Fridays 12.00noon preceded by The Angelus/Regina Caeli
Confessions ~ Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ Sundays 10.50-11.15am
Returning to Mass at Pentecost
An invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales
This is the bread come down from heaven (John 6:58)
A beautiful hallmark of the Catholic faith is the profound desire to participate in the Holy Mass and share in the Eucharist. We do so with deep gratitude and joy. The Eucharist gives the Church her identity - “The Eucharist makes the Church, and the Church makes the Eucharist.” It enables us to worship Almighty God, to support each other on our journey of faith, and to be a visible sign of faith in the world. This hallmark is supported and strengthened by the precept that our fundamental Christian duty is to worship God by participating in the celebration of Mass. Attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is the greatest of all privileges, sometimes referred to as “the Sunday Obligation”.
Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, until the present time, we have shared with you our judgment that the situation of the last two years has meant that the Sunday Obligation has been impeded and has needed to be fulfilled in other ways. We thank God that this situation has now changed. The pressing challenges of the pandemic have lessened significantly. Most people have resumed the wide range of normal activities, no longer restricted by the previous Covid measures. We therefore believe that the reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation no longer apply.
We understand there will still be some members of our congregations who, for reasons of health, do not feel safe enough to return to Mass. It has always been the understanding of the Church that when the freedom of any Catholic to attend Mass in person is impeded for a serious reason, because of situations such as ill health, care for the sick or legitimate fear, this is not a breach of the Sunday Obligation.
Our Catholic people and parishes have benefitted during these difficult times from the online streaming of Mass and other services. “Virtual viewing” of Mass online does not fulfil the Sunday Obligation. It may, however, be a source of continual spiritual comfort to those who cannot attend Mass in person, for example those who are elderly and sick, for whom the obligation does not apply. In this context, we recognise gratefully the ministry of those who administer Holy Communion to the elderly, sick and housebound.
We are grateful to our clergy, religious and lay faithful who have served our parishes, schools and communities with dedication and distinction throughout this pandemic. Now we look forward with renewed faith and confidence. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Lord Jesus entrusted to us the precious gift of Himself. With humility, we glory in being a Eucharistic people for whom attendance at Mass is essential. Looking forward to the forthcoming feast of Pentecost, we now invite all Catholics who have not yet done so to return to attending Mass in person.
As the Church needs the witness of the presence of each person, so too each believer needs to journey in faith and worship with their fellow disciples. Nourished by our encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus, fed with His Word and His Body and Blood in Holy Communion, and supported by the presence of each other, we receive strength week by week, to serve the Lord and glorify Him with our lives.
Approved by the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference
Friday 6th May 2022
As from 28 January 2022 the following guidance to mitigate against covid virus transmission is offered by the Bishops of to the England and Wales in agreement with Public Health officials:
· Those attending an act of worship may continue to wear a face covering (both nose and mouth) whilst in the church building. There is a general encouragement to wear face coverings while singing.
· There is no need for formal social distancing in church buildings, although those present should be sensitive to the needs of others around them.
· Churches should continue to ensure there is good ventilation.
· It is still good practice to sanitise hands on entry and exit of churches.
· Usual forms of church cleaning are sufficient.
Although the legal requirements have changed, we ought to remember that COVID has no respect for the law. Therefore it would be very prudent to continue to wear face-masks in the church and we shall continue to sanitise hands on entry to the church.
Although social distancing is no longer required we ought to respect the needs of others, so, if you would prefer not to have someone sitting next to you, it is suggested that you sit on an end seat and place the notice PLEASE LEAVE THIS SEAT EMPTY on the chair next to you. These notices are available at the back of the church.
There will now be no need to give your name and telephone number to the stewards when you enter the church.
DONATIONS Although income has been very low during the pandemic, the parish still has to meet the same daily running expenses. Please ensure that your weekly contributions are maintained. Payments can be made to the parish account: HSBC, sort code 40-13-22, account number 61020625. If you can include a reference please include your name.
If you would like to set up a standing order, please see the Finance page.