Advice for Parishes regarding Coronavirus
The key things for parishes to do are ensure everyone maintains good hygiene especially at Mass and parish gatherings. The best way of protecting us from spread is for everyone to use universal good hygiene, which will effectively disrupt spread of the virus.
Catch it – sneeze into a tissue; Bin it – bin the tissue; Kill it – wash your hands with soap and water.
Do not touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands. Anyone with cold or flu symptoms should refrain from taking communion from the chalice and, as we are in flu season anyway, please receive the host on the hand only.
Hand sanitisers are in both churches and we would ask everyone attending Mass to sanitise their hands as they come into church. We would also request that Ministers of the Eucharist sanitise their hands before and after distributing communion.There is no need as things stand for the chalice to be withdrawn or the sign of peace suspended, such as was advised during the 2009 flu pandemic. This advice would only come if we had a very serious epidemic in the UK and at the time of writing this is unlikely. Priests are unable to visit parishioners who are self isolating until the isolation period ends, but if you are in that position, please do let us know so that we can keep in touch and provide support via the telephone.