Covid-19 & Your Safe Visit

Visiting Buckfast Abbey

As we reopen our grounds, gardens and facilities to visitors we would like to draw your attention to the measures we have taken and those we would like you to take when you visit.
Our facilities and grounds are open from 10.30am-3.30pm Mon-Sat and 12-3.30pm on Sundays. Please note that outside of these times, our car park and grounds are not open to the public.

To help you feel safe we have: 
-    One way-systems where appropriate. Although our grounds are quite open, we have one way systems and queuing markers for our shop, restaurant (take away only), Abbey Church and at the main pedestrian entrance
-    Appropriate signage, informing and explaining key messages
-    Sanitising points as you enter and leave buildings
-    Enhanced cleaning of our public toilets, located in the car park and below the Grange Restaurant
-    Introduced additional outdoor seating. Our restaurant terrace seating is open but no seating in the restaurant itself
-    Set a maximum number of visitors we can welcome safely at one time at 100 across the site. We will be reviewing this number over the days and weeks ahead to reflect government guidance and to ensure we are all safe.
-    Met with our staff ahead of opening and updated them with any necessary guidance 

There are some facilities normally available to visitors which are currently closed…
Seating and toilets inside the Grange Restaurant
The Monastic Way Exhibition
The Book Shop and Monastic Produce Shop
The Medieval Guesthall
Monastery Guestquarters and Southgate Retreat Centre
St Cuthbert’s Conference Centre


Our Northgate House Hotel has now reopened. Please visit this page on our website for more detailed information should you wish to come and stay here.


Please do not visit if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, we reseve the  right to refuse entry to anyone we expect may have COVID-19

If you are visiting, we ask that you:
-    Try not to touch surfaces and use hand sanitisers provided
-    Where possible, to wipe down benches as you use them
-    Follow the guidance of stewards and other Abbey staff
-    Fill in the necessary information for ‘track & trace’ if you have booked to attend Holy Mass
-    Be patient, we are trying to do our best to give you an enjoyable and safe visit

Thank you in advance for your part in trying to keep us all safe



Holy Mass in Buckfast Abbey Parish

From Wednesday 8th  April, the following Masses will be celebrated with a congregation in the Buckfast Abbey Parish:


Day

Time

Place

Capacity

Monday – Friday

12.05 p.m.

Abbey Blessed Sacrament Chapel

24

Saturday

12.05 p.m.

5 p.m.

The Abbey Church

St. Benedict’s Buckfastleigh

30

12

Sunday

9 a.m.

St. Dunstan’s South Brent

Abbey Blessed Sacrament Chapel

12

24

 

10:30 a.m.

Our Lady of Lourdes & St. Petrock, Ashburton

& The Abbey Church

12

30


The seating capacity is limited by the necessity of maintaining social distancing.  Therefore it will be necessary to book your place at each Mass you wish to attend.
According to Church and Government regulations, if the maximum number of either households or people is reached, no-one else may be admitted to the church, so if you turn up without booking, you must be prepared to be disappointed.

Book Mass Seating

Things to bear in mind in deciding whether to attend Mass:
-People who feel unwell, especially those who have symptoms of COVID-19, must not attend church.
-Toilet facilities will not be available except at the time of the 12.05 p.m. Mass at the Abbey.
-Seating will be allocated by the stewards so that social distancing of 2 metres is maintained at all times.
-It is essential that you use the hand sanitiser which will be offered to you as you enter the church
-By order of the Bishop, Holy Communion must be received in the hand while standing.


Live streaming of Holy Mass and the Divine Office will continue as at present.




Visiting the Abbey Church

In these challenging times, as we reopen for daily Mass, private prayer and general visits we have worked very hard to help you feel as safe as possible.

