As you will be aware, new Covid guidelines were issued yesterday by government which involve the reopening of churches for public worship, from Monday 10th May 2021.
Priests – and their co-workers – are now invited to take steps to make church buildings ready for reopening to congregations. Gratitude is extended afresh for mammoth efforts in this area in the past, and encouragement is offered afresh, as efforts are renewed.
As you will see from the state guidelines attached:
- Numbers of 50 are permitted for Funerals and Weddings from that date. Whether this applies only to Funerals and Weddings – and not Sunday or daily Masses (as pods of 50) – will need to be established.
- The guidelines include the phrase that ‘it’s advised that other religious ceremonies such as Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time’
The diocese will take time over the weekend to consider points 1 and 2.
It will consult with the national church – as to any more specific guidance as may have been received – and it will study interpretations – or any further public utterances, which may offer clarity.
It is hoped to revert to you with clarity, on points 1 and 2, at the earliest opportunity.
To recommence worship, to respect best practice and guidelines and to act in the spirit both of public Christian witness and commitment to the common good remain diocesan objectives.
I thank you for your kind attention.
John Carroll (V. Rev.)