CORONAVIRUS UPDATE AND GUIDELINES
Tuesday 24th March 2020
Following the statement given by the Prime Minister on Monday 23rd March, St Dunstan's and St Jude's churches will now be closed to the public, even for private prayer.
He has asked us to do this in order to slow down the spread of the Corona Virus and has outlines ways in which we can all play a part in this.
We will continue to keep Parishioners update via this website and our Social Media pages.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and the Archbishop of the Diocese of Westminster has sent us a message after the Prime Minister's historic announcement last night strengthening restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The Cardinal stresses that we must all play our part to safeguard the NHS and to save 'precious lives'.
"We're going to play our full part in it. That was the call of St. Paul that we ought to be good citizens and today we ought to be good citizens playing our part in the protection of the vulnerable, in our support for the NHS and in the preserving of human life, which is so precious to God in the face of this virus."
Cardinal Nichols also points to the Sunday just gone to demonstrate the strength of the Catholic community's response and its commitment to keeping prayer and worship at the heart of a new pattern of life:
"We're beginning to reflect on the experience of the streaming of the Celebration of Mass on Sunday and on yesterday's week day. There are many, many encouraging signs. I've heard congregations being 10 times the normal size. I've heard families preparing together at home. Families have their own little children's liturgy during the reading of the Word ....
"... so we have to deepen our prayer. We have to use the Internet, and all the other things that we have, to encourage one another."
Friday 20th March 2020
Following the announcement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales the celebration of public Mass and liturgies will cease on Friday 20th March 2020.
In the recent letter issued on 18th March 2020, Cardinal Vincent Nicholas and Archbishop Malcom McMahon said:
‘Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing. We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church §2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.’
St Dunstan’s will remain open daily from 8.00am until 6.30pm for private prayer. Masses will be offered privately each day by the priests, and all intentions which have been previously booked will be honoured and fulfilled.
A weekly bulletin will be printed and available in church, which will have the readings for Mass on Sunday, an Act of Spiritual Communion, together with suitable prayers and meditations for use during the week. Please feel free to take a copy home with you.
Weekly offerings can be handed in via the Presbytery letterbox. Please ensure that offerings are handed in using a sealed envelope, either the usual Gift Aid ones or a plain envelope and clearly marked whether for St Dunstan’s or St Jude’s. There are also other ways of giving available on our parish website.
If you need to speak to the either one of the priests or the Parish Administrator, it is encouraged to do so via a phone call or email. Similarly, if you should require a priest in an emergency, please do not hesitate to call the Presbytery on 0121 444 1386.
Above all let us pray for one another at this time: that through the prayers we offer both privately and individually, we may soon be united once more together around the altar of God.
Our Lady, Help of Christians: pray for us.
Fr Philip Harrop
Fr Simon Baker