It is with great regret and sadness that Bishop Marcus has informed the clergy of the Diocese that they should close our churches from midnight this evening, 23 March 2020, and for them to remain closed until further notice.
In the light of the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening that all places of worship should be closed with immediate effect, we have a duty as Catholic Christians to do all we can to comply with the legitimate demands of the government and civil authorities to protect the lives and well-being of the faithful and all citizens.
Although this will have an impact on aspects of the delivery of Catholic Care’s Community Response package, every effort will be made to help support those in our Catholic communities who are sick, self-isolating, have been adversely financially affected or are finding it difficult to cope. To make enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Jessica.email@example.com on a weekday between 8am and 6pm.
More information and guidance from Bishop Marcus will be published as soon as possible – and spiritual and pastoral support will continue to be provided through online and electronic means.
Almost 6,000 people from our Diocese and from as far away as Northern Italy participated online in Sunday’s live-stream of Holy Mass from Leeds Cathedral and heard or read the Bishop’s Pastoral Message. The extremely positive and moving feedback from this echoes the words of John Ellerton’s famous hymn, that even when the world is in darkness…
‘The voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away…’