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 WILL 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.

Scottish Bishops’ guidelines for church re-openings

This statement is taken from the Website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has finalised its proposed infection control standards which will govern the reopening of parishes and have sent their guidelines to the Scottish Government.

President of the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, said: “A great deal of work has been done to provide guidance and support to clergy as they prepare for the phased reopening of our parishes. The guidelines have been prepared to reflect advice given in the Scottish Government’s Route Map on the gradual removal of restrictions…

Bishop Gilbert added: “We would hope to be able to issue our infection control and liturgical guidelines within the coming week.

“They will highlight the fact that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains dispensed until further notice and everyone is asked to consider carefully whether or not they should return in the early phases.

“We are mindful of our duty of care to elderly clergy and lay people, which together with social distancing reductions in capacity will mean that the availability of Mass may reduce in some areas.”

HERE IS A LIST OF STEPS TAKEN BY THE SCOTTISH BISHOPS INCLUDING A NEW PASTORAL LETTER ISSUED ON 5 JUNE. To access any of the documents just click on the download link in the left hand column

DOCUMENT (with download link)Description
Bishops’ Pastoral Letter 5th June 2020A second Pastoral Letter from the Scottish Bishops re. Covid-19 Virus
COVID-19 Infection Control for ChurchesAdvice on COVID-19 and Infection control protocol for parishes
Preparing for re-opening of churchesGuidance on how clergy and parishioners can prepare for a phased re-opening of churches
Embracing Hope – a route map for pastoral ministrya route map for pastoral ministry in parishes during the COVIOD-19 pandemic
How ready is your church to re-open?This is not a document but a simple on-line assessment tool which parishes can use to assess their readiness for re-opening.
Safeguarding guidance for recruiting volunteersGuidance for parishes on Safeguarding requirements when recruiting volunteers as stewards
Volunteer Application Form AThis link will download a form to be completed by current volunteers who will act as stewards
Volunteer Application Form BThis link will download a form to be completed by new volunteers who will act as stewards
Information Leaflet for new Volunteers** still to be completed **