Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic, Stone

Including Sacred Heart Church, Eccleshall


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Limited opening of our church

Instructions for parishioners

The announcement that we can resume the public celebration of Mass comes with it, the attendant requirements for the safe celebration. This will be an unusual experience for us, used to a more open pattern of liturgical celebration. Sadly, but necessary, we will have to strictly adhere to requirements ensuring sanitising and safe distancing. As the priest will be preparing for Mass, please follow the instructions of the stewards who are there to ensure your safety. This is new for us and we will be learning as we go along. We do not want to exceed the safety numbers of 40 spaces. Hopefully a rhythm will develop, as we get used to new measures.

  • Please only enter through the main church doors. You may have to queue safely and be asked to wait.
  • Please do not touch any door handles whilst moving through the building, please use the hand rails if you need to help you up the steps, all doors will be wide open.
  • Please do not touch any statues in and around the church.
  • When you arrive outside church, please queue using the cones, this queuing system will maintain social distance.
  • You will be greeted at the entrance by a trained volunteer (steward) who will direct you into church when it is your turn.
  • A steward will ask you to sanitise your hands as you enter.
  • The steward will direct you to another steward who will guide you to your seat/s, filling up from the front of the church. Please follow the stewards and their instructions as to where you can sit.
  • There will be 2 spaces per bench in the main body of the church and 1 space on the side aisles. The space can be occupied by 1 person, a couple, or family who will probably use one bench. The spaces are 2m apart. Please allow the steward to advise you.
  • No standing will be allowed.
  • When in church, please maintain silence where possible.
  • It is very important that you do not move around the church once the steward has shown you to your seats.
  • If children attend Mass, please ensure that they stay seated with you and follow the ‘No Touching’ rules in place. Please keep them with you at all times and they should not leave the bench.
  • When Mass begins, singing is not permitted although prayer responses are. Hand-shaking is also not permitted during the sign of peace.
  • At Holy Communion you will be guided to the front where there will be a table barrier. (this will ensure a safe distance between you and Father. Please receive the host with outstretched arm across the table and on your hand only. To assist Father, can you help your child when they come to Holy Communion or for a blessing.
  • The collection box is at the entrance, please put your collection in the box. This will be emptied at the end of each Mass. Alternatively, we welcome donations via standing order. There will be a supply of standing order forms on the table.
  • After the priest has given the final blessing at the end of Mass, the stewards will assist your exit. Please remain silent until you have fully exited church.
  • In order to leave church safely, you will be directed to exit through the main church doors starting from the back pews.

Points to remember

  • There will be no lighting of candles permitted.
  • There will be no toilet facilities available. (watch your fluid intake before Mass!) An exception will be made in an emergency.
  • Please respect the stewards; who have volunteered their time to help the church and to keep us safe. They are acting in my name. Patience and good-will will oil the wheels.
  • Obviously the church has a reduced capacity due to social distancing requirements. We recommend that you arrive 20 minutes before Mass to enable the stewards sufficient time to get you to a seat having implemented health and safety measures.
  • Please maintain a minimum safe distance of 2 metres from others at all times.
  • It is now compulsory to wear face coverings for the safety of yourselves and other parishioners unless you are exempt.
  • If you are not working, please come to a weekday Mass to leave space for those who are working to attend Mass at the weekend.
  • If you are feeling unwell or have any other symptoms, please stay at home and rest, following government guidelines.
  • Please call Father on 01785 813951 if you develop symptoms of Covid-19 after attending Mass and follow government guidelines.
  • Please remember, at present the Sunday Obligation has been lifted and any Mass that you attend will fulfil your obligation.
  • As there are only a limited number of places available, we ask that you attend only one Mass.


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