Schedule of public Masses from Wednesday 15th July to Sunday 19th July inclusive

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING VERY CAREFULLY:

The following are the Mass times available for booking in St. James’ & St. Matthew’s from Wednesday 15th July to Sunday 19th July inclusive. The limit remains for six people in St. James’ at any one time and fourteen people in St. Matthew’s at any one time. Social distancing requirements stand as does the necessity of wearing a face-covering / mask when in the church (only to be removed when receiving Holy Communion). Hand sanitiser will provided at the door as has already been the case.

You will be required to contact Fr. Martin directly in order to book a place at Holy Mass and this should be done either by e-mailing Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com or texting 07540534480 or leaving a message on the parish landline: 01577 863329. I ask that you use only these methods as it is sometimes difficult to track messages via Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, etc. I will not take bookings for future weeks, as this may prohibit others who want to come being able to come, bookings will only be taken for the dates listed here. It is important when you book, each time, that you provide me with your name, your contact number and your address – for purposes of contact in the unlikely case of there being an outbreak. You will not be guaranteed a place until you have heard back from Fr. Martin to confirm that your place has been booked.

Masses will remain brief for the moment, and there will be no ‘sign of peace’, no singing or music, no hymn books or Mass sheets, no Holy Water at the door, and people may be instructed when they may come forward to receive Holy Communion. In other words this will be very similar to how things were immediately prior to “lockdown”.

Despite all of these restrictions at the moment it will be wonderful that we can come together for Holy Mass, to join in Christ’s sacrifice, to be nourished with His Body and Blood, and to be able to worship the Lord as He has commanded us to do: ‘Do this in memory of me’.

I have chosen to allocate the earlier times on Sunday to Auchtermuchty and to give a Saturday afternoon/evening time to St. Matthew’s because this church has the greater capacity for people to come and these are generally the busier times. St. James’, of course, will also have opportunity for Mass throughout the week, which St. Matthew’s will not. I encourage people from both churches, then, to be flexible in travelling in order to attend Holy Mass.

For the foreseeable future the Bishops of Scotland have chosen to continue to suspend the Sunday Obligation, so that we incur no sin by not attending Holy Mass on Sunday for the moment. This means that we can come to Holy Mass any day of the week that is available.

These, then, are the available days and times for Holy Mass:

St. James’ Church: (6 people at each Mass)

Wednesday 15th July – Masses at 10.00a.m. & 7.00p.m.

Thursday 16th July – Masses at 10.00a.m. & 7.00p.m.

Friday 17th July – Masses at 10.00a.m. & 7.00p.m.

Saturday 18th July – Masses at 10.00a.m. & 12 noon

Sunday 19th July – Masses at 11.00a.m. & 3.00p.m.

St. Matthew’s Church: (14 people at each Mass)

Saturday 18th July – Mass at 4.00p.m.

Sunday 19th July – Mass at 9.00a.m.

Please stick strictly to the ways of booking requesting above, as failure to do so may result in your request not being received and a place not being booked. Please also keep looking at this website and at the parish Facebook Page in order to keep up-to-date with what is happening, and do pass this information on to other parishioners.God bless you, Fr. Martin

Public Masses

You will be aware by now, I’m sure, that public Masses may be celebrated from next Wednesday (15th July), whilst still observing hygiene and distancing precautions. In the next few days I will advertise Mass times and be taking bookings for places at Holy Mass in the same form as I have been taking them for personal private prayer. For the time being the Sunday obligation remains suspended by the Bishops of Scotland. I envisage, then that we will have Masses next Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday but at the moment have not decided the times. Please pass this information on to others, especially those who may not have access to the internet. No bookings will be taken until I have formally issued a list of dates and times.

This is perhaps the most positive news that we have had in a long time, so I encourage you to do all that you can to make an effort to attend public Mass once again when the times have been issued.

