Dear parishioners and friends of our 3 Churches:
2 items of great news in two vital areas of Christianity – prayer and charity!
- Owing to the generous offer of time by parishioners as stewards, and the hard work of a few individuals, we are glad to announce that this week both St Brigid’s and Christ the King will be opening for private prayer. The times will be St Brigid’s Monday 10 – 11am and Thursday 6 – 7pm; Christ the King Tuesday 10 – 11am. Obviously this can be adjusted depending on “demand”. If you can volunteer to help as a steward then please send your name to Ansti Corellis (St B) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie O’Brien (Christ the King) at email@example.com. We give thanks to the Lord for being able to return to at least two of our parish homes.
- Albert Gubay was the founder of the KwikSave chain, and was very generous to the Catholic Church. His foundation continues that work, and this year offered grants to Catholic parishes or groups working for the relief of the less well off in this present COVID-19 crisis. The decision making panel had £1M to distribute and received funding requests totalling £2.2M. They decided to award 28% of the funds requested by all applicants in the dioceses of Cardiff and Menevia. An application went in from our 3 Churches for and in partnership with our friends the local charity Rainbow of Hope. So we are very glad to announce that they have been awarded £1,400.
The Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Dioceses of Menevia and Wrexham welcomes the announcement by the First Minister that churches may be opened for private prayer from Monday 22nd June 2020. In the interests of your continued safety, given the measures that will need to be put in place in the coming days, it seems that Saturday 28th June will be the likely date for those churches who fulfil the health and safety requirements to be opened for a specific time to be announced. With the re-opening of churches, certain responsibilities are laid on both the parish and the diocese to ensure the health and safety of those who come to pray. Amongst these are the following:
Continue reading A note from Archbishop Stack on the reopening of churches
Dear parishioners and friends of our 3 Churches:
Even though we are not celebrating the Mass or other sacraments together, the life of the parish goes on, and we are always moving forward. You will know that I don’t often speak about money, so this is a reminder that like all homes and businesses, there are many expenses in running parishes. We are lucky to have very generous parishioners in our 3 Churches family, but it’s easy to let these thoughts slip from our minds. We’re very grateful to all who have forwarded their collection donations in various ways, and especially to those who have placed standing orders.
Now we are pleased to report that the diocese has created a way whereby gift aided donations can be made online to all parishes. The new ‘Online Parish Offertory’ webpage can be found at: www.rcadc.org/portfolio-item/parish-offertory or www.rcadc.org/donations. The instructions should be straightforward to follow, but let us know about difficulties. Donations can be one-off or repeated. The diocese will shortly be rolling out a programme of installing new ‘Donate Now’ buttons onto parish websites that can support them. Standing Orders are still the preferred option for those generous individuals who want to give ongoing support to their church during the lockdown.
Lastly, don’t keep it to yourself – let other parishioners know!
A reminder that I will be celebrating Mass for Corpus Christi Day this week at 10.30am live streamed via this website, 3churches.org or Youtube channel “frmhj”. We will also do this on Friday for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the feast of God’s love, remembering especially those who are feeling the burdens of the present situation in particular ways and so are especially in need of that Divine Love. Why not join us…
A letter from Archbishop George Stack
With the gradual loosening of lockdown regulations and the opening of more and more amenities, the question is inevitably asked “When will our churches be open?”. As with the many other challenges facing us in this pandemic, this is not an easy question to answer. The opening of parks and beaches, of garden centres and supermarkets car showrooms and other amenities is based on the concept of these being “open spaces” of one kind or another. Churches do not seem to be seen in the same category. I imagine this is because they are places where large groups of people come together, sit in close proximity to each other, often for one hour or more. Control of access,movement and social distancing will be part of the conditions laid down in the gradual return to our churches whether for private prayer and public worship.
