The Diocesan online booking system – information for parishes

The online booking system will list all Churches open for Mass as we emerge from the COVID-19 restrictions, and will offer online booking and a central phone booking option for people wanting to attend Mass. It will gather contact details for anyone booking, ensuring that we can implement the ‘track and trace’ system should it become necessary.

Parishes may prefer to set up their own systems, but this system offers a simple way of implementing booking, and will save you dozens of emails and phone calls.

You can, of course, also offer local arrangements alongside the central system, but if you do you should ensure that bookings are recorded in the system, both to make sure places are not overbooked and to keep track and trace records in one consistent location.

The system is set up to allow anyone to book for someone else, as long as they provide contact details.  This feature means that if any bookings are taken manually, they can be added easily by parish volunteers or staff.  

How do we re-open our Church for public worship?

Information has been sent from the Diocese to all Parish Priests.  You will need to follow the process described there to get permission to re-open.

When do our Masses appear on this site?

As part of the Diocesan process, you will receive permission to open, and the Diocese will have a list of Mass times for your Church.

The Mass times will be entered into the system for you, and will then appear on the site.  The list of Masses is updated overnight.  If you have permission to open by noon on one day, and the list of Masses has been provided, they should appear on the site the next day.   Entering them is a manual process, though, and it’s possible that a backlog may arise.

How do we use online booking?

You will need to send in some additional details – an online form will be provided to the Parish Priest. 

On the form you will be asked to say:

Once you are set up, people can book online for Mass, and your steward(s) will be able to view and print booking lists for your parishes.

If ‘track and trace’ information is needed, you will need to contact the Diocese.  We can then produce lists of people attending any Mass (within the last 21 days, with contact information for each.  

We don’t want to use online booking

That’s OK - it’s not compulsory. You need to have an alternative in place which allows you to comply with all the rules.

If you’re not using the system, the website will still list your Masses, so advise the Diocese if you make changes.

You may well also want to add a comment to the website to tell people how to book.   This can be done using the same form that you would use if using online booking.

We don't need people to book for some of our Masses

We can mark any of your Masses as 'non-bookable'.  Such Masses will be listed on the webite, but with a message saying booking is not needed.

If you make any of your Masses non-bookable, you will of course have to collect names and contact details as people turn up, in order to comply with test and trace requirements.

Email us to ask for this change, specifying exactly which Masses are not to be bookable.  Note that Masses already shown in the booking list will not be affected - effectviely this means you are giving seven days notice of the change.  

How do we get our booking lists?

Church Stewards have a 'Steward's Page' button on their 'My Details' page.  This will take them to a page from which they can view and print lists of booking for Mass.

We need more information from people booking for Mass

You can ask for extra information as people book.   For example, some Churches with very long pews can fit two families on a pew, as long as they know numbers in order to plan who goes where.  They can ask for the number of people involved in a Family Pew booking, so that they can plan before people arrive.

Note that, because all sorts of things might be asked, we cannot force people to answer the question, or ensure that their answers make sense, but most people are likely to answer!

You must not ask for any additional personal information (such as extra contact details, names of children, or addresses) as this would be outside the terms and conditions of the site for users, and might breach data protection laws or safeguarding requirements.

If you want to ask for extra information, please email us specifying the question you want to ask (remember to specify which Church you want to change).   Keep the question short and simple!   Answers to your question will appear on your booking lists.

Our Mass times are changing

Please inform the Diocese of the changes.

If you are using the online system, you need to give at least eight days notice of changes.  This is because people may already have booked for Masses up to a week ahead.  (An additional Mass can be added at any time).

We won't be having our usual Mass next week

Church Admins can deal with this.   On the Stewards Page, Admins will have a 'Church Admin' button which lets them mark Masses as available or unavailable.  If the Mass has already been opened for booking, you will need to contact us for help. 

We have a special Mass next week

Church Admins can deal with this.   On the Stewards Page, Admins will have a 'Church Admin' button which lets them add an additional Mass.   Once the Mass has been added, it will be listed on that same page (among those which can be marked as unavailable - assuming it is within 28 days!).   If the new Mass is within 7 days, it will become available for booking overnight.

Our special Mass needs different numbers of seats and pews available

Church admins can amend the capacities for special Masses, within limits.   Reducing the number of pews by 1 will allow you to increase the seats by 2, and vice versa.  It remains your responbsibility to ensure tyou remain within the safe capacity for the Church.  

We need to change the time of a Mass just for next week

This can be managed by a combination of adding a one-off Mass for the new time, and marking the usual Mass as unavailable, as indicated in the two points above.  

Our Church comments need updating

Church Admins can deal with this.   On the Stewards Page, Admins will have a 'Church Admin' button which lets them edit Church comments

We need to change our Stewards and/or Admins

Contact us with details of the changes you need making (remember to specify which Church you want to change).  Please note that new Stewards and Admins must be signed up to the system before we can help.