Preparation for going to Church

PREPARATION FOR GOING TO CHURCH

Remember, things will be very different from the familiar when you first return to church, so do take some time to understand what has changed and also to make sure that you keep yourself and your family safe at all times.

Improved cleaning will occur in churches, but no-one should expect that they will be any safer from germs than other public spaces. There remains a risk for anyone who attends. Even with the best health practices and strict social distancing, anyone who enters a public space should recognise there is a risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Parishioners who are shielding according to Scottish Government guidance should not come to church until Scottish Government guidance advises them it is safe to do so. In making a decision to come to church please follow the latest Scottish Government advice.

Perhaps the most significant change will be that everyone must wear a face (nose and mouth) covering with the exception of those with breathing difficulties and children under the age of two years. This covering must be in place BEFORE you enter the church and must remain in place until you leave and are back outside the church.

Please social distance (2-metres) outside the church if there is a queue and make sure that you allow those ahead of you going in to be moving on before you come in.

Those entering the Church will be required to use sanitising gel on their hands to reduce the risk of contaminating surfaces. Gel will be available. Please also sanitise your hands on leaving – again gel will be available there.

The entrance to the Church will be the normal one but you will exit from the Church through the door in the East transept near to Our Lady’s Altar. You will receive directions from the stewards.

You will be allocated a seat or seats by a steward who will indicate the position in the church and give you the number/s and will indicate which aisle to go down to reach that seat. Do not take any other route or seat than the one allocated even if your favourite pew is unoccupied.

You must not move about the church or socialise with others in the church or outside. On leaving, please leave quietly and quickly and be careful to maintain the 2-metre distancing at all time (unless in a family group). All other areas of the church, such as side altars, are not to be used and no votive candles can be lit.

As the church must be carefully sanitised after each prayer hour, try not to touch other areas of the church – such as the tops of the pews, door handles, glazed areas – on the way in or way out.

There will be no hymn books, Mass books, prayer cards or anything printed on paper available for your use. If you bring your Missal or prayer book, please make sure you take it away when you leave.

Regrettably, the toilet in the church will not be accessible at any time during your visit.

If you leave the church, you will not be able to come back in unless there is some emergency when the stewards will be able to assist. If you need any assistance once seated, just put your hand up and a steward will come to you.

Children may find it difficult not to wander but it is important that for all the obvious reasons, they are not allowed to do so. Please be very responsible in this area.

Should there be any emergency during your visit and there is a need to evacuate, please take direction from the stewards.