In the light of advice from the government, our Archbishops, and the College of Bishops of the Diocese of London, St Benet’s Church has been closed of public worship, and the following outline for worship and pastoral care is now in place in our parish for the coming weeks until further notice in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Our first and most important recommendation is that everyone follows the latest government advice on social distancing, self-isolation, and hygiene as time proceeds and the situation changes. We urge those described by the government as particularly vulnerable to the effects of the virus to reduce social contact to the absolute minimum, and those showing symptoms of the virus to follow government instructions concerning self-isolation.
- St Benet’s is now closed for public corporate worship until further notice.
- There will be no 11.00 am Sung Mass and no 7.00 pm Mass on Sundays.
- There will be no Sunday School on Sunday mornings.
- There will be no Saturday evening Vigil Mass at Ash Court Care Home.
- Sick communions in people’s homes will cease.
- The confirmation on Sunday 21stJune 2020 will be postponed and re-organised for a date in the autumn or possibly Spring of next year. Confirmation classes will cease immediately and will re-commence in the Autumn.
- The celebration of the daily Mass and office will continue, but will be celebrated privately by Fr Peter in St Benet’s church entirely alone. It will not be possible for anyone to attend these celebrations of the Eucharist or office. We will attempt to live-stream and/or video record a many of these Masses a possible, making them available through our parish YouTube channel.
This time of emergency has the potential to be a period of anxiety and loneliness for those who live on their own or who need to self-isolate.
- The clergy and pastoral team will undertake in this period to be in regular touch by telephone with those who are self-isolating, lonely, sick, vulnerable or needy.
- If you fall ill with the symptoms of Caronavirus and begin to self-isolate, please let Fr Peter know by email or telephone. If you find yourself in any sort of need or danger, are hospitalised, require the last rites, or are concerned about another person’s well being, please be in touch immediately with Fr Peter, who will respond appropriately.
- St Benet’s has a food bank of non-perishable items which we use to provide the homeless and needy with something to eat. If you are ill and self-isolating, genuinely cannot get out, or do not want for legitimate reasons to leave the house to get provisions, please be in touch with Fr Peter who will be more than happy to ensure a bag of food is delivered to your door.
- It is unclear at this stage what will take place over the Sacred Triduum and how this will be celebrated. At the very least, it is certain that we will not hold our usual children’s activities Messy Church on Good Friday, or organise an Easter egg hunt on Easter Day as has been our custom in the past. Details will be posted on our parish website as arrangements become clearer.