On Monday, the Government published guidance to cover the national lockdown that has been announced. This guidance permitted public worship to continue as one of the exceptions to the exhortation to ‘stay at home’.
After considering carefully the current situation and consulting the Pastoral Team and Parish Councils across all three parishes, I have made the decision to suspend public worship in St Augustine’s, Our Lady and St Edward’s and Sacred Heart. Opening up of our churches will – hopefully – be on the 17th February for Ash Wednesday. This, however, will be dependant on our area dropping down into Tier 4 or 3.
During this time, funerals will be permitted in church, but only under strict guidelines of a limit of 30 people, compulsory wearing of masks, strict adherence to hand-washing measures and compliance with 2m distancing. Any other celebrations in church such as baptisms or weddings will be deferred until after the lockdown eases.
Please consult the parish bulletin each week for which Masses will be live-streamed. Links to these will be on the parish website.
This decision has been taken to ensure that those who are vulnerable are supported in following the advice to ‘stay at home’ and so that we as parishes contribute to the effort to deal with the pressure on the NHS and the risk to large groups of the population.