Welcome (back) to church

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We’re very excited to announce that we’re back to celebrating Mass together from Sunday 5th July.

We’ve put some measures in place to ensure that you can worship safely, and to help you make an informed decision about whether or not you feel able to join us in person. Watch the video below to see how things will be different, download the leaflet, or have a look at the FAQs…


Who can come to Mass and when?

Anybody can come! And, for the time being, our mass schedule remains them same – Parish Mass at 11am on Sundays, and a Low Mass at 10am on Thursdays. If we find that our Sunday mass becomes too busy, we will look at providing an alternative times. 

To avoid a wasted journey, and so that Mthr Alice can make sure you’re all safe, it would be helpful if you were to let her know if you are planning on coming on a Sunday. You can do this either by:

Sending an email to vicar@sjebp.com
Calling and leaving a message on 020 8809 6111

It’s not compulsory though, and you can still come if you’ve not been in touch. 

What if I’m feeling unwell?

We ask that you don’t enter the building if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have a high temperature
  • You have a new, continuous cough
  • You have a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell
  • A member of your household is experiencing any of the above
  • You have been contacted by an NHS contract tracer and told to self-isolate.

You will be asked to use hand sanitizer when you enter the building. If you’re not able to for any reason, we’ll ask you to go to the lavatories to wash your hands. 

We are keeping doors open as much as possible to ensure the building remains well aired. The doors will be open during mass, so you may want to bring an extra jumper or coat. 

The main part of the church is not used in between services, and so government guidance for leaving 72 hours between uses will be met, although normal cleaning will still be happening. 

Surfaces and rooms more frequently used (namely, the foyer and the toilets) are cleaned more often using anti-viral cleaners. 

Of course, we’ll be asking you to keep 2m apart as much as possible, and to be no closer than 1m to someone  who is not part of your household. 

Do I have to wear a mask or gloves?

We ask you not to wear gloves, and to use the hand sanitizer instead. Mthr Alice won’t be wearing a mask as this makes communication
difficult, but you are very welcome to wear one if you wish. 

How do I get around the building? 

There is a one way system in place around the building – green arrows are clearly marked on the floor, along with “No Entry” symbols to remind you if you’re going the wrong way!

Where can I sit?

You can sit anywhere you like on the benches. We have removed pews to aid social distancing, and ask that there is one household per pew. Although you may not be able to hear as well, if the weather is nice (or even if it’s not) you can sit outside on the back decking. 

What about books or orders of service? 

We’re using our normal orders of service – please take it away with you or leave it in the recycling bin in the foyer. 

How will the worship be different?

Unfortunately, there will be a few changes. We won’t be able to sing for the time being, although Mthr Alice will continue to sing the bits that she normally sings alone. We are not able to share the peace, and there won’t be a collection handed around. 

What about communion?

You will be able to receive communion in one kind – that means, the host only. The host will be in a covered ciborium (a silver cup with a lid) until the moment you receive, and Mthr Alice will sanitizer her hands both prior mass starting and just before distribution. The one way system for communion will be explained, and there are markings on the floor in front of the altar step so you know where to stand.

Can we have tea or coffee after Mass?

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to stay for refreshments after Mass. We understand you’ll want to chat to your friends after seeing them. You’ll be able to do that in the church garden after Mass. 

Can I use the toilet? 


What about leaving the building? 

Our Soup Kitchen and Food Bank will be starting at 12 noon. This means that there will be a queue of people waiting outside of the gates after Mass. In order for soup kitchen volunteers and guests to start on time, please leave the building promptly if you’re not staying to talk to friends outside. If you do decide to go out into the garden, you can leave by using the garden gate out onto the Vicarage driveway.