St John the Evangelist

Roman Catholic Church | Portobello, Edinburgh

Parish Priest: Fr Jock Dalrymple
Deacon: Revd Eddie White

Parish Administrator: Mr Enrico Fertini
A warm welcome awaits you at all of our services.

Important Notice: Our Response to COVID-19

OUR CHURCHES ARE NOW OPEN ...

…with Masses as ‘normal’ – i.e., Vigil Mass at St John’s at 6.30pm and Sunday morning Mass at 9.30pm at St John’s and 11.15am at St Mary Magdalene’s. We will continue to offer Mass in the Prayer Room at 11am on Sunday on YouTube and Facebook, though this will now be pre-recorded on Saturday.


To help us to manage the numbers, if you wish to come to one of the ‘live’ Saturday and Sunday Masses, please contact the parish house

by phone (0131 669 5618 – a special number) only on

Tuesday 10am to 1pm - Wednesday 10am to 1pm - Thursday 10am to 1pm or by email (stjohnsandstmarymagdalenes@gmail.com)

Due to the COVID regulations we have limited seatings available and therefore we advise early booking.

The Work Commenced Last Week on St John’s Church Tower

(18 June 2021)


Chris Vinestock, St John’s Fabric Co-ordinator, writes: ‘We are very pleased that repair works on St John’s Church Tower and the surrounding areas started last Monday, 14 June. The works will continue throughout the summer until mid-October. During this work, the church will be open for Mass and other Services as per normal. However, your patience will be greatly appreciated as at times there may be unavoidable noise – which is why while the scaffolding is being erected (a noisy business) Mass will normally be at St Mary Magdalene’s during the week.

Please note that the bells have been silenced for the duration of the work. Heartfelt thanks for your help and support during this necessary structural work – and please pray for the safety of all involved.’


AN INVITATION TO CONSIDER COMING BACK TO MASS IN CHURCH

(12 June 2021)


Fr Jock writes: ‘This week we return to ‘Ordinary Time’ in the Church’s Year: and perhaps it’s an opportunity to encourage those who haven’t been to Mass since lockdown began to consider coming back to one (or both!) of our churches. We’re aware COVID 19 is still active in Edinburgh and many people are understandably still a bit nervous. We certainly don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable, but we’re continuing to do our very best to keep everybody safe (through regular sanitising and social distancing etc).

However, if I’m honest, I’ll admit to a growing concern that without such encouragement and invitation, more than a few parishioners (and families) will end up drifting away from our community and the nourishment that keeps faith alive – and, I believe, if that were to happen, both we and they lose out…one of the real bonuses of being an active Catholic Christian is belonging to a warm and diverse community where we can support each other in the joys and sorrows of everyday life, and help one another in our rather secular world to continue to try to embrace and live the beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you’re thinking of coming back to Mass, please be assured the warmest of welcomes awaits you… Likewise if you want to have a chat about anything that might be worrying you or holding you back from doing so, please do make contact.


PS If you’re worried about joining us on a Sunday, do consider coming on a weekday when there are fewer people and there’s no need to book in advance).


PPS Do show this to anyone who might appreciate this….

St John’s Church Tower (4 June 2021)

Chris Vinestock, St John’s Fabric Co-ordinator, writes: ‘We are very pleased to announce that repair works on St John’s Church Tower and the surrounding areas will start on be Monday week, 14 June.

The works will continue throughout the summer until mid-October.

During this work, the church will be open for Mass and other Services as per normal. However, your patience will be greatly appreciated as at times there may be unavoidable noise.

Please note that the bells will be silenced for the duration of the work.

Heartful thanks for your help and support during this necessary structural work.’

OUR MONTHLY TOWER UPDATE (30 May 2021)

Gary Zoltie, Chair of St John’s Finance Council writes: "After 18 months of planning, work commences on the church building on Monday 7th of June.

Thank you very much for the continuing donations you have made for the Tower Fund, we have received a further £2,413 since last month, predominantly from the two fundraising events, the sponsorship of school dresses and the treasure hunt. A reminder that the total project cost is £352,000 and we have started with £202,000 in the bank so we have a target to raise of £150,000. In the first six months since we launched the project we have made a wonderful start as the fundraising efforts have raised around £6,000 and we have now received donations totalling £32,500.

Whilst we have secured a loan from the Archdiocese for the full £150,000, all funds raised will reduce the amount that we will need to borrow. We have applied for grants from both Historic Environment Scotland and The National Churches Trust but we still do not know yet whether these applications will be successful.

It is worth noting that the fundraising effort is being done to mitigate the large loan but the project will use up all of our existing funds and there is still a long list of other maintenance works required not only in the church building but also the hall and Parish house. It is therefore imperative that the fundraising is well supported, and your kind donations continue.

I can be contacted via the Parish House if you have any questions in relation to the project itself or how best to donate. This weekend brings news of our main initiative for the coming months – Tower Tumbola (see newsletter) and another second collection for the tower fund - you can still donate by placing cash in an envelope and dropping off at the Parish house or by bank transfer to

sort code 80-46-53

account number 10765768

account name St Johns Church

In both cases please mark as “Tower Fund”. Thank you"

CHANGES TO REGULATIONS FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP

(from 17 May 2021)


For the latest comprehensive guidance, please follow this link: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the safe use of places of worship - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

There are a number of changes affecting places of worship which are too many to record in one document and so the link above should be accessed for full information. The more significant points are listed below.


Capacity

• Children, regardless of their age, who need their own seat are to be counted towards the maximum capacity of the Church.

• The maximum capacity of the Church and any halls used to increase the numbers attending Mass should be posted on signage outside the buildings.

Test & Protect

• The Government is now describing the collection of contact information as voluntary for places of worship but is asking for co-operation in the practice to assist contact-tracing.

• The information collected should now be for each attendee, not just a lead contact.

Music

• Congregational singing and playing of wind instruments are still not permitted.

Other Uses

• Church Halls may now be used for a number of different activities. There is not one set of guidelines for the use of halls but the guidelines for each and every different activity must be followed.

• The general advice is that groups should continue to meet online where possible, but in limited circumstances, they can go ahead.

• Ensure you receive a comprehensive risk assessment from any group wanting to use the hall and ensure there is clarity about who is responsible for the cleaning after a group leaves the venue.

Hospitality

• This is now permitted within places of worship but with several restrictions and the hospitality sector guidelines must be followed: Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

• Places of worship are not eligible to reduce physical distancing to 1m.

• Capacity is restricted to 6 people from 3 households (from 17 May).

• Collection of contact details is mandatory.

• Only table service is permitted.

• Face coverings must be worn by all whilst entering, exiting or moving within the premises. They may be removed whilst seated and eating/drinking.

• Socialising between tables is not permitted.