Fr Michael, a Mill Hill Missionary from Southern India, with 'Thank you' the community in Cameroon for helping to share the love and compassion of Jesus with the world missio.org.uk millhill missionaries.com
March 2020 Dear Friend, We all now realise that we are living in unprecedented times. Almost every hour we hear fresh and often worsening news about the Coronavirus and the impact it is having on all our lives. As never before, we are reminded of how closely we are all connected to, and dependant on, each other across God's world. No doubt this crisis will bring out the best and the worst in humanity. Our international Missio network, at one with the whole Church, will play its vital supporting role of care and prayer. The health and wellbeing of all Red Box volunteers (Local Secretaries, Promoters, Treasurers) and supporters is the priority for Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries. Please find on the reverse of this letter some advice about Red Box collections. As news and official guidelines change, we will try hard to keep you informed. We will continue to celebrate Mass in our chapel here at Eccleston Square, praying for you and your intentions, for those who are already suffering, for those who are grieving, for those who are anxious, and for those who are working tirelessly to care for the sick. If anyone you know would appreciate being held in prayer at Mass please email their name to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7821 9755. If you have any questions, you can contact us on this email or phone number. Updates We will continue to monitor the situation and update our guidelines appropriately. Please keep an eye on the Local Secretaries' Webpage at missio.org.uk/LS
Please feel free to share this letter with your fellow Red Box volunteers.
With deep gratitude for all that you are doing,
Fr Tony Chantry Missio National Director
COVID-19 INFORMATION, 18 March 2020 Red Box Collections
There is no immediate urgency for Red Boxes to be emptied and counted. If Red Boxes are scheduled to be emptied in the coming weeks, this can be postponed until the current threat of COVID-19 has ended. Please follow Government and Diocesan guidance on what to do at any time. Please do not place yourself in a vulnerable position, nor feel pressured to do anything which you do not want to do. Collections from homesIf there is an outbreak within a community, collections from houses in the parish should not take place. It is better to wait until the current threat of COVID-19 has passed. Red Box contents could be brought to church as part of the usual Mass schedule. Local Secretaries and Promoters may wish to put the latest copy of Mission Today through the letterbox of their Red Box holders, if possible. We know that many Red Box holders enjoy having their box emptied at home as they do not have many people who are able to visit them. Local Secretaries and Promoters may wish to occasionally ring their Red Box holders. They can assure them that they and their intentions continue to be prayed for every day by Fr Tony Chantry, Missio's National Director, who celebrates Mass in the chapel in the Missio office in London. Keeping collected money safeIf volunteers (including Promoters) have money in their homes which they cannot get to the Local Secretary/ Treasurer, or if in turn they cannot get it to the bank, it is appropriate for the volunteer to keep it in their home because of the extraordinary circumstances. The money should be kept as safe as possible, out of sight (including of visitors). If possible, please ask if it can be locked in the parish safe, clearly marked that it is Red Box money, until the time when it can be banked in the normal way. Counting moneyThere is currently no evidence that the virus can be easily transmitted via cash. However, as always, we encourage people to wash their hands after counting or sorting money. Mission Today: Impact Report,
The next edition of Mission Today will hopefully be delivered to Local Secretaries week beginning 11 May 2020. Hopefully, collections will be able to take place at this time.