St. Anne's Church
On Friday 10th July the Welsh Government eased the lockdown in Wales announcing that places of worship could begin the gradual reintroduction of services when it is deemed safe to do so. Having completed the necessary risk assessments and submitted our plans for restarting public worship we have received the green light to put the plans into effect. As final arrangements begin to be made, we are delighted to say that we will begin to reopen the doors for the public celebration of Mass starting Friday 31st July 2020.
When we restart public Masses it will be a very different experience to our celebrations before the lockdown. There are many guidelines and requirements in force that require us to adapt our worship practices. We have longed to welcome you through the doors once again to take care of your spiritual health, but we must do so whilst also showing concern for your physical health.
The requirements for reopening our churches are numerous and extensive, this is why for the immediate future the central church of St. Anne's Wrexham will be the sole church to open for public worship. Over time we will review how effective our measures are, and where necessary adapt and amend them to eventually enable Our Lady and Welsh Martyrs, Overton church to reopen their doors.
One of the biggest changes you will note is that the available seating in the church is less than 50%. To accommodate as many people as possible we have divided the pews in half. Half the available seating will be for families coming from the same household; the other half for individuals or two people from the same household. This means at maximum capacity we could potentially hold up to 40 people. In reality, this will be less as people come from different households requiring the full social distancing regulation of 2 meters. With everyone keen to come back to Mass and the limitations that we face it will be necessary to register to attend Mass by way of a ticket.
Recognising the fact that most parishioners will be unable to come to Mass, we will continue to livestream daily and Sunday Masses.
Before you register for Mass here are a few things to consider:
Although we are gradually coming out of lockdown the Coronavirus is still with us so it is our obligation to take precautions to keep you safe. But even though we have a tight plan, we cannot guarantee that you will not be infected with the virus; therefore we urge you to continue to follow the government guidelines. If you are 70+ years of age or have underlying health conditions we recommend you stay home and stay safe. The same goes if you live with anyone who is vulnerable to the virus. We will always do our best to reduce the risk of infection through sanitisation and social distancing, but they are not guaranteed.
As we see on the news evidence increasingly suggests that face coverings (masks) are most effective when we are indoors, we would urge you to wear a face-covering when you come to Mass. If you do wear a covering you will need to remove it when you receive Holy Communion.
To maximise the safety of all concerned we are sorry to say that until further notice all liturgical ministries apart from Readers are temporarily suspended. And when readers do come to serve you will be asked to wear gloves as part of your ministry.
Holy Communion will be socially distanced and you are asked to receive the Lord in your hand only. Communion will also take place out of sequence in the Mass; you will be able to receive Holy Communion at the end of Mass and then immediately leave through the designated exit. This means that when you leave your pew, you will not have to return passing a potentially contaminated spot. Once everyone has left, the process of decontaminating the church beings ready for the next day Mass.
Toilet facilities will remain CLOSED.
What to expect
Here’s what you can expect when you come to Mass:
The doors will be open 20 minutes before so you get a chance to prepare and pray.
There may be a queue outside the church as you wait to register your arrival. Please join the queue and remember to stay at least 2 meters apart. We have placed some marks on the pavement to help.
You will enter the church through the main doors at St. Anne’s.
You will be greeted by a steward who will check your ticket and help you to check-in, so we can fulfil the requirement of contact tracing.
After check-in you will be escorted to your seat in the designated pews. To ensure good social distancing the church will be filled from the FRONT to the back. So please be patient and courteous with the stewards as your usual seat may not be in use or out of sequence.
When you get to your pew, you will notice green markings of where we sit as individuals. Please use the green markings as the FIRST seating space you can use, even if you are part of a group.
There will be no singing at Mass as singing increases the risk of particles of the virus being projected into the air.
After the Gospel the priest will preach a very short homily.
There will be no Sign of Peace.
Before the priest receives Holy Communion he will separately hold up the Host and the Chalice making the traditional exclamation “The Body of Christ”, “The Blood of Christ” at which point we all say “Amen”.
After the priest has received Holy Communion he will end Mass in the usual way. Holy Communion for the people will take place at the end of Mass. You will be invited by the stewards to leave your pew and come forward keeping the 2 meters distancing. Extend your hands and arms at full length with both hands palm up (one hand on top of the other).
Once you have received Holy Communion you will be invited to leave the church straight away through the designated exit. As you exit the church, there will be a basket for your collection offering.
We currently cannot socialise so travel home safely and we will see you again soon.
This sounds a lot and may be off putting, but please understand the guidelines, rules and regulations are there to help protect your physical health as you come to nurture your spiritual health. Thank you for your patience; we look forward to praying with you again.
We are currently unable to offer Children’s Liturgy. If you do bring children to Mass please remember they cannot leave the pew and the toilets are only available in emergencies.
Registering to come to Mass
As spaces are limited we ask you to think of the welfare of your brothers and sisters. To maximise the number of people who can attend Mass in a week we ask that you only register for one Mass each week.
There are two types of registration to choose from:
“Single” registration enables you to register as an individual or as two members of the same household. Individuals will be sat socially distanced from others, but members of the same household will be sat together at social distancing from others.
“Family Pew” registration reserves an entire pew. With social distancing, a pew can accommodate 3 - 5 adults comfortably. The number of people on the pew increases if some of the family are children.
Once you have registered you will be emailed a ticket, don’t forget to print and bring the ticket with you to Mass.
If you know anyone who cannot register online to come to Mass, please consider helping them. But remember it must be a completely separate booking using their contact details.
Register for Mass
Registration for the Masses during a week opens at 7.30pm on Sunday and closes when all the spaces are full or 2 hours before the start of the Mass. The list of Masses throughout the week will appear below – simply choose which Mass you’d like to attend and use the ‘Tickets” section to reserve you place.
The Sunday Obligation remains dispensed so there is no urgency to get to Sunday Mass.
When the situation changes we will let you know.