After having discussions with the Archdiocese this morning, it has been agreed that we can go ahead with our Sacramental Preparation Programme provided we have reduced numbers at our celebrations, to fit in with the Government guidelines.
So the preparation meetings will take place next week, though people must not sit next to others, but socially distance across the church. If the numbers are too great for this then we will separate into two rooms, but looking at the numbers involved it should be possible to space out. When you arrive, therefore, for your meeting next week, the procedure will be to
PLEASE DO NOT SIT WITH ANOTHER FAMILY AS WE HAVE TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING OR ELSE THE MEETING WILL BE STOPPED.
As for the First Holy Communion Celebration, these can go ahead as planned except that only 3 THREE guests are now permitted per child on the Saturday celebrations.
This is to ensure that we stay within the 30 guest limit set by the Government. As explained in the previous email, most guests are permitted at the weekday evening celebrations, due to the lower number of children involved, so I would encourage anyone who would like to have a larger guest list to take up the opportunity to celebrate their Communion on a weekday evening.
The reduced numbers are a legal requirement and so we will have to ask any guests beyond the three permitted to leave before we begin the service.
It is disappointing to have to restrict the numbers on such an important and special moment for the children, but such are the difficult times that we find ourselves having to live and adapt in so many different ways.
Do let me know if you wish to change to a weekday evening celebration evening, and I look forward to seeing you all next week
With You Always families: June 2020
Dear First Holy Communion families,
As you will know the With You Always programme has been suspended due to our current crisis and we are very sad that the planned and much longed for First Communion celebrations have been postponed. Some of you may already have passed the date that you were expecting First Holy Communion to take place whilst others will be approaching that date. Although you may have completed the seven sessions of With You Always we would like to encourage you to continue to pray together and to talk together as a family, sharing the longing that the whole Catholic community shares as a result of not being able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Our Archbishop, Malcolm, is also very sad that what is always a highlight in our parish communities is on hold until restrictions are lifted. He has recorded the special video message above.
Below is a link to a worksheet aimed at re-visiting some of the themes you worked with during your With You Always sessions. Please consider using these with your children.
There is also a short Guide to Family Resources which has some lovely ideas for creating shared experiences as a family through prayer and through creative activity. Just watching a short video clip can stimulate new ideas and conversation about our faith. Simply click on the link to go directly to these resources.
Many of you will already be sharing in live-streamed Sunday Mass. These can be a real support and if you have not yet done so then we would encourage you to one try one so that our connections as parish and diocesan family can be strengthened. Prayer and a strong sense of community are so important in these days as we ask God to free our world of this awful virus.
Please stay safe and God willing, we will be back together as a community soon.