Statement from Bishop John on Opening of Churches

Friday 15th January 2021

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. You can find our directory here.

For more information on Covid19, please click here

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