The following instructions have been derived from the directive from the Office of the Bishop and will be in place to allow Public Mass to be celebrated in our Parishes. We thank you for your assistance in complying with these conditions and in turn keeping our community safe and free from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In accordance with the Public Health Order, Public Mass can be celebrated with a maximum of 80 people in St Patrick’s Church, Singleton, 75 people St Brigid’s Church, Branxton and 45 people in St Catherine’s Church, Greta. A copy of this notice and the COVID Safety Plan is on each noticeboard and the Parish Facebook Page. 

REGISTERING TO ATTEND MASS

  1. Please register to attend Mass by 12pm on Friday by phoning 02 5507 4048 or email to branxton@mn.catholic.org.au. You can nominate on the sheet that you will attend the next week.
  2. Those who are unable to register early can sign-in at the entrance of the church until limits are reached.
  3. As a legal requirement of registering you will need to provide your FULL NAME and PHONE NUMBER either on the registration sheet or by using the Service NSW App and QR Code supplied at each church.
  4. When you attend Mass you agree that
    1. You are well (not suffering from sore throat, temperature or other cold-like symptoms) and
    2. you are not required to self-isolate due to your travel history or having had a COVID-19 test and
    3. That in the past 14 days you have not had or you are not aware of any close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 and
    4. That you do not have any reason to suspect that you have or may have COVID-19 and
    5. You have not travelled from a designated ‘hot spot’.

WHEN ATTENDING MASS

  1. Attendees are asked to arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow time to be seated adequately physically distanced.
  2. NSW Health recommends the wearing of masks in indoor settings with higher risk of transmission e.g. churches. Attendees are asked to bring their own mask to wear. Welcomers are required to wear a mask.
  3. Welcomers will dispense sanitizer when each person arrives at the door.
  4. Welcomers will mark off those attending as per the list provided by the Parish Office. Those not on the list will need to have their details recorded by the Welcomer. FULL NAME and PHONE NUMBER is required or you will not be allowed into the church.
  5. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to the number of attendees permitted. Anyone arriving after the limit is reached will NOT be permitted entry.
  6. Those arriving after Mass has commenced are asked to put their details on the registration sheet or sign-in using the Service NSW App and the QR code at the door of each church.
  7. Registration sheets will be kept by the Parish Office in a secure file for 28 days and then destroyed.
  8. Each attendee will collect their own Bulletin and take it from the church with them.
  9. Welcomers will direct attendees to seats as per the map. This may mean you have to give up your favourite seats.
  10. Attendees of the same household are permitted to sit together in the one pew and must ensure physical distance from other attendees.
  11. No hymn books or Mass cards will be distributed except at Greta and Singleton 7am and 5pm where they will be sanitized on Tuesdays ready for the next use. These are not to be passed around between attendees.
  12. Collection baskets will be provided at the back of the church to place Collections in before
  13. The Book of the Gospels will NOT be carried in during the Entrance Procession.
  14. Altar servers will NOT hold the Missal for the Celebrant.
  15. The Lectionary will ONLY be used by the Celebrant. Readers will use their own copy of the readings of the day.
  16. The offertory procession will bring forward the Collection baskets only. No Bread or Wine will be brought forward.
  17. The altar will be prepared for the offertory by the Celebrant ONLY.
  18. You are asked to NOT to shake hands during the exchange of peace.
  19. Distribution of communion is by Presiders ONLY – no Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are to be used.
  20. Communion will be given in one species only. Please refrain from saying AMEN aloud when receiving communion.
  21. Please form one line and maintain 1.5m distancing when queueing for Communion.
  22. Singing during Mass is a high-risk activity and therefore should NOT take place at Mass, Funerals or Weddings. The only singing permitted is by a solo singer who is 5m away from other people.
  23. Do not congregate in the church yard after Mass unless you maintain physical distancing requirements.
  24. Cleaning and sanitizing will be conducted after each Mass with cleaners wearing gloves and products provided.
  25. Those visiting St Patrick’s Church for private prayer are asked to sanitize their hands on entry, maintain physical distancing and to wipe down the seat with the wipes provided before leaving.
  26. Mass will continue to be live-streamed at 7am Sunday for the benefit of the homebound.
  27. Communal celebrations of the Anointing of the Sick are not to take place either in church or in nursing homes.
  28. Because of the limit in the number of people who may be able to attend any particular Mass, all members of the Church of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, except priests, continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

I understand that it is difficult to have to go through all these processes to attend Mass but it will help us to come back to the normal way of attending mass sooner. We are happy to be sharing Mass with you again.  God Bless, Fr Thomas.