So much has happened in so short a time.
Last week we initiated the start of our public health requirements. As you know, we stopped sharing the peace and the chalice was no longer offered.
Then on Friday we were informed that the churches were to cease to offer public services. We are also to have four metres space for each person – that means do not sit any closer than 1.5 metres from anyone else. If you can touch someone, you are too close.
This Sunday will be our last public mass.
As a church which believes that Our Lord is truly present in the sacraments and those same sacraments are a means of grace in our lives, this is a sad, sad day.
So treat this Sunday’s mass as something special, it may be the last for a while.
There will continue to be private masses said at St George’s – we will not abandon our role of intercession before the throne of God.
So let’s start by looking at what we can do.
The church will be open each morning from around 9 am till after noon, except Monday. This will allow a place for prayer at this difficult time. Please use the side door. At noon each day the angelus will be said at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, followed by our intercessions. On Friday the rosary will also be said. Please keep your distance.
If anyone wants to receive communion while at the church at any time, especially on a morning, I am always happy to make it available. Just ask me if you see me, or book me up.
Each week an extended pew sheet will be available. This will include the normal pew sheet, the sermon or some other material. This is designed to be emailed to those who can’t get to church and any other interested party. Please write your name down on the sheet at the back if you wish to receive this, or email me to let me know. I’m calling this the plague rag. Our Facebook page will also be a source of information.
Do look out for those who are isolated in their homes: if we can help by taking them shopping or in other ways let me know.
The Diocese also wants to let you know that St Peter’s Cathedral plans to post three services/conversations a week in the form of a short video clip taken in the Cathedral. These videos will include a bible reading, brief message and prayer, with a link to a YouTube clip of beautiful music selected by the Cathedral’s Director of Music, Ant Hunt. The videos will also be available via the Adelaide Anglicans and St Peter’s Cathedral Facebook pages.
Now the things that will change.
We are suspending our study group and other meetings until further notice. Parish Council will also cease to meet as a formal body. The church wardens and myself will continue our weekly meetings for governance issues. Members of Council are welcome to come to that meeting, it occurs on Wednesday morning at 8:30 am. The Gregorian Chant Group, will meet this Wednesday, but only for ten people. The Oblates’ mass on Saturday is cancelled.
The bread and wine will no longer be brought forward at the main mass on Sunday to avoid multiple handling.
The handling of money is a concern. Please do not take the money bag from the sidesperson, put your offertory directly into it. Those counting the money need to see me about new handling guidelines. Basically, you need to wash your hands before and after.
It is advised that you consider direct debit to the church: bank account details are “The Church of St George The Martyr” BSB 105033 Account No 151992640. Please try and continue to financially support our parish at this difficult time.
At the moment I still intend to take the sacrament to those who want it at home. Let me know. However, I need to wash my hands, on arrival and departure. But my presumption is that if you are self-isolating, I will not come unless asked. I see many people and I remain a risk of infection. We will remain in touch with this newsletter.
Finally, I’m putting a banner on the fence on Goodwood Road – it’s going to say, “Do not be Afraid.” That is what we are called to do. This will be our motto here in the time ahead. The Good Lord knows us and will give us courage.