SAINT ROBERT OF NEWMINSTER PARISH
Parish Priest: Fr. Michael Dever – Tel. 0161 224 1498
St. Mary of the Angels & St. Clare Church, Elbow St, Levenshulme, M19 3PY
St. Richard Church, Sutcliffe Avenue, Longsight, M12 5TN
Resident at St. Mary’s Presbytery: Fr. Laurence Gambella, Tel. 0161 224 1895 Assistant Priest & Hospital Chaplain & Fr. Martin Dowd, Tel. 0161 225 9840 Chaplain to the Central M/c Hospitals.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Letter on public acts of worship in Catholic Churches in England and Wales in light of COVID19
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 Bishops’ Conference website www.cbcew.org.uk
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 viral 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.
May God bless us all.
Vincent Cardinal Nichols
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
• Live Masses via https://www.churchservices.tv/whats-on-now/
• The National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham will continue its full liturgical programme and this will be available to all via the Internet www.walsingham.org.uk
Please Note: Sunday Breakfast, Sunday Night Bingo, Set Dancing, Line Dancing, I.C.C. Social Group and St. Mary’s Active Retirement Group have all been cancelled until further notice.