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.

Mass on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Before watching the Mass today you might like to prepare a small bowl of water and have it with you at home while you are watching the Mass.


Prayer

Fr John will ask you to join him in this prayer at the start of the Mass.

You might like to say it in advance over the bowl of water which you have prepared.

Lord God, as you blessed the waters of the Jordan by Your Son’s baptism,
so bless this water – here present with us – and let it remind us today
of our baptism and our commitment to follow the Lord
and to be a Gospel-light to others.

Mass on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 2021 from St Stephen's, Warrington
Watch this video on YouTube.

Download hymn sheet

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.