Dear Sisters and Brothers
A few weeks ago, all parish priests in Scotland were informed, by the Covid-19 Working Group of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, of the Group’s initial recommendations for resuming the celebration of parish Mass with the people actually present. Alleluia!
In sending out these initial recommendations, which are quite involved and which will involve a lot of planning and preparatory work, the Working Group informed us that they would then be providing subsequent updates with ever more detailed information.
In the meantime, I have asked a few parishioners in both parishes to establish committees to study the recommendations and to begin taking the practical planning measures required to ensure that we comply with the instructions of both the Scottish Government and the Bishops’ Conference.
I will soon be in a position to announce the membership of the committees in both parishes.
I must emphasise that we are, as of today, in the early stages of the work entailed. It must, of course, be carefully and thoroughly undertaken in order to ensure the protection of the health and safety of those who are able and who wish to attend Mass.
While I know that you are eager in principle to return to Mass as soon as possible, it is imperative that we carry out this process with sure and certain steps. This means that we must not rush or cut corners. It will mean for some that they are not yet able to come to Mass, be it due to health conditions or to an understandable reluctance to be part of a larger group in an enclosed space.
You will have seen that today (cf. our Home Page) the Bishops have announced that within a short timescale more detailed requirements will be furnished to us by the Covid Working Group. When these arrive, they will be transmitted immediately to our parish committees. We must then abide patiently the outcome of their planning and the instructions they will give us on how to proceed.
I would wish to emphasise what the Bishops say about the Sunday obligation being suspended until the situation improves nationally and internationally. Please do not therefore consider it sinful if, during this uncertain period for everyone, you do not wish to come physically to the church. I will continue the live-streaming of Masses as I have been doing up to this point.
For the rest, I will do my very best to keep you informed through this website of the “bigger picture”, while leaving the details to the brave and generous parishioners who have agreed to be on the committees.
Once again, I ask your patience and, when the physical return to church is actually underway, I also ask your readiness and willingness to heed the various instructions that will be given when you approach the church building.
While we might all look like Wild West cowboys with our masks on when we get here, I very much look forward to seeing as many of you as are able and willing to return to Mass in our two parish churches. I have missed you greatly and will welcome you with great joy!
3rd June 2020