15th March 2020 – Third Sunday of Lent

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

The Cardinal wrote to us last Friday saying : “The appropriate response to the threat of Coronavirus at this time was clearly laid out for us by the official statements yesterday. Two main points struck me: that the right measures are to be introduced at the right time and, secondly that we must have a special concern for the elderly. In these matters we must be guided by official advice, based on the best scientific evidence, and not by personal opinion”.

The Catholic Church In England and Wales has now moved to Stage Two of procedures, which means delay. All of us are invited to use our common sense and pay attention to our personal hygiene. We are to wash our hands after we have been out, especially after a journey on public transport; we are encouraged to use paper tissue and to bin it after use and also to sanitise our hands frequently. If you don’t have a tissue use your sleeve – not your hands! Then avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Practically this means:

  • The Body of Christ must be taken on your hand.
  • The Blood of Christ will not be offered at Holy Communion.
  • The sign of peace will not be exchanged.
  • All holy water stoups have been removed. There is still water available in the Holy Water container by the sacristy door.
  • No hymn books will be used. Dispose of any paper you have used during mass (Newsletter, hymn sheet or mass sheet) as you go out.
  • As always. anyone with cold or flu symptoms should refrain from coming to Mass.

All Sacramental programmes will continue as normal and we ask that you help us ensure good hygiene practice is maintained.
We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and should the guidance from the Diocese need to change we will let you know.

In this time of Lent we should not be distracted of other matters which affect our society with a long term consequences, such as Brexit and its negotiations, also the plague of locust in East Africaor the desperate situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Fr Javier

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