As we approach the significant date of the 18th of May, I’ve been asked a number of times when the Church will reopen. The simple answer is that we will begin to move towards reopening the church building as soon as it is safe for us to do so. The building may be closed but the pastoral work of the parish continues with daily Mass (streamed live on the webcam), supporting to bereaved families, leading funeral services and dealing with the general administration of the parish.
I plan to meet with the Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council next week to begin the task of completing the risk assessments necessary to see what’s possible for us over the coming weeks and months. I will, of course, keep you updated.We will follow the four stage plan outlined by the Department of Health regarding the reopening of workplaces, along with all specific church related guidelines that come from the HSE in relation to places of worship.
The four stage plan is there to help places put together a coherent and sensible plan that works towards phased opening in a way that ensures the safety of all. The stages are :
1. Phased Reopening – doing what’s possible with the resources we have available to us.
2. Staying Safe – social distancing measures and how we can provide for these.
3. Supports – use of the webcam and other supports to help people connect.
4. Information, Guidance and Communication – how to communicate in a way that’s useful and helpful for all.
The reality is that it will be some time before the Church is fully open. Each step towards this will be a significant milestone for us and will require the support of all.
We introduced a webcam a number of weeks ago and this has allowed people to connect with daily Mass streamed from the Church. The webcam is available on www.halstonstreetparish.ie/webcam
You can of course phone (01 873 0675) or email firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime with questions, for a chat or to share a time of prayer together. If you have intentions that you would like included in the Masses, please phone or email with the details and your contact number.
How can you help?
For us to work towards a phased reopening of our Parish church we will need to create a team of people to help in a number of areas including as ushers / stewards, cleaning, planning, support and outreach. A number of people have already sent me their details and I’m very grateful for these – if you feel you could help and would like to help, please phone or email and leave your contact details.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. I am confident that by working together we will work towards the safe and successful reopening of our Church.
God bless you all. Keep well.
Fr Martin OFM Cap., PP.