The Bishops of England and Wales have suspended all public gatherings for worship until further notice.

All first Holy Communion and Confirmation groups are also deferred until further notice.

With churches closed, it won’t be possible to visit them. The celebration of Mass will continue, but without a congregation. We have a page of video of our Masses in church, and other locations will be streamed on Facebook. Do like our page and keep an eye out for updates. We’ll also publish homilies here. The Catholic Church is pressing for our churches to be opened for private prayer (1) (2) (3), and we await news of that and how public liturgies may resume.

We have a page entitled Liturgy in a Time of Crisis. Please make use of the resources available on that page. In the sidebar here, there are links to Offices from the Liturgy of the Hours through the day: perhaps you can call a friend who is self-isolating and say the service together. WhatsApp will allow calls between up to eight people, and many people are now used to getting together with Zoom. There are other apps too; and there’s always a simple phone call.

Pastoral visits are suspended, although in an emergency which requires the sacrament of anointing for the dying, a priest will be available. If you have a need for sacramental confession which cannot be satisfied by an Act of Perfect Contrition in the meantime, please make contact with a priest to work out together what’s possible.

It is imperative at this time to think of those most vulnerable and to have a eye for our neighbours.

The office phone and my mobile should be rung for those who need help and supplies. I am hoping that a few volunteers who are DBS checked will come forward and help in our endeavour. Those who wish to help but without DBS can still help with phone calls and dropping off gifted food parcels.

Above all, pray.

Fr Neil