Latest Updates on Covid-19

The page below highlights the latest updates in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The safety of our community remains our priority and this means that not all churches have reopened straight away.  At present the Sunday obligation has been lifted until it is safe for us all to gather again and Masses continue to be livestreamed around the diocese.

More details relating to the latest updates on government and Bishops’ Conference guidelines, changes you will see in the Church to ensure your safety and the impact of Coronavirus on Liturgical events can be found below.  Click the drop down tabs for further information.

If you are looking for online resources and the Lord’s Day at Home sheet, please click here.

If you have any further queries, you can find the contact details of your parish priest by clicking here or you can email communications@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

Latest Updates

Friday 15th January

Given the current circumstances regarding the pandemic and the third national lockdown, Bishop John has said:

“We have seen a very sudden and drastic change in the directives concerning the pandemic. One significant concession is that places of worship can stay open – being acknowledged as among the safest places for any indoor gatherings and important for the spiritual and mental well-being of many people. That is a tribute to work of so many stewards and volunteers. However, there are parts of the country, and indeed parts of this Diocese, where the levels of infection are particularly high. Local health authorities have advised extra caution. It is important that parish priests feel confident that a particular church should be open. If any priest feels that it would be better to close a church at the present time, this should be done.

“The Government website and the clarifications from the Bishops’ Conference, which are drawn from government and medical experts, are comprehensive but that is not to say that they cover every circumstance. I am happy to confirm any decision that a particular church should close for any particular length of time, where it is thought best in the present circumstances for the safety of people.”

Please contact your parish office directly if you have any queries about whether they are open.

Tuesday 5th January

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4th January, England will move into a national lockdown. Churches will remain open for private prayer and the celebration of Mass. However, the safety of our communities remains our priority. Please do not mix in church with those who aren’t in your household bubble. It is also important to remember that the Sunday obligation continues to be lifted and, if you do not feel safe attending church, you can still live out your faith and build Church at home.

Wednesday 2nd December

As our diocese moves into Tier 3 restrictions, churches will be once again permitted to resume public worship with safety measures in place. Your local parish office will be able to provide information about how and when they will be reopening.

We understand that attending Mass isn’t possible for everyone yet. To help build church at home during the Season of Advent, you can still access resources on our website.

 

How are we making our Churches Covid19 Secure?

We need to be mindful that our churches will look and feel different as they begin to reopen. These changes are essential to ensure the safety of all our people.

The video below illustrates what some of our churches may look like as they begin to open for private prayer. Churches are continuing to livestream Holy Mass.

What does this mean for Liturgical Events?

Some of our churches are beginning to reopen for public and private prayer, but liturgical events will continue to be impacted.  The following instruction is now given for the celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals of the Church at this time.

Celebrations of Holy Mass

The celebration of Holy Mass is permitted at present, as long as Covid safety guidelines are adhered to. Face coverings much be worn in places of worship unless you are exempt.

 

Baptisms

The numbers of people permitted to attend life-cycle events such as baptisms, confirmations and other significant sacramental celebrations are subject to the covid-security determined limits of the church. Please contact your parish priest.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

If you have any questions, please contact your parish priest.

First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

These celebrations will be postponed until a time that allows for families and friends to gather safely within our churches.

Confirmation

Please contact your parish priest if you have any questions.

Marriages

Only 6 people can attend a marriage (apart from anyone working as part of the ceremony) and these should only occur in exceptional circumstances. Weddings planned for the next 6 weeks should be deferred.

If you have any questions, please contact your parish priest.

Anointing of the Sick

No pastoral visits should be made to people who are self-isolating with Covid 19 symptoms until the isolation period ends.  However, priests can offer phone support.

Please contact your Parish Priest to discuss how they can best offer support.

Visits to people in care homes or hospitals should follow advice from the staff on infection control

Funerals

If you need to arrange a funeral please contact your parish priest as soon as possible. Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Anyone working is not counted in the 30. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Contact details for parish priests can be found here

Live Masses and Online Resources

Our parishes are continuing to livestream the Mass, giving you options if you cannot get into church yourself. You can find these on Churchservices.tv, along with the Cathedral from Salford Livestream, by clicking here.

We are continuing to compile resources for Catholics to access livestreaming of Masses, prayers and resources at home. The list of parishes continuing to stream Mass can be found here, and resources can be found by clicking here.

Bishop John has also produced a video series on how we can build a Church at Home. You can view these videos here.

Further Information and updates on the national situation

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. The latest national updates can be found on the Gov.uk website