It was wonderful to see so many of our parishioners last Sunday in Reading, Chesham Bois and Bedford and we are pleased that the new, hopefully temporary, arrangements for our Masses all went smoothly. Our sincere thanks to those who are involved in our booking procedures and stewarding. Our arrangements are liable to be tweaked, due to a steady stream of updated guidelines from both civil and ecclesiastical authorities and in order to enable things to work more efficiently. The first tweak we are making regards our booking system for Sunday Masses.
The booking system was established because, due to social distancing limitations, we have a lot less seats for Mass-goers, the need to accommodate different households within these limited capacities, while many people travel long distances to our Masses. While it is unnecessary for our weekday Masses, we are concerned that without it, Mass-goers could have long wasted journeys due to the higher numbers at Sunday Masses. The only personal information gathered in the booking system are the name of the lead family member making the booking, numbers of adults and children who will be attending Mass and a means of contact (i.e. email address or telephone number). To be clear, the booking system is the preferred option, although it is not an absolute requirement to book seats in order to come to Mass. However, those who do not book stand the very real risk of disappointment if the church building has reached its capacity, especially as priority should be given to those who have booked.
Test and Trace
Following government guidelines, both the Dioceses of Portsmouth and Northampton request that we keep our Mass booking data for the specified 21 day period, for the purposes of facilitating NHS Test and Trace. Please note that the NHS will only contact us if it is found that a member of the congregation has tested positive for COVID-19. Upon further review, we have now modified our approach to ‘NHS Test and Trace’ reporting for the Sunday Mass booking system. The government’s webpage regarding the maintaining of records for the NHS Test and Trace service, for settings including places of worship, makes it is clear that the sharing of these details is “voluntary” and that “If a […] visitor informs you that they do not want their details shared for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace, they can choose to opt out, and if they do so you should not share their information used for booking purposes with NHS Test and Trace.” It also recommends “… that consent is sought in sensitive settings such as places of worship.” In light of this, if you choose to use our bookings system for Sunday Masses then please note:
If you are happy for us to share your booking information with the NHS Test and Trace service in the event that the service requests it should a case of COVID-19 be confirmed, then please state clearly in your bookings email or voice message “I consent to my name and contact information being shared with the NHS Test and Trace service.” Your name and contact information will then be held for a period of 21 days before being permanently erased.
If you do not want us to share your booking information with NHS Test and Trace in the event that the service requests it should a case of COVID-19 be confirmed, then please state clearly in your bookings email or voice message: “I opt out of having my name and contact information being shared with the NHS Test and Trace service.” Your record of attendance will then be permanently erased after the Mass that you attend.
If you made a booking for last Sunday and want us to withhold your name and contact details in the event that they are requested by NHS Test and Trace, then please let us know in your next bookings email/ voice message or by emailing/ calling that same email address/ telephone number separately.
If you wish to share your details for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace at Reading’s weekday Masses, then a box is available for this purpose at the entrance porch of St William of York Church. You should include your name, a contact telephone number and the day you visited the church. Your information will be held confidentially, will not be further processed and will be destroyed after 21 days. However, within the 21 day time-frame, it could be handed over to the NHS Test and Trace service at their request, in the event that a case of COVID-19 is confirmed.
A reminder of the times of Sunday Masses (which are all Low Masses)
Reading: 11am and 6pm [N.B. Regarding the 11am Mass, please can we ask those who live locally to give priority to our families with young children and those who have to travel a distance].
Chesham Bois: 8.00am and 4.30pm.
Bedford: 8.30am and 1pm.
Information required for making a booking for seats at Mass
To book your place, you must email one of the addresses below with the following information:
(1) your name
(2) the number of adults and children from your household attending
(3) which Sunday Mass you wish to attend. If you don’t have a preference, then please state that.
(4) whether or not you consent to your information being forwarded to the NHS Test and Trace service in the event that a member of the congregation is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.
Email contact details to make bookings
For Reading: SouthMasses@fssp.org
For Chesham Bois: AgoDiFalco@gmail.com
For Bedford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, for any of the 3 locations leave a voicemail at 07737 556858