Statement from the Catholic Bishops of England

On 19 July, the current legislative powers which assist the mitigations against the Covid-19 virus transmission will be rescinded by HM Government. Nevertheless, there will be an encouragement to personal and corporate responsibility in this area; as the Prime Minister said in his most recent statement “The pandemic is not over.” Even without this legislation in place, the Church in England and Wales will be adopting a cautious approach to capacity and activity within our buildings, especially at corporate acts of worship.

Sunday Obligation  –  We are mindful of the certain fact that the Covid-19 virus is still circulating in society. Vaccines provide genuine protection against the worst effects of the virus, yet we recognise the legitimate fear on the part of some who otherwise desire to gather for Holy Mass. It is our continuing judgement, therefore, that it is not possible at the present time for all of the faithful to attend Mass on a Sunday thus fulfilling their duty to God.   It is hoped that it will be possible for all Catholics in England and Wales to fulfil this most important Church precept, that of the Sunday Obligation, by the First Sunday in Advent 2021.

In the meantime, all Catholics are asked to do their best to participate in the celebration of the weekly Sunday Mass and to reflect deeply on the centrality of Sunday worship in the life of the Church.

Further guidance has also been issued which we will study in the coming week to see if there is anything we can or need to change locally.

 

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