SUNDAY OBLIGATION – The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have removed the obligation to attend Sunday Mass due to the current circumstances. However, should a person wish to attend Mass, even during the week, this would fulfil your Sunday obligation, if you wish to still do so.
May I just say, please be very careful coming to church, for your sake and for the sake of others. Please do not take any risks – these strange times will eventually pass, but in the meantime let us do all we can to keep everyone as safe as possible

CHANGES AT MASS – As those who have attended Mass now know, things are somewhat different in church now, for various reasons. These changes are temporary and eventually things will get back to some kind of normality. However, I do think the current arrangements are here for a long time to come. This is in order to keep us as safe and reduce the risk of the spread of infection as much as possible.

BOOKING SYSTEM – I am delighted to say that the Booking System, both the online one and the telephone one are working very well. Thank you for your cooperation with this. I know it feels very strange for us to have to book a place in church. Thank you for your understanding at this time. Thanks especially to Michelle & Patrick Anderson who worked very hard to get the Online Booking System up and running for us.

‘THANK YOU’ TO OUR CURRENT VOLUNTEERS – May I once again, say a big ‘thank you’ to all who help with our Masses – it really is very much appreciated. Your help is invaluable and Masses could not take place without your support and help. On behalf of us all a sincere ‘thank you’. As always, more helpers are always welcome to share the load.

RECORDED PARISH MASSES – We are now recording a live parish Mass on Saturday evenings in St. Mary’s and St. Patrick’s on alternate basis. This means that those who unfortunately are still not able to come to church are able to have Mass from their home parish. It is important to me that you are still very much a part of your parish community.  Thank you to Michelle & Patrick Anderson for all the hours of work they have put in to enable me to record the Masses for you. It is much appreciated by us all. To access these Masses click here.

PARISH LIVE-STREAMED MASSES – I am now in the process of installing a live stream facility in both St Mary’s and St Patrick’s. This will mean that you will be able to access both weekday and Sunday Masses live, as well as any funerals, weddings etc. that take place in our churches. I am sure this will be a very welcome addition to our parish life and will mean that those who are unable to come to church are still able to be part of our parish prayer life. Please bear with me as I get this facility installed and up and running. I do think, this is something more and more parishes will be using in future – not just during these testing times with the virus.

For full details of the Bishop’s Guidelines, please click here.


Baptisms  –  the maximum number that can now attend is 6.

For the latest full details of the Bishop’s Guidelines, please click here.


LIMIT OF 15 PEOPLE – Thankfully the Government have now given us permission to celebrate weddings in church, but as for baptisms, only 15 people may attend, including the couple.

WEDDING MASSES NOT PERMITTED AT THIS TIME – It is urged that weddings be conducted as quickly as possible, ‘the shortest reasonable time’, without rushing them. At this moment in time, if a wedding is to take place, it must be in the context of a Wedding Service not a Mass.

At the moment congregational singing is not permitted in church.
There are a few slight common sense changes in the service, which I will explain as we go along – or feel free to phone me if you need further clarification.

SOCIAL DISTANCE – During the wedding, all the invited guests must practice social distancing. With regards photographs, group photos may take place but people must be socially distant (apart from the bride and groom and those in the same households or support bubbles).

For full details of the Bishop’s Guidelines please click here.


Next week I will once again be in a position to offer the sacrament of Confessions (Reconciliation). This as you can imagine will be under heavy restrictions to ensure the safety of both penitent and priest.

The use of the confessional box at this time is discouraged as the air flow inside is not good. However, if the penitent would prefer the confessional box, it is allowed, but not face to face. Confessions may take place for example in a side chapel, with the priest and penitent sitting socially distant and not facing each other.

People are now free to give me a ring and arrange a time for confession in church with me. This will be done apart from the sacrifice of the Mass, as priests are advised to only hear a limited number of confessions each day, to avoid the risk of contamination.

Whenever a person has come to confession, where they have been will be wiped clean afterwards.

Confessions may now take place outdoors if that would be preferred by the penitent.

For full details of the Bishop’s Guidelines please click here.


During this time of lock-down, I have only celebrated the Sacrament of the Sick, in cases of emergency when the Last Rites was needed.

EXTREME CAUTION – If sick calls are to be made, extreme caution must be taken to ensure the safety of both the sick person and the priest.

The priest will not turn up unannounced – he must first book or the person may request to see him when needed to give the Sacrament of the Sick.

If the priest needs to use the Rite of the Anointing of the Sick, this must be on a single use piece of paper.

The priest and sick person will keep socially distant and will anoint the sick person using a cotton wool bud. The priest MUST thoroughly wash his hands both before and after the visit.

Just as for Confessions, the priest must limit the number of people he anoints each day, to avoid the spread of the virus.

For full details of the Bishop’s Guidelines please click here.