Step 4 of the Governments COVID plan was reached some time ago now, however, the general principles of continuing to create a safe environment in places of worship and their ancillary buildings remain in place. Indeed, the way forward must be a collective endeavour of all involved in the daily life of the Church. Recognition of the presence of the virus in the population means that certain preventative practices will still be required, and this is important to ensure that trustees are seen to be discharging their Health and Safety duties. The Health and Safety Executive have issued new guidance for employers and organisations, and this makes clear that a duty to keep premises safe continues beyond the removal of any COVID-19 legislation.
Government guidance has stated that changes moving forward would be on a risk-based approach for all organisations with the responsibility to ensure appropriate measures to safeguard public health sit with the management of the organisation. There remains a strong emphasis on common sense and risk-averse activities to continue to mitigate against the transmission of the virus which is still prevalent in society. All places of worship will have to consider the prevailing local conditions for the virus.
Standing Committee wishes to reassert that access to God’s grace through the sacraments is of paramount importance. However, this does not negate the fact that the sanctity of life is one of the primary beliefs of Christianity. Therefore, in line with the guidance above, we have decided that the time is right to relax some of our preventative measures. Therefore, we are increasing capacity in both our churches, whilst keeping other mitigation in place and this will be reviewed again at the beginning of October.
This means that attendance remains restricted due to some social distancing measures, hand sanitiser is to be used when entering buildings, temperatures will be taken, masks should be worn (unless exempt) and you are asked to book tickets ahead of coming to mass, these can be found here. If you would like to take advantage of socially distanced seating, please book a socially distanced seating ticket.
There are many devotions on this website for those who do not feel it is wise for them to travel to church, these can be found here.
Morning and Evening Prayer are streamed each day, and you can find the links for these here.
A VERY WARM WELCOME
to the Parishes of
St Mary the Virgin, Stanwell
and St Matthew, Ashford.
We stand within the Catholic tradition of the Church of England, seeking to respond faithfully to the Gospel message in our own age. We seek to be an inclusive and welcoming Christian community, imposing no conditions on those who come through our doors other than a willingness to be open to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.
We are under the episcopal care of Bishop Jonathan Baker SSC, Bishop of Fulham.
St Mary’s and St Matthew’s as part of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the body of Christ, seek to take seriously and act intentionally upon the mission Christ gave to that Church: