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Sunday, 8 March 2020

Taken from The Church Of England Website

Sun Mar 08 2020
Latest updates:

The Government has published a coronavirus action plan.

All guidance will continue to reflect appropriate Public Health advice.

Our guidance is kept under constant review.

The threat posed by COVID-19 has been assessed by the Chief Medical Officer as ‘moderate’. This permits the Government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low.

Guidance for churches  

Current Government advice is that individuals should follow good hygiene practices including:
carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, and binning the tissue;
washing hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds) or using sanitiser gel to kill germs.

Advice has also been issued to travellers who have returned to the UK from a number of countries.
Anyone who has returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:
stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu;
call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.

In the event of increased community transmission of coronavirus, priests should take a view whether it is necessary to withdraw the Common Cup.

If so they should:
  • Suspend the administration of the chalice and offer Communion in one kind only i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine.
  • Consider suspending handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace.
  • Consider suspending direct physical contact as part of a blessing or ‘laying on of hands’.
  • Where the priest has not suspended the administration of the chalice, communicants may nevertheless decide to receive in one kind only at their own discretion.
  • It is also best practice for churches to have hand-sanitisers available for parishioners to use.
  • In addition, priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers should wash their hands, preferably with an alcohol-based (minimum 60%) hand-sanitiser.
  • Intinction is not recommended (even by celebrants or communion-administrators) as this represents an infection transmission route as well as a risk to those with certain allergies.
Best hygiene practice should continue to be observed in all pastoral contacts.

Advice from Public Health England

Public Health England recommends that you should take usual infection prevention precautions including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. If this is not possible, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.

Saint Mary's and Covid 19

Based on the latest advice:

  • During the peace we will no longer shake hands or touch.
  • The  Eucharistic practice of partly dipping the consecrated bread, or host, into the consecrated wine before consumption by the communicant will not be allowed.

Other information

Poster on how to correctly wash your hands here »

The truth about hand sanitisers here »

The latest advice from the Church of England »

Service Times

First Sunday in the Month:
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Sung Matins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Variations can be found in the Parish Magazine or the Calendar at the bottom of this page.

Useful links

Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:

  1. St Mary's Facebook page
  2. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  3. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  4. Prayer for today.
  5. The C of E youtube channel.
  6. Hearing You is a new phone help line launched by the Diocese of Chichester in partnership with Together in Sussex in response to the impact that Covid 19 has had on Just about the whole community. It aims to provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  7. COVID-19 advice from the Diocese of Chichester here.

Please note that St Mary's are not responsible for the contents of external links

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