God bless you and keep you,

Fr. Martin Pletts

News from the Parish SSVP Conference

Society of St. Vincent De Paul (June)… Although the Church has been in lockdown the Society members, where possible, have been helping those in need while observing the restrictions. I would like to thank all parishioners and members for their continuing contributions of food for the local food bank. I would also thank those parishioners who have been donating money for this purpose. All of this is very much appreciated. Each week two members have been using these funds to purchase items which are in short supply at the food bank. While St. Vincent de Paul would normally be supplying food directly, during these exceptional times when visits to homes and to those in need are difficult we have felt that one way we can continue our charitable work is through donations of food to the food bank. Hopefully, as we go through the phases coming out of lockdown we will be able to undertake this work ourselves. However, this does not mean that we cannot help those in need, if anyone is aware of parishioners or others who are in need please feel free to contact us either thorough the church or via a member of SSVP directly.

Yet again the generosity of parishioners has been wonderful and we have received a substantial amount of money in donations, much of which has been given specifically for the purpose of providing groceries. Therefore I cannot thank you enough, as I also in fact thank all of the brothers and sisters in the parish Conference for their ongoing prayers and support. I would especially like to recognise Geraldine and Wilma for their work in doing the shopping and collecting the items left at the church and delivering these to the food bank, and Ann who has arranged for collection of food in and around Glenlomond: to date they have contributed over 40 bags of food, toiletries etc., which have been passed on, and, of course Sid has also been most helpful in co-ordinating the effort in terms of ascertaining what is needed each week. The need has varied from extra supplies of meals, tinned pies, and tinned vegetables, to other weeks where it is something as simple as fruit juice and cordials.

As some of you may have seen Broke Not Broken thanked the parishioners of St. James’ and St. Matthew’s in the June edition of the Kinross Community Newsletter.

Another area which has been brought to our attention for the future, perhaps: need for school uniforms for some families who have been furloughed and therefore may be living on significantly reduced income. We will of course look at these cases as they arise as well as looking to contact schools in case they have a bulk deal? This has yet to be discussed as to how to progress this if the need arises.

I would also encourage members and parishioners who are able to try and make it to private prayer at St. James’ and St. Matthew’s which takes place before the Blessed Sacrament. Details of times and the booking system can be found on the parish website. Due to the arrangements reached by the Conference of Scottish Bishops and the guidelines from the diocese in line with advice from the Scottish Government on social distancing, places are severely limited with currently St. Matthew’s having 14 places and St. James’ 6 spaces. Masks must be worn at all times and parishioners need to provide their own. Places must be booked in advance through contact with Father Martin directly. Many thanks to you all.

God bless you all,

Bob Corrieri, President, St. James’ and St. Matthew’s SSVP Conference

Times for Private Prayer – update

Thank you to all who are helping us to open our churches at the moment for private prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament – your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Understandably, perhaps because people are still somewhat hesitant, the up-take for times for private prayer has been rather slow this week. Taking people’s hesitancy into consideration and also the fact that preparation and cleaning afterwards requires so much of volunteers I have, in the light of the lack of response, decided not to open the churches this week beyond Wednesday 1st July. Therefore, the churches will remain closed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week (2nd, 3rd, 4th of July respectively). I think it would be remiss of me to ask volunteers to come to clean and to be stewards when no one had signed-up for those days, although there has been ample opportunity to do so.

We shall re-open again on Sunday 5th July with time for prayer for 14 people in St. Matthew’s from 10.00-11.00a.m. and for 6 people in St. James’ from 2.00-3.00p.m. These times will need to be booked through me directly, either by phone, text message or e-mail, and confirmation will be given by me as to whether a place is available or not for the day and the time. I am afraid that for the moment this is something that will need to be done every week, as I wish to give everyone a fair opportunity to be able to come to visit the churches at some point. I would advise you not to hesitate in making such a booking as places are very limited. I remind you, too, that for the time being you will need to bring and to wear your own face-covering. Booking is important as we need to know who is in the church at any given time for the sake of track and trace if there is ever a problem with the virus. I assure you, however, that the churches are being cleaned meticulously and that you should have every confidence that the church building is a very safe place to be because of this.

