Re-opening Guidelines

Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians & St. Lawrence, Olney

Re-opening of Our Lady’s for Holy Mass

As we prepare for the long-awaited opening of Our Lady’s for Holy Mass, we feel it appropriate that we share with you our plans and guidance which is based on that given to us by the Bishops Conference of England & Wales.

  • The church will be open for the celebration of Holy Mass at all of the normal times – Monday to Saturday 10.00am; Saturday 6.30pm & Sunday 10.30am
  • The church will be open 30 minutes before each Mass to give everyone the opportunity of entering the church and taking their seats in a safe and controlled way.
  • IMPORTANT:  The Catholic Bishops of England & Wales have continued to offer dispensation regarding the obligation of Sunday Mass attendance.  Bishop David encourages those who can attend a Mass during the week rather than the busier Vigil/Sunday Mass.
  • In order for us to conform to the social distancing guidelines, we are only able to accommodate up to 50 parishioners maximum at any particular time
  • If you are in the shielded group or wish not to attend, we will continue to ‘live stream’ all of the Masses celebrated at Our Lady’s
  • Sadly, we are not permitted to sing during the Mass
  • For the time being there will be no Offertory Procession or the sharing of the collection plate.  Parishioners are encouraged to make their donation to the church online or via standing order.  The collection plate will be placed in the porch as you enter where you can place cash &/or envelopes.
  • Stipends for Mass Offerings should be placed in a sealed envelope clearly marked ‘Mass Offering’.  Inside the envelope, with the offering, should be your name & contact number and the name of the person for whom the Mass is being requested.  These envelopes are to be placed in the collection plate or dropped through the Presbytery door.
  • HOLY COMMUNION – Please remain in your place to receive Holy Communion: the Priest/Deacon will come to you.  The prayer for Spiritual Communion will still be included for the benefit of those unable to receive the Blessed Sacrament and for those watching by way of the ‘live stream’
  • Parishioners should not visit the Sacristy at any time during their visit.  If you need to speak to Fr David, please telephone or email him in the usual way.  If you need to see him urgently, please speak to one of the Stewards.
  • Stewards will be available throughout your visit to assist you if required – please do take careful notice of the advice that they offer you
  • There will be two points of access – Entrance and Exit – these will be clearly signed and we must adhere to these.
  • There will be hand sanitizer available in the porch as you enter and leave the church
  • In order to conform to social distancing, the benches have been clearly marked to assist you.  Family groups can, of course, sit together whilst maintaining social distancing with other members of the congregation.
  • In order to conform to the guidance, we have removed the fabric covered chairs as these cannot be properly cleaned.  Also, please do not use the kneelers
  • You are permitted to light a votive candle if you wish
  • After your visit the seating/doors etc. will be will be sanitised

Please ensure that you maintain the social distancing guidelines before, during and after your visit to the church and please do not congregate in the car park. The Local Authority may audit the provisions that we have made and have been tasked with managing the re-opening of churches and other places of worship. 

Finally, if you have any concerns please contact Fr David or Deacon Peter

Our Lady Help of Christians – Pray for us

St Lawrence – Pray for us