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. Items in BOLD are updates.

In accordance with the Public Health Order, the celebration of Public Mass has resumed with a maximum of 80 people allowed to attend in St Patrick’s Church, Singleton, 75 people allowed to attend St Brigid’s Church, Branxton and 45 people allowed to attend in St Catherine’s Church, Greta. This notice is now posted on the noticeboard of each church.

 REGISTERING TO ATTEND MASS

  1. To avoid overcrowding at the entrance of the church, anyone wishing to attend needs to register with the Parish Office by 12pm on the Friday before the Mass 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.
  3. As a legal requirement of registering you will need to provide your FULL NAME and PHONE NUMBER.
  4. To 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 and
    3. That in the past 14 days have 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.

PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND MASS IF YOU ARE UNWELL

WHEN ATTENDING MASS

  1. Attendees are asked to arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow time to be seated adequately physically distanced.
  2. Welcomers will dispense sanitizer when each person arrives at the door.
  3. 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. You will not be allowed into the church if you do not provide your details.
  4. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to the number of attendees permitted. Anyone arriving after the limit is reached will NOT be permitted entry.
  5. Attendees are asked to wear their name badge or have their name on paper to reduce wait time at the door.
  6. Those arriving after Mass has commenced are asked to put their details on the registration sheet.
  7. Welcomers will direct attendees to seats as per the map. This may mean you have to give up your favourite seats.
  8. Attendees of the same household are permitted to sit together in the one pew keeping physical distance from other attendees.
  9. Each attendee will collect their own Bulletin (and hymn sheet) and take it from the church with them.
  10. No hymn books or Mass cards will be distributed except at Greta and Singleton 7am where they will be sanitized on Tuesdays ready for the next use.
  11. Collection boxes will be provided at the back of the church to place 1st and 2nd Collections in before Mass.
  12. The Book of the Gospels will NOT be carried in during the Entrance Procession.
  13. Altar servers will not hold the Missal for the Celebrant.
  14. The Lectionary will ONLY be used by the Celebrant. Readers will use their own copy of the Bulletin for the readings of the day.
  15. The offertory procession will bring forward the 1st and 2nd Collection baskets only. No Bread or Wine will be brought forward.
  16. The altar will be prepared for the offertory by the Celebrant alone.
  17. Only ONE Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is needed and they are asked to sanitize their hands when arriving at the Sanctuary.
  18. Communion will be given in one species only.
  19. You are asked to maintain 1.5m distancing when queueing for Communion.
  20. You are asked to NOT to shake hands during the exchange of peace.
  21. Do not congregate in the church yard after Mass unless you are 1.5m apart for physical distancing requirements.
  22. Cleaning/sanitizing will be conducted after each Mass with cleaners wearing gloves.
  23. Those visiting St Patrick’s Church for private prayer are asked to sanitize their hands on entry, maintain physical distances and to wipe down the seat with the wipes provided before leaving.
  24. Mass will continue to be live-streamed at 7am Sunday for the benefit of the home-bound.
  25. 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.