To help you feel safe we have:
-    A one-way system, with signage and barriers
-    Sanitising points on entry and exit
-    A regular cleaning system for frequently touched surfaces. We will suspend entry to the Abbey Church for a period of 20 minutes each hour to do this
-    Moved and restricted some seating
-    Set a maximum number of visitors in the Church and at Mass
-    Marked a socially distanced queue outside
-    Additional church stewards are present to assist you, answer questions you may have and make you feel safe
-    Our toilets (around the grounds, not the church) are being cleaned more regularly
-    Removed the Holy Water*
-    Temporarily suspended the use of votive candles*
* We have not taken these steps lightly but the risk of spreading COVID-19 in these practises is just too great. Additionally, there is a fire risk from the use of alcoholic gel which we are particularly concerned about.
-    There are some areas, normally accessible to visitors which are currently closed…

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel (open for midday Mass only)

Part of the South aisle (adjoining the monastery)

The Holy Cross Chapel

If you are coming into the Abbey Church, we ask that you:
-    As with the whole site: do not enter if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
-    Try not to touch surfaces and use hand sanitisers provided
-    Follow the guidance of stewards
-    Maintain social distancing at all times

We understand that your visit may look and feel very different to what you are used to. These measures are in place to keep you, the monks and our staff safe. We hope to be able to ‘relax’ some of these measures in the future but at this time, these measures reflect our response to government guidance and that of the Catholic Church itself.
Thank you in advance for your part in trying to keep us all safe.


OPENING TIMES



Monday to Saturday:10:30 to 15:30
Sunday: 12.00 to 15:30

Gates will close at 15:30

Abbey Gift Shop and Grange Resturant

As we reopen our grounds, gardens and facilities to visitors we would like to draw your attention to the measures we have taken and those we would like you to take when you visit. Our facilities and grounds are open from 10.30am-3.30pm Mon-Sat and 12-3.30pm on Sundays. Please note that outside of these times, our car park and grounds are not open to the public.

The Grange Restaurant
We are excited to be reopening again with the same great service, we have just made a few changes to keep our customers and team safe:

Takeaway Only – We sadly have had to accept that we can’t reopen the restaurant fully yet but we will be operating a takeaway service. Offering sandwiches, Baguettes, salad pots, teas, coffee and sweet treats
Cashless Payment – We are only accepting Contactless and card payments at the moment.
Social Distancing Measures – social distancing measures still apply and we will ask our teams and customers to follow the latest guidance provided.
Outside Seating – we are pleased to offer some great areas to enjoy your takeaway coffee, where better to appreciate the views of the Abbey either from the cover of the terrace or from one of our many lawn areas. All we ask is that you respect the social distancing rules.
Cleaning – touchpoints are frequently cleaned and sanitised by the team, every 30 minutes.
Handwashing 
– our teams are washing their hands every 30 minutes
Perspex screens – have been installed on our counters to make sure our team and customers as safe as possible
Customer flow – we’ve taken some special steps to help maintain social distancing, we ask you kindly to follow the one-way system using the separate entry and exit to help with the customer flow.


The Abbey Exhibition Gift Shop 
We are delighted to be reopening our retail department with effect from 8th July.
The safety of our visitors and staff are of paramount importance to us so we have made many changes to ensure the shop is safe for all. These changes include the following:
For the time being we will only be reopening the Exhibition Gift Shop. If you require any items from our Bookshop or Monastic Shop which are not on display in our Gift shop, a designated member of staff will be happy to get it for you.
Our opening hours will be 10.30 - 3.30 Mondays to Saturdays and 12 noon to 3.30 on Sundays. We will not be accepting cash and we ask, where possible that you pay by Contactless.
A maximum of  four customers are to be in the shop at a time and we will be observing a social distance of 2 metres which we ask you to observe. We kindly ask that all shop customers sanitise their hands on entering and on leaving the shop. Disposable masks and gloves will be available if you would like to use them.
Please bring your own bags.
We will be cleaning shop baskets after use.



Pay with card.
We only accept card or contactless payments in the Gift shop and Restaurant to minimise touchpoints.
There are also protective screens in place at all desks to make sure all payments are made safely.


OPENING TIMES



Monday to Saturday:10:30 to 15:30
Sunday: 12.00 to 15:30

Gates will close at 15:30

Abbey Gardens

One way routes and safe distancing guidelines throughout of of our gardens


Toilets 
Enhanced cleaning of our public toilets, located in the car park and below the Grange Restaurant


Dogs 
Dogs are not permitted on site with the exception Guide Dogs




On Site First Aid

First aid cover is provided by Alliance Pioneer Group during opening hours. Visitors requiring first aid will be treated by personnel wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment: masks, gloves, apron etc. Family and other household members will not be able to accompany the first aider when treatment is taking place.