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