Latest updates: August 2021

As you know, from 19 July, all legal Covid restrictions in England were lifted and replaced with guidance and recommendations. However, the virus is still present and spreading, and we are advised to act with caution and care, for ourselves and each other. If all things stay on track, and once approved by the parish council, I hope that the following will be our plan:

From now we will:

·         use hand sanitiser on the way in and out of church

·         Sign in on the sheets in the church porch

·         Wear face coverings, unless exempt

·         Join the choir in singing, but without hymn books

·         Stand for the Gospel

·         Re-introduce bidding prayers/intercessions

·         Distribute communion during Mass

·         Leave by the church porch and use hand sanitiser

·         maintain good ventilation and general cleaning to a good standard

·         Eucharistic Ministers can resume taking Holy Communion to the sick and housebound

·         Return the benches to the church, making the hall accessible again

From September we will:

·         Resume with Servers at Mass and recruit new Altar Servers

·         Either start to use the hymn books or sheets for singing

·         Re-start the mass sheets and printed newsletter

·         Re-introduce the offertory collection and bringing forward of gifts during Mass

·         Begin to follow the normal pattern of sitting, standing and kneeling during Mass

·         Re-start the opportunity to have tea/coffee after 10.30 Sunday Mass

·         re-start Mothers’ Prayers

·         Re-start the church cleaning group

·         Re-start the collection group to count the offerings

·         Introduce additional weekday Masses

·         Begin the Sacramental Programme for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

·         Plan both liturgical events and social events to help welcome people back and re-start groups in the parish to begin to ‘Rebuild my church …. Rebuild the community’

So, we will have a busy but exciting opportunity over the coming months!

I hope that circumstances will allow each of these steps to be taken around these times, but we will need to follow advice and assess each move in the coming months. I hope these details help to keep you informed; if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions as we gradually make these changes and respond to different circumstances, please do not hesitate to speak with me or email at

January 2021: weekend masses continue during National lockdown

Weekend masses will continue at St Gregory's Church from the weekend of 9-10 January onwards. This is in line with government guidance that churches in England can remain open for communal worship during the national lockdown, which commenced on 5 January, providing the necessary steps are taken to keep people safe. We will continue with our current COVID security measures during the celebration of Mass at St Gregory's Church. 

Please call Paul Kerryson on 07854 609757 to reserve your place at mass. Your booking will then be confirmed by reply.

Reminder

• Please do not attend if you suspect that you have any symptoms.

• Please wear a face mask and keep 1m+ distance at all times, inside and outside the church.

• Please note that, due to the ongoing roof repairs, there will be very limited or no parking up at the church/house.

Latest updates

A message for all from Fr Martin (9 December)

Christmas 2020 will be a very different experience for all of us in many different ways. I am still confident that we can move back into the church to celebrate the Christmas Season this year; this will give some familiarity and a certain sense of normal. However, due to the Covid restrictions, the capacity of the church will be limited. It is unlikely that we can accommodate everyone on Christmas Day itself, and that is why I am mentioning the 'Christmas Season', the whole period of Christmas and the Christmas Octave in particular.

With the help of Fr Roman and Fr Graham, we are offering an additional Mass on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. This means that there are 9 Masses available over the Christmas weekend. And in addition, there will be a morning Mass each day during the Christmas Octave, taking us up to the following weekend. Please see here for mass times and how to book.

Hopefully, this will allow everyone who is able to celebrate Christmas 2020. You may wish to consider carefully how best you and your family will celebrate this year, and I particularly encourage those who may be more vulnerable due to age or underlying medical conditions to consider attending Mass on the weekdays which are likely to be less crowded and where you may feel more comfortable and Covid safe.

It will be necessary to book for all of these Masses as we expect many of them to be at the limited capacity and it will not be possible to squeeze anyone into the church without a prior booking, and importantly, a booking that has been confirmed. I am very grateful to all our wonderful stewards who will help with seating arrangements, Covid safety and sanitising at all of these Masses; without them we would be far more limited.

