Following guidance from the Bishops’ Conference and Archbishop Malcolm in light of the Prime Minister’s statement on 23rd March, in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, our churches are now closed for both public and private prayer until further notice.
Private Masses, streamed live, will continue. We have two YouTube channels, one for each church, so that Mass can be live streamed on Saturdays at 6.00pm on the channel for Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and on Sundays at 10.00am on the channel for St Teresa’s. The videos will remain on the channels for the rest of the week and we will add weekday Masses when possible.
You can find the channels by typing into the YouTube search box “queenofmartyrscroxteth” for Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and “stteresanorrisgreen” for St Teresa’s, or by using these links:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvVuCDKapFkeegEKYT0HNWQ for Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfakWN9eQGJDXS2_HfClvHw for St Teresa’s.
The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days does not apply as long as the pandemic lasts. There will be no pastoral visits or Communion visits (including by Eucharistic Ministers) to those who are self-isolating but telephone support will be offered. The priests will be able to give the Sacrament of the Sick where necessary, following strict hygiene procedures.
The Prime Minister also announced that the Government is stopping all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals. These will take place only at a crematorium or cemetery, attended only by immediate family and subject to any further conditions the crematorium or cemetery may lay down, with the opportunity for Memorial Masses to be celebrated at a later date.
Our parish centres are also closed. All schools are closed except those, including St Teresa’s and Our Lady & Swithin’s Primary Schools, which are open as hubs for vulnerable children and those of key workers.
We urge all our parishioners to follow the public health advice: those over 70 or with underlying health conditions or possible symptoms of the virus should shield themselves in every way possible and everyone else should stay at home except for the following reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently 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, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
- travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
Everyone should also follow the guidance on handwashing and social distancing.
It is important that we offer each other whatever help and support we can, whether that is a phone call to check someone is OK or someone who can still move about offering to do shopping and other tasks for those who must stay at home. Human contact, whether by phone, Skype or in person, is vital for all of us.
If you would like to volunteer your help in our parish communities, please email or leave a phone message on either of the parish office numbers, indicating what your own situation is and what help you can offer. If you need to talk to someone about your own needs or those of someone you look after, please contact either of the parish offices by email or phone.
Our local foodbanks need your donations now more than ever– please leave them at the supermarket where you shop.
In the midst of this crisis, we hold onto our faith in the God who loves us all and can bring good out of every situation, and we encourage and pray for each other. The upsurge of generosity and goodwill in communities, with people volunteering to care for each other and support the most vulnerable, is surely a sign of God’s love present and active in these difficult times.