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Saturday 9 January 2021

Temporary suspension of Mass with congregation in attendance

Following the News this week that cases of COVID-19 are increasing at an alarming rate, on a daily basis, in our area – up from just 57 cases per 100,000 of the population in mid-December to approx 700 per 100,000 this week- We believe it is time we take the necessary steps to protect all members of our community. We are hearing of the difficulties which Hospital and ambulance Services are experiencing and the need to protect the NHS and Medical Staff.

On the advice of many parishioners, some of whom have continued to attend Mass in our Churches, we have decided that both St. Patrick’s and Our Lady of Lourdes Church will be CLOSED for regular PUBLIC MASSES, with IMMEDIATE EFFECT, until further notice. Masses will continue to be LIVE-STREAMED until it is deemed safe to have our congregations return. Times of Masses are found in the Newsletter, which can be found on the Parish Website, and Hard Copies can be collected from the Cabinet by the front door of the Church.

A further announcement will be made regarding opening of Our Lady of Lourdes Church for PRIVATE PRAYER when members of the Stewarding Team have indicated their availability.

Masses this weekend will be LIVE-STREAMED on Saturday 9th at 6.30pm and Sunday 10th at 10.30am.

Next week Mass will be celebrated each day (Mon – Saturday) at 9.30am

Wishing you every blessing

Fr. Benny & Deacon Neil

VACCINE

In the light of the recent breakthrough in COVID-19 vaccine development, the Department for Social Justice has issued a follow up to its September 2020 statement.

In September 2020 the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued a statement COVID-19 and Vaccination (24 September 2020). In the light of the recent breakthrough in vaccine development we now wish to issue a follow up statement.

The development of a vaccine against COVID-19 presents an important breakthrough in protecting others as well as oneself from the virus; a virus which has not only caused a global pandemic and led to a huge loss of life but has also placed a great burden on healthcare workers and systems.

Each of us has a duty to protect others from infection with its danger of serious illness, and for some, death. A vaccine is the most effective way to achieve this unless one decides to self-isolate.

At present, debate concerns the use of the vaccines developed by Pfizer & BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. Some have questioned the use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine since it has been developed from cell-lines originating from the cells of an aborted foetus in 1983.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Academy of Life have expressed the view that one may in good conscience and for a grave reason receive a vaccine sourced in this way, provided that there is a sufficient moral distance between the present administration of the vaccine and the original wrongful action.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, we judge that this grave reason exists and that one does not sin by receiving the vaccine.

Both the Pfizer & BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have a different source since they are mRNA-based vaccines. On 2 December 2020, the Pfizer & BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in the UK.

Each Catholic must educate his or her conscience on this matter and decide what to do, also bearing in mind that a vaccine must be safe, effective, and universally available, especially to the poor of the world.

Catholics may in good conscience receive any of these vaccines for the good of others and themselves. In good conscience, one may refuse a particular vaccine but continues to have a duty to protect others from infection.

Right Reverend Richard Moth

Chair, Department of Social Justice

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

CHURCH HEALTH AND SAFETY

ALL Masses at Our Lady of Lourdes continue to be Live Streamed so that parishioners can still participate. Both Churches are temporarily shut during lockdown. We hope to reinstate Private Prayer subject to the availability of stewards who feel safe to continue to do so and following the guidelines below.

Upon entering the Church for private prayer please sanitise your hands, please either scan in on the NHS track and trace or tick your name off the register. Please collect a piece of paper to leave on the pew when you leave to indicate to the stewards the area that needs to be cleaned.

Please be respectful of what the stewards are trying to do, they have strict guidelines from the Diocese that we have to adhere to.

FACEMASKS : New measures have been introduced by the government to help keep our church family safe. The British Government has announced that face coverings are mandatory in places of worship. This measure has been introduced to help keep our church family safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, with all those attending church required to wear a face covering or mask unless they are exempt from doing so.

The Diocese advise face coverings should be worn covering mouth and nose. Clear face shields can be worn, in addition to face masks if you so wish - only people exempt from wearing masks need not - we appreciate peoples understanding in this.

Public Health officials have been given extra powers to enforce the wearing of face coverings in public spaces though their approach is to educate rather than penalise. It it is for everyone’s good that face coverings are worn though not everyone is able to wear one. Our welcomers and stewards should never be in a position where they are required to enforce the wearing of face coverings, instead, anyone unable to wear a face covering should be guided to a section of church where it is possible to maintain a distance of two metres from others.

God bless, Fr. Benny

MORE STEWARDS are needed for Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

We are very grateful to the team of people who have readily volunteered to act as stewards for us. If you would like to volunteer, please either collect a form from the Church Porch or click on the following link :-

Volunteer Form

Please do not come if you are feeling unwell for any reason.

Please download the Government NHS Track and Trace App and scan yourself in when you enter enter Church - otherwise please check in with the steward to manually record your track and trace details.

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