Both the City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby and the Director of Public Health Prof. Ivan Browne have written to religion & belief communities in Leicester and Leicestershire and asked them to voluntary pause all public worship and other face to face activities (see text below). This is not a legal requirement as in previous lockdowns in April and November 2020, but a request for solidarity which has the support of our bishop. Hence the churchwarden and I decided today to follow this request. All public worship will pause from today for the time being. Hopefully this will not be for too long as the vaccination campaign is making considerable progress.
I will continue to celebrate the Mass and the Daily Office most days in church and will livestream the Sunday and the Wednesday Mass on Facebook here.
Mass Times (live-streamed on Facebook)
The service livestreams will remain on the Facebook page, hence it is possible to watch and participate at a convenient time. Please get in touch with prayer requests and or any other needs and updates.
For many of us, religion and belief are hugely important to our everyday lives. During times of personal challenge or crisis, the ability to observe ones faith by attending places of worship helps foster a sense of connectedness for many, provides opportunities for guidance and consolation, and often helps strengthen ones resolve. We’ve certainly seen places of worship across the City and County act quickly to provide support and assistance to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities during the ongoing pandemic.
Under the current lockdown requirements, communal worship is still very much permitted, so long as the necessary risk assessments and precautions are taken. Earlier in the pandemic it certainly was our experience that places of worship led the way in ensuring that their buildings and their practices were as safe as they possibly could be.
However, at a time when COVID infections are rising much more quickly than we’ve ever seen and across most age groups, and as we witness increasing COVID related hospital admissions, we must do everything within our powers to protect each other right now.
Therefore, we are asking our faith communities to come together and voluntarily pause all worship and other face to face activities. When closures occurred last year, this was at a time when the overall pressure from the pandemic was significantly less than that we face now. And many places of worship acted so quickly and remarkably well in terms of finding other ways to ensure worship could continue.
Our immediate efforts at this time must centre around the health and wellbeing of all Leicester and Leicestershire residents.
Prof. Ivan Browne Sir Peter Soulsby
Director of Public Health, Leicester City Council City Mayor, Leicester City Council