Newsletter

Booking for Holy Mass

Please see the days and times of Mass at each Church on the Mass Times page of this site. We follow a booking system for the two Masses in Welshpool (Sat. 6.30pm and Sun. 9.00 am) and one Mass in Llanidloes and one Mass in Newtown (Sat. 4.00pm and Sun. 11.00 am respectively) on weekends. In Welshpool we are allowed to have 21 people in the congregation at a time, in Newtown we can have only 20 and in Llanidloes we can have 12.  If you wish to attend any of these masses, the preferred way is to email the parish office (email address is priestwelshpool@rcdwxm.org.uk) Just give the names for whom you want to reserve and which Mass(please mention the time and place). If possible, also provide a mobile phone number for the purposes of track and trace. N.B: I will only reply if you are too late and the places are all taken (so that you don’t have a wasted trip.) If this happens, feel free to reserve for an-other Mass or the following week. Places will be given on a first come first served basis. Booking for the next Mass will only be possible from the previous Mon-day till Friday evening. Please be aware that you cannot book a seat for Mass months ahead.

If you do not have access to email or internet, you may ring (if I am not there please leave a message) the parish office but please do so during office hours(10am to 4pm) to the following number 01938 555657 or to my mob: 07401441108.

As things develop, we may need to adapt this system so be sure to watch for up-dates. Please think of our parishioners who may find all this tricky and help them out if needs be. Please forward this message to any of your contacts who may be interested.

Please be aware that toilet facilities are NOT available.

Please bring your own Missal when you come to the Church for Holy Mass. For those who do not have an up to date missal, there is a free APP that is available to download -the daily Catholic Mass Readings on your iPhone or smart phone. The link is: https://www.alivepublishing.co.uk/daily-mass-readings/

Zoom Prayer meeting: A small group of parishioners are meeting each Tuesday at 7 p.m. by Zoom to meet one another and prayerfully reflect on the following Sunday’s Mass readings. We would welcome anyone who would like to join us. Please email Sister Helen if you are interested. hbamber6@gmail.com

Celebration of Marriage and Married Life 2021 – Will take the form of a livestream Mass celebrated by Bishop Peter and a Zoom ‘reception’ afterwards on Saturday February 13th at 11am. If you would like to take part in the Mass and reception afterwards, please let Margaret Hinton, Marriage and Family Life Coordinator know at mfl@rcdwxm.org.uk. Bishop Peter would like to hear from anyone who will be celebrating their 25th, 40th, 50th 60th or any subsequent wedding anniversary during 2021. Please send names, anniversary and contact details as soon as possible to Margaret Hinton as above. Your details will only be used in conjunction with this celebration.

Please remember in your prayers the well being of our religious Sisters and, priests of the Diocese, and we specially pray for our parishioners who are sick, housebound, in hospitals, hospices and care homes.

Gift Aid: If you are a Tax Payer Please consider making your offertory donation by using the Gift aid form or standing order. Please remember to write your name, address, sign and date. Thank you for supporting our Parishes 

BIBLE COURSE ONLINE FOR GROUPS

In response to ongoing restrictions, we set about developing an exciting new way for groups to experience The Bible Course, online.

If you’d like to take part in a course that deepens your understanding of the Bible using video teaching, group discussion and more, while maintaining social distancing, check out The Bible Course for groups online. It works with your favourite online conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype but overcomes poor-quality video sharing, so that the whole group experience works in an integrated way. Group hosts can now share a link within the call, allowing the whole group to access the session content and videos for themselves.

Key benefits

  • Free for group members
  • Easy to access – one link for group members to access all the content theyneed
  • Run as many groups as you like – Once group hosts have purchasedThe Bible Course online, they can run as many small groups as they wish, as many times as they like
  • Daily reading reminders – get your daily readings and devotions emailedto you each day
  • One free copy of The Bible Coursemanual (available in English or Welsh; UK customers only)

 NEW CTS SUNDAY MISSAL 2021 – £1.99 ONLY

To offer support during the pandemic while many are unable to get to Mass and communal Mass books and missalettes are not permitted, we are offering The CTS New Sunday Missal 2021 for just £1.99 while stocks last. The CTS New Sunday Missal 2021 | Catholic Truth Society (ctsbooks.org)

V’ CTS WALL CALENDAR

A beautiful wall calendar with a calendar grid marking out the feasts and seasons of the Catholic calendar, a Scripture reference for the Sunday Gospel, and Pope Francis’s prayer intentions for each month. £1. CTS Calendar 2021 | Catholic Truth Society (ctsbooks.org)

MARCH 2021 CENSUS ENGAGEMENT

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has asked the Diocese to assist, reach out to those in the community who may not be aware of the census and of its importance because the information has not been in their own language. As a number of such groups of people may well attend our churches and their children our schools, it would be appreciated if information is passed to them.

‘The next ONS Census, which takes place every 10 years, will be in March 2021. In order to make this census widely known and to encourage everyone to take part, particularly those whose first language is not English or Welsh, the ONS has produced a Census Engagement leaflet – a copy of leaflet in English is attached but is also available in the following languages on request from the ONS in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Gujarati, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Nepali, Panjabi, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Welsh.

The actual Census form will only be available in English or Welsh but translations will be available in 49 languages.’

