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 have any further queries, you can find the contact details of your parish priest by clicking here or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 5th November
Yesterday, Parliament passed the law which placed restrictions on many aspects our daily lives, including on public worship and the celebration of Mass.
This is a great loss which will be felt by many across our Diocese. I am grateful for the clergy who will once again work tirelessly to stream private Mass online and to provide pastoral support to those in need in our communities who may not have digital access.
As a Diocese, we will continue to share resources which allow you to build Church at home, particularly as we begin the season of Advent later this month. It is important to remember that the Church continues in each of us and I once again encourage you to think about creating a prayerful space in your home where you and your family can pray.
Churches may still open for private prayer and, if you are comfortable, I would encourage you to take solace in this.
These are difficult times, but as responsible citizens we must continue to adhere to these regulations as we have done for so long.
Stay with us Lord, on our Journey
Wednesday 21st October
As more of our diocese moves into Tier 3 restrictions, places of worship are permitted to remain open. Those who are not exempt must wear a face covering and please remain socially distanced from anyone who is not in your household or support bubble when attending Mass.
Monday 28th September
There is no change to the attending of Mass or for periods of private prayer in churches.
All open churches have undergone a risk assessment to ensure they are Covid-19 secure, and therefore there are limits as to how many can attend the Mass based on how many can distance safely within the church.
From Monday 28th September, the following numbers will apply to Liturgical events:
- Wedding Services: a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend the service and reception.
- Funeral Services: up to a maximum of 30 people can attend a funeral service but the “Rule of Six” will apply to wakes and receptions afterwards
- Baptisms: If a Baptism takes place outside of a normal pattern of parish Mass, the numbers attending this celebration is limited to 6 (including the child being Baptised).
Please contact your parish priest in the first instance if you would like to discuss how this affects your parish.
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.
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
On 5th November it once again became the case that during the four-week National lockdown, the public Celebration of Holy Mass is once again not permitted. However, private prayer is permitted. Please contact your parish priest if you have any questions.
If a baptism takes place in a Mass which is part of the normal pattern of parish Masses, the number of people attending will be limited to the secure capacity determined by the COVID-19 risk assessment for the church building. People attending must remain within their groups of six and observe strict social distancing between each separate group.
If a baptism takes place outside of this normal pattern of worship, the numbers attending this
celebration is limited to 6.
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.
Please contact your parish priest if you have any questions.
As of 5th November, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover (‘deathbed wedding’). These weddings are limited to 6 people.
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
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 15 or 30. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
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.
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. The latest national updates can be found on the Gov.uk website