Parishioners will realise that the Cathedral has operated a greatly expanded schedule since June 2020, in order to facilitate the return to Mass of as many as possible and to follow public health guidelines. This is not sustainable in the long run. As Government imposed restrictions are lessened in accordance with public health advice over the coming weeks, the following will be the pathway followed by the Cathedral as we return to greater degrees of normality.
For the month of September, the current system will remain in place: seating assigned for Sunday Masses with every third pew available.
· Depending on the situation in the locality at that time, on the weekend of the 2nd/3rd October, we will move to 50% capacity, which will mean every second pew will be available. At that stage, we will no longer have assigned places for Sunday Mass and people can sit where they please.
· During the month of November, when the situation in October has been reviewed, it is hoped to return to our previous Mass schedule. This will be communicated in good time.
· For the month of September, we ask that no more than 10 guests attend a baptism. From 2nd/3rd October, there will be no restriction on guests. Individual baptism will continue for the time being. This will be reviewed in the New Year.
· Confessions will continue on the open sanctuary for now. This will be reviewed as the pandemic eases; we are anxious to return to the privacy of the confessionals!
Throughout the coming months, it is important that we all continue to behave with caution to prevent the vulnerable from contracting Covid-19. Those attending the Cathedral will be encouraged to continue the use of face masks after it becomes optional. Hopefully, the pandemic will continue to ease so that this becomes unnecessary.