During the latest press conference of 13th October , the Dutch Government asked to restrict group gatherings to 30 people (excluding staff). Strictly speaking, churches are exempt from this number, but the Dutch bishops asked us for solidarity with the rest of the country. All of us have to make big sacrifices to combat the virus. Smaller groups mean less travel and less risk.
For our parish, this means that our 2 Sunday masses can only admit 30 visitors at each mass, who need to be pre-registered. The Friday noon mass is open to 30 people without prior registration via the website, but there will be screening at the door.
As the weather gets colder, and the church doors need to be kept open for ventilation, it is pointless to turn on the heating under these circumstances. Hence the masses will be shorter, and parishioners are requested to dress warmly when they come to mass.
Funerals and the All Souls Mass on Monday November 2nd, can admit 100 pre -registered visitors.
These stricter Corona rules cause a lot of disappointment and require flexibility to comply with the Government restrictions. It can be tiring and frustrating for all of us, but we hope that these measures help to combat the virus and keep us all safe.
All this also has huge financial consequences for many people, including our parish. We are forced to seriously reduce costs and look for new income streams as collections at mass and rentals, and seasonal campaigns and donations have decreased. We therefore continue to appeal to your generosity to get us through this crisis.
For the next 4 weeks, groups of less than 30 people, can meet in the building, but with safe distance and always with masks. Hopefully, we can return to larger mass attendance, after Sunday, 15th November. For all of us, it is a demanding and exhausting time with little compensation.
Please count on my prayers and best wishes for you and your families. If it all gets too much and you need to talk to someone, please note that the parish office remains open for a cup of coffee if you need it.