The challenging circumstances this year have required a good deal of thought and planning and the support and generosity of our stewards who are willing to spend some of their Christmas keeping us safe with sanitising, wiping down and cleaning seats and services following every use.
In previous years we have held three very well attended Masses (two on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Morning) at which we often end up with standing room only. This year our seating capacity is fixed at 51, for this reason we will be operating a booking system (see below).
To provide as many places as possible for individuals and small groups careful consideration went into the new seating plan. Some are arranged in groups of three, others in pairs (for the use of those coming from the same household or bubble group). Several free-standing chairs are also available. All have been set so that there remains a 2 metre, distance between each grouping.
Masses will be simpler than usual but no less dignified to allow the cleaning to take place. Congregational singing is not permitted but there will be some musical content at each Mass so we will at least get to hear some of our familiar carols.
So, to the bit you will probably read first,
Christmas Eve 12 noon 2.00 pm 4.00 pm
Christmas Morning 8.30 am 9.45 am 11.00 am
Can I urge everyone to please give some thought to those who do not receive this information by email and play your part by letting those you know of who are or might be interested in coming of what is happening and how to reserve a seat.
SATURDAY 5 pm
SUNDAY 10 am and 5 pm
We have been able to increase the capacity while maintaining the 2 metre distance between seats by arranging some seats in threes and other in pairs for those attending with members of their household or bubble. There are also a good number of individual seats. By careful consideration we have increased the maximum from 30 to 51.
Thanks to this we will not be having to introduce a rota for the time being, Our volunteer stewards deserve our thanks and appreciation for enabling us to worship as safely as we can.
We look forward to WELCOMING YOU
2020 as well as presenting us with many challenges, has also led many of us to this more deeply about our priorities. These are brought into stark reality when things become for testing, or anxious.
ADVENT - is the Church's season for renewing our Hope. Which is different from optimism in being inseparable from Faith and Love.
We hope that you will find these resources encouraging and engaging and take part in the activities suggested in your own homes.
10 am on our parish Facebook Page Blessed John Henry Newman
Parishioners who normally give in the collection at Mass and wish to help the Parish at this time, can now make an online donation using the following link:
Please note that a minimum donation of £5 is requested if giving in this way.
Just to let you know that those who enter
"a message of support" in the box provided
may find it being posted on the company website together with your name.
If I were you I would think twice about this.
You can also Gift Aid your donation, by ticking the box shown on the screen. This can still be done even if you have previously completed a Gift Aid Declaration form in favour of the Parish for regular giving made by Offertory Envelope or Standing Order. Thank you for your support Gift Aid provides us with an additional 25p for each £ donated
We live in strange and troubling times. Our lives sometimes seem to have been put on hold. Our daily routine has been suspended. Even our Church life can seem to have been interrupted. But looked at from another angle; as we do our utmost to support the efforts to limit the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are invited to reexamine and rediscover our personal Christian faith and our life priorities, with family, friendship and fellowship finding new ways to assert itself. We wish each other well. We commit to praying as one community in many locations. We have an opportunity to broaden our awareness that:
Given that we are all required to stay home as much as we can it seems a good idea to renew our appreciation of the gifts that home represents. Some brief prayer services have been prepared focusing on different areas of home. So far six sessions are available: - THE DOOR , LOUNGE , KITCHEN, DINING AREA, BEDROOMS and BATHROOM these can now be downloaded as pdf files from our: A Blessing on Our Homes Page
Click here and see for yourself a new page dedicated to supporting the parish during these unprecedented times. We are also compiling a list of people willing to help with home deliveries, acting as hosts when the church is open for individual visitors. Further details of what we have in mind can be found on the Volunteers page . Take a look for yourself and if you have any ideas we can and please get in touch so we can all keep in touch
We now have a new Facebook page to help families to pray together at home and to find new ways of living as followers of Jesus in ways that try to offer the best of Little Church. Look out for the page when it is up and running at:
One thing I'm sure of is that the only thing greater than human goodness is God's love. The love that creates, calms, comforts and consoles us through the care we show each other. So let's keep in touch until we can gather once more for public liturgy. We are working on providing additional means of communication via social media and will try and roll this out over the coming days. If you want to be contacted with any information about this please send your email address to: email@example.com. We can all support each other by undertaking to pray each day and especially on Sunday so please commit to making these trying times an opportunity to discover the significance of prayer and the gift of faith.
'Shrewsbury ... shall be a name 'as stirring to the heart as the glories we have lost'
John Henry Newman