LATEST UPDATE (26th June)
The Government announced this week that churches may re-open for worship. This is welcome news for those churches that are able to do so, but not all churches will be. At Our Lady Immaculate we have been able to follow all guidelines and protocols to enable the opening of the church for short individual visits and it is pleasing to see that a number of parishioners are availing themselves of this opportunity. However, we are not in a position at this time to resume the celebration of mass. This will, naturally be a disappointment to many but there are significant factors that make it impracticable. The safety of all is paramount and will dictate when, how and if we can move forward. In the meantime, please remember that the Sunday obligation is currently suspended.
This has not been an easy decision to come to but has received general support from those who have been consulted. As noted previously, the health and well-being of all must remain a priority and at Our Lady Immaculate we will continue to take a cautious approach.
Practical considerations arise from the physical nature of our building (only one entrance /exit), the internal layout (narrow side aisles) and logistical and administrative complications of limiting numbers to a maximum of 20. There is also a particular concern for the ‘senior’ nature of the majority of our congregation. Since the church has been open for individual prayer, the average age of those attending on any day has been seventy five. The church is an enclosed space, and gatherings inside are particularly susceptible to the transmission of the virus. The elderly are particularly at risk. When Germany eased its restrictions and allowed church services, one church opened and followed all protocols. Nonetheless, forty members of the congregation all contracted the virus following a service. It is reasonable to suppose that, like your parish priest, the majority of our congregation is cautious and perhaps somewhat uneasy about the speed and character of the release from the lock down. Despite what many seem to think, as witnessed by their behaviour, the virus has not gone away. We will watch what happens elsewhere and see how things progress before we revisit this decision.
In the meantime, we remain a community of faith and concern for each other. Many will wish to continue to use the opportunity of visiting other churches online for live-streamed masses and, of course, the church will continue to be open for short visits for individual prayer as follows:
Tuesday 10.30 – 11.30 a.m.
Wednesday 10.30 – 11.30 a.m.
Thursday 10.30 – 11.30 a.m.
Friday 10.30 – 11.30 a.m.
Sunday 9.30 – 11.30 a.m.
Please note: Access will be strictly limited to the Church only. There will be no access to the hall, the lift or to the toilets.
When making a visit:
Sanitise hands on entry.
The wearing of masks AT ALL TIMES is advised.
You may be marshalled, as necessary.
Sit or kneel only in places marked with a green tick
Two people of the same household may sit together.
There will be no votive candles. A representative candle will
be placed in front of the Sacred Heart and Lady statues.
Please do not talk in the church.
Please do not visit the church if you are unwell, have a temperature, are showing other coronavirus symptoms or have other vulnerable health concerns.
The simple ‘shrine’ also remains in the entrance lobby when the church is closed, visible through the glass doors. If you are passing the church do stop for a moment to say a prayer.
A ‘Thank you’ to those who are using the ‘Donate’ button on the website. The ‘Donate’ button has the facility of adding a reference and also the option to Gift Aid any donation. Any donation with no specific reference will be treated as ordinary offertory. The donate button can therefore be used for a mass intention (mark the reference ‘re: xxx but also email or phone the office to request an intention). The parish’s bank details are set out below for those who may wish to take out a standing order.
Account Name: PRCDTR Bournemouth Our Lady Immaculate
Sort Code: 30-93-04
Account Number: 00875075
The Parish Office will be physically closed but will remain operational.
Tel: 01202 760640
Fr Andrew may be contacted directly by email at:
We remember in our prayers all Health workers, those who have been directly affected, remembering especially those who have died.