More information about the Census can be found at Census 2021

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Update from recent CoronaVirus Task Force Meeting from Rev. Canon Christopher Thomas KHS

General Secretary

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

 Here is a brief update from today’s Coronavirus Places of Worship Task Force meeting. The Church was represented by Cardinal Nichols and prof. Jim McManus along with myself. The highlights of the discussion are:

The safety and opening of churches

  1. Health professional research to date indicates that the new virus variant is as well controlled by social distancing and mitigations as the old. Further studies are taking place for a more concrete verification on this matter.
  2. HMG stressed that there would be no blanket closure of places of worship. They asked that each Place of Worship should re-evaluate their own local situation and examine all factors that could affect the good covid security demonstrated by places of worship so far. This is to include (but is not limited to):
  3. Sufficient stewarding and management of the venue
  4. Sufficient cleaning after acts of communal worship
  5. Maintaining good social distancing in the space available alongwith good ventilation
  6. Factors affecting travel to and from the place of worship, such as public transport
  7. The length of exposure time for an act of worship is critical and should be minimised– anything that is not necessary should be omitted.
  8. Those who have gathered for worship should not mingle before or after the service outside of the church. They shoulddisperse immediately.
  9. All non-essential worship should be postponed or cancelled (see below)
  10. The officials noted that keeping covid secure places of worship open for public worship adds no extra burden to the NHS and provides recognised benefits for the community.
  11. The task force expressed with great clarity that the role of the Local Authority is one of enforcement of closure in particular circumstances on the basis of evidence of lack of COVID security.
  12. PHE will conduct an exercise in mapping exposure risks from different venues across the country for better data.

Vaccines and their roll-out in the Community

  1. All faith communities were asked to encourage and support the roll-out of the vaccines.
  2. There should be explicit encouragement of community members to take up the offer of vaccines whenever it is offered to an individual. Evidence across the country is showing that there is “vaccination hesitancy” amongst certain groups of people, in particular the BAME community, because of misinformation on social media. There was strong encouragement from HMG to counteract this strongly.
  3. In our case, the fact that Pope Francis will be vaccinated next week should be stressed along with his own personal endorsement for vaccination. See https://www.rt.com/news/512030-pope-francis-covid19-vaccine/
  4. There was a request for volunteer support in areas with vaccination hubs/centres and this should be done through the local health commissioning groups. There are lots of different roles thatare necessary such as stewarding, as well as a request for former healthcare workers to assist in the inoculation programme.
  5. HMG published the Vaccination roll-out plan today. It is found here: https://publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951284/ UK_COVID-19_vaccines_delivery_plan.pdf
  6. We raised the issue of vaccination for hospital chaplains and care home chaplains, as well as clergy in general, and this will be followed up by email.

Updated Guidance for Places of Worship

The MHCLG has updated the Places of Worship Guidance on 11th January which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-2-december

The general approach of the guidance is an extension of the previous rules in place under Tier 4 in December. However, it has been amended to reflect the new national restrictions. These restrictions:

require people to stay at home, except for specific purposes;

prevent people gathering with those they do not live with, except for specific purposes; and, close certain businesses.

Attending a place of worship is one of the very few legal exemptions that allow larger numbers to gather in the same venue. To keep everyone safe, where places of worship choose to open it is crucial that those attending comply with the law and COVID-19 Secure guidance.

The following activities are regarded as activities that should not take place at the present time in a Place of Worship:

  1. Baptisms or other ceremonies which mark significant life cycle moments but which do not take place as an established part of normal communal worship (with the exception of commemorative events that celebrate the life of a person who has died – see the detailed guidance on this in the full document).
  2. Prayer or study groups in person.
  3. Lifestyle and leisure/recreational groups such as craft groups or exercise groups.
  4. Amateur choir practice or group bell ringing.
  5. Tourism and shops contained within the place of worship.

In addition to this summary, there are other key changes:

  1. A Revised wording on weddings to highlight the consideration that is required from those participating about whether the circumstance is exceptional in order to proceed at this time.
  2. Strongly suggesting that singing should only take place where it is essential to the act of worship, and should be restricted to professional performance or those leading the act of worship.

Singing, chanting and the use of musical instruments

COVID-19 spreads from person to person through small droplets, aerosols and through direct contact. Singing, playing some musical instruments, shouting and physical activity increases the risk of transmission through small droplets and aerosols. Existing risks increased by new variants of the virus, mean that additional safeguards should be put in place to minimise opportunities for the virus to spread:

  1. Where singing or chanting is essential to an act of worship, this should be limited to one person wherever possible. Exceptionally, where it is essential to the service, up to three individuals should be permitted to do so. Strict social distancing should be observed and the use of Plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect worshippers, and each other.
  2. Communal singing should not take place. This applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.
  3. Chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should also be avoided in communal worship and in rehearsals.
  4. Where communal singing plays a big part in worship, and recordings are available, we suggest you use these as an alternative to live singing. If a place of worship hosts a professional group, for rehearsing or worship, you should follow the performing arts guidance.
  5. Avoid playing recorded music at a volume that may result in people using raised voices or shouting to communicate when arriving or leaving for worship.
  6. Spoken responses during worship should not be in a raised voice.
  7. Good ventilation plays a crucial role in reducing transmission. Do what you can to improve ventilation whenever possible windows be opened and doors remaining so.

The latter also helps to eliminate a touched surface,

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 MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU AT THIS DIFFICULT TIME

 FR JOHNSON CMI

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