Many people have asked Fr Antonio if the change in government guidance beginning on Monday, 14 September will affect our Masses and other church services. The short answer is “No”. Bishop John Sherrington gives a fuller answer below.

The change in government guidance beginning on Monday 14 September has raised many questions about acts of public worship and our activities.

It is important to recognise that the ‘Rule of 6’ applies to social gatherings and not to acts of public worship, work and structured educational and catechetical activities.
Acts of pubic worship continue according to earlier guidance. The number of people attending Mass must respect the capacity of the Church with social distancing and face coverings. Within the rule of 6, households of six may sit together (e.g. 2 grandparents, 2 parents and 2 children). Note also from the guidance, “If you live in a household with more than 6 people, you can continue to gather in and attend all settings together. This same applies for your support bubbles. All venues should continue to accommodate groups larger than 6 who live together or are in the same support bubble to gather in and use their services and venues.” This is an opportunity to enable people to gather.
The maximum number of people allowed to gather for a life-cycle event in the church; baptisms, weddings, funerals remains at 30.
With every good wish

(Photo: © Mazur/