Plan for reopening of St. Teresa’s Church

Social Distancing

 It is necessary to keep 2 Metres (six feet) from others when sitting in benches, lighting candles, coming forward for Holy Communion, in the Mass Office and shop.

 Entrance and Exit

 Entry into the church will be by the Clarendon Street Archway (Courtyard entrance) only with outside doors open, to facilitate counting.

 Once Mass is over, the side door opposite Brown Thomas Carpark will also be opened, to allow safe exiting. People can be encouraged to exit row by row through the doors closest to them.

Entrance to the Mass Office and Shop will be through the Johnsons Court Lane entrance (Opposite Bewleys).  No more than two people in the Mass Office and Repository at any one time and, if possible, please pay with card.

 Seating

There are signs to mark clearly where people will sit. With every second seat blocked off and two people in a seat, we could eventually accommodate about 90 worshippers at every Mass. This includes the side chapels. This number constitutes less than 40% of our usual congregation. However, for now the guidelines allows 50 worshippers at each Mass.

Ministers of the Word and Eucharist can be accommodated near the Sanctuary without taking up seats in the church, while maintaining social distancing. These seats will be clearly marked.

A seating area will be reserved for wheelchairs.

A family group of two or more could sit in a seat in the main body of the church, with one other person at the opposite end of the seat.

Family groups would bring the maximum number above 90 which is based on individuals in seats.

Those who are free to come to a weekday Mass will be encouraged to do so instead of coming to Sunday Mass. This will help to keep the Sunday numbers manageable.

 Distribution of Holy Communion

Holy Communion can only be received on the clean bare hand (gloves may not be worn), and Communion may not be received on the tongue.

It is envisaged that the celebrant and two ministers of the Eucharist will distribute Holy Communion at every Mass.

 The priest will stand at the top of the centre aisle of the church. The ministers of the Eucharist will stand at the top of the side isles. People will come up to the priest or minister of the Eucharist seat by seat on one side and then seat by seat on the opposite side, going up the centre isle and returning by the side isles. Coming up in single file would enable people to keep the required social distance.

 The priest and ministers of the Eucharist would sanitize their hands before and after distributing Holy Communion (and during if necessary) and would wear face masks. They will give Holy Communion into the hands of worshippers, without touching their hands.

 Coeliac

As they may not receive from the same chalice as the priest, those with coeliac condition should come to the sacristy before Mass to ensure they can receive.

 Holy Water

The Holy Water fonts and the Holy Water tap are not available at this time. If you need holy water, please bring a small bottle of water to the sacristy for the priest to bless. 

 Sign of Peace

No sign of Peace involving physical contact is to be used.

 Face Masks

 Wearing protective face coverings are encouraged in the Church, Mass Office & Repository.

 Hand sanitizers, church cleaning

Fixed hand sanitizers have been installed in the porches of the church.

The church will be cleaned after each Mass.

Signage

Appropriate signage will be placed on the floor of the front porch, on seats and on notice boards.

 Communicating with Worshippers

 Worshippers will be informed of the safety protocol by a notice on the front door of the church and on the church website.

Notices will be put on all entrances/exits to the effect that people with flu/respiratory symptoms, high body temperatures, or anyone who has been in contact with Covid-19 people are requested to refrain from entering the Church.

 A notice will be placed outside the church that people can see on the way into the church itemizing in bullet points the main elements of the safety protocol.

Car Parking

No cars will be allowed into the courtyard during Mass times.

 Stewarding

 At least three staff/stewards will be needed at every Mass. There will be one at the entrance to count people coming into the church. Staff/stewards will be needed inside the church to direct people to their seats. When 50 people have entered the church, the staff at the entrance will need to close over the door and explain to anyone else arriving that the church is full. When capacity is reached, a sign will be placed outside the door stating that we have reached capacity and apologizing to those who cannot gain admittance.

Staff will wear an identifying badge and face coverings.

There will be training for all staff prior to 29th June to clarify what is required of them.

 Other elements

  • Social distancing will be required for the foreseeable future. We will need to be aware of how close we are to others when lighting candles or queuing for confessions.
  • There will be no choir unless social distancing can be maintained.
  • People can use Missalettes provided they bring them home. Missalettes will be available on entry.
  • Holy Communion will be distributed during all Masses, All Masses will be broadcast on the Webcam.
  • There will be no passing of pouches for collections. People can contribute as they enter or leave the church one clearly marked safes.
  • The toilets will not be in use.
  • The St. John of the Cross Oratory is designated as an isolation room for those who feel ill or demonstrate symptoms of Covid 19.

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