Following the announcement from the Government yesterday evening (23 March), our Bishops have today updated their instruction regarding the access to Churches.
With immediate effect, all Churches are to be closed.
This will remain the position, initially, for a period of three weeks. When this situation changes, we will provide a further update.
Whilst the initial advice of our Bishops Conference was motivated by a desire to provide an opportunity for private prayer and refuge through our churches remaining open, clearly and in light both of the latest Government announcement and the ongoing public health concerns, this position can no longer be maintained. Keeping our churches open could act to undermine the wish of the Government for people to remain at home (to reduce the risk from and rate of progress of the COVID-19 virus).
In a message from our Cardinal, Vincent Nichols, to us all he offers the following reflection:
“As our churches have to remain closed, let’s open our hearts even wider. As the Psalms say, ‘Grow higher ancient doors and let the King of Glory enter’. These are the doors of our hearts. God knows well how to fill our lives. We must open our hearts in prayer and silent welcome.”
In our Parish, be reminded that our Priests will continue to say Mass privately, day by day. Our Parish intentions will be ongoing in their prayers. You are able to join them and our Parish at large in a ‘spiritual communion’ through prayer at this time. We would encourage you to make use of the resources posted earlier on our Parish website.