Today the priests of the diocese have received a letter from Bishop Robson updating us on the situation regarding places of worship under the current Covid restrictions.
You will be aware that the Scottish Government will introduce new regulations as of December 26th. This means that capacity at any Mass will be strictly limited to 20 people. This highlights further the importance of booking for Holy Mass in advance and timeously. Unfortunately no exceptions will be able to be made to these requirements, and if people turn up for Mass, not having booked, when our churches already are seating 20 people, they will sadly have to be denied access.
I suggest also that to adhere to government advice people should now only request Mass in their own local church, i.e. no travelling between the two main centres of Kinross and Auchtermuchty but sticking to our own church for Mass. This should not be a problem in Auchtermuchty but may mean that it will be more difficult to find a regular place at Mass in Kinross if we try to give everyone an equal opportunity for attendance. This also highlights, for the moment, making the most of the opportunity for weekday Mass in Kinross when we might not be able to come on Sunday.
Cooperation with regulations and parish guidelines is essential to safeguard parishioners and to make sure that things run smoothly so that we can continue to make provision for Holy Mass in these strange times. Everyone is required to abide by the parish guidelines in terms of making bookings for Mass, and observing the practices of distancing, mask-wearing (unless with exemption), hygiene precautions, dispersal from the church property after Holy Mass, etc.
Bookings must be made explicitly for every Mass you wish to attend and you must provide your name and your contact details – this has already been made clear several times, so thank you for keeping to these requirements. No one should return to the church after having left the building, nor should they enter the sanctuary of the church or the sacristy unless specifically authorised to do so by the Parish Priest.
Parishioners should also present themselves at church at least 15 minutes before Mass begins in order to allow the stewards to escort them to their designated seat. Parishioners should observe social-distancing inside the church building and outside whilst on church property. Random inspections are being made by members of the local authorities and failure to comply with the authorities’ regulations could potentially result in the closure of churches.
Thank you & God bless, Fr. Martin Pletts