Private Prayer Opening

This page has been created to inform you about the phased reopening of churches for private prayer from 15 June.  Below, you can find frequently asked questions as well as the opening times of Churches that have reopened.

Before they can open, parishes must undertake a thorough Risk Assessment, following guidance from guidelines issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, agreed with the government.

We are making every effort to ensure our churches can continue to open safely, but we also need to be mindful that our churches will look and feel different during this period. These changes are essential to ensure the safety of all our people. You can watch a video which illustrates some of these changes below.

Churches around the diocese are continuing to livestream Holy Mass which all are invited to join.  The list of times and where to access Mass can be found here.

If you are a steward looking for training resources you will find these here:

You can download the presentation by clicking here.

You can watch the training video by clicking here. 

More information is the Commonly Asked Question Session towards the bottom of the page.

Churches and Times They are Open

Churches are organised by local authority and this list will be continually updated as more churches reopen so please keep checking back.

Please note that these times are for churches opening for private prayer, in line with updated guidelines.

Salford Cathedral Opening Times
Saturday – 9.30am – 11.30am and 5pm – 6.30pm
Sunday – 8.30am – 10am and 10.30am – 12nn
Monday – Friday – 10am – 1pm


Sacred Heart, Blackburn
Wednesday – 2pm – 4pm
Friday – 10am – 12nn
Saturday – 9.30am – 11.30am

St Alban, Blackburn
Wednesday – Saturday – 11am to 3pm


Sacred Heart of Jesus, Westhoughton
Tuesday 11am – 1pm
Thursday 11am – 3pm

St John Fisher, Bolton and the Schoenstatt Shrine
Tuesday – 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Wednesday – 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Thursday – 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Friday – 11am – 12nn
Saturday – 11am – 12nn

St Patrick, Bolton
Tuesday – Saturday – 11am – 1pm

St William of York, Bolton
Monday – 9.30am – 11.30am
Wednesday – 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Saturday – 10.30am – 12.30pm


Guardian Angels, Bury
Tuesday 11am – 2pm
Thursday 6pm – 8pm

Our Lady of Grace, Prestwich
Monday – Friday – 11.45am – 4pm
Saturday – 11.45am – 3pm

St Bernadette, Whitefield
Monday – Saturday – 10am – 11.30am

St Hilda’s, Tottington
Wednesday 6pm – 8pm
Friday 11am – 2pm

St Michael, Whitefield
Monday – Saturday – 2pm – 3.30pm


English Martyrs, Whalley
Friday 2pm – 4pm

Sacred Heart, Colne
Monday 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Tuesday 2.00pm – 3.30pm & 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Wednesday 2.00pm – 3.30pm & 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Thursday 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Friday 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Saturday 2.00pm – 3.30pm

St Anne, Accrington
Wednesday 10am – 2pm
Thursday 10am – 12nn
Saturday 10am – 12nn

St Joseph, Accrington
Friday – 10am – 12nn
Saturday – 10am – 12nn

St Mary’s, Burnley
Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 12.30pm

St Mary’s, Bamber Bridge
Monday to Saturday – 5pm-6pm

St Mary’s, Osbaldeston
Friday – 2pm – 4pm

St Michael and St John, Clitheroe
Monday – Friday 11am – 12pm
Saturday 11am – 1pm

St Peter, Newchurch-in-Rossendale
Monday – Friday – 9.30am – 10.30am


St Catherine of Siena, Didsbury
Monday – Thursday 8am – 9am
Friday – Saturday – 10.30am – 11.30am

St Chad, Manchester
Monday – Friday – 7am – 9am
Monday – Friday 12nn – 2pm
Saturday – 12nn – 2pm

St Cuthbert, Withington
Monday-Saturday: 10.00am -12.00noon

St John Bosco, Blackley
Tuesday – 5pm – 7pm
Wednesday – 2pm – 4pm
Friday – 5pm – 7pm

St Joseph’s, Longsight
Monday – Saturday – 8.30am – 9am and end of Mass – 10am

St Mary of the Angels and St Clare, Levenshulme
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – 9.30am – 11am

St Mary’s (Hidden Gem)
Monday – 11am – 2.30pm
Tuesday – 11am – 2.30pm
Wednesday -11am – 2.30pm
Thursday – 11am – 2.30pm
Friday – 11am – 2.30pm
Saturday – 10.30am – 6pm
Sunday – 9am – 1pm


