By Gloria Benson, Holy Angels Community Projects Coordinator
Blessings to all readers as we slowly come out of the pandemic lockdown. Father Robin, Parish Priest for Holy Angels Catholic Church in Ash, spent the entire two lock downs live streaming Masses for his congregation on his own behind locked doors. He, along with our Deacon John Edwards, was more than pleased when we were allowed to open our doors for albeit, small numbers of attendees, while at the same time still live streaming for those Parishioners who were isolating or feeling vulnerable because of the high figures reported.
Holy Angels can currently accommodate up to about 70 people and in the coming weeks we are hoping to adjust the seating yet again to enable more Parishioners to attend the Masses as well as other sacraments like baptism, weddings and funerals. Our Youth and Confirmation Groups have, out of necessity, been conducted via Zoom and although it has served a purpose it really cannot replace our usual face to face meetings. The renewal of these meetings will be an absolute joy to the catechists leading these groups as well as getting all the social aspects of parish life to reawaken once again. Simple morning coffee will be a joyous occasion I am sure, and how amazing it will be to have music and singing again!
We must not under estimate the well-being effect of this pandemic on people reluctant to step out and back into our churches but we also must have complete and utter faith in the Holy Spirit knowing that if we ask he will act and walk beside us to gather in the lost and afraid. We are also very aware of local hardships with families and indeed if any Holy Angels Parishioners are experiencing acute hardship please do contact the parish office. Holy Angels is part of Churches Together in Ash, Ash Vale and Tongham and there are many outreach projects where we can point to help.
We will continue to adhere to strict Government guidelines of cleaning after services with church attendees sanitising their hands on the way in, wearing masks and signing in either on the track and trace barcode or physically filling in details. SO for those current Parishioners feeling a little nervous still you are INVITED to come and see and receive a warm hello and welcome and for those new to the Parish you are INVITED to come and see and again receive a warm hello and welcome.