Wednesday 25 March, on the Feast of the Annunciation, at 11am UK time, Pope Francis has asked us to join him in praying the Lord’s Prayer as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will be followed on Friday 27 March at 5pm UK time (6pm Rome) with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the Urbi et Orbi blessing.
As Pope Francis explains, 'To the pandemic of the virus we want to respond with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness.'
Please join in and please spread the word if you can through your social media, using #PrayForTheWorld.
A message from our parish priest, 23 March 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As public Masses cannot be celebrated at this time, it is generally no longer appropriate for priests to celebrate Mass more than once a day, including on Sundays. This might mean that some Masses which were to be celebrated for a special intention will now not be celebrated. In these situations, and only whilst these very exceptional circumstances continue, it might be necessary for a Mass to be celebrated for more than one intention. Should any member of the faithful who has arranged to have a Mass celebrated for a specific intention not wish to have that intention included with other intentions in what is known as a Collective Intention Mass s/he should contact the parish office.
Keep safe and kind regards,
MASS TIMES CURRENTLY SUSPENDED
Saturday Vigil - 6.30pm
Sunday Masses 9.00am, 11.00am & 7.00pm
Monday - Saturday 9.30am
Saturdays 5.00 – 6pm, and on request
Advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In light of the government’s advice asking for social distancing and reducing the number of public gatherings, the following letter was issued on 18th March by the President and Vice-President, on behalf of all the Bishops of the Conference.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.
However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.
Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.
We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.
You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Diocese of Westminster (rcdow.org.uk) and Bishops’ Conference websites. Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.
The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.
During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.
‘The Lord is my shepherd,
There is nothing I shall want.’
May God bless us all.