From Saturday, 4th July, we are able to resume public Masses at Downside Abbey, but not in St Benedict’s or Holy Ghost church. We need to follow the guidelines from the Government and the Bishops’ Conference, so there will be some differences. For the moment we will have two public Masses each weekend. These will be on:

Saturday at 4:30 pm

Sunday at 11 am

Please park in St Benedict’s car park, and walk up Abbey Road if you are able. Since we will have to observe social distancing and ensure that people use the hand sanitizer, there will be stewards at the door to direct you to a seat. Family groups may sit together, but otherwise we will need to ensure that everyone sits at least 2m away from each other. We also need to keep a record of the contact details of everyone who attends each Mass, so you are asked to email Dom Leo to let him know which Mass you will attend if possible. 

There will be no singing, and the collection baskets will not be used at the Offertory. Instead, you are asked to place your offering in the baskets by the door. You can contact Dom Leo for details of how to contribute to the parish via standing order, and you can find out here how to assist the Abbey. As you know, the Abbey’s finances have also suffered in the last months and we still need to maintain the church, so your help would be gratefully received. 

At communion the stewards will direct you to the front, and you are asked to received on the hand, keeping your hands as flat as possible and held out at full stretch, in order to observe social distancing as far as is possible. We are very grateful to those parishioners who have volunteered to be stewards and to clean the church after each Mass. 

There remains no obligation to attend Mass on Sundays, and if you are feeling at all unwell or uncomfortable about returning to church, please stay at home. Similarly, if you wish to wear a face mask during Mass, then you should feel free to do so. The Monastery Mass remains closed to the public for the moment, but we will continue to upload the audio as usual. You can find this here. There will be no weekday Masses at the moment, but keep an eye on the website and social media to see when this changes. 

The Abbey Church will no longer be open for private prayer (from Saturday, 4 July), but St Benedict’s will be open as advertised. 

To read the parish newsletter, which gives more details, click here