soon as possible.
  • Stewards will clean seats after people leave . WE ALREADY HAVE SANITISER, GEL, AND DISPOSABLE PROTECTIVE GLOVES. AT NO TIME WOULD STEWARDS BE ABLE TO COME CLOSER THAN 2 METRES TO ANY OTHER PERSON.
  • These are the basic requirements. Could you help with any of this?An hour per week on a day that suits you would be a great help! Please let Fr Hill know as soon as possible, or just ask for more information. If you personally can’t help with this, but can think of someone who might, contact Fr. Hill who will contact them. Don’t worry; I won’t tell them who gave me their names!
  • FINALLY, we need teams of cleaners as before to clean the church once a week.
  • Canon Robert J. Hill, Parish Priest, St. Matthew’s
  • THE PROVISION OF PRIVATE PRAYER, EVEN ON A LIMITED SCALE, DEPENDS ON SUFFICIENT VOLUNTEERS. If you can help – or if you want more information, please get in touch.

Email: stmatthew@rcag.org.uk

tel. 0141 772 1619

See websitewww.saintmatthews.scot

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On Monday 22 June churches will be open for private prayer during restricted times. Times can be found above:

In line with Scottish Government advice churches are invited to open for private prayer in Phase 2 of the 4 Phase route map for moving out of lockdown. Progress to Phase 2 will be confirmed by the First Minister on Thursday 18th June and will be subject to specific virus control factors being met.

In anticipation of the situation allowing our parish church to be opened for private prayer then it is planned to open the church (i.e. the hall) on three mornings (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for a period of 1 hour from 11am to 12 noon, although each individual will be admitted for 15 minutes maximum. This is to allow as many people as possible to have access to the church, and for safety reasons as well. The scientists suggest that being in any place for under 15 minutes means a far less chance of contracting the virus – or to put it another way, being in a places for more than 15 minute carries a greater risk of contracting it. In order to achieve this we need to ensure full compliance with current government guidance on social distancing, hygiene/infection control and safeguarding regulations and to seek new volunteers to assist in a ‘stewarding’ role who would be part of a new form of Welcome Ministry.

The 2 metre social distancing requirement will mean that the church will only be able to accommodate a maximum of 20 people at any one time and therefore all pews not for use will be clearly marked and taped off. All visitors will be welcomed by a new volunteer ‘steward’ who will be responsible for ensuring that;

  • visitors wear a facemask, either their own or given a single use mask for their visit.
  • visitors sanitise their hands on entry and exit.
  • visitors will need to limit their stay to no more than 15 minutes.
  • all pews used are cleaned after each visitor leaves.

The one exception to these arrangements is that that the front row pews on each side of the church will be for the use of family groups only. Members of a single family may occupy these pews during their visits. Only one family may occupy these pews at a time

The stewarding role therefore is vital to the success of being able to give our parishioners the opportunity to come to church again at the times and frequency as noted above, and so the more volunteers who are willing to take on this role the more opportunities for private prayer in the church can be offered. Volunteers would be asked to give just an hour of their time on each of the days that the church would be opened and would be given full instructions/training on how to carry out their Ministry along with all the necessary PPE equipment.

If you wish to apply for this essential role then you need to be 18 or over and have no underlying health conditions that require shielding or have any long-term health condition that requires an annual flu vaccination. To apply please complete either Volunteer Form A or Volunteer Form B whichever is appropriate to you and return to Canon Hill.

PREPARING FOR THE OPENING OF OUR CHURCH

In line with Scottish Government advice churches are invited to open for private prayer in Phase 2 of the 4 Phase route map for moving out of lockdown. Progress to Phase 2 will be confirmed by the First Minister on Thursday 18th June and will be subject to specific virus control factors being met.

In anticipation of the situation allowing our parish church to be opened for private prayer then it is planned to open the church (i.e. the hall) on three mornings for a period of 2 hours from 11am to 1pm each week. In order to achieve this we need to ensure full compliance with current government guidance on social distancing, hygiene/infection control and safeguarding regulations and to seek new volunteers to assist in a ‘stewarding’ role who would be part of a new form of Welcome Ministry.

The 2 metre social distancing requirement will mean that the church will only be able to accommodate a maximum of 20 people at any one time and therefore all pews not for use will be clearly marked and taped off. All visitors will be welcomed by a new volunteer ‘steward’ who will be responsible for ensuring that;

  • visitors wear a facemask, either their own or given a single use mask for their visit.
  • visitors sanitise their hands on entry and exit.
  • visitors will need to limit their stay to no more than 15 minutes.
  • all pews used are cleaned after each visitor use.

The one exception to these arrangements is that that the front row pews on each side of the church will be for the use of family groups only. Members of a single family may occupy these pews during their visits. Only one family may occupy these pews at a time

The stewarding role therefore is vital to the success of being able to give our parishioners the opportunity to come to church again at the times and frequency as noted above, and so the more volunteers who are willing to take on this role the more opportunities for private prayer in the church can be offered. Volunteers would be asked to give just an hour of their time on each of the days that the church would be opened and would be given full instructions/training on how to carry out their Ministry along with all the necessary PPE equipment.

If you wish to apply for this essential role then you need to be 18 or under 70 years of age and have no underlying health conditions that require shielding or have any long-term health condition that requires an annual flu vaccination. To apply please complete either Volunteer Form A or Volunteer Form B whichever is appropriate to you and return to Canon Hill.