We will keep this page updated with the current instructions and advice on the coronavirus.
CATHOLIC BISHOP’S CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES: GUIDANCE FOR CHURCHES JANUARY 2022
Following the announcement of HM Government that the measures put in place to mitigate against covid xvirus transmission will be lifted on 27th January, renewed guidance has been issued to dioceses of England and Wales. The scientific consensus is that the virus is transitioning to the endemic phase, and whilst there is still a risk, it should be balanced against the need to move forward safely towards a normal lifestyle. This means that we can assess the risks and in the coming days and weeks make some adjustments to our covid safety procedures at the cathedral. People with symptoms are still required to stay at home and the daily livestreaming from the cathedral will continue. For those coming to the cathedral, it is still advisable to sanitise hands on entry and exit, but there is no longer need for readers to sanitise their hands before proclaiming the Word of God from the ambo. All ministers of Holy Communion, clergy and lay, should continue sanitising their hands prior to distribution of Holy Communion.
Among the adjustments that we can make with immediate effect:
- Holy Water will be blessed at the 9:30am Mass this Sunday 30th January and the stoops will be refilled for the first time in two years! Alleluia!
- The Sign of Peace will be reintroduced at Mass, but please be sensitive to others and consider whether a smile, a nod, a touch of elbows may be preferable to the usual handshake.
- The Cathedral is equipped with a filtered blown air heating system, ensuring that the air is renewed and good ventilation is provided throughout the day and especially during Mass.
- Refreshments in the Apostle Room will be restarting on the 6th February after the 9:30am Mass. The suggestion is that initially it could be on a monthly basis until a sufficient number of volunteers come forward to assist weekly.
- Over the next few weeks it would be lovely to re-establish Childrens’ Liturgy of the Word, Traidcraft, Foodbank and the Repository (Cathedral shop). New and old volunteers needed for all these activities, please consider if you can offer your help.
- Other suggestions and ideas from parishioners would be very welcome.
Whilst these changes bring about a more normal way of living, the Covid-19 virus is still in circulation, and we should bear this in mind, balancing the need for personal safety and taking responsibility for that safety. You can read the document in full below.