Corpus Christi, Chadderton
Tuesday – 6pm – 7pm
Thursday – 9am – 10am
Saturday – 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Ss Aidan and Oswald’s, Royton
Monday – Friday – 8.30am – 9.30am

St Herbert’s, Chadderton
Wednesday – 10am – 11am
Friday – 10am – 11am
Saturday – 10am – 11am

St Patrick’s, Oldham
Monday – Saturday – 12nn – 1pm



Our Lady and St Joseph, Heywood
Monday – 6pm – 7pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 9am – 10am
Wednesday – 7am – 8am
Saturday – 10am – 11am

Sacred Heart, Rochdale
Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 5pm – 7pm
Tuesday and Thursday – 12nn – 2pm
Saturday – 2pm – 4pm

St John the Baptist, Rochdale
Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 10am – 12nn

St Mary’s, Littleborough
Monday – 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Thursday – 10.30am – 11.30am
Saturday – 11am – 12nn

St Patrick’s, Rochdale
Tuesday – 10 – 11.30am
Wednesday – 6.30pm – 8pm
Friday – 1.30pm – 3pm

St Peter’s, Middleton
Monday    –   1pm-3pm
Tuesday    –  10am-12noon
Wednesday  –  1pm-3pm
Thursday  –   10am-12noon
Friday   –      1pm-3pm


Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist (Salford Cathedral)
Monday – Saturday – 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Holy Cross, Eccles
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 3pm – 6pm


St Winifred’s, Heaton Mersey
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – 11am – 1pm


St Ann’s, Ashton-under-Lyne

Monday – Saturday – 11am – 4pm


St Ann’s, Stretford 

Monday – Saturday 10.15am – 12.15pm

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Private Prayer?

Private prayer also known as Individual prayer within a place of worship is defined as a person or household entering the venue to pray on their own.

You cannot be part of a group or join a prayer session. No communal prayer or regular scheduled services are permitted at this time. This includes any priest or lay person leading devotions or prayer.

All individuals must socially distance from other individuals or households.

No public worship, streamed or otherwise, can take place whilst the building is open to visitors.

Should I visit?

It remains a person’s own choice whether they to come to church to pray. If you are in the vulnerable category you should consider whether this is safe for you to do.

The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days remains suspended at this time.

If you or a member of your household are showing symptoms of Covid- 19 you should not come to a church for prayer. If you display symptoms you may be advised not to enter.


Can I visit with my family?

You can visit with your family as long as you are part of the same household. People who are part of the same household can sit together but those not from the same household should maintain social distancing while in church.

We advise that those under 16 years old do not enter the church unaccompanied.

Will all churches open?

No, it may not be possible to open all our churches. We will open several named churches, spread around the Diocese initially. Other churches will follow as quickly as it can be assured that they are able to fulfil the conditions for cleanliness, and social distancing.

For some churches it may not be possible for them to open at all, but we will ensure that churches that can open are available across the diocese.

I'm a steward. How can I continue to ensure a culture of safeguarding in my parish?

A presentation has been produced by the Safeguarding office for those volunteering in their parishes.  The guidance in this presentation will help us all to continue to be mindful and create a culture of vigilance during Covid-19 and the phased reopening of some of our churches for private prayer.

You can download the presentation by clicking here.

You can watch the training video by clicking here. 

If you have any more questions please discuss with your parish safeguarding representative or contact the Safeguarding team on 0161 817 2206 and leave a clear message with your name and phone number. A member of the team will then return your call.

What are you doing to make the churches safe?

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have worked with Public Health England and the Government to provide clear guidelines to open our churches safely, which minimises the risk of virus transmission.

If visiting a church you will find:

  • Stewards will be available to ensure that hand sanitisation occurs at entry and exit points, social distancing is maintained by people in the church and if a pre-determined capacity is reached, they will be unable to allow others to enter the building, until someone else exits the church.
  • Alcohol hand gel will be provided at the doors, with notices asking people to sanitise their hands as they enter and leave the church.
  • Toilet facilities in churches will remain closed to prevent any risk of transmission of infection.
  • Hymn books, missals, devotional materials etc which may be re-used will be removed from the church.
  • There will be no holy water in church stoups.
  • Physical veneration of relics or objects such as statues, crucifixes and shrines is not permitted.
What about lighting candles?

We understand that for many the lighting of candles/votive lights can be an aid to prayer. It will be up to individual churches to decide whether this can be offered.

If you wish a candle/votive light to be lit, please observe all the safety notices in place.