Hopefully, at Christmas, we will be allowed to hold public masses. However, we are likely to be required to exercise social distancing as we have done for much of this year and this will reduce the capacity of the church compared to the demand at normal Christmas masses.
In order to prevent any disappointment if the church is full when you arrive we have discussed the matter with Fr David and it has been agreed that to implement a booking system for these masses is the best solution. Additionally, we are proposing to make socially distanced space available in the church hall for those unable to fit into the church but still wanting to come to mass. We will relay the mass into the church hall via a screen and speakers.
Fr David will celebrate an 8:00 PM mass on Christmas Eve and a 10:00 AM mass on Christmas Day; it is these Masses that will require booking. There will be no other public mass on these days.
To make the booking system fair, on the basis of first come first served, we will be taking details in church at the end of each private prayer or public mass from 29th November until the 13th of December. We will keep these requests in the order that they are received. We will then allocate pews to household groups or individuals and produce a seating plan based on this order; we will contact everyone to let them know their allocated seat by the 18th of December and we will put RESERVED notices on pews/chairs to indicate who should sit where (we need to do this to ensure we can get the best capacity we can within the restrictions placed upon us).
To try to best meet everyone’s wishes we will be asking you to tell us beforehand:
- The total number in your party (one household/social bubble).
- Your preferred mass and if willing to come to the alternative mass instead.
- If you are happy to sit in the church hall if there is no room left in church.
- Your contact telephone number/email so we can advise you of your allocation.
Please see one of the stewards at church following mass/private prayer from 29th November onwards and lodge your details with them.
We realise that this will be a strange situation and it is one that no one wants, however, with some planning we hope to make it as normal as is possible and allow everyone to celebrate this Christmas feast as best we can.
Julia and Mike