I am sure that like myself you delighted to hear some good news from the Government this weekend in regard to the gradual opening up of elements of our culture and society which were so hastily, but rightly and necessarily, closed at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. One aspect of this, dear of our hearts, was the announcement that from next week Places of Worship will be allowed to open for Private Prayer. Cardinal Vincent Nichols said, on behalf of us all, that he was “grateful for this development.” He went on to say that “Not every Catholic church will reopen on 15th June” and local decisions and provision will be necessary to lead this process. These final comments were in line with his earlier statement: “It is important that every care is taken to ensure that the guidance given for this limited opening is fully observed, not least by those entering our churches. Our preparation is taking place with thoroughness [allowing visits to] a church for individual prayer, benefiting from the sacredness of that space, [to be] done safely and confidently.”
It would be my hope that our churches could open their doors for Private Prayer possibly as early as sometime next week. In order for this to be done, in accordance with guidance already given, and more yet to come, help will be needed. Hence a Monday e-mail, in an attempt to throw wide the net and invite parishioners to let me know if they would be interested / able to assist in the role of Steward.
At this time I am just seeking names and a contact number, as I am awaiting the full guidance which will be given by the Diocese later this week. However there are known limits on who can act as a Steward. The initial two are (a) age (you must be under-70 years of age, and not live with anyone over-70) and (b) not be in a vulnerable category or live with someone in a vulnerable category. ‘Vulnerable’ categories include age, but also various underlying health conditions. So if you are in either of these categories, sadly you will not be able to fulfil this role.
If you can help, please let me know in a separate e-mail.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
All very best wishes,