The Catholic Parish of Our Lady
and St John
Lee-on-the -Solent and Stubbington
Parish Priest: Father Francis Sasinowski (01329) 663 435
Friday 10 July 2020

Dear Parishioner

I am delighted to inform you that our Catholic churches in Stubbington and Lee are now open for Celebration of Mass and prayer throughout the week. Visitors of all faiths or none are welcome. See timetable below.

Welcome to church! I hope you have been keeping well during this pandemic, and that you will continue to stay well.

Weekday Morning Masses (0930hrs) There is daily weekday Mass at 0930hrs, alternating between Stubbington and Lee, with the church being open from 0900 to 1100hrs, as per the timetable below.
  • Monday: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Stubbington
  • Tuesday: St John’s, Lee
  • Wednesday: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Stubbington
  • Thursday: St John’s, Lee
  • Friday: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Stubbington
Individual Prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament  Our Lady’s will also open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for individual prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament (0900 – 1130hrs). St John’s is only open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings on weekdays (i.e. for 0930hrs Mass).

Both churches will be closed on Saturday mornings for the time being.

Confession Fr Francis will be available to hear Confession after daily Mass, until 1100hrs.

Weekday Evening Mass 
(Tuesday, 1900hrs) There is a weekly Tuesday evening Mass at Our Lady’s, Stubbington, as of 14 July, for the benefit of people who work during the day.

Weekend Masses (commencing Saturday 11 July) – There is a Saturday evening Vigil Mass at 1800hrs at Stubbington, 0800hrs Sunday Mass at Lee, and 1000hrs Sunday Mass at Stubbington.

No Sunday obligation Please note that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is no longer in force: it has been waived by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales for the duration of the pandemic, to lessen congestion and minimise risk of transmission of coronavirus. Parishioners are encouraged to spread their Mass attendance over the week; you are not obliged to attend Sunday Mass.

Volunteer Stewards and safety  Several safety measures are now in place for the duration of the pandemic, to minimise risk from coronavirus, following guidance by our Bishops. These measures are overseen by volunteer stewards, and I am very grateful to them for volunteering as otherwise we could not reopen for worship. We need more stewards for the rota and to extend opening hours for prayer in our churches, so if you are between 16 and 70 years of age, fit and well, and not caring for a vulnerable person, do please come forward to help as a volunteer. Volunteers should contact David Vassallo, volunteer co-ordinator, on or 01329 512726 / 07986788547.

Most importantly, these safety measures include:
  • physical distancing (we shall adhere to the gold standard of 2 metres wherever possible)
  • hand hygiene (a steward will sanitise your hands on entrance and exit from church, but please bring your own sanitiser as well for use on your pew; seating will also be cleaned with anti-viral spray by the stewards after prayer sessions or Masses)
  • face coverings/masks should be used during Mass (bring your own face coverings; these are obligatory for Mass, not for individual prayer sessions, though encouraged)
  • ventilation of the church (windows and doors will be kept open, so bring warm clothing)
  • register of attendance (a register of attendees and contact telephone numbers will be kept for your own safety, to aid in contact tracing should someone fall ill with COVID-19 having recently been in church at the same time as yourself)
  • one way system (please observe the queuing system; exit will be via the fire escape doors)
  • restricted seating and diminished overall capacity (a steward will usher you to your seat; each church has designated seating zones and a maximum seating capacity due to physical distancing: Our Lady’s has a maximum capacity of 60 people, and Lee’s maximum capacity is 25 people; there is no online booking so come early to ensure your place)
  • Receiving Communion (parishioners must remain seated until they are called forward by the steward, according to seating arrangements, to ensure physical distancing. Face coverings should only be removed when called forward, and replaced immediately after consuming the host. Communion will be of one kind only, received on the hand. Fr Francis will sanitise his hands and wear a face mask to distribute Communion, and distribution will be done silently. Anyone who is unable to receive Communion for any reason is welcome to come forward for a blessing (simply hold arms crossed on the chest to indicate this). Parishioners who prefer to receive Communion on the tongue are strongly encouraged to receive on the hand instead, to prevent potential transmission of illness to Fr Francis and endangering him and others. Any parishioner who nonetheless wishes to receive on the tongue should notify the steward, to be called forward after everyone else, and kneel to receive)
  • No singing at Mass, and no communal prayer books (Bring your own prayer books)
  • No physical contact at the sign of peace
  • Exiting church after Mass (parishioners should remain seated until called forward according to seating arrangements, leave through the fire exit, and have hands sanitised by a steward. There will be no communal gathering afterwards, the kitchen will be closed)
  • And if you feel you cannot remember all this, don’t worry, as a steward will brief the congregation about these measures immediately before each Mass.
Thank you for your forbearance and understanding. I look forward to seeing you at church.

Yours in peace

Fr Francis Sasinowski