Welcome to the website of St Michael’s Catholic Parish in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in the UK. My name is Fr Philip Shryane, I am the parish priest and I have been here since November 2017. You can read information on our website about our parish, I hope it helps you and that you will contact us if you wish or come to visit us if you are in Huntingdon.
St Michael’s Parish is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia, we are midway between Cambridge and Peterborough. We are a friendly parish with a mixture of different nationalities coming together at weekends to celebrate Mass and to pray together. On our website you can find Mass times, the weekly newsletter and read contributions from some of the communities who make up our parish. You can also find out how to access the Sacraments and what preparation is required by the Church for each Sacrament.
May God bless you and your family,
Sunday 23rd May
As regulations relax a little and move from being law to each one maintaining safe distance and personal safety we are permitted to reintroduce some of the usual parts of the Mass. From today the priest or minister can announce to you individually at Holy Communion “The Body of Christ”, please reply “Amen”; you may need to remind your children to make this response. We can also reintroduce Bidding Prayers and the Hail Mary. From next week we will reintroduce the Offertory Procession, but the collection will remain as the orange buckets at both doors for your offertory gift. We can also invite a small number of altar servers to take up their service again.
We are also permitted to increase our number of seats to 50% of the total capacity of the church, this means we can increase to 80 people at Mass, so there is more room and you are welcome to come to Mass. We have safety procedures in place, please book, see below, this enables us to track and trace, you must wear a mask in church, please sanitise our hands at the door. Our seating plan means that we sit one household per row, if that is only two people we may add single people to the row, but that still gives plenty of distance. The church is cleaned between Mass. Safety is our top priority, please feel able to return to Mass in a covid secure church.
The Confirmation Group in St Michael’s has been meeting since the beginning of January, we are 9 young people to be confirmed, and one other young person who has been confirmed but came to join our group. We had the first 8 meetings of our programme on zoom, so we did not get the chance to meet together, or even know what the others in the group looked like. It was great when we were able to meet face to face, with masks and social distancing, but in person. We were also able to welcome two members of the Ignite Team, the Diocesan Youth ministry team, great to have their input to one of our sessions. Please pray for us, we will be confirmed on Monday 28th June at 6.00 pm, we are looking forward to welcoming Bishop Alan to our parish.
Confirmation Group 2021
Sunday 9th May
Emergency appeal: we have an emergency appeal in our parish this weekend for the people of India suffering very badly from the corona virus. You can donate via this website https://www.stmichaelrc.org/support-our-church/ via a bank transfer, please give the reference “India”, or by card through the Dona link, please select Cafod to make your donation. I will send the money on Thursday 13th May, so please donate in the next day or two. Thank you.
There are a few changes from the Government. Please be guided accordingly via this link: Guidelines for the safe use of places of Worship
Attending Mass at this time
The Church is open for Mass: the current restrictions, 5th January state:
You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.
Please check the Government website for all restrictions and guidance. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
As lockdown begins to ease and people begin to feel a little more confident about attending Mass, booking becomes more important because we still only have 60 seats in the church to abide by social distancing: please be sure to book for Sunday morning Masses, see below. At the moment there is plenty of room on Saturday evening at 7.00 pm Mass, so there is no need to book for that Mass.
For Live streaming of Mass click here
Booking to attend Mass: Please book in advance to attend Sunday Mass, use this email address firstname.lastname@example.org giving your name, which Mass you wish to attend and the number of seats you wish to book. For Sundays, please book before 6.00 pm on Saturday evening.
If you are joining Mass via live stream you may wish to use these two prayers, the first at the time of Holy Communion, to make a spiritual communion and the second at the end of Mass.
AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot, at this moment, receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
The second prayer we say together at the end of Mass, asking God’s help in this whole pandemic situation.
A PRAYER TO BE SAID AT THE END OF EACH MASS AND TO BE GIVEN TO ALL WHO ARE SELF ISOLATING
God our Father, Creator of the world, almighty and merciful,
out of love for us You sent your Son into the world as the doctor of our souls and our bodies.
Look upon your children who, in this difficult time of confusion and dismay in many regions of the world,
turn to you seeking strength, salvation and relief.
Deliver us from illness and fear, heal our sick, comfort their families, give wisdom to our rulers,
energy and reward to our doctors, nurses and volunteers, eternal life to the dead.
Do not abandon us in the moment of trial but deliver us from all evil.
We ask this of You, who with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
Mary, mother of health and hope, pray for us!
St Michael, pray for us
Sacraments and other services
Confession can still be offered on request as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements can be observed. Simply ring or email Fr Philip to make a request and book a time.
First Confession and First Holy Communion
These celebrations will be postponed until such time allows for family and friends to gather safely in our Churches; our programme sessions will also be cancelled at this time. It would be very good for parents and children to continue to use the I Belong book during this time and work through it together; this will help the children to be ready to share the sacraments when it is possible to do so.
Anointing and Holy Communion for the Sick
Pastoral visits to the sick and housebound will continue as they wish and as long as they are not self-isolating. This also depends on Fr Philip staying free of the virus. We can also do much on the phone, supporting each other and asking for help if necessary. If you need visits during this time of separation and isolation, please phone to ask.
We are now allowed to have Funerals in the Church again, both a Funeral Mass and a Funeral Service. There are Government limits on the numbers attending, at present the limit is 60 people; this applies to the Church and also to any refreshments you might wish to have after the Funeral.
For now, these are the main items for our parish, I am sure there will be more changes as the days go by. Please remember to keep your times of prayer, feel free to come to the church at weekends or ring if you wish to come in during a weekday, I am more likely to be at home during this time. Although we cannot gather at the Church, the Lord will not abandon us He will be present in the Blessed Sacrament for you This is a time when we need to turn to the Lord asking his help and guidance, praying for his protection for ourselves and our loved ones. Remember in your prayers those who are sick and their families; pray also for those who work in the NHS and all caring for others; pray for yourselves and your own family. Keep safe and well, be sensible about what you can do; if you are vulnerable take care and accept the limitations; if you are not in the vulnerable group, please pray for those who are and help them if you can. Please keep an eye on our parish website for the newsletter each Sunday morning.
May the Lord bless us all during this time,