The Archbishops of England and Wales have been engaged with the relevant authorities on the necessity of opening our churches in the first instance for private prayer. Public worship will begin later. The essence of our coming together for Mass is that it is a communal gathering. We are blessed to have large congregations in many of our churches who sit very closely together. Under social distancing regulations which will undoubtedly be imposed, this will not be allowed to happen. People will need to sit apart with the consequent significant reduction in numbers being able to attend the same Mass together. Although the rate of infection has been reduced by between 60-70%, as a result of the lockdown restrictions,this does not mean it is completely eradicated. If the R number were to rise again there would likely be a second and equally dangerous wave of infection. Medical professionals are warning of this danger.
The government in Wales has devolved responsibility in matters of health and in the control of the pandemic in this country. It has not yet announced and relaxation of the many restrictions with which we have become so familiar in recent months. The Catholic Church in Wales, like other Christian bodies and members of the ‘Faiths Forum’, is working on a common approach to government on these matters. The next meeting of the ‘Faiths Forum’ is on 3 June.If and when permission is given for our churches to open, they will be subject to strict health and safety conditions as are all public buildings. Amongst these will be the necessity to provide in churches:
- Social distancing measures,seating arrangements,one way system,exits and entrances,clear signage,restricted times etc.
- Attendance management,qeueing,ticketing,online registration,stewarding etc.
- Staggering of attendance by age or vulnerability
- Infection control issues such as Holy Water stoops, leaflets,hymn books,missals,newsletters,candles, all of which can harbour the virus
- PPE materials, sanitiser,deep cleaning materials, surface cleaning materials etc.
- Liturgical issues, distribution of Holy Communion, frequency of Mass, devotions, organisation of Memorial Masses, care of the bereaved
- Two or three volunteers (under the age of seventy) to implement these policies in order to keep churches open at specific times – the safeguarding if clergy over the age of 70 and those with underlying health issues will obviously be a priority
In the first instance, large, strategically placed churches would be opened. Whether large or small, churches would need to ensure compliance with the above requisites.
The diocese is engaged with www.churchmarketplace.co.uk which is a central purchasing agency in order to acquire the necessary equipment outlined above at competitive prices. There are other agencies able to provide PPE materials also. These are:
- BCB INTERNATIONAL LTD
Lamby Way Industrial Estate
Cardiff CF3 2EX
Needless to say, all these arrangements will cost significant amounts of money at a time when parishes have been deprived of income for almost three months. Parishioners are encouraged to make a Standing Order for their offerings in order to maintain their churches during these difficult times recognising that this will not be possible for those who are struggling financially.
27 May 2020
The 3 churches Liturgy Calendar for 2020 is now available.
Visit our Liturgy page for more information.
Archbishop George Stack writes: “For nearly 2,000 years Christianity has been present in Wales. As geographical, social, cultural and religious boundaries have changed the Catholic Church has been a constant presence responding to changing times and needs.
In 2016 the Archdiocese of Cardiff celebrated the Centenary of its formation from the roots of the former Diocese of Newport. I am humbled and privileged to serve as the 7th Archbishop.
Whilst my role is to shepherd and lead the Archdiocese, I am very aware that role is not restricted to the present. Shepherds are called to look ahead when leading the sheep. Planning for the future is vital for the Church to grow and thrive, to continue to respond to the changing times and needs. Parishioners have been generous in providing financial support through regular gifts or by leaving a Legacy that has helped form the Archdiocese we are all part of today. Our circumstances change as we move through life. The importance of making a will is recognized but often neglected.
If you are considering making a Gift to the Church our diocesan website details some examples of our commitments as a Diocese and how we would ensure a lasting gift is best used. I would strongly urge you to speak to one of the team at Archbishop’s House so that we update you on progress of our current projects and to take professional advice before making such a commitment.
In working together our Church has a positive future and will remain the firm foundation of our daily lives despite the seemingly increasing speed of change in other areas. Any Gift that you wish to consider will help the Church continue the good you do during your life. ‘Let the good you do live after you.’”
Please visit rcadc.org/a–gift–to–our–church/ (Please note that there will be much more about remembering the Church in your will in coming months)
(Please note that there will be much more about remembering the Church in your will in coming months)