We are able to give you the good news that from Sunday 1 November 2020 we will be able to return to the celebration of Sunday Masses together in the church with a Mass at 10am. Please kindly see below the details on how you can book to attend Mass in the church and also the guidelines on what to expect when you come for Mass in the church. These guidelines will be kept under review so please check this website regularly for the most up to date information. Please note that we will still be continuing with the online streaming of Mass but from 1 November the Mass will be streamed live from inside the church.
Church Reopening – How Do I Book To Attend Mass?
• There will be Mass at 10am on Sundays (starting 1 November).
• There is a booking system which you will need to use in order to attend Sunday Mass.
• You can do this by calling 0208 478 1895 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Upon booking please provide a name, a telephone number, which Sunday you would like to book for and how many people will be coming with you.
• If you are calling to book a place for mass please note that the office hours are Monday 10.30-5.30 Thursday 10.30 – 3.30 and Friday 10.30-1.00.-
• Please ensure you read the below guidance before you come to the church for mass.
Guidelines for return to Mass
Applying the guidelines from the Church to our own circumstances, we will put everything we can in place in order to minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Please remember that if you or a member of your household are displaying Covid-19 symptoms, you must not come to Mass. Those who are particularly vulnerable should also remain at home.
In respect of all of the below, we ask for your respectful cooperation during Mass with Fr. Sean/Fr. Liam, the ushers and stewards.
• The maximum number we can have in the church for mass is 80.
• Please arrive on time.
• Please work with and respect the stewards and ushers and follow their guidance.
• Mass duration is approximately 35-40 minutes.
• You will not be able to light candles and move around before and after Mass.
• In line with COVID-19 guidelines you must wear a face covering unless you are exempt.
• In line with COVID-19 guidelines the toilet will be closed. Please ensure you go to the toilet before you attend Mass.
• In line with COVID-19 guidelines the kneelers are not to be used during Mass.
• Please note that the Mass inside the church is being filmed and will be shown live on YouTube for our online streaming of Mass. This means that film/photos of you will be transmitted on our YouTube online streaming service of Mass. If you are attending Mass in the church and have any concerns about being filmed or wish to be exempt from the filming then please speak to Father Sean/Father Liam or one of the ushers.
• When you arrive at the church you will be required to fill out the Track & Trace form with your name and telephone number and place it in the designated box that will be indicated to you as you enter (this will be held confidentially for 21 days for public health records). This is in line with the government guidelines.
• We would also like to encourage you to download the government’s NHS Track & Trace app as there will be a QR code to scan when you arrive in the church as part of the Track & Trace system in line with the government guidelines.
• You will be required to sanitise your hands as you enter the Church.
Seating for Mass
• As in a restaurant, when you come to Mass, you will have to wait to be seated by one of the ushers in order to ensure social and physical distancing is maintained. You must sit where you are asked to sit and you will not be able to sit wherever you please. It is important that you come to Mass in very good time so that you can be seated and that Mass can start promptly.
• Once St. Stephen’s Catholic Church reaches its capacity of 80 you will not be able to attend Mass on this occasion and we will kindly ask that you book for another Mass. If you are late and there is capacity for you to be seated then the usher will guide you to be seated safely.
• There will be no singing for the duration of Mass.
• There will be no use of the hymn books/mass books.
• There will be no sign of peace or passing of the collection baskets.
• Kneelers are not to be used.
• For communion, to ensure safe distancing please wait to be guided by the stewards to come to communion and respect the markings on the floor. There will be hand sanitiser available to you before you receive communion.
• Communion will be received in the hand (outstretched) only ensuring a safe distance. The priest will not say “Body of Christ” and we receive in silence.
Leaving The Church
• You will be asked to leave at the end of Mass. Please wait to be shown to the exit by the stewards and maintain safe distancing as you leave.
• Please hand sanitise as you leave the Church.
• There will be collection baskets at the back of the church when you exit if you would like to leave your donation or you can also make an online donation through the parish or diocese website.
All the measures that we are putting in place will be continually assessed and reviewed. These circumstances are unprecedented, and we appreciate your understanding and patience as we work hard to ensure the safety of all people who will gather again in the presence of Jesus, truly present to us in His Living Word and Holy Communion.
Fr Paschal to lead this Sunday’s service on BBC local radio
Our newest priest, Fr Paschal Uche, will be leading the BBC local radio religious service at 8am this Sunday, 30 August. The service will be heard across all 39 BBC local radio stations, with an estimated audience of half a million listeners. Fr Paschal only became a priest at the beginning of August – but he has some media experience to call on. He famously greeted Pope Benedict XVI on behalf of young Catholics during the Papal Visit to the UK and had to field a number of media interviews afterwards. He has been involved in large youth events such as Flame and has also recorded videos on his vocational journey and his role while a deacon. Most recently he impressed in a video – Being Black and Catholic – produced by the Diocese of Westminster
Caritas Brentwood – Looking for a Development Officer
If you are passionate about supporting local volunteers, and have strong experience in training and networking in the charitable sector, this could be your perfect job! Please visit https://www.caritasbrentwood.org/news/developmentofficer/ for the Job Description and full details of this significant new role, which will help enhance our Gospel mandate to serve and recognise Christ in the poor, and in those on the edges. The deadline to apply is October 2nd 2020 and the start date is January 2021.
With many thanks,
Fr Dominic and Steven Webb
You can support us in our quest to seek God through other; our interaction with other faith groups in our neighbourhood; our care for the elderly programme and living wage campaigns through our gift aid program.