My dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Trust you are all getting used to the practice of social distancing and staying safe during the current covid-19 pandemic.
As you may be aware, the Bishop recently announced that, with the change in direction from the New Zealand government with us moving into level 2, we are allowed to open church and celebrate mass.
This is great and welcoming news to us parishioners. However, with the opening of the church, we are also required to maintain and observe some strict rules and guidelines, in terms of social distancing and sanitizing of the church after every mass, plus ensuring that at any given point of time, there cannot be more then 100 parishioners in the church.
We currently are not geared up to manage this requirement nor have we had to time to think of what system/process we need to put in place to manage and govern this.
Therefore, keeping in line with the majority of parishes in West Auckland and the Diocese, we have decided not to open the church for mass at the present stage.
We do understand that many of you would be disappointed by this news, however we trust you will understand we are doing this to keep you safe.
We will however keep the church open from 7am to 6pm for quiet prayer, so parishioners can visit the church and pray in silence. Whilst inside church, please ensure that you follow the protocols of writing your name, address contact telephone for contact tracing in accordance with New Zealand Government requirements during this pandemic covid-19 by signing in and sanitize your hands by using hand sanitizers, provided at the entrance.
The parish Priest together with the parish council will work through the process of making the church ready for masses. Once we get further direction in terms of gatherings of increased number of people permitted attending at one time and also setting up volunteers to sanitise the church after each mass shall communicate further.
Till then please continue to remain patient and do what you are doing in terms of staying safe and visit the following websites to participate with online masses.
Thank you and God Bless you all
Fr. Sebastian Fernandes and Parish Council Holy Cross Parish Henderson