By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 14th May 2020
Church Infection Control Group starts work
Thursday 14 May 2020
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland Covid-19 Working Group, tasked with the creation of an Infection Control Protocol to govern the phased reopening of churches for public worship met for the first time yesterday (Wednesday 13 May). Chaired by Sir Harry Burns, Scotland’s former Chief Medical Officer and Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde, the group will focus on two parallel work streams: Infection Control and Liturgical Norms.
The drafting of infection control standards will be overseen by Sir Harry Burns and Professor Stephany Biello, Professor of Neuroscience and Biopsychology and Dean for Learning and Teaching in Science and Engineering at the University of Glasgow, who has joined the group.
The creation of new liturgical advice which will govern the celebration of Mass and other sacraments, will be led by Bishop Hugh Gilbert together with Canon Thomas Boyle, Canon Thomas Shields and Fr. Gerry MacGuiness.
Commenting on the meeting, Sir Harry said;
“I’m very pleased that the Working Group on Infection Control has started to work and delighted to welcome Professor Stephany Biello as a member. Her expertise will be invaluable to the group. We are keenly aware, that the goal of reopening churches will be reached only after careful planning and preparation, always taking account of best infection control practice and in step with Scottish Government guidance.”
“I extend my thanks to all those contributing to the work of the group and assure the Catholic community that Scotland’s bishops are determined to draw on best practice from around the world to allow our churches to be opened again in a phased and safe way.”
Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 07968 122291 email@example.com www.scmo.org
Note to Editors:
The full membership of the COVID-19 working group is shown below:
Sir Harry Bur...
By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 13th May 2020
Catholic Bishops announce new Covid-19 Working Group
Bishop speaks of “growth and hope after a time of despair”
Wednesday 13 May 2020
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland have announced the formation of a Covid-19 Working Group, which will begin examining how best to meet the long-term pastoral needs of the Catholic community during the pandemic.
A range of approaches, focusing on the liturgical, spiritual and welfare needs of the Catholic community during a time of long-term restrictions will be examined by a newly established Pastoral Ministry Working Group. This group will aim to ensure that the Church is prepared for the possibility of extended restrictions on the operation of parishes and dioceses by planning for forms of pastoral ministry which will be viable in the COVID-19 context.
The group will be chaired by Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles. Speaking about the initiative, Bishop McGee said;
“After our public Masses stopped and our Churches closed with almost no warning, the immediate response from our priests and parishioners across Scotland was both impressive and uplifting. With great ingenuity and creativity, online Masses and devotions were made available throughout the country every day. Through this and other action, many vulnerable and lonely people continue to be supported in safe ways.”
“While it will be wonderful when our parishes can reopen, we recognise that Parish life cannot quickly return to normal until a vaccine or a treatment is available. We do not expect this to happen until at least 2021. This means, that even when Churches reopen, parish activities will still be greatly restricted, our Pastoral Working Group hopes to identify and publicise advice or resources to help dioceses and parishes face fresh challenges in a safe manner.”
Bishop McGee added;
“Although not denying the difficulties which lie ahead, our Group had a very positive first meeting. Early figures indicate v...
By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 07th May 2020
Catholic Bishops announce new Covid-19 Working Group
Wednesday 5 May 2020
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland have announced the formation of a Covid-19 Working Group, which will begin work on the creation of an Infection Control Protocol to govern the phased reopening of churches for public worship at an early and safe opportunity, in accordance with legislation and the current Scottish Government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.
The precautions and requirements to allow Catholic churches to be used for public worship, will be studied carefully and proposed Infection Control Protocols presented to the Scottish Government.
The Working Group will be chaired by Sir Harry Burns, Scotland’s former Chief Medical Officer and Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde. Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland will also sit on the group. Speaking about the initiative, Bishop Gilbert said;
“Our lives remain greatly restricted by this crisis in a way that is painful and difficult for us as Christians. As bishops, we want to offer our thanks to our clergy, religious and laity for their patience and forbearance during these testing times.”
“Throughout these weeks of lockdown, there have been many signs of hope and faith and it is in the hope that we will recover, that we must plan for the future and find a safe pathway to the resumption of our sacramental life.”
“The bishops are keen to benefit from the advice of experts in medicine and public health and are very grateful to Sir Harry Burns for agreeing to chair our Working Group. In the interests of everyone’s safety we will proceed cautiously and carefully in step with public health guidance.”
Commenting on the group, Sir Harry said;
“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic requires innovative and informed thinking. I am glad that the Catholic Bishops are acting proactively to develop Infe...
By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 06th April 2020
6th April 2020 (Monday in Holy Week)
Scottish Church Leaders Forum on the Joint Statement by Leaders of Churches across Britain and IrelandOn behalf of the Churches in Scotland, we welcome the Statement by the Leaders of Churches from across the nations of Britain and Ireland.Within Scotland, as elsewhere, we are faced with a series of unprecedented challenges that are impacting upon every aspect of the fabric of our society.In the threat to life and livelihood being experienced by so many at this time, we are conscious of the need to remain open to the life of God and to the life of the world.In the course of this Holy Week, we know that we shall hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ The experience of being abandoned and forsaken is not absent from the life of God lived out in this world.Equally, we are conscious that our faith affirms that this experience does not mark the boundary of the love of God.As we journey through this week, through Good Friday and on to the day of Resurrection, we pray:Lord of Creation,Be with us on this journey towards the healing of your world and people.hold us when we feel alone,carry us when we lose our strengthand heal us when we are afraid.Let people of faith speak today with a voice of love,The love shown to us through the power of the Spiritand in the love and sacrifice of our Saviour Jesus Christ.Amen.Signed by:Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of ScotlandMost Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic ChurchMost Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal ChurchLt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation ArmyAdwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of ScotlandRev. Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of ScotlandRev. Mark Sl...