FAQ for returning to Public Mass
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the most important things to remember at this time?
If you or a member of your household have any of the symptoms of Covid-19 you must stay at home. Please do not come to the church. If you have been advised to isolate or are particularly vulnerable you must stay at home. If you are 70+ years old you should follow the government guidelines.
2. When can we return to Sunday Mass?
Sunday Masses will begin on 4/5th July at Ss Peter & Paul. The Mass times are:
Saturday Vigil Mass at 6.00 pm in Church
Sunday Mass 9.30 am & 11am in Church
3. Do I have to “book” in order to attend?
No. However, family households and individuals will have to arrive in very good time before Mass begins in order to ensure a seat. If you are attending the outdoor Mass at school, you might like to bring a blanket, rug or seat. There will only be a few available at the school for the elderly.
4. Will I be able to sit in my usual spot or wherever I like?
No. You will have to wait to be seated by an usher. You will have no choice in where you sit. Available seats will be filled up row by row in an orderly fashion as ushers seat family households, couples and individuals. In this way, we will maintain social distancing and ensure that we can safely seat the maximum number of people.
5. Will there be the same number of seats available as usual?
No. Every second row of seats has been removed and a strict space of two benches must be kept between every family household or individual and the next family household or individual.
6. Will I be able to use the toilets?
No. The toilets will be locked. Please make sure that you go to the toilet before coming to Mass. (For Mass at School, the inside of the School will be closed.)
7. Will the Church be cleaned?
Yes. The Church will thoroughly cleaned after each Mass.
8. Which doors must I use to enter the Church?
Please use the usual entrance to the church and exit via the Prayer Garden.
9. What is the first thing that I must do when I arrive?
Pray. As you cross the threshold into this sacred space, thank Jesus for being able to come into His presence and to meet Him again in word and sacrament.
10. What is the second thing I must do?
Sanitise your hands. Please use a single pump of the hand sanitiser which will be available at the entrance doors.
11. And then what will happen?
Respecting social distancing measures, please queue and wait to be seated by one of the ushers. This may take a little time.
If you or a member of your family are in a wheelchair or have a disability, please make yourself known to an usher and you will be seated immediately in an area reserved alongside the font.
Please remember, this is new to all of us; and, therefore, we ask for your patience and understanding, and to treat our ushers with respect.
12. And then what will happen?
You must wait to be seated by one of the ushers. This may take a little time. Remember, this is new to all of us! Therefore, we ask for your patience and understanding, and to treat our ushers with respect.
13. Will the celebration of Mass be as normal?
The essential elements, for example, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist will be the same. However, some things will be different, for example, sadly, there will be no music.
14. Will I be able to receive Holy Communion or come up for a blessing?
Yes, of course. We are now able to receive Christ’s Body and Blood but at this point under “one kind”, that is, the consecrated host which, of course, contains the fullness of Christ’s divine life and love. You will be guided by the ushers row by row and in an orderly and prayerful fashion to receive Holy Communion.
Please maintain social distancing as you process to receive our Lord.
Please receive our Lord’s Body on the throne made with the palms of your hands. You cannot receive on the tongue at this time.
Hold your arms at full length and have your palms flat so that the priest or Minister of Holy Communion can place the Body of Christ onto your palm for you to consume reverently.
If you are coming up for a blessing please stand a good distance away from the minister with your hands across your chest and you will receive a simple blessing in silence.
If you are not receiving Holy Communion or a blessing, you also must come up and follow the people on your row back to your seat. In this way, people will not have to step over or pass close to you as they return from receiving Holy Communion.
15. After I have received Holy Communion or a blessing, what do I do?
Pray from your heart the greatest prayer: “Thank you, Lord.”
16. Which doors must I use to exit the Church?
Please exit via the Prayer Garden door at the front left of the church. An usher will be there to ensure that safe distances are maintained if parishioners are lighting candles.
Please do not touch any statues in the church.
Please leave the Cathedral in an orderly fashion, being particularly aware of social distancing. Please hand sanitise as you leave.
17. What about my offering for the running and support of the parish?
Many people have experienced financial hardship during the lockdown and face uncertain financial futures. Our parish has also experienced the challenge of very reduced finances which is a serious concern.
We thank you for the offering you give this day. There will be boxes for you to place your offering in as you leave.
If you want to support the parish by standing order or give online, please see the parish website for more information.
18. Newsletter!! Will there be a newsletter?
A newsletter is available to collect at the end of Mass as you exit. The latest news will be here on the website.
19. Will I be able to chat to Fr Andrew after Mass?
Sadly, not at the moment. For the time being, Fr Andrew will not come outside as he would normally do because we do not want to risk people congregating and breaking social distance rules. If you want to speak to me, please do ring or send an e-mail. If I can help you in any way, I will.
You are in my prayers and every day.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. God bless and protect you, your families and friends.
With thanks to Brentwood Cathedral for plagiarising these FAQs!
At SS Peter and Paul therefore arrangements are as follows,
Saturday Mass is at 6pm in church
Sunday Masses at 9:30 and 11am in the Church
Weekday Masses at 9:30am in church.
These are the conditions/processes for Mass in church but please listen out for other instructions on the day:
- Sanitise you hands on the way in to church
- 2 metre Social distancing must be observed (those from the same household may stay together)
- You will be directed to your seats by the KSC – it will not be possible to choose a preferred seat.
- The Church will be filled from the front – household groups can be close together in the same bench every one else must observe 2 metre social distancing along the bench.
- Every other bench will be taped off and remain unused.
- When the church is full no further entry will be allowed
- There will be: No altar servers, no bidding prayers, no singing, no sign of peace and no Offertory procession
- Communion is in the hand only , (only the Host).
- There will be a one way system to go to Communion. Please follow the guidance from stewards.
- Exit by the (fire) exit to the Prayer Garden
- There will be baskets to put your collection money in at the exit of the church into the Prayer Garden these will be watched by stewards standing 2 metres away.
- The benches, handrails and door handles will be sanitised between Masses in church
- You are advised not to congregate socially after Mass especially in church or the prayer garden. This is a great temptation as we haven’t seen each other for months but social distancing wont be possible.
Other Churches will have various other arrangements for times of Mass and organisation.
The story of our new icon
Blessing of the Resurrection Icon
We are asked to be particularly wary at present of the above situations.
If your circumstances permit and you wish to make contributions to the parish income, it is possible to do so using this online payment link which has been established by the diocese: https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/donations?parish=ilford-1
Diocesan Vision – Latest update
Here is the link to the latest e-bulletin from Steven Webb, Diocesan Director of Development, concerning our vision for renewal and restructuring.
Live Streaming and Recording of services.
You are advised that our church building is covered by live streaming 24/7 and some liturgical services may also be recorded at the same time. If you require further information about these facilities, please contact Paul Samuels in person or by email: email@example.com