Dear brothers and sisters,

On Wednesday 3rd June I met with several volunteers on Zoom and we had a very productive discussion as we look into the possibility of re-opening St Catherine for personal prayer. This is a first step for the reopening of the Church for public worship.

The reopening is going to be a complicated matter since we will have to ensure the we comply with Health and Safety regulations, i.e. social distancing, hygiene norms…. There will be a one-way system within the church and only the main body of the Church will be available, that is, the Sacred Heart Chapel, the Lady Chapel and the toilets will not be accessible. The capacity will be limited to 38 people max at any given time and only a few benches will be available to the visitors to sit down and pray quietly.

In the re-opening we will need volunteers to monitor the opening hours and some others to clean afterwards. All visitors will be expected to wear protective masks and gloves (if possible). Whereas access will be open to all, volunteering will be restricted to those who are not in the vulnerable position.

Acknowledging the normal use of our parish, we agreed that the feasible times for opening would be:

Friday – 11am till 1pm
Saturday – 5pm till 7pm
Sunday – 5pm till 7pm

All this is subject to authorisation from the government and the right number of volunteers being available.

In order to manage the number of volunteers, we have created an account

https://timecounts.org/st-catherine

in which people can sign in. Please check it and sign in if you can. You can find the instruction on how this service works and all its features in the PDF file below.

If you have any queries, please let me know. On a further note, should anyone want to go to confession or have a chat with me, this can be safely arranged in our garden, ensuring that the appropriate measures are taken. Please contact me by phone or email and we will arrange this.

This arrangement might seem complicated and unfair, above all when we see what has been going on in the streets of our city in the past few days. I believe taking small steps is the way forward.

Looking forward to meeting you again, I keep praying for you.

Fr Javier