Guidance for Church Stewards

  • Please arrive 30 minutes before the mass is due to start.
  • On arrival:
    • Ensure tables at the entrance and exit, and the cupboard next to the candles, are laid out with hand sanitiser
    • Open all the doors and windows
    • Light one votive candle and place at least 5 unlit candles in holders
    • Check that all signs and tape are in good order and fix as necessary
    • Check you have the booking list for the mass (kept in the room off the altar)
    • Lead steward to assign roles (person on exit, person noting arrivals on booking list, guider for communion)
    • Clean your hands.  Put on gloves and a face mask
  • Visitors
    • At all times there should be one steward at the entrance and one at the exit
    • Greet any visitors and ensure they clean their hands with sanitiser
    • Tick the household off on the booking sheet. 
    • If a household has not booked in, they can enter only if there is space after all those booked in have arrived (as noted on the booking sheet). Make a note of their name and contact details on the booking sheet or ask them to sign in using the NHS App.
    • Direct the household to a free area, start at the front and work backwards, explain that they should leave by the side entrance.
    • If possible, guide people who are infirm to a centre aisle close to the front.
    • If the visitor wants to light a votive candle explain they can do so but that they should only touch their own candle and it should be lit from another candle
    • Ensure that visitors clean their hands when leaving the church.
  • At the end of the mass
    • Clean the church (wear PPE – gloves and aprons)
    • Use soap and water to wipe all surfaces where people have been, then wipe dry with disposable towels. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas
    • All disposable products, cleaning materials and PPE, should be double-bagged (use the pedal bin in the room off the altar) and left in the side room.
    • Close the doors and windows (take care in locking the front door – make sure both bolts are properly engaged.
    • Return the booking forms to the room off the altar
    • Sanitise your hands
    • Let Father David know you have finished and are leaving

Guidance for Communion (during Mass)

At some Masses communion will be distributed at the usual time rather than after the end of Mass. Father David will ask the congregation to stand if they wish to take communion. He will then walk to each household and distribute communion.

If a steward wishes to receive communion they should stand in a position obvious to Father David.

Guiding the congregation at the end of Mass

  • As Father starts to leave the altar at the end of Mass one steward should walk forward and and wait in the centre aisle in line with the first row of pews. Wait until Father has left the church.
  • Invite people from the right (facing the back of the church) and then the left pews to leave, then move back to the next row.
  • Aim to keep a steady flow but do watch out for any queuing of those leaving church. If necessary wait before inviting the next household down.
  • If there are three stewards on duty and the mass is quite busy then a steward at the back of the church can also invite people to leave through the front entrance, starting at the back pews and moving towards the front of the church

Guidance for Communion (after the end of Mass)

Steward guiding the congregation

  • As Father, or the Eucharistic minister, prepare to give communion walk forward and and wait in the centre aisle in line with the first row of pews. Wait until Father, or the Eucharistic minister, is ready to distribute communion.
  • Aim to keep a steady flow but do watch out for any queuing of those leaving church. If necessary wait before inviting the next household down.
  • Return to the centre aisle, invite people from the right (facing the back of the church) and then the left pews to go forward to communion, then move back to the next row.
  • People at the far end of the pews should walk along the pew to the centre aisle before walking down to communion.

Eucharistic Minister

  • Distribution of communion will take place after Father David has said the concluding rites.
  • Before going to the altar remove your gloves (put in the bin in the entrance lobby) and clean your hands
  • After the congregation has said ‘Thanks be to God’ walk up to the altar, drop your mask and take communion yourself from the ciborium
  • Replace your mask and clean your hands again with sanitiser
  • Take the ciborium and position yourself behind the wooden cupboard next to the votive candles
  • Distribute communion in silence
  • Communion MUST only be given to people on their hands
  • Avoid touching the communicant’s skin.  If you accidently do so then pause and invite the communicant to clean their hands with sanitiser, and do so yourself
  • After communion place any unused hosts in the chalice as normal
  • Take the ciborium into the side room off the altar and wash it in soap water.  Wash your own hands at the same time.  Return the ciborium to the altar.