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Sunday, 27 February 2022

"You may be wondering why we are still wearing face masks in church?

Wearing a face mask does not protect you from catching Covid 19, but lowers the risk of catching it. The government has decided to cut back on testing.  This does not mean that Covid 19 has gone away, we just won't know about it, especially if you have no symptoms, which in a vaccinated community is likely.  However wearing a face mask will help to stop you passing the virus to anoher person.

Mask wearing is an altruistic thing to do.

We are members of God's church.

It is the Christian thing to do."

Dr Hilary Platts 

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Below is a precis from a paper by the Centre for Disease Control, USA:


The use of cloth or paper face masks to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 is a controversial and highly politicised issue.

The American Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a paper that addressed the benefits of wearing a mask. The paper points out that SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, singing, talking, or breathing.

It says that Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets (“source control”), which is especially relevant for asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected wearers who feel well and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others, and who are estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions,” according to the brief. “Masks also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer (“filtration for personal protection”).”

Early evidence suggested that the primary benefit was in preventing transmission by the wearer. Now, research also has suggested a benefit for wearing a mask to keep from contracting the virus. “The community benefit of masking for SARS-CoV-2 control is due to the combination of these effects; individual prevention benefit increases with increasing numbers of people using masks consistently and correctly,” the CDC states.

The paper also discusses a range of methods by which cloth masks help protect wearers and others. It notes that multilayer cloth masks block release of exhaled respiratory particles into the environment, as well as the microorganisms those particles carry.

Cloth masks not only effectively block most large droplets (i.e., 20-30 microns and larger) but they can also block the exhalation of fine droplets and particles (also often referred to as aerosols) smaller than 10 microns, which increase in number with the volume of speech, and specific types of phonation. Multi-layer cloth masks can both block up to 50-70% of these fine droplets and particles and limit the forward spread of those that are not captured,” according to the report.

In fact, the CDC emphasizes that as much as 80% blockage has been achieved in human experiments that have measured blocking of all respiratory droplets with cloth masks; in some studies, the cloth masks recommended for the public have performed as well as surgical masks as barriers for source control.

The new research brief also explains how cloth-mask materials can reduce wearers’ exposure to infectious droplets through filtration, including filtration of fine droplets and particles less than 10 microns. Mask types have varied widely across studies, according to the CDC, which verifies that multiple layers of cloth with higher thread counts have demonstrated superior performance compared to single layers of cloth with lower thread counts, in some cases filtering nearly 50% of fine particles less than 1 micron.

It also describes how some materials, such as polypropylene, enhance filtering effectiveness by generating a triboelectric charge that enhances capture of charged particles and that others, such as silk, help repel moist droplets and reduce fabric wetting, which maintains breathability and comfort.

The brief lists information about a range of studies—including seven that confirmed the benefit of universal masking in community-level analyses—to bolster evidence of “real-world” effectiveness.

Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” the article concludes. “The prevention benefit of masking is derived from the combination of source control and personal protection for the mask wearer. The relationship between source control and personal protection is likely complementary and possibly synergistic, so that individual benefit increases with increasing community mask use.”

The CDC calls for further research to expand the evidence base for the protective effect of cloth masks and especially to pinpoint the combinations of materials that maximize both their blocking and filtering effectiveness, as well as fit, comfort, durability, and consumer appeal. It adds, “Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation.”

More information here »


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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