Celebrating Mass Together

St John Boste Church is now open for public worship for those within the Benedict Partnership. Mass will be celebrated at 10am on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

St Joseph’s, Birtley will be open for Mass from Tuesday 18th August, celebrating on a Tuesday at 6.00pm, Thursday at 12 noon and Saturday at 6.00pm.

At present the obligation to attend Mass will continue to be relaxed.                            

Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport, in shops and supermarkets and people are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet. From 8th August, in line with government requirements, parishioners MUST wear a face covering when attending Church.The numbers of people able to enter our Churches for Mass will be strictly limited according to the two metre rule.

Seating arrangements are clearly marked; however accommodation is therefore limited therefore once the maximum number is reached then no one else will be able to enter.

Note: Please Register for a place at Mass and please do not come to Mass unless you have received confirmation of a place.

Registering for Mass at St John Boste, Washington & St Joseph, Birtley.

If you would like to attend one of our Masses, you must book a place by following the links below. To comply with the government Track and Trace instructions we require all people attending Mass at St John Boste to register their name and contact details.

There are two ways to register:
1. Click on the links on Page 3 of the current Newsletter or open the file Here, select the church and date and click the link to complete the online registration.

2. For those without internet access there is a dedicated mobile phone where reservations can be made: 07562 653778 (please do not use the parish office telephone number).

Please note that registration for each Mass will open at midnight one week before the Mass and will close at midnight two days before the date of the Mass. For example the Mass on Sunday 16th August will open for registration at 00:01 on Sunday 9th and will close at 23:59 on Friday 14th. This allows us to produce a register for use by the stewards to record all those who attend the Mass.

This register will enable us to provide the government Track and Trace team a list of contacts should someone in the congregation be diagnosed with Covid-19.

What to expect when attending Mass

The numbers of people able to enter Church for Mass will be strictly limited according to the two metre rule. Seating arrangements are clearly marked and St John Boste Church can accommodate 40 people.

Mass will be shorter than usual with no singing.

There will also be no Offertory procession, sign of peace or children’s Liturgy.

You will receive Holy Communion in the hand, which can only be distributed by the Celebrant.

Hand sanitisers are provided for you to use as you enter and leave the Church and stewards will be on hand to guide people to their places.

The Offertory collection will not take place, containers will be available next to the doors for your offering. Live streaming may be in effect during Mass.

If you do not wish to be at risk of being filmed, please inform your parish priest or designated person prior to visiting the church.

Please do not come to church if you are displaying any symptoms of the virus.

While things may seem a little different for a while it is wonderful that we are able to gather again as a family of faith to celebrate the Sacraments in a safe and measured way.

SVP Collection

The SVP have had no funds coming in over the past months of lockdown and yet have still been helping many people in difficulties, so funds are very low. As you leave St John Boste church there will be a collection plate for the SVP and your support will be much appreciated.

Churches Open for Private Prayer in the Benedict Partnership

St John Boste Church 

When Mass is not being celebrated at St John Boste Church, we will be open for private prayer and reflection as follows:

• Mondays 10am-11.30am
• Wednesdays 5pm-6.30pm              Please note revised times
• Fridays 2pm-3.30pm

St Joseph’s Birtley

Will be open from 12th August for private prayer as follows:

• Mondays 12.00am-1.30pm from 17th August
• Wednesdays 12.00am-1.30pm from 12th August

For the latest information please go to the website: http://www.stjosephsbirtley.co.uk/

St Michael’s Houghton le Spring

Will be open from 4th August for private prayer and reflection as follows:

• Tuesdays10.30am-12.30am
• Fridays 1.00pm-3.00pm

For the latest information please go to the website: http://www.stmichaelshoughton.co.uk/

St Bede’s Sacriston

Will be open for Adoration this week as follows:

• Tuesday 2.30pm-3.30pm
• Wednesdays 6.30pm-7.30pm
• Saturday 10.00am-11.00am

For the latest information please go to the website: https://www.facebook.com/Parish-of-St-Bede-St-Cuthbert-375047405964616/

The Next Steps

When the above Churches open, we will have completed Phase 4 of our re-opening programme with 50% of the Churches in the Benedict Partnership open, which will is no small achievement.

It is unlikely that Phase 5 of our re-opening programme will commence before September as we are now in the prime holiday season. Phase 5 includes opening other churches in our Partnership, probably in the order St Bede’s followed by Our Blessed Lady Immaculate.

Phase 6 which includes the re-opening of St Cuthbert’s and Our Lady Queen of Peace is likely to be delayed further due to necessary rewiring work and perhaps will not be possible until October. All this does depend on the goodwill of you, our parishioners, to continue to volunteer to clean and steward our churches, and please accept our grateful thanks for your help.

We will publish further times and dates for opening as soon as we are able.

Safety Video for the Reopening of Churches in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle: With the recent planned reopening of churches, the Diocese has produced a short video to help you familiarise yourself with what you can expect when your church reopens. Please watch it here.

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