Re-opening for Masses
We are glad to announce that public Masses will resume in our church from Saturday 4 July. Masses will not be quite back to normal yet, and so we ask that you read the following guidelines carefully and co-operate with our volunteer stewards in church who are there to help keep you safe. Please also note that our schedule for Mass and confessions will not be exactly as it was before the lockdown. This temporary schedule will be reviewed after a month, or earlier if we are permitted to relax some of the safety precautions by the Government and the Archbishop.
The Archbishops of England have written a letter to all the faithful available here.
- Please keep at least 1m from members of other households in church.
- Face coverings must be used by all visitors to the church, except by those with breathing difficulties or children under 5. Face coverings may be masks or not, and can be homemade.
- Surfaces will be cleaned after every Mass.
- We are not permitted to provide toilet facilities, because of the requirements that would be needed to keeping them clean. NB: There are no public toilet facilities available on site.
- Numbers in church will be limited because of social distancing. Our maximum capacity for socially-distanced individuals is 80, but we can exceed this where members of the same household or social distancing bubble are able to sit closer than 1m together.
- We hope that these measures should allow all those who arrive for a particular Mass to attend that Mass without advance booking.
- The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays remains suspended for all. If you are able to, please consider attending Mass on a weekday instead of Sunday.
- Masses will be streamed daily from the church.
- The church will be open 20 minutes before and after all Masses. The church will no longer be open in the afternoons for private prayer.
- Masses will be celebrated at the following times:
Sunday 8:00 (EF), 9:30, 11:00 (Sung), 18:30
Mon–Fri 7:30, 8:10 (EF), 10:00, 18:00
Saturday 8:00 (EF), 10:00, 18:30 (Sunday Vigil)
- Confessions will be heard at the following times:
Mon-Fri 20 minutes before each Mass (except the 8:10)
Saturday 9:00–10:00; 17:30–18:30
NB: Confessions will not be heard on Sundays for the time being.
- Unfortunately, for now, Vespers will not be open to the public, but will be live-streamed each Sunday at 17:30.
- There will be no exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during this temporary period because of the one-way system that will be in place for confessions.
Mass and Holy Communion
- Masses are to be kept short in order to reduce the length of time for which people are gathered. Sunday Masses will be slightly simplified, and there will be no devotions after any Masses (including devotions to Our Lady of Oxford, to St Philip, and the Rosary).
- Holy Communion will be given immediately after each Mass. Please follow the instructions given by the stewards who will ensure social distancing is maintained. These measures will also allow the priest to clean his hands properly before distributing Holy Communion.
- Unfortunately, congregational singing is not permitted in order to reduce the risk of the virus being spread through exhalation. We will have one sung Mass at 11am on Sundays with the Oratory choir. Please allow them to make all of the sung responses of the Mass.
- See above under ‘New Schedule’ for confession times.
- Confessions will be heard in the confessionals.
- Please observe social distancing in the queue and observe the one-way system.
- Please use the hand sanitiser provided before entering the confessional.
- Disinfecting wipes will be provided. We ask that you wipe down any surfaces you touch after your confession.
- A steward will be on hand to assist if necessary.
Cafe Neri, all groups and talks are still unable to take place on site, but our groups that have been meeting online will continue to do so. We look forward to being able to resume the normal life of the Oratory, which we hope will be possible before too long.
If you are able to volunteer to help with stewarding or cleaning, please click here. We are very grateful to all those who have made it possible to open our church so far. We will need even more volunteers to keep the church open once public Mass resumes.
Further updates will be posted to our website first. You can also subscribe to updates through our e-newsletter.