Parishioners will be keen to return to Mass at St. Michael’s as soon it is permitted. The resumption of Masses depends on the parish being able to meet the government requirements.
There are four requirements that demand special and unprecedented arrangements to be in place before Masses can resume in our church on a manageable basis:
- Physical Distancing: Observe the 1 metre rule and minimise contact with others.
- Hygiene: Cleaning and sanitising on a regular basis as required.
- Contact Tracing. Record the contact details of every person present.
- Gathering Size: Keep the number attending below 100.
Responses to #1 and #2 are possible, and can be arranged. Special arrangements at the church include using parishioners as volunteers, extra cleaning and reduced seating capacity.
We can cope with #3 but only with the cooperation and understanding of parishioners:
- In order to comply with #3 we will be asking all those who wish to attend Sunday Mass to make a regular booking of a specific Mass time for the foreseeable future.
- All parishioners on the parish register will be issued with a Mass Card.
- They present their Mass Card each time they attend at the church, whether to take up a booking for a Sunday Mass, or to attend a weekday Mass (no booking necessary).
- Presentation of the Mass Card each time is essential: it enables the parish to comply with #3 because we then know who attended on each occasion and that we have their contact details. It also avoids queuing and delays at the door of the church.
Requirement #4 is the greatest challenge. Three of the four Sunday Masses have had congregations well in excess of 100 persons. Given the reduction of church seating capacity to 100, and even allowing that some parishioners will not make an early return to Mass for health and other concerns, the four Mass schedule will not be sufficient. However we intend to accommodate all parishioners who wish to attend Mass on Sundays.
Our solution to #4 is to offer more Sunday Mass times to meet demand. The attached form shows a possible new Sunday schedule with extra Masses at 6pm (Saturday) and 9am and 11am (Sunday). Each Sunday Mass will be a little shorter than usual, to allow time for the extra hygiene procedures, and for some easy but necessary check-in procedures.
We urge all parishioners to make their bookings for Sunday Mass of their choice, by completing the form (attached but also on the parish website) and returning it to the parish office as soon as possible.
Please fill in the Online Mass Card Application below.
- The Mass Card is not transferable.
- A booking is valid only for the Mass time applied for and can only be changed with prior agreement.
- Admission to the church without a confirmed booking is dependent on place availability.
- The schedule of Mass times in B above may be varied to reflect changes in the restrictions and may necessitate consequential changes in arrangements and entitlements that differ from parishioner preferences.