The good news is that our parish boiler has been repaired and we will have heat in church on Sunday for our 11.00 am Mass!
Plans for Lent
Please note that this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, and marks the beginning of Lent. We will have a said Mass with the imposition of ashes at 7.30 pm in the evening. Ashes will not be placed on the forehead this year in order to minimise contact, but will be sprinkled silently on the crown of the head.
Looking forward to Lent, we have decided to focus on the basics during the present lockdown and on keeping our daily Mass going this year as the principal devotional focus. I realise many people are choosing to stay at home during the lockdown, and we don’t know when exactly restrictions will be lifted.
We usually have an extra Mass with Stations on Fridays and Evening Prayer and Benediction on Sunday evenings in Lent. We have decided NOT to have these extra liturgies this year because of the complexities of social distancing, uncertainty about what will be possible, and the low numbers of people coming to Mass at the moment.
We certainly hope it will be possible to celebrate the whole of the Triduum publicly, though this may need to be done with slightly less liturgical solemnity than would be our custom in other years.
Sunday School will resume once we come out of lockdown and it is permitted by government regulation. This may not be possible for quite some weeks, yet, though. It will also not be possible to have our usual day of children’s activities for Good Friday this year.
Easter Day will be my final Sunday with you all as your vicar. I hope that by Easter Day we may be able to share a glass of champagne together in our parish garden to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection.
Fr Peter Anthony
Food Bank – a huge thank you to all who contributed!
A huge thank you to all who contributed to our parish food bank. We have had a wonderful response to last week’s appeal, but now have a superfluity of provisions and can’t take any more! We will let you know when we need more donations again in the future.
COVID and worship at St Benet’s
St Benet’s is open for public worship this Sunday with our Parish Mass at 11.00 am. The heating is on the blink again, and the engineers can’t come before next week, so wrap up warm!
In order to allow people the maximum possible space for social distancing, the daily Mass will continue to place each day at the high altar until further notice, with the congregation sitting in the chancel.
There will be no Saturday night Vigil Mass and Sunday evening Mass until further notice in order to reduce the number of services where people meet, and we will concentrate on one Sunday morning Mass at 11.00 am. Numbers of people have been very reduced at the 11.00 am Mass (frequently no more than 10-15 people) so far this year under the lock down, so it strikes me as eminently safe to gather in our large building with those sorts of numbers. The situation will be kept under constant review.
During the current lockdown, public worship remains permitted as long as we follow strict COVID measures. Nobody should feel under any pressure to come to church if you have health concerns or are worried about COVID infection rates, but if you do decide to attend the Mass, you can be assured that every possible precaution has been taken to ensure our worship is COVID secure.
We have all got used to worshipping with social distancing, a mask, and without congregational singing. It is important that we redouble our efforts to implement these measures scrupulously. I am very grateful to you all for so patiently ensuring our church remains a safe place to worship.
Please note that under the present lockdown measures, there can be no Sunday School for the next few weeks. Until now we have had outdoor activities for our children during the Mass, but even that has to stop now that the virus is spreading more quickly than before.
If you have children, they will have to remain with you during the 11.00 am service, and it is crucial that they do not run around the building, and that you keep them physically close to you at all times.
Services from Sunday 14th February 2021
Sunday 14th February 2021
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11.00 am Sung Mass
Tuesday 16th February 2021
11.00 am Mass
Wednesday 17th February 2021
7.30 pm Mass
Thursday 18th February 2021
7.30 pm Mass
Friday 19th February 2021
11.00 am Mass
Sunday 21st February 2021
1st Sunday of Lent
11.00 am Sung Mass