Dear friends

“Be strong, stand firm, have no fear, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is going with you; He will not fail you or desert you.”   (Deut 31:6)

These are very testing times for all of us and will be requiring our co-operation and participation in that which is necessary to get through this global pandemic. It is an opportunity for us to offer support, love and care for one another, whomsoever they may be, to the best of our ability, as well as be strengthened and nourished by a loving God. Together, as members of a global family what we call "the winter” of these days will give way to the "joyful summer” of thanksgiving and rejoicing! As Jesus often said, “do not be afraid”.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has sent us a message after the Prime Minister’s historic announcement last night (23 March) strengthening restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19. The full text is as follows

"This morning, we are all coming to terms with that most remarkable, historic, dramatic announcement of the Prime Minister last night. He made our duty very clear. And it’s a duty which we must all wholeheartedly follow. That is the right thing to do because he wants us to play our part in stopping the spread of this virus – in helping to protect and get the best use of the NHS and therefore save precious lives.

What is clear to me and to my fellow bishops and to the Prime Minister is that we must now close our churches.

It’s not essential for people to travel to go to church in order to pray. We have to learn more and more that our prayer is rooted in our hearts and can be shared with our families. Open churches will only tempt people to travel. And that is not good practice now. So we have to deepen these words of prayer. We have to use the Internet, and all the other things that we have, to encourage one another. When you phone your parents or your parents phone you, why not suggest that you end with a moment of prayer together? Say that Hail Mary, say a prayer that you know – but say it together. It’s a comfort and a reassurance.

The second thing about this morning is we’re beginning to reflect on the experience of the streaming of the celebration of Mass on Sunday and on yesterday’s week day. There are many, many encouraging signs. I’ve heard of congregations being 10 times the normal size. I’ve heard of families preparing together at home. Families having their own little children’s liturgy during the reading of the Word.

Families joining in the singing or providing their own music – if there wasn’t any music in the church itself. In these coming weeks – and there will be many of them – we can strengthen this sense of being part of the celebration of the Mass via the Internet. And of course there is that important act of spiritual communion, when at the same moment, we join with the celebrants of the Mass and all those who are taking part in it online and spiritually receive the Lord into our hearts.

These are challenging times. We’re not looking for loopholes. We’re not trying to find ways round this provision. We’re going to play our full part in it. That was the call of St. Paul that we ought to be good citizens and today we ought to be good citizens playing our part in the protection of the vulnerable, in our support for the NHS and in the preserving of human life, which is so precious to God in the face of this virus.

May God bless you and let’s keep going wholeheartedly together. Thank you."
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, 

President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales 

To the best of my own ability I will say a daily private Mass, at which I will remember you all, and especially those who are most vulnerable, feeling isolated and afraid.

Please find a number of resources which may be of support and help. These include: 

Leaflet entitled: “Prayers during a time of ‘flu and illness.” 

CBCEW Prayers during a time of 'flu and illness.pdf

Leaflet entitled: “When Mass cannot be celebrated publicly” 

CBCEW When Mass Cannot be celebrated publicly.pdf

Leaflet entitled: “What if I can’t get to Sunday Mass?” 


If you would like to follow the "Prayer of the Church", also known as the Divine Office I would draw your attention to This website provides the prayers used by many for the various hours of the day, eg Morning Prayer, and indeed the Readings for the Mass each day. It is obtainable as a subscription or a free-to-view daily guide.

Equally, you may already have a website you visit to view the Mass online (via live streaming). However, I would recommend the following online prayer resources during this time:

Live-streamed Mass from the Cathedral, Northampton 

Live-streamed Mass from St John's, anbury the webcam for live streaming can be found at

Live-streamed Mass from Walsingham 

Live-stream Mass from Lourdes 

Holy Mass by Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R

Readings, homily  and Spiritual Communion 

Eternal Word Television Network (ETWN) 

Sacred Space guided prayer

UK Catholic Online Radio broadcasting

CAFOD   offers ways to keep spiritually connected and look after ourselves and others, particularly during Lent. Offers a children's liturgy section for each Sunday Mass celebration.