(7th March 2020)

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have recently issued guidelines for parishes and the following covers the main advice which was updated by the Archdiocese on 7th March 2020.

The advice remains that the best way of protecting us from spread is for everyone to maintain good hygiene: catch a sneeze in a tissue, bin the tissue, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or a sanitising gel and do not touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands.

The decision has now been taken that the offering of the Chalice should be suspended and that the host should be received on the hand only.

It has also been decided that a handshake as a sign of peace should not be made, but that a bow or a nod of the head will suffice.

Sanitising gel dispensers are being provided at the entry to the Church and we would ask you to use these when entering. Eucharistic ministers should also sanitise their hands before and after distributing communion.

Ensure good regular cleaning of surfaces and items that people touch and use regularly.

When visiting parishioners at home, wash hands before giving the sacraments. No pastoral visits should be made to people who are self-isolating. However, do offer phone support.

It is acknowledged that the situation is likely to worsen and the Bishops have prepared further advice in the event of their being cases in the local community, so the situation will be monitored carefully in the meantime.

Further information will be displayed in the porch and can be found online at: