News for Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th July: We are Open!

St. Mary-the-Virgin, News for Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th July 2020 – Open for You!

It is a sad indictment on the values of our society that the headlines of the television, media and printed press yesterday and today feature more about the re-opening of pubs and hairdressers than the long awaited return of public worship! After fourteen weeks in “lockdown” Saint Mary's, Kenton opens its doors to worshippers from 5.45pm this evening (Saturday 4th July) for Mass at 6.00pm.

For some time there will be a significant change to worship “as we have been accustomed”. There will be a strict limit on the number of people that can be safely accommodated in church with due regard to social distancing. 40 people will be the maximum number, and the purpose of having a Vigil Mass at 6.00pm on a Saturday evening will (hopefully) alleviate the demand upon the 10.30am Mass on Sundays. It would usually be a great joy to have people queuing to get in to church – but we would not want to disappoint those who are yearning to be present “in person” at the Eucharistic Feast with Jesus, and to receive him once again in the Blessed Sacrament. There will be no singing (as the projection of airborn particles is far greater) and strict regulations to sanitising hands and seating positions must be observed. There will be a short homily and no bidding prayers, no sign of peace and a quick exit from church. But aside from all of the regulations (and there are MANY!) we would love to welcome you back!

We do appreciate that there are still many who are nervous about leaving the house and coming to a large gathering. Perhaps those who have been shielding for 12 weeks due to age or health conditions. Each person must decide for themselves whether this is the right time to return (and also whether or not to wear a face mask, the choice is yours). If you would like to receive the Blessed Sacrament at home, please contact Fr Edward. The 'Sunday Obligation' is suspended – and if you prefer to come during the week, the times of the Mass each day are on the Pew Sheet.

In so many ways, we can give thanks for a return to more of our “freedom” – to visit a public house and meet up with friends or to get that long-awaited hair cut or perm. It has been a long time coming. But perhaps that helps us to better understand the harsh incarceration of those who feature in ACAT's Prayer Cases of the Month, like Loujain al-Hathlouln, who has been detained in Saudi Arabia for campaigning for the rights of women. Please continue to pray for her, for an end to the coronavirus pandemic and for a time that we can fully return to worship together.

We are open for You!

David Griffiths