As Scotland has now moved into phase 2 of the coronavirus lockdown we have been informed by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland that we can begin to reopen our churches for periods of private prayer and Exposition & Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
At St. Peter’s this will take place from 13:00 to 15:00 on Sunday 28th June & 5th July initially.
Certain measures must be put in place to comply with the Scottish Government’s safety guidelines:-
- Stay 2 metres apart ( except within own household group)
- Wear a face-covering at all times inside the building.
- Use sanitising gel on entry & exit
- Wait to be seated by the new Welcome Ministry team.
To comply with the 2 metre ruling 2/3 of the pews in the church have been cordoned off so there is a greatly reduced capacity for accommodating people. The advice has been for people not to remain in a public building for long periods, so we anticipate that at first parishioners may come for shortish periods of prayer & in this way everyone will be able to be accommodated. We have not put in place a booking system although this may be necessary in the future; however we do ask that if you arrive & are told by the Welcome Ministers that the church is currently full, which is highly unlikely, that you queue patiently at a 2 metre spacing outside.
We ask that everyone enters by the front door of the church (mobility permitting) and leaves by the side door, & doors will be left open to avoid unnecessary touching. The church toilet will be open if needed, but it would be better to avoid using it if possible, & if used please use the disinfectant wipes supplied to clean all surfaces touched.
As noted above there is a new Welcome Ministry to guide worshippers through all this, with 2 people on duty at any one time. The church will also be cleaned after every time of opening. Therefore we do have a need for people to volunteer as Welcome Ministers &/or church cleaners – if you would be prepared to volunteer please contact Gerardine Watt on 07989 725335
We have been saying online Masses on Sundays & Tues- Fri at 11am which can be reached on our Parish Facebook or Youtube at the St Margaret’s RC Church Huntly page, & it is hoped to keep an online presence even when public Masses have resumed if possible.
These arrangements will be reviewed & amended as the need arises & when we move into phase 3 of lockdown. You can always access all the information on the Parish website.
Please note that the current dispensation of obligation to attend Sunday Mass still applies, & people with any health concerns should continue to follow government advice on going out into public buildings. However, for those whose health allows, it may well be a comfort to return to the church for a period of private prayer.
Rev. Fr. Kingsley Chigbo
P. S. Please share this information with anyone you know who may be interested but not use the internet.