My Dear Brothers and Sisters of St George’s
Grace and Peace in Jesus Christ our Risen Lord!
Some two months ago, the public celebration of the mass was suspended, and our beautiful church was shut. Day by day, Sunday by Sunday, it tore at all of us, the faithful people of God, to be deprived of the presence of Our Lord in this way. We continued to celebrate Holy Mass in private, behind locked doors, certain in its need to bring the prayers of the world before the throne of heaven. We celebrated the Sacred Triduum of our Lord Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection without you in the pews. Day by day we gathered in the garden to pray the midday prayers in public as a witness and a sign of hope. We knew your faith was strong. We knew you believed with all your heart. These last two months have shown that love and faith. Thank you for bearing with us as we tried our best to nurture your faith with devotions and teachings.
This evening we have received good news: the Archbishop has permitted us to say mass in public again. As you know, over a week ago religious gatherings of up to ten were permitted, but the Archbishop wished to have further clarifications, hence the long delay. There are conditions: only ten people at each mass, the social distancing must be observed, people must sign an attendance book and communion is only to be with the consecrated bread. Furthermore, we are not allowed to offer refreshments, but, of course, we will have the hall open to allow people to use the facilities.
So, from this Sunday, there will be mass at 8, 9, 10 and 11 am. Each mass will be a short, said mass of only around 35 minutes. You need to book, as only ten people are permitted in the congregation, so please email to do so. I will retain, this week, the outside prayers at 12 noon for those who prefer the bracing open air. Masses will resume for the weekdays for Tuesday at 10 am and Thursday at noon. The rest of the masses, including the Friday mass, will be at 8 am.
I would like to remind everyone that if you are ill, do not come to Church. Any parishioners who are uncomfortable about attending mass need not. Please be aware of the risk to yourself and others should you choose to come to mass.
Be at peace. St. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your request known to God. Then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” St Theresa of Avila also wrote so beautifully,
Let nothing disturb you,
All things are passing;
God only is changeless.
Patience gains all things.
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.
God is in control and we are God’s children.
We continue our prayers for all those who are at risk, especially our friends and family overseas. May Our Lady protect them all.
May the Lord Jesus bless you and your loved ones and keep you all safe. With prayers for each of you, I am,
In the love of Our Lord,
Fr Scott Moncrieff
Your Parish Priest.