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"When will we have Mass, Father?"

We are still working through the complex guidelines issued by the Diocese regarding the protocols necessary for putting on Mass. These are not Fr Bernard's rules but are Government-mandated guidelines. Not adhering to them can bring about the closure of our Churches and indeed even the Diocese if enough Churches are not compliant.


As an example of some of the guidelines, if we adhere to the 2 metre social distancing guidelines, we will only be able to have 15 individuals attend Mass at St Francis de Sales, and 19 individuals at St Mary Magdalene (this will be more if there are families). If we adhere to the 1 metre social distancing guidelines and fit more people into the Churches, this would require everyone to wear masks and in so doing, time will be of the essence. As you are aware, the longer you wear a mask, the more difficult and uncomfortable it is to breathe. For that reason, Mass would have to be shorter and Communion would have to be after Mass.

Some parishes have put on Masses on a ‘first come first served’ basis. However, this can be quite unjust to those who have come a long way, who are walking or using public transport and therefore cannot get there as quickly as those who may have their own transport. We are not prepared to do this, not only because it’s not just, but it may cause a disturbance outside the Church which is not appropriate and would affect the standing of this community in the eyes of other Churches, other institutions, and even the local council. These are just some of the issues that need to be tackled before we can have Mass.

Steps 1, 2 & 3

Again, to remind you, this is step 3, which is dependent upon us doing step 2 correctly and in a way that doesn’t fall foul of auditors that have been sent to Churches in the Diocese recently.

Private Prayer

In the meantime, we are open for Private Prayer. Details can be found here

In addition to this, Fr Richard and Fr Bernard will also expose The Blessed Sacrament on the Saturday and Sunday sessions. You are encouraged to attend and spend fifteen minutes before The Lord.

Further information and guidance for the celebration of Mass can be found here

Letter from the Metropolitan Archbishops