Our church is only permitted to be open for private individual prayer and funerals.
When you come for private prayer we ask you to follow the guidelines which are in place to keep everyone safe. Please comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the rule about face coverings whilst in the church setting.
We plan for St Joseph's Church to be open at the following designated times:
- Friday 6 November from 5:30pm to 6:30pm for Holy Hour
- Tuesday 10 November from 1pm to 2pm for Private Prayer
- Friday 13 November from 5:30pm to 6:30pm for Holy Hour
- Tuesday 17 November from 1pm to 2pm for Private Prayer
- Friday 20 November from 5:30pm to 6:30pm for Holy Hour
- Tuesday 24 November from 1pm to 2pm for Private Prayer
- Friday 27 November from 5:30pm to 6:30pm for Holy Hour
- Tuesday 1 December from 1pm to 2pm for Private Prayer
These times are subject to change as resources permit and circumstances evolve.
The wearing of face coverings or face mask is compulsory in churches. We ask that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you – they are not provided.
If you or a member of your household are showing symptoms of Covid-19 you should not come into the church.
Preparations & Precautions
The church has been rearranged so as to implement social distancing of 2 metres/6 feet in all directions. A temporary screen has been erected to clearly designate the space which is open to the public. We have had a deep clean of the prayer space and it has also had an antiviral “fogging” treatment. A regular cleaning regime is being followed, which includes disinfecting chairs, surfaces and touch points after every Mass or prayer session. We are following the strict guidelines set out by the church and the authorities so as to minimise the risk of virus transmission. This means that when you visit things will not be the same as before the pandemic.
What to Expect - Private Prayer and Holy Hour
This means an individual or a family (household group) coming into the church to pray on their own, socially distanced from anyone else present.
During Holy Hour the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed, however there will be no communal prayer, singing or Benediction.
Please bring a slip of paper with the name(s) and telephone number(s) of those attending from your household. This is required for Test and Trace and we are required to keep your details for 21 days.
Entry is via the side door on the car park side.
Upon arrival, you must sanitise your hands before entering the church. Once inside, you are expected to follow the one-way system. We have reconfigured the seating to comply with social distancing, but will not use all the chairs - please do not sit on one marked 'not in use'. A maximum of 16 people plus stewards can be in the church at any one time. If this capacity is reached, we will operate a "one in, one out" policy. Social distancing of 2 metres/6 feet must be maintained at all times. Physical veneration of statues is not permitted and there will be no holy water. The toilet facilities are closed.
We understand that for many the lighting of votive candles is important so it will be possible to do so once you have finished prayer, on your way out.
You must sanitise your hands when you leave the church, exiting on to Priory side. This means you will need to walk back around the church to the car park.
Please listen to any guidance given by the stewards on duty and follow their instructions. Their role is not only to unlock the door and welcome people – it is to ensure that the hygiene controls, social distancing measures and one-way system are adhered to, for the safety of all our visitors and our priests.
If you have limited mobility or require assistance whilst in church, please do make this known to the stewards who will be only too happy to help you.
We are aware of how important it is for our parish community to have a place to meet Jesus at this time. We are not permitted to open our church without stewards. Remember they are volunteers.