Closure of churches on Sundays as well as weekdays

Following the statement from the Chief Medical Officer on Sunday and the alarming rise in the number of infections in Warrington as well as across the UK, and following the lead of our Dean, Fr David Heywood, I have made the decision to close St Stephen’s and St Bridget’s on Sundays as well as during the week for the time being.

Last week, the Archbishop wrote to all the priests of the Archdiocese. In his letter, he said: “Although I have circulated the recent government advice on the opening of churches, I want to emphasise that the final decision in this regard is yours. Only you know your people, their age profile and the risks that they are likely to be exposed to and present to others. You have to consider your volunteers and stewards. You also have yourself to consider and I would not want you to expose yourself unnecessarily to infection from the virus… Now is the time to make wise decisions for the good of all.”

Although the Government have allowed places of worship to stay open for communal worship, we have to ask ourselves: is it wise to do so? All the priests of the area have wrestled with this question in recent days. However, the rise in the number of people being admitted to hospital in the last seven days has confirmed that it is not wise to keep our churches open for the time being.

We are asked to STAY AT HOME as much as possible. This is the only way to prevent the spread of infection.

Let us create in our homes a sacred place of prayer and let us join together electronically for the time being through our video Mass available each Sunday on our website.

Fr John McLoughlin. P.P.

No public weekday Masses from Thursday 7th January

From Thursday 7th January there will be no public weekday Masses at St Stephen’s and St Bridget’s until the end of the lockdown.  Fr John will still celebrate weekday Masses in private.

The public Mass celebrating the Epiphany at St Bridget’s on Wednesday 6th January at 10am will go ahead as planned.

Sunday Mass times remain unchanged and we intend to restart video Sunday Masses on the website and YouTube channel as soon as possible.

Churches remain open in Tier 4

With the move to Tier 4 restrictions in Warrington our churches remain open in accordance with Government guidelines. Public Masses will be held as published in the newsletter.

Star of Bethlehem

Given the conjunction between Venus and Jupiter expected today (21 December 2020) and following on from my comment at the Masses over the weekend – considering not just one conjunction but four astronomical events from August 3BC to June 2BC which the Magi may have used to interpret the birth of the Messiah – below is a link to offer information for further reading about the Star of Bethlehem on the Vatican Observatory website:

Star of Bethlehem – Vatican Observatory Foundation Faith and Science (vofoundation.org)

Carols around the tree at St Bridget’s

Come sing a few Carols around the outside Christmas tree at the Church of the Resurrection and St Bridget’s while maintaining a ‘keep safe’ social distance from each other

Thursday 17th December at 4:30pm