[Saint Laurence]

St. Laurence’s Roman Catholic Church

Diocese of East Anglia

Parish Priest:
Fr. Simon Blakesley

Assistant Priest:
Fr. Bob Eccles OP

91 Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 1XB
Tel/Fax: 01223 704640
Email: office@saintlaurence.org.uk
Office opening times: 10am−1.30pm Monday to Friday

Rev. Geoffrey Cook
(Tel: 01223 351650)

Arrangements for reopening the church

As England emerges from lockdowns, the church is carefully reopening. At all Masses, we continue to ask parishioners to wear face coverings out of courtesy for other parishioners. At our 11am Sunday Mass, we are resuming use of all benches, although we ask people to leave space between themselves and other groups. To facilitate this, we will not kneel during Mass. At all other Masses, we continue to use alternate benches, ensuring social distancing.

With these measures in place, there should be enough space at all Masses for anyone wishing to attend, while also providing the option for socially distanced Masses for those who prefer this. We will also resume communal singing.

Please check the weekly newsletter for the latest information.

Please do not come to church if you have any Covid symptoms. All Masses continue to be available through Live Streaming.

Stewards will be present at some, but not all Masses. Anyone attending should take care to clean the area where they have been seated before they leave. Cleaning materials will be available.

The church is open as normal for individual prayer.

Please check our main Mass/Services page for details of times. This page details the safety restrictions which apply to everybody who comes to church.

Arrangements for physical attendance at Mass

Please note that this section describes the arrangements during periods of lighter restrictions. During periods of stricter lockdown imposed by government, further measures may be imposed, potentially at short notice, some or all Masses may become live-streamed-only, and we may need to cancel Masses altogether. Please see the weekly Newsletter and the Mass/Services page for more up-to-date details.

Continued attendance at live streamed Mass is particularly encouraged for anyone with underlying health conditions or in other more vulnerable categories. Anyone with possible Covid-19 symptoms must not come to church.

Please see our main Mass and other Services page for details of when Mass will be celebrated.

Coffee after 11am Mass has now resumed, making use of the garden.

We also have a ‘virtual’ coffee and chat each Sunday after 11am Mass using Zoom, which you can join by clicking HERE or by entering the following details into the Zoom app:
Meeting ID:937 4813 6619
These details may change from time to time: to ensure you have the latest information, please subscribe to our email news list or check the current newsletter.

It is possible that some people attending busier Masses may find that the church is full and they cannot come in. Should this happen, your patience and support is appreciated. We will aim to record contact details for anyone not able to enter, so that we can try to ensure you have priority access at Mass for the following weekend.

Below are the current arrangements for Mass. If there are any changes, we will share them here.

  • To support the NHS Test and Trace scheme, we are collecting contact details for Mass attendees. Participation is no longer compulsory, but strongly recommended. If you have a smartphone or tablet, please follow the instructions on posters around the church to register online, either using the official “NHS Covid-19” app, or on our own tracking page.
    You can find out more about the NHS Test and Trace scheme and how it applies to the church here.
  • At 11am Sunday Mass, all benches will be in use, but please do not sit immediately beside other groups. Laminated cards will be provided in each bench for people wishing to reserve a free space beside them. Please do not kneel at any time, in order to maintain a reasonable distance from the people in front of you.
  • At all other Masses, we continue to use alternate benches only.
  • Face coverings should continue to be worn (unless medically exempt) at all times except when receiving communion, as a courtesy to other parishioners, particularly those who are medically vulnerable. Disposable masks will be available to people who may have forgotten to bring one.
  • Mass books are not currently being used. Single use sheets (eg. newsletters and hymn sheets) will be available, but stewards will not be handing them out: please take one copy from the pile in the porch. Anything you use must be taken away with you afterwards: do not leave it anywhere in the church.
  • Collective singing is now allowed, but please be mindful of those around you and do not sing without a face covering.
  • For Holy Communion, please approach one bench at a time, starting from the front of the church, taking care to maintain spacing from other groups. Please remain in single file, even when there is more than one Eucharistic Minister. Remove your face covering before you reach the minister. Please return to your seat via the side aisles. Communion will continue to be taken out to the narthex and Parish room, if necessary.
    As a reminder of the Canon Law regarding communion: you must always consume the host immediately, before moving away from the minister. It is not permitted to carry the host back to your seat, or keep it to consume later.
  • There will be no children’s liturgies at this time. Resources for children are available from CAFOD.
  • The toilets will be open, but we ask everyone to reduce risk of virus transmission by keeping use of these facilities to a minimum, wiping down all surfaces touched using the cleaning materials provided, and washing hands well. Young children must be accompanied. Please ensure that any queuing respects reasonable social distancing.

Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated at this time, as we work together to improve this experience over the coming weeks.

An opportunity to contribute to the discussion on how to improve these arrangements will be provided at each online Parish Open Meeting, which all are welcome to join. Follow the Open Meetings link on the left for more details.

Individual Prayer

Additionally, it continues to be possible to open the church for individual prayer. Please see the main Mass/Services page for details of when the church is open.

The following rules should be followed when coming to church for individual prayer:

  • Do not enter the church premises at all if you are unwell, particularly if you are experiencing a high temperature, a new continuous cough, sneezing, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste, or if you have been in contact with anyone with these symptoms in the last two weeks.
  • Enter and exit only via the porch.
  • Clean your hands with the supplied sanitiser on entering and leaving the church.
  • Maintain a reasonable distance from other people (apart from members of your own household) at all times. This is best done by sitting near the middle of a bench, and keeping one empty bench between you and the next person.
  • Respect the advice of the stewards regarding where to sit. Please do not use the balcony.
  • Please observe a respectful silence in the church at all times. If you wish to speak to a fellow parishioner, please wait till you have left the building.
  • Try to avoid touching anything in the church unless you need to, including the pew in front of you. If you inadvertently do touch something, please wipe it down using the cleaning materials provided.
  • You may bring your own prayerbooks or devotional material, as there will be no books or printed material available in the church.
  • Access is not permitted to any part of the premises apart from the main church. In particular there will be no access to the toilets, kitchen, parish rooms or garden.
  • As always you will need to ensure your car registration has been entered on the keypad if you are staying for more than 30 minutes.

These measures are necessary in order to minimise risk of spreading the virus, particularly to more vulnerable people, and because if any churches are seen to be operating in a way that may increase the spread of the virus, there is a risk that stricter measures such as prohibition or enforced closure notices could be reimposed. We hope that by working effectively together, we will be able to keep the church open safely for private prayer and Mass.

Please check our main Mass/Services page and the weekly newsletter for details of times when the church will be open, as these may vary.

If you can help with stewarding and are not in a vulnerable group, please contact Fr Simon by email (simon.blakesley@rcdea.org.uk).

Information for Stewards and Welcomers

Thank you to all who have helped with stewarding over the past year. We have now updated our guidance:

Return to main Covid-19 page