The times for private prayer for the following week are as follows:

Sunday 5th July – St. Matthew’s 10.00-11.00a.m. (14 places available)

Sunday 5th July – St. James’ 2.00-3.00p.m. (6 places available)

Wednesday 8th July – St. James’ 10.00-11.00a.m. (6 places available)

Thursday 9th July – St. James’ 2.00-3.00p.m. (6 places available)

Friday 10th July – St. James’ 7.00-8.00p.m. (6 places available)

Beyond these dates and times no further bookings will be taken for the moment.

God bless you and keep you, Fr. Martin

A gentle reminder…

Charity is key to our Christian vocation, as we know. Recently I have posted available times for individual prayer in the churches in Kinross and Auchtermuchty and have had a moderate uptake – I would encourage you, strongly, to come and to pray in the Presence of Our Eucharistic Lord. This is far more important, provided you are well enough, than watching Mass on TV, because here you will actually be with the Lord Jesus rather than being a mere spectator, and by watching Mass on TV we are not fulfilling our obligation anyway – the obligation from which we are also currently dispensed. Out of charity, and concern for those who are eager to come and be with Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, please, if you book a place, have the courtesy to turn up, booking a place and not turning up or not giving advance warning of your inability to turn up (unless of course there has been an emergency) means that someone else will be deprived of the precious opportunity to be in the Lord’s Real Presence. God bless you, and I hope that you make the most of these precious opportunities that we now have, Fr. Martin

Please read the previous post for a list of the times available this coming week for private prayer. I encourage you to book as soon as possible as we are depending upon volunteers to steward those coming in for prayer and also to sanitize the premises once they have been used – and I do not wish to put these kind and generous people under undue pressure when they may also have other personal arrangements to consider.

Booking Times for Private Prayer & Confession Monday 29th June to Sunday 5th July inclusive…

Below are the times available for private prayer in St. James’ & St. Matthew’s from Monday 29th June until Sunday 5th July (inclusive), there will also be opportunity for Confession (in St. James’ church hall on Wednesday 1st July from 1.00p.m. to 1.45p.m. – this does not need to be booked, please just turn up).

Private Prayer:

Monday 29th 10.00a.m. to 11.00a.m. in St. James’

Tuesday 30th 7.00p.m. to 8.00p.m. in St. James’

Wednesday 1st July 2.00p.m. to 3.00p.m. in St. James’

Thursday 2nd July 10.00a.m. to 11.00a.m. in St. James’

Friday 3rd July 7.00p.m. to 8.00p.m. in St. James’

Saturday 4th July 11.00a.m. to 12 noon in St. James’

Sunday 5th July 10.00a.m. to 11.00a.m. in St. Matthew’s and 2.00p.m. to 3.00p.m. in St. James’

The current capacity in St. James’ is 6 people and in St. Matthew’s it is 14 people, all attending for private prayer are required to being their own face covering to wear whilst in the church. Toilets will only be accessible in case of emergency. Please apply for a time by either e-mailing me on Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com or texting me on 07540534480 or leaving a message on the answering machine on 01577 863329. I will confirm with you when you have a place. You may arrive or leave anytime between the times stipulated, but may not stay beyond the final time indicated as the churches will need to be cleaned after every session. You should not be congregating inside or outside of the church to talk and must leave the building and the property and maintain social distancing. More times and or greater capacity may be available in future should distancing regulations change. You will be required to sit in a seat allocated to you.

Thank you for your patience and co-operation, God bless you, Fr. Martin

Booking Times for Private Prayer – Sunday 28th June

Next Sunday, 28th June, St. Matthew’s and St. James’ will be open for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. St. Matthew’s will be open for 14 people from 10.00 to 11.00a.m. and St. James’ will be open for 6 people from 2.00 to 3.00p.m. To book one of those places contact me either by e-mail on Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com or by text message on 07540534480. I will need to be able to get back in touch with you to confirm if you have secured a place. Please pass on the word to those who do not have internet access. Those who are unable to send text messages or emails can phone 01577 863329 leaving a clear message with their name and contact number. I am sorry that this seems so formal and regulated at the moment, but hopefully things will progress quickly and get back to normal soon. God bless you all, Fr. Martin

Dear parishioners…

Dear parishioners, it is likely that we will soon be moving to a point where our churches can re-open albeit only for private prayer. This, as I have said earlier, is long-awaited. We have had to get used to many changes in the way we operate from day-to-day given the social restrictions that have been placed upon us, and it is inevitable that such changes will also touch the life of the Church and the way in which we are able to worship at the moment. We may agree or disagree with such changes, we may find reassurance and a sense of security in them, or we may find them difficult to accept and dislike them – I am sure that there are many more feelings, opinions, in this regard.

