Coronavirus Update -24th March 2020

Dear Parishoners of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s

After the announcement of immediate and dramatic restrictions on the movements of all citizens of our countries by the Prime Minister, I am writing this note to you to underline one or two very important points.

Our two churches were closed for worship and visitors last Friday night. All churches have now been ordered to close with immediate effect. I am hoping that it will still be possible for me to celebrate Mass privately as I have done for the last few days.

Much has been taken away from us for the sake of the common good. We are left with prayer and charity to those with whom we live. Let us join the national effort to comply with what is being asked of us so that, with God’s help, we can arrive at brighter and happier times.

With an assurance of my prayers,

Fr John


Closure of Churches – Clarification by Liverpool Archdiocese

Following the instruction that the Prime Minister gave last night, there has been an inconsistent message from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding the opening of churches. In the published guidelines, it states that “places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer.”

The instruction is very clear on the occasions when someone can leave home:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.None of these four specific reasons for leaving home concurs with the visiting of a church for solitary prayer. In addition, keeping churches open could undermine the desire of the Government for people to remain at home, the very fact of them being open may draw people out of their homes, many of which would be the most vulnerable to infection.