A message for all from Fr Martin (2 December)

I am delighted that we can meet again to celebrate Mass together as we come out of the national lockdown and into Tier 2. Weekend Masses will resume in the Barn at Savio with the usual booking system. Please note that in Tier 2, while places of worship are open, the guidance states that 'people cannot interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble'.  Therefore, we need to maintain social distance both inside and outside the Barn/Church as well as wearing face coverings and keeping to all the other requirements in order to stay safe and reduce the risk to others.  Those who are particularly vulnerable are advised to be especially careful.

 A message for all from Fr Martin (5 November)

As I write this and we go to print, we are entering the second national lockdown and the second closure of churches and places of worship.

Whatever our political opinion, this is another difficult time for all of us and particularly difficult for those who are more isolated and vulnerable in our parish community. In the months of the first lockdown many of you made a really huge effort to support each other and especially those who were more isolated; I am sure this will happen again and will probably be even more important during these winter weeks.

Despite efforts to lobby and challenge the government, the closure of churches and not being able to celebrate Mass as a parish community is going to be a sad reality again. This means that we will be unable to celebrate First Holy Communion with the children as planned for November; their patience is really being tested.

But some good news: In order to help us to celebrate Mass together, virtually, I am aiming to livestream Mass from the Savio Community Chapel at 10.30am each Sunday morning during this lockdown. We will begin this Sunday 8 November and here is the Facebook link.

https://www.facebook.com/Savio-House-1672559816297054

You can also watch the Mass afterwards its been said on the same link.

In other good news: the roof repair has started on time. The scaffolding is up around the church and the roof tiles have been delivered. Let's hope and pray that the weather does not cause any delays.

Please keep in touch with each other during the coming weeks and let's all try to support each other in whatever ways we can.

Have a good week.

Fr Martin.



24 September 2020: Mass will resume on 26/27 September at Savio House Barn

Thanks to the generosity of the Salesian community at Savio House and the hard work of a number of parishioners getting the venue ready, mass will resume as follows at Savio House Barn:

Masses will be held in the barn at Savio House:

Saturdays at 6pm and Sundays at 8.30am and 10.30am

As before you will need to book your place at mass as space is limited.

Please phone on 07831 457442 to reserve your place

As we move into Tier 2 - High alert level in Cheshire East, please continue to be careful and safe when attending Mass.

- Please remember to book each week using the number provided.

- Please do not attend if you suspect that you have any symptoms.

- Please wear a face mask and keep 1 m distance at all times, inside and outside the barn.

- Please use the car park, rather than the front of the house, for parking. (Those with limited mobility have pre-arranged parking closer to the barn)


3 August 2020: Church to be closed until further notice

image


MAJOR INCIDENT

This morning a large section of the church roof fell to the ground, fortunately without injuring anyone.

Various people/companies have visited the church today to assess the damage and what needs to be done, but for now the church and the surroundings are not safe and, therefore, there will be no mass in church until further notice and THE CHURCH WILL BE CLOSED.

We will continue to keep you updated through the newsletter and the weekly parish emails.


4-5 July - Mass at St Gregory's church

Good news! We have received approval from the Diocese office to resume Mass this weekend. For the time being, there will be three masses each week: 6pm on Saturday; 8.30am and 10.30am on Sunday.

The layout of the church has been adapted to comply with 2 metre social distancing. To ensure we do not exceed the maximum numbers allowed for each Mass, parishioners will need to register to attend and wait for confirmation. If you would like to attend, please phone or text 07831 457442.. 

Please also note the following:You will need to wear a mask/face-covering for mass
You should not enter the church if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.
Please use the hand gel sanitiser when you enter and leave church.
Please sit in designated seating (as directed by the volunteer stewards) and adhere to the one-way system in operation.
Social distancing (2 metres) should be maintained inside and outside the church.
You will not be able to use the kneelers and there are no toilet facilities.
Please take home any printed materials used in the church.