For the foreseeable future we will be asked to adhere to certain guidelines regarding sanitary precautions and numbers of those in attendance in the hope that everyone who enters the church building can feel assured, as much as is humanly possible, of their well-being. Some of this may seem odd and uncomfortable as we are used to freely associating with each other, and maintaining a warm, friendly and prayerful atmosphere. Sadly many measures seem very impersonal, unfriendly, and awkward (already a number of parishioners have expressed how alien the idea of “booking a time slot seems”, and this is completely understandable – dealing with this, however, will be part of the sacrifice that we will all have to make so that we can, at least, open our buildings for public use and maintain hygiene requirements. This is not exclusive to Church matters, I think we have all experienced the consequences of these new behaviours which are intended to limit exposure to Covid-19.

I ask, kindly, therefore, for your co-operation with the measures which we will be asked to implement even if they feel awkward and very much unlike what we were used to, and I would also ask that we treat such matters seriously but also recognizing that they have very much a secondary role in our faith lives – I would hate to think that in coming to church we would now just be thinking about hand-sanitizers and hygiene, rather than thinking about our love and worship of God and our love for our neighbour. We should feel at peace when we enter into the Lord’s House and nothing should take away from this.

I pray that God will bless you and yours abundantly and lead us all along the path of faithful discipleship, putting Him first in everything. With every prayer and good wish, Fr. Martin Pletts

A brief update

You may have already seen that there has been talk of the possibility of churches opening soon, which is good news for all of us, and long anticipated. Once we have definite instructions from the Diocese we will proceed with this, remembering that our own bishop governs what happens in his diocese, and even that circumstances may be different from parish to parish within the diocese given the age of the clergy, the style of building, and the make-up of the congregation. We have been instructed, quite clearly, that this is not a “one size fits all” approach, and therefore I would ask you to bear this in mind, as one parish or church may do things slightly differently to another, as may one diocese in comparison to another.

The initial stage, when we enter it will simply be one of opening our churches for private prayer, numbers will be limited, and sanitary precautions will be used, whilst not wanting, at the same time, to detract from the prayerfulness and peacefulness of the opportunity to pray before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It will probably be the case that people will be required to “book” a slot for prayer, to wear a face covering, to sit in a designated place, and to use hand sanitiser on entry and exit – most of this is simply a common sense approach, as I have already stated. Once the situation becomes more transparent I will post information on this website and also on Facebook and I would ask you, please, to pass the information on to those who may not have access to the internet.

We will find that opening times will be varied, changeable, and probably not in accord with what were the previous times of Mass, this is to allow flexibility, to facilitate cleaning, and to be able to respond to need. I am certain that this will be a non-issue given the wonderful opportunity to at least be able to return to the church and prayer before Jesus in the Tabernacle. It may also mean, that more will happen in Auchtermuchty at St. Matthew’s, or more priority might be given to St. Matthew’s church because it is a much larger building with a greater seating capacity, and I would ask St. James’ parishioners to bear this in mind and to make use of that opportunity too.

I appreciate your prayerful support, good wishes and concern over this time, I appreciate the continued giving, financially, that has sustained the parish over this while, and I encourage you to continue to be supportive as, naturally, without Sunday Masses our average collection has declined somewhat – which is understandable given the extra pressure placed on all households. This is also why your support for our collections of food for “Broke not Broken” has been particularly heartening.

God bless you, and please keep watching this space for further updates,

In Christ, Fr. Martin Pletts