St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Pudsey, West Yorkshire LS28 7AZ
CHURCH CLOSURE: 14th JANUARY 2021
A message from Fr Peter:
It’s with sadness that I decided to close our church for public Masses for now. The clear message from the government in this national lockdown is that we should stay at home and avoid anything that is not essential.
While places of worship were not mandated to close, there were more instructions made, such as having to open windows & doors to keep places well ventilated, to further reduce what happens at Mass, and not to celebrate any baptisms, confirmations or weddings (except in danger of death). The variant strain of the virus is now present in 70% of all positive tests in our area, and we have been warned that it is far more transmittable. This means that we would have to increase the social distancing rules in our church to more than the “1-metre-plus” we have been following since the summer, therefore reducing the number of benches in use to just 11 and restricting individuals attending alone to sitting one per bench.
All-in-all, it seemed sensible just to close the church and eliminate the anxiety that a lot of us have had about staying open at this time. Each parish will make its own decision about keeping its churches open depending on its own circumstances, the size of the church, and its ability to steward every Mass. We’re really grateful to all our own volunteers who have helped to keep our own church open, and particularly that we were open over Christmas.
We are so close now to the end of this battle against the virus with the hope of the vaccine that we should all take very seriously the instruction to stay at home in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our wonderful National Health Service.
Please keep checking here for any developments. It’s unlikely that there will be any change here at St Joseph’s while we are still in the national lockdown, but by the end of this month we may have a clearer idea of how things are going.
In the meantime, Mass will continue to be offered each day and will be livestreamed.
Our parish hall remains closed, and meetings and social gatherings are not permitted until further notice.
At the moment, home & nursing home visits, weddings and baptisms are not permitted except in danger of death and at the discretion of the parish priest.