Times of Masses.
Many of you will have heard the news this week that SOME churches are re-opening for services. This will depend on the advice of the Archbishop’s Council. At the moment we are only allowed to re-open ONE Church in each Parish. This means that in the Leigh Deanery we will be re-opening five churches. They are listed below. Numbers will be limited, because we will still have to adhere to self-distancing rules and regulations. The liturgy of the Mass may have to change slightly to reflect the need for safety. Please read and follow all the guidelines in all the churches that are open. It is for your safety and for everyone else’s safety that we have to do this at this time.

Holy Family, Boothstown – Sunday at 9am & 11am. Follow this link for more information about Sunday Masses in St Margaret Clitherow Parish
All Saints, Golborne – Saturday at 5pm & Sunday at 10.30am.
St.Lewis’, Croft – Sunday at 9am.
St.Joseph’s, Leigh – Saturday at 4.30pm & Sunday at 9.30am. Follow this link for more information about Celebrating Mass together again in St Edmund Arrowsmith Parish
Sacred Heart, Hindley Green – Saturday at 5pm & Sunday at 10.30am.

This is only a temporary list of Mass times. At present, due to the fact that this whole situation is so unprecedented, we have no idea how many people will wish to attend Mass, especially in the first weekend. We may need more Masses or we may need less. If you turn up for Mass you may find that you cannot get in. we simply cannot guarantee a place in church at this time since numbers will be limited due to social distancing.

As you may be able to notice from Archdiocesan guidelines, the Sunday obligation of attending Mass is no longer applicable, so we may then put on more Masses during the week at which we will celebrate the Sunday Liturgy.

If you attend Church please do follow the guidelines and seek the help of those present. Please bring a face-mask with you if you have one. The liturgy will be different and, because of social distancing at this time, the Mass may well be shorter. You will be receiving Holy Communion as you leave the Church itself. Social distancing must be maintained at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of those around us.

We will need more people to help in the future – especially those churches not yet open. If you feel you are in a position to help then please contact one of the priests as soon as possible.

Private Prayer

From Monday 15th June 2020 Churches may now be re-opened for Private Prayer

Archbishop Malcolm has decided to take a cautious approach, consenting to the opening of two churches per Pastoral Area within the Archdiocese on agreed days and at agreed times.

For our Pastoral Area these two churches will be:

St Joseph’s, Leigh, opening on
Sundays between 10.00-12.00pm and
Wednesdays between 12.00-1.00pm

All Saints, Golborne, opening on
Wednesdays between 10.00-11.00am and
Sundays between 9.00-11.00am.

The Archbishop has issued strict guidelines to be adhered to ensure the safety of all who come to pray in our churches. These are detailed below. Whilst many of these guidelines apply to what your Parish Priest must do to ensure your safety, some also apply to you. So, when you visit, please read, and follow the guidelines. They are for your safety AND the safety of everyone else. A copy of these will also be available in church.

Diocesan guidelines for the opening of churches for Private Prayer.

• Our church will have had a Risk Assessment completed and a letter of authorisation for re-opening, issued by the Archbishop.
• Within both the church grounds and building, the 2 metre social distancing rule must be adhered to at all times
• There will be no parking directly in front of the church. Please use the main car park and the Mather Room car park.
• Do bring your own prayer books as newsletters, mass books, holy water will have all been removed.
• All doors will be left open to minimise shared contact.
• Anti-bacterial hand gel will be available for your use at both the entrance and exit; we do however advise you to bring your own.
• Upon your arrival you will be welcomed by a Steward to assist you.
• We recommend that, for your own safety and peace of mind you wear a face mask/covering.
• A one-way system with separate entrance and exit will be in operation: people will enter at the back of the church and exit through the side of the church. The side door is not to be used as an entrance.
• Please take a ‘do not sit, to be cleaned’ laminated notice into church with you. Sit in one of the designated places. When you go, leave the laminated notice in your place. It will assist with cleaning.
• Please place your Offertory envelope and Mass Intentions in the basket. If you are from other churches, envelopes and intentions will be forwarded to the respective church
• Movement within the church is restricted to walking to your place of prayer and leaving the church to ensure social distancing. Votive candle stands have been removed and we ask you not to pray in front of the statues.
• In common will other public buildings the toilets will not be available for use.
• Upon someone leaving the Steward will immediately clean the bench so that it is ready for use by the next person.

Finally, the Archbishop has advised that any church could be closed at short notice, depending on the current circumstances.

As you can see, a great deal of work has already gone into the preparations for re-opening church. To some it may seem unnecessary, to others not enough. All this is done to ensure your safety and to provide an opportunity for you to pray in your church and re-connect in this way with your faith.

As the Psalmist has said: “Let us rejoice that He has saved us.”

Fr Kieran
12th June 2020.