Sermon for Trinity VXIII - All Saints Anglican Church, Charlottesville VA

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church    

It is a great joy to be able to welcome parishioners back to church, but at this time registering is essential for Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday morning

Face coverings are now mandatory for all inside the church, apart from children under 11,  or those who have a condition that makes wearing one difficult and/or distressing.

As we have to leave the windows and doors open for ventilation,  remember to wrap up warm for the brief time you’ll be in the church….

Please click here for more information about Mass times and 
details of how to register your intention to come to Mass

Please remember that there is no Sunday obligation at this time and there are weekday Masses on Tuesday and Thursday at 10.00 am.

More volunteers are needed to steward at Masses. 

The situation we are enduring due to COVID-19 is likely to continue for some time. We need  more volunteers to act as as stewards for Mass. The greater the number of volunteers, the less the burden it will be for everyone. 

If you are under 70 years of age and in good health, please consider helping out.

Now that we have managed to open the church again, it would be a great pity should I find that I am forced to cancel public Masses because we don’t have sufficient numbers of stewards.

A note about our COVID-19 church cleaning regime 

We aren’t able to use much of the space in the church.  There are only 12  pews that can be used - this equates to 24 individuals (one at the opposite bend of each bench), but more when couples, families or established social ‘ bubbles' ( e.g. if you travel to Mass in the same car) sit together on a bench. 12 is the crucial number here - when these benches are occupied by any combination of people, the church will be full and no one else is allowed inside the building. However, the doors have to be left open for ventilation.

  • There is a text SMS registration system for those intending to come to Mass - this will also be useful for Track and Trace purposes, should details be needed.
  • You will be expected to use the hand sanitiser that is provided on arrival and departure, or be seen to be using your own
  • From Saturday 8th August 2020, people are required by HM Government to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet, this includes churches. There are exemptions to this requirement (link)
  • You’ll be directed to a place in church by a steward. I know this is difficult fror some of our longstanding parishioners, but this is a requirement of us being allowed to open. We need to carefully space those who are in church. For a time we all have to put to one side notions of‘my usual place in church’.
  • For the forseeable future, celebrations of Holy Mass must be brief, the order of Mass is slightly altered particularly for the distrbution and reception of Holy Communion, and there’ll be no singing. For the time being, I will be the only person in the sanctuary.
  • No toilets are available 
  • There will be no leaflets/Mass sheets/newsletters avaialable - you can either bring your missal or print out a Mass sheet, but please make sure you take them away with you
  •  Mass times  have changed and, for some time to come, will all take place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

N.B. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass is still suspended by the bishop.

Don’t be anxious if you are a 'shielder' or feel you would rather not come back to church just yet.

There will be some weekday Masses (this week on Tuesday and Thursday at 10.00 am and on First Fridays at 7.00 pm) and these are likely to be less busy - perhaps an option for those who can come to church on weekdays and help ease the pressure on Sundays.  

Masses are still being streamed online from various churches.

Sadly, I can't see St Thomas of Canterbury Church reopening until we return to something like ’normal'. Having no side aisles, there isn’t a way to establish  a ‘one-way’ system there and, with 2 metre social distancing (still the local government and episcopal preferred option), we would be able to admit very few people ( only 8 individuals) into the building.
For the time being, we will use the larger Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to accommodate as many as possible, in the hope that our parishioners who normally attend St Thomas’ will come along.

safeguarding for volunteers video



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