Churches Opening for Private Prayer -

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Churches Opening for Private Prayer
Statement from Bishop John Arnold
Monday 15th June 2020

The diocese is currently considering which churches can be safely opened  for private prayer and how this will be effectively managed. Before  they can open, parishes must undertake a thorough Risk Assessment,  following guidance from guidelines issued by the  Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, agreed with the  government.

Not all churches will be able to re-open at once. It is intended that  several named churches, spread around the Diocese, will be ready to open  for private prayer, and are currently being prepared. Other churches  will follow as quickly as it can be assured that  they are able to fulfil the conditions for cleanliness, and social  distancing. All parishes will be assisted in these preparations.

We also need to be mindful that our churches will look and feel  different during this period. These changes are essential to ensure the  safety of all our people.

Parishioners will still not be able to come to Mass at this stage but  Mass can still be accessed via live stream (Salford Cathedral). It is  likely to be several more weeks or months before we will be able to  celebrate Mass publicly and, even when that is possible,  social distancing will limit the numbers of people able to attend –  even in our largest church buildings. We must all be patient. We are  under no obligation to attend Mass during this time, and making  spiritual communion is a powerful way to welcome Christ  into our lives at home.

I am so impressed by the many creative ways that people have found to  encourage each other in prayer. Hopefully, this will continue in our  journey ahead, centred on Christ and guided in prayer. We will continue  to share resources for praying at home on the  diocesan website.

Stay with us Lord on Our Journey

Churches and times they are open

This list will be updated as more churches open.

St Joseph’s, Longsight
Mon 4.30pm -6.30pm
Wed 11am – 12 Noon, & 4.30pm -6.30pm
Fri 4.30pm – 6.30pm

St Mary’s, Burnley
Mon-Sat 10.30am – 12.30pm

St Mary’s, Bamber Bridge
Mon to Sat 10-12 and 5-7pm

St Peter’s, Middleton
Monday 1pm-3pm
Tuesday 10am-12noon
Wednesday 1pm-3pm
Thursday 10am-12noon
Friday 1pm-3pm

St Osmund, Bolton
9.30am – 11.30am
5pm – 7pm
2pm – 4pm

St William of York, Bolton
9.30am – 11.30am
6.30pm – 8.30pm
10.30am – 12.30pm

Salford Cathedral
Mon-Sat 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Holy Cross, Eccles
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 3pm – 6pm

Commonly asked Questions?

What is Private Prayer?
Private prayer also known as Individual prayer within a place of worship  is defined as a person or household entering the venue to pray on their  own.
You cannot be part of a group or join a prayer session. No communal  prayer or regular scheduled services are permitted at this time. This  includes any priest or lay person leading devotions or prayer.
All individuals must socially distance from other individuals or households.
No public worship, streamed or otherwise, can take place whilst the building is open to visitors.

Should I visit?
It remains a person’s own choice whether they to come to church to pray.  If you are in the vulnerable category you should consider whether this  is safe for you to do.
The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days remains suspended at this time.
If you or a member of your household are showing symptoms of Covid- 19  you should not come to a church for prayer. If you display symptoms you  may be advised not to enter.

Can I visit with my family?
You can visit with your family as long as you are part of the same  household. People who are part of the same household can sit together  but those not from the same household should maintain social distancing  while in church.
We advise that under 16 year olds do not enter the church unaccompanied.

Will all churches open?
No, it may not be possible to open all our churches. We will open  several named churches, spread around the Diocese initially. Other  churches will follow as quickly as it can be assured that they are able  to fulfil the conditions for cleanliness, and social  distancing.
For some churches it may not be possible for them to open at all, but we  will ensure that churches that can open are available across the  diocese.

What are you doing to make the churches safe?
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have worked with Public  Health England and the Government to provide clear guidelines to open  our churches safely, which minimises the risk of virus transmission.

If visiting a church you will find:

Stewards will be available to ensure that hand sanitisation occurs at  entry and exit points, social distancing is maintained by people in the  church and if a pre-determined capacity is reached, they will be unable  to allow others to enter the building, until  someone else exits the church.

  • Alcohol hand gel will be provided at the doors, with notices asking  people to sanitise their hands as they enter and leave the church.
  • Toilet facilities in churches will remain closed to prevent any risk of transmission of infection.
  • Hymn books, missals, devotional materials etc which may be re-used will be removed from the church.
  • There will be no holy water in church stoups.
  • Physical veneration of relics or objects such as statues, crucifixes and shrines is not permitted.

St Mary's RC Parish
Catlow Hall Street
Parish Priest : Fr S D O'Brien
All rights reserved © St Mary’s Oswaldtwistle April 2020
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