You may have heard the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening, Monday 4th January 2021, during which Her Majesty’s Government has instructed us, once again, to ‘stay at home’ unless we have a reasonable excuse to leave our homes. However, it seems from information published on the Government’s website after the Ministerial Broadcast that places of worship can remain open for communal worship (see here).
Following a statement by our bishop which confirms this I hope the following is a balanced and acceptable decision:
Being not legally prohibited to do something does not mean we should do something. Everybody is urged to stay at home in the strongest terms and I do not want to abuse the freedom to worship in any way. However, the worse things get the more important access to the sacrament may become for people’s spiritual and mental wellbeing and I personally loathe the idea of locking people out of their church.
- the Mass will continue to be celebrated on Sunday 1030am and Wednesday 1245pm. These services will be live-streamed on Facebook here. Please be in touch about what we should be praying for and how you are doing during this challenging time.
- Unless you cannot bear staying at home and coming to Mass makes a significant difference to your spiritual and mental wellbeing, please do not come to church. The church will be open for Mass and for a time of prayer afterwards, but if you decide to come you must physically distance from anybody else and not socially interact with anybody.
To make these occasions as safe and short as possible, the following additional safety measures apply from today:
- Nobody outside a single household should enter the sanctuary.
- Concelebration and serving (apart from members of the celebrant’s household) are suspended for the time being.
- The doors will remain open during the services to maximise ventilation.
- Speaking/cantoring/reading roles will be restricted to members of a single household.
Fr Johannes, Tuesday 05/01/21