Information while Public Mass and Parish meetings are suspended

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Cardinal Vincent's Message

From the Archbishop’s letter and associated guidance:

The following has been amended in light of the Prime Minister’s national broadcast on Monday 23rd March 2020 instructing that churches be closed.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.

The celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation and churches will be closed.

Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.

We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed.

Information about the live-streaming of the celebration of Mass will be made widely available in our dioceses so that the faithful can participate in the prayers of the priest at Mass at home. A fine example of this is from The National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham will continue its full liturgical programme and this will be available to all via the Internet (www.walsingham.org.uk)

Mass and Prayer Resources

As the Cardinal said in his message:

Please, don’t lose heart. Please, get deeper rooted.
When a plant is deprived of some surface water, it has to put down deeper roots.
We are going to have to put down deeper roots of the Spirit and we know that God will nurture us.

During these times, ‘the rhythm of prayer will continue’

A Daily Mass with be broadcast from St Peter’s at 9am on Monday to Saturday and at 10:30am on Sunday and can be viewed online at https://twitter.com/stpeterinchain1. You do not need a Twitter account to view the broadcast. The readings for Mass can be found online at https://universalis.com/mass.htm

The diocese has provided access to various resources. In addition to Masses that are streamed live online in the diocese, there are materials that support prayer and reflection including access to the readings for daily Mass, the Prayer of the Church etc. While some are free, the mobile apps tend to be available on subscription.

Joan Griffith will continue to provide her weekly reflections on the Sunday scripture readings published here on our website.

Our parish catechists will be looking at making available material which we can publish online for those preparing or the sacraments.

Other parishioners have also offered to prepare materials and if you know of any materials that you would recommend please let us know so we can share them more widely. Email webadmin@stpeterinchains.com. Thank you.

Watch this space!

Sacraments

First Holy Communion and Confirmation – These celebrations will be postponed until a time that allows for families and friends to gather safely within our churches. We are cancelling all in-person classes with immediate effect. Our catechists are working on virtual learning options, and will be in touch with parents by text and email with further details in the coming week.

Anyone wishing to arrange a Baptism, Marriage or Funeral please contact Fr Sean for advice.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation – Confession may be offered on request as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements are observed

Anointing of the Sick – No pastoral visits should be made to people who are self-isolating until the isolation period ends. However phone support will be offered.

Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil – This will be dependent on the forthcoming decisions of the Bishops for the Holy Week ceremonies.

Don't forget the vulnerable

In light of the uncertainty over the Coronavirus, it is understandable that we want to ensure our kitchen cupboards are well stocked. However, we must not forget that this can leave foodbanks struggling. Hundreds of people rely on generous donations from our parishioners. This includes the need for hygiene items, toilet paper, sanitary products etc, as well as sealed packages of dry food, tins, and long-life milk etc. Foodbanks also welcome donations of money – please give what you can. Please also consider if you could spare some time to volunteer – perhaps by driving to collect food for a foodbank – or simply by looking out for your neighbours. Contact cfc@rcdow.org.uk or call 020 7931 6077 to add your name to a list of people who would be willing to help respond.

The Sunday Collection

Planned Giving:
Planned Giving Envelopes containing your donations should be kept at home until they can be brought to church.

Loose cash
If you normally give loose cash or notes, you can give online, or put your normal offering aside each week until the church re-opens.

Standing Orders
If you currently donate using Envelopes or loose cash, perhaps this is a good time to switch, if you can, to giving by Standing Order. The necessary form for your bank  can be found here. The information can also be used to set up a regular payment if you use online banking. You will make our Planned Giving Organiser’s life much easier if you donate monthly rather than weekly – Thank you!