Keeping in Touch 7th June 2020

Planning for the reopening of the Church

On Thursday 28th May, a committee met on behalf of the Archdiocese of Birmingham to start the planning for the re-opening of churches.  On Friday 29th papers were sent out to all parishes to help them with the preparation.

Churches will have to be cleaned after every time they are opened to the public.  This process will take six to ten hours of work! [Over 200 meters of benches and 400 square meters of flooring, not to mention doors, handles etc. etc.]

Every church is expected to put in place a system of stewarding so that all hygiene and safety regulations are fully complied with.  Ultimately, this is about being safe and been seen to be safe.

There is not a tradition of having Our Lady of the Wayside Church open for prayer during the day, therefore the decision has been taken to plan rather for the opening of church for mass, whenever this is allowed by the Government.

A planning group of Fr Gerardo, Deacon Sean and eight parishioners has been formed to help with the planning and preparation and will meet for the first time next week.

Many questions such as “How will Holy Communion is distributed, if at all?” or “Will there be singing?” have not yet been decided, either by the Bishop’s Conference or by the Goverment.  For the foreseeable future, going to mass and receiving the sacraments is going to be very different to what it has been up to now.  Nevertheless, despite these uncertainties, it is important to begin the process of planning and preparation.

Please keep the “Re-opening the Church Committee” in your prayers and I will up-date you when possible.

Our Lady of the Wayside School is reopening

From Monday 8th June the school is open for schooling groups –Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

Every Monday to Thursday from Monday 8th June until Thursday 16th July, there will be no vehicle movement on site for the following times, to allow for the drive to be used by pedestrians as part of the new one-way system that minimises any risk of infection by maintaining social distancing:

8.45 – 9.15 Morning drop-off

11.30 – 12.00 Morning pick-up

12.45 – 1.15 Afternoon drop-off

3.10 – 3.40 Afternoon pick-up

School is shut for schooling on Fridays in order to give the staff time to plan what is an effect a “bespoke curriculum”

Helping in the garden!

There was one response to the appeal for gardeners and Ann started last Thursday with a bit of weeding and the shaping of some unkempt bushes.  The presbytery garden is plenty big enough for social distancing so if you would like to join in, it would among other things save the parish money.  Just email the parish on

MARMALADE is back !

I have several boxes of marmalade, made in preparation for sale after Easter, and now that the lockdown is easing a little I feel able to offer it to those who are desperate for their morning fix!  Please ring me on 0121 744 5916 to arrange a time to collect a jar or 2 from my house.  Sorry, no home delivery.  Many thanks. Maggy

Blessed Charles de Foucauld is to be declared a saint.

Please click here for more information

A new service set up by the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC)

We wanted to let you know about a new service set up by the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) in response to the evident distress and suffering of many people as a result of the situation caused by COVID-19.

ACC’s COVID-19 Crisis Counselling Support Service is for anyone in the UK, whatever their faith, who has been bereaved during the time of the epidemic and anyone working within an NHS setting in a frontline role.

The service offers anyone who is eligible up-to ten sessions of counselling on a no-fee basis from a professionally trained counsellor.

All the volunteer counsellors belong to ACC or an equivalent professional body for example: BACP, UKCP and NCS.

Further information is available on the attached flyer and information sheet and by visiting ACC’s website

We also attach a PDF version of our Concertina Leaflet.  This gives not only an overview of ACC but how to find and arrange to see a counsellor.  We do have ‘hard’ copies of this leaflet which can be ordered at no cost via our website:  (these are at the bottom of the list of products on the webs page).