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The suspension of public worship in our Parish

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Against the backdrop of the current Public Health concerns connected with the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19, the Bishops Conference of England and Wales has instructed that all forms of public worship are to be suspended from Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.

What this means? The last forms of public worship in our Parish will be on Friday 20th March, namely 7am Mass and, in the evening, 7pm Stations of the Cross.

What this does NOT mean? Our church being closed. The church will remain open as normal through each day to provide a place of prayer and contemplation for Parishioners and the wider community. When visiting the church, all we ask is that you continue to adhere to the ongoing public health advice on washing hands and public distancing. In this way we can keep our church safe and open for all.

What about our obligation to attend Mass? An inherent element of our faith is the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation. In recognising the need to suspend public worship, the Bishops have stated that the obligation of the faithful in relation to attending Mass is removed for the duration of this unprecedented period of time. They stress that none of us should have the anxiety of not being able to attend Mass contrary to this, our normal obligation.

The practice of our faith continues: The Bishops encourage us to continue in our personal exercise of the Faith through ongoing private prayer and reflection as well as having a care for those around us and in our communities.

Our Priests will continue to celebrate Mass throughout the days ahead but this will be in a private environment without a congregation. Although as a Parish we will be unable to be physically present at Mass with our Priests, we are able to continue in ‘spiritual communion’ together through our own prayer and they with us through the celebration of the Mass.

You should continue to contact the Parish Office in relation to any Pastoral needs, as normal. Where there are any changes to Pastoral arrangements, our Priests will be able to discuss this with you.

Looking Forward: Please continue to use our Parish website as a source of Parish information. We are currently working on a selection of resources to make available via the website to guide you and provide ‘spiritual food’ through the period ahead, including how you might be able to livestream Mass.

The season of Lent continues. And as it does, we continue on our journey towards the celebration of Easter. That journey, this year, is one of a different sort. We pray that we all, as a Parish community, will travel that journey in ongoing good health and good heart albeit against the backdrop of current circumstances.