We are invited to join in the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary from Walsingham using their livestream at www.walsingham.org.uk. This is in preparation for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry tomorrow.
Statement from Archbishop John Wilson
To the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Southwark
following the Prime Minister’s Address to the Nation concerning the Coronavirus
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
In his Address to the Nation the Prime Minister outlined the necessary steps that we must now take to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. The Government has mandated the ‘closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores, and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship.’
This means that, until further notice, and with immediate effect, all the churches and chapels within the Archdiocese of Southwark, together with their associated halls, must now close their doors to the public. This policy must be implemented without exception. It is imperative that we, the clergy, consecrated religious, and laity of the Archdiocese of Southwark, comply fully with these directives. This is an essential component of our contribution to fighting the Coronavirus and living out the Lord Jesus’ commandment to ‘love our neighbour.’ (Mk 12:31)
Given that our priests live adjacent to their churches, there will still be the private celebration of Mass each day, but there must be no additional people present other than the priest himself. The doors to all our churches and chapels must remain permanently locked until these restrictions are lifted.
The Prime Minster also stated that all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals, must cease. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have already put in place restrictive measures in relation to baptisms, marriages and funerals which must continue to be followed.
Although we are socially isolated from each other, we are not isolated from Christ. Now is a time to strengthen our spiritual bonds of connection through personal prayer and the intensification of our inner relationship with Christ. We will continue to use social media to sustain our communal online presence, with the live-streaming of Mass and devotions from different churches within our Archdiocese and beyond. For the time being, our buildings must close; but our hearts must open wider, expanding with love for Christ and others.
Dear friends, the yearning in our hearts for the Eucharist and for fellowship with one another must sustain us until we come, once more, to gather at the altar to offer together the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We take inspiration from the Apostle St Paul writing to the first Christians in Rome: ‘…hardship develops perseverance, perseverance develops character, character produces hope and hope does not disappoint, since the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.’ (Rom 5:3-5) We are people of profound hope. We will remain firm in faith and generous in charity, through Christ the ‘hope of glory,’ alive within us. (cf. Col 1:27)
Let us pray for all those working to overcome the effects of the Coronavirus and all those affected by it. Please also be sure of my prayers for you, for your families and for your loved ones. And, please, pray for me and all your bishops, priests, and deacons, who hold you in their hearts and prayers.
Yours devotedly in Christ
The Most Reverend John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark
As mentioned in the last post, the Archbishops of England and Wales have issued their latest guidance which includes the suspension of public Masses for the foreseeable future. There are two letters:
Next are some websites where you can watch Mass streamed online:
- St. Anselms, Dartford: http://www.churchservices.tv/dartford
- Lourdes: https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/tv-lourdes
- Mass with Pope Francis: catholictv.org/shows/pope-francis-daily-mass
Finally some resources via Fr David to assist you spiritually:
- Angelus Promise (25th March, and any time)
- Act of Entrustment (29th March)
- Prayer for the Conversion of England and Act of Spiritual Communion
- Behold 2020 – The Official Companion of The Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry
- How to Handwash Catholic Style from Churchpop.com
The situation is changing rapidly, so rather than maintain a separate copy of the current guidelines, you can find them on the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales webiste here.
At the time of writing the five archbishops are due to issue a clear statement on the way forward later this morning.
Archbishop John Wilson has issued a decree to all parishes in Southwark outlining changes being made to help prevent spread of the virus. The main changes are:
- No sign of peace before the Agnus Dei.
- No Communion from the Chalice.
- It encourages the Sacred Host to be received in the hand.
- No holy water provided at church entrances.
- No shared Mass books or hymn books.
These changes apply until April 6th and will be reviewed before that date.
Mass on New Years Day (Mary The Holy Mother of God) will be at 10.00am.
5.30pm: Carols, followed by
6.00pm: Family Mass
11.30pm: Carols, followed by
12.00am: Midnight Mass
Mass at 8.30am and 10.30am
Boxing Day (St Stephen)
Mass at 9.15am