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St. Augustine's R.C. Church

Gift Aid Envelopes:The new Gift Aid Envelopes will be delivered to you in the latter half of March. If you have changed address over the past 12 months please let Father have a note of your new address or e-mail it to parkwood@rcaos.org.uk

Easter Services
As with Christmas, to comply with the Covid guidelines you will need to reserve a place if you wish to attend one of the following Easter Services as we will only be able to accommodate a max of 50 Parishioners at each Service. Please add your name to the Lists in the Narthex and as at Christmas please place a bracket around each family group/bubble which will greatly assist the Stewards with the most efficient allocation of the seating available. Thank you for your understanding and co-operation in this respect. Good Friday , Easter Saturday Night , Easter Sunday 9.00 a.m. and Easter Sunday 11.00 a.m.
Father will shortly be providing further information regarding how we will be celebrating Easter this year and the guidelines covering fulfilment of our Easter Duties
The Way of the Cross will follow weekday Masses during Lent and also at 3.30 on Sunday afternoons.
Father Adams has suggested that during Lent we make a special effort to contact the elderly housebound and those living on their own who may be lonely - just give them a ring for a chat,.

Second Collection causes 2021 can be seen here.

Easyfundraising
Further to last week's details, 5 Parishioners have kindly signed up so far and donations for St Augustine's are starting to accumulate. Thank you. Please do consider signing up via
https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/staugustineofcanterbury/
It is a simple process. When you register please select St Augustine of Canterbury, Parkwood as your preferred charity. Each time you shop on line please log on to Easyfundraising first and then select your retailer e.g. Argos and you will be directed to their site and you then shop in the usual way. There is no additional complication involved. As an initial target for St Augustine's it would be great if we could see 50 parishioners signing up. Please do try and give it a go. Thank you.

We have been encouraged by the Archbishop to sign up to this initiative which is one of a number of new fundraising ideas we will be asked to consider this year - more news to follow on these. A number of other Parishes have already started and been very successful in raising much needed additional funds. It is acknowledged that these are very difficult times with many parishioners having financial and job security worries so it is understood that some will not be in a position to offer any additional support at this stage. However Easyfundraising seems an easy win as it will not involve any additional cost to each individual.

If you are a taxpayer signing up to GiftAid would be another easy win as the Parish would receive an extra 25p for every £1 you put in the weekly collection without any extra cost or hassle to you. Please speak with Father Adams or our GiftAid co-ordinator Joe Flannery if you are interested in this. Or e-mail them on parkwood@rcaos.org.uk

COVID 19 Changes
The ongoing impact of the Covid 19 pandemic must be treated with the utmost seriousness. The Catholic Church accepts the important role it has to play in ensuring that Catholic churches are safe places at the service of the spiritual and human wellbeing of anyone who might wish to enter.

The Catholic Church is committed to following the approved Covid safety guidelines for communal worship.
You must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times. You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

I appreciate how very difficult all of this is for you and how you so look forward to meeting up with your fellow parishioners for a chat in the Narthex or outside of the Church before or after Mass.
However for now we must follow the rules and refrain from doing this and head off home promptly after Mass.

We pray that together we will soon come through this and be able to return to our normal ways.
In the meantime I am very grateful for your continued understanding and full co-operation with all of the above.
Fr Michael

Face coverings should be worn at all times whilst in the Church unless you are exempt under Government guidelines.
Please also respect the 1 metre+ social distancing guidelines at all times.

There will be weekday Masses at 9.30 a.m. and in addition a Mass at 8.00 p.m. on Friday and 10.00 a.m. on Saturday. Saturday evening at 6 p.m. and on Sundays 9.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. .
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be between 8.30 and 9.30 on weekdays.

Whilst the obligation to attend Mass on the Sabbath remains suspended for the time being Father is currently saying ten Masses each week so sincerely hopes that you will be able to attend at least one of these.
There has also been plenty of capacity at each of the weekend Masses so please do come along to one of these if you feel able.

There will be 2-3 Stewards at each Mass who will offer you hand sanitiser as you enter and leave the Church.
They will take your name and a contact telephone number as you enter the Church. This is necessary to comply with the Government's Track & Trace guidelines. We do thank you for your co-operation with this important requirement.
The Stewards will then direct you to a suitable seat with due heed to the 1 metre+ social distancing guidelines.

They will also co-ordinate the procession for Holy Communion. This will be one row at a time and to avoid any breach of the 1 metre+ distancing rules as you exit or enter your pew all parishioners will be asked to follow the Holy Communion procession route even if not receiving Holy Communion. When approaching Father for Holy Communion please do so with your arms at full stretch and with your hands, palms upwards, one on top of the other, extended as flatly as possible.

You will notice some differences in how the celebration of the Mass takes place.
There will still be no Holy Water, no congregational singing, no prayers of the faithful, no Offertory Procession, still no sign of peace and Holy Communion will be silent. With a briefer Homily you will notice that overall the Mass will be shorter than usual. However none of this detracts from the centrality of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist.

As parishioners may be attending Mass at different times and on different days of the week than usual there will be a Collection held at each Mass. The collection baskets cannot be passed around so they will be placed by the doors as you exit the Church.

In accordance with the Covid guidelines the kitchen facilities must remain closed for the time being so there will be no tea or coffee after Mass with parishioners encouraged to maintain their social distancing and to depart for home as soon as possible after Mass has finished.

Please do listen to and co-operate fully with the Stewards as they seek to help us respect the Government guidelines. Their role is vital to us all if our Church is to remain open safely and successfully and for the enjoyment of us all.

If you are unable to attend Mass live Masses can also be viewed via https://www.churchservices.tv/ or at https://mass-online.org/
Holy Communion will not be available online so you may like to make an Act of Spiritual Communion