10 June - Church reopening

Please click into the pdf to read the guidance on the reopening on churches issued from the Diocese.imageHealth and Safety Guidance - Reopening of Churches for Private Prayer.pdf

Message from Fr Tony about the re-opening 

We are in the process of tentatively re-opening the church for one hour each day on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June for short periods (no more than 15 minutes per person) of private prayer and thereafter on weekends only (times to be decided). 

We have received a comprehensive document from the diocese called ‘Health and Safety Guidance for the reopening of churches for private prayer, Covid secure’ which we are following to ensure the safety of all.

I have appointed Louise Handbury as our Covid-19 Lead who will co-ordinate the re-opening which is  dependent on :

1. A successful professional  deep clean booked for Thursday 18 June

2. Approval of  our Risk Assessment which needs to be submitted to the Curial Office before we can open.

3. Having enough stewards to ensure social distancing during visits

4. Having enough people willing to clean the church during/between visits

In order to re-open the church we need volunteers to assist with stewarding visitors to the church (max allowed 10 at a time) and cleaning surfaces after visits.  If you would like to volunteer you must be under 70, have no underlying health conditions, not be pregnant and not be shielding or living with someone who is shielding or in a vulnerable group. 

Please contact to volunteer.  Full training and protective equipment provided. 

Fr Tony

 

Video message to us all from Fr Tony

Click here for a message from Fr Tony

A people who hope in Christ (May 2020)


imageA People who Hope in Christ from Archbishops of England and Wales.pdf



24 March - church is closed until further notice

Due to the announcement last night the church will no longer be open for private prayer.We will still be producing the newsletter in its usual format and putting it online as usual.

18 March - email to all parishioners

Dear Parishioner,

We have just received a directive from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to stop acts of worship in our churches from Friday 20 March 2020:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice. Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.

The letter from the Cardinal is below for you to read in full. Below is a summary of what this means for our Parish:

  • There will be no mass at St Gregory’s church until further notice.
  • Fr Tony will honour any mass intentions (either in the book or sent to him) by saying mass at Savio House.
  • There will be no weddings or baptisms until further notice.
  • Funerals will be conducted at the graveside or at the crematorium by a designated deacon.
  • Confirmation and first communion programmes in our Parish have been deferred to a later date (to be determined).
  • Fr Tony has arranged for the church to be open for private prayer between the following times:
    Monday to Friday 9.30-11.30am
    Sunday 9:00-11.30am
  • During this time of silent private prayer, Fr Tony asks that people stay well apart from each other and do not instigate any communal prayer with others.

Please feel free to call Fr Tony (07842 774 551) if you would like to speak to him about any of the above or indeed anything else.

As Cardinal Vincent Nichols says “During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you."

As a Parish we are looking at ways we can help anyone in need. In the first instance, if you know of anyone who would like to receive a daily/weekly phone call from fellow parishioners, or needs help with shopping, or would like to receive a paper copy of the newsletter each week, please call   or Annette Hurst

May God bless us all,

St Gregory’s Church Office



18 March 

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has issues a directive stopping all masses in churches in England until further notice.
There will be no mass at St Gregory's Church from today.
Please find below the letter from Cardinal Vincent

image2020.03.18 - Letter from Cardinal Vincent Nichols.pdf

17 March 10am Fr Tony has ceased saying mass in the Parish

Fr Tony announced that in the light of the coronovirus outbreak, and being over 70 himself, he has been advised to confine himself to Savio House until further notice so there will be NO MASS on 18, 19, 20 March.

For news on weekend masses - please keep checking this page


Do you need help?

Do you or anyone you know need any help during these difficult times. Perhaps getting some shopping or running errands or just a friendly phone call once in a while.

If you do need some help, please contact  in the first instance. 

Easter Lilies

Due to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, we will not be decorating the church with lilies this year at Easter. Again watch this space for any other plans.

Prayer leaflet for when we can't get to mass

Fr David O'Malley has sent a prayer leaflet for families and individuals to use when they can't get to mass. Please consider printing this out for anyone you know who does not have access to a computer. 

imageWhen we can't get to mass.pdf