EdshootThe past few weeks have seen a much welcome return to church going in St. Mary's and the other Lucan parishes. It's a far cry from pre-pandemic days when St. Mary's had a week-end congregation of almost 1,800 people. Present government guidelines permit just 69 people at any church service and this on the basis of two separate sections of the church which don't interact and have a separate entrance and exit. The logistics of making this arrangement work has fallen to a team of willing volunteers who have undertaken the task with great commitment and dedication, without them we could not have safely reopened. In addition to stewarding they also sanitize the church after each Mass to minimise any possibility of the virus being transmitted within the building. We are indebted to these willing volunteers.

The present restrictions have meant that on many recent occasions people have had to be turned away from Mass when the maximum number has been reached, this is unfortunate but absolutely necessary for the protection of all who attend. We have no discretion in the matter and the rule has to be observed absolutely. Sadly, some stewards have been at the receiving end of sharp criticism from those unable to enter the church and have been subjected to unpleasant and unjustified criticism and hostility.

If the stewards were not in place we could not open the church at all, so it is particularly unfair that they should be subjected to unwarranted hostility. We should be extremely grateful for their voluntary service and treat them accordingly.

Could we ask that people who normally attend a particular Mass on Sunday might change their habitual time in order to give others an opportunity to attend? We are in times that call on all of us to cooperate and make changes to facilitate others. The same needs to be said of daily Mass, could we ask those accustomed to attending daily Mass to restrict attendance to one or two days in the week so that others can have an opportunity to attend. This could be done by waiting outside until Mass begins and only entering if there are available places.

A reminder that all Masses in St. Mary's are live streamed on the internet and can be accessed on the parish website. www.lucanparish.com

Could we also encourage those in a position to do so, to make an online donation via the website. Our reduced numbers have meant a 50% drop in collections.

With many thanks.

Philip Curran,
St. Mary's

August 29, 2020 - 7:23pm
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