***** COVID 19 Coronavirus Information *****
UPDATED 5th January 2021
Although the whole of the North East of England, along with all other regions of England has been placed into strict Tier 4 Covid-19 National Lockdown Restrictions, which recommends everyone to STAY AT HOME unless for a very reasonable excuse, our Places of Worship still remain open for the celebration of Mass.
As we are made aware of the dangers of the new variant strain of the virus, we ask people to follow all the necessary precautions that the government stresses at this time, namely to wear face coverings, to main social distancing and wash hands frequently. You are discouraged from coming to Mass if you are unwell, and especially if you are clinically vulnerable. You are also advised not to travel long distances.
In our churches we maintain our safety procedures and ask all who attend to follow the advice given by the government and also by our health and safety teams and our parish stewards who work hard to maintain our churches as “covid-safe” environments.
Face Coverings must be worn in Church. Hand Sanitizer should be used as you enter the Church (this is provided) and our stewards will lead you to a seat in the church. You should remain in that seat until invited forward at the end of Mass, to come forward to receive Holy Communion and then to leave Church. For your own safety, we also invite you to use the hand sanitizer on the way out of church as well.
We hope that you will be comfortable enough to come to Mass at St Robert’s.
We are able to celebrate Baptisms, but they must follow the strict guidelines given to us, namely that only 6 people are able to attend (inc Baby) and those 6 should be from the same household or support bubble.
We can open our churches for Funerals – for Requiem Masses and Funeral Services – and they will continue to follow all the guidelines that we were following since reopening in September. Only 30 people are allowed to attend, track and trace forms to be completed, no congregational singing (other guidelines and restriction are available on www.cbcew.org.uk)
For weddings, please ring the Parish Priest to speak about arrangements for weddings. Face to Face meetings are not possible at the moment.
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The Bishop’s Conference Guidelines can be found at their website http://www.cbcew.org.uk and we have included here the latest guidance notes for the celebration of Mass.
ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PRAYER AT HOME
Shalom World Media has some very good programmes, live steaming and recordings. They have an App for iOS and their website is www.shalomworld.org They also have a very good YouTube channel
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These online resources are offered to help people live through the coronavirus pandemic. Their special quality is that they don’t come from theories; they all come from those with experience of social distancing or isolation, people who have lived this reality either intentionally like monks and nuns or against their will like hostages or the housebound. This is a new and difficult journey for most people but experienced guides give us hope along the way.
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The Vatican You Tube Channel is here. This will be broadcasting live from St Peters Basilica throughout Holy Week and Easter with the Holy Father Pope Francis presiding at the Masses and Services https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxIsefyl9g9A5SGWA4FvGIA/videos
Our Sunday Visitor is an American website that gives many resources for prayer and news about the Church https://www.osvnews.com/
The Wednesday Word website http://wednesdayword.org/ has various online resources for parishes, individuals and young people, to help reflect on the Sunday Readings.
Live Masses are also streamed via these websites
Westminster Cathedral recently joined the Churches that stream on churchserices.tv Just click the link above to scroll through the list of Churches to find.
The Walsingham website, https://www.walsingham.org.uk/ , the National Shrine of Our Blessed Lady for England, streams Daily Mass as well as having other links available on their site
The Shrine of Our Lady at Knock in Ireland is live streaming Masses and Services. Their website also has some very good Prayers for Holy Week … www.knockshrine.ie
St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle-upon-Tyne will be streaming Mass every day during the suspension of public Masses … www.youtube.com/cha…/UC12EvW0Eqg-cFTh5i2y_EQw/videos and Mass will also be streamed live from St Mary’s Church, Hexham at 10am on a Sunday www.stmaryshexham.org.uk
Mass and The Rosary is streamed live from The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes on this link www.lourdes-france.org/en/tv-lourdes/ and the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima has online transmissions on this link www.fatima.pt/en/pages/online-transmissions
The “Univeraslis” website universalis.com gives access to the daily readings for Mass as well as other Offices of the Church. It also offers for sale via the App Store for both ios and Android operating systems, the Universalis App which gives wonderful access to Mass texts and the full Divine Office of the Church as well as other devotions.