Updated 04/07/2020

THE BLESSED SACRAMENT CATHOLIC CHURCH

Copenhagen Street

Postal Address: 39 Duncan Terrace, Islington, London N1 8AL

Email: copenhagenstreet@rcdow.org.uk

Tel: 020 7226 3277

 

Dear Parishioners

OPENING OF THE CHURCH FOR MASS

You will have heard the good news that places of worship have now been given permission by the Government to open for communal acts of worship. For we Catholics this means that once more we can gather to celebrate Mass together. However, the pandemic continues, and so we will need to adhere to the guidance put out by the Government and our Bishops to try our best not to add to the spread of the virus.

The Bishops are very clear that we cannot go ‘back to normal’ just yet and they reaffirm that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays remains suspended. There will still be many of you who cannot attend Mass in person, who remain shielding and vulnerable, unable to leave home because of advanced age or illness.  

With all this in mind I have decided that, for the time being, we will have two Sunday Masses here at Blessed Sacrament but at the unusual times of 10.30am and 11.30am.

We have measured out the number of places in the church, keeping to the suggested distance of 2 metres, and have calculated that we can seat 30 people at a time. There will be stewards in place to ensure that
the necessary hygiene regulations are kept to as well as to aid the traffic flow into and out of the building. I am very grateful to those who have volunteered for this key role.  After each Mass the church will be given a good clean.

When we return to Mass there will be some differences in how the celebration takes place. For the time being, there will be no singing and Mass will be shorter than usual. None of this detracts from the importance of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist – the central mystery of our Faith.

All we can do is see how it goes for now – and adapt our plans as and when we need to do so. Please let me know your thoughts as we move forward.

I look forward to seeing you at Mass – it is 16 weeks since we last met in this way!

Fr Séamus

Parish Priest

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Please see Cardinal Vincent’s video about public Masses on rcdow.org.uk

Updated 28/06/2020

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops

of the Catholic Church in England

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

On Tuesday we heard the announcement that, from the 4th July this year, places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services. We welcome this news with great joy. Since the lockdown began, members of all faiths have faced restrictions on how they have been able to celebrate important religious festivals. Our own experience of Easter was unlike any other we have known. Now, in our churches, and with our people, we can look forward again to celebrating the central mysteries of our faith in the Holy Eucharist.

The recent reopening of our churches for individual private prayer was an important milestone on our journey towards resuming communal worship. Our churches that have opened have put in place all the measures needed to ensure the risks of virus transmission are minimised. This includes effective hand sanitisation, social distancing, and cleaning. We remain committed to making sure these systems of hygiene and infection control meet Government and public health standards.

We want to thank everyone within the Catholic community for sustaining the life of faith in such creative ways, not least in the family home. We thank our priests for celebrating Mass faithfully for their people, and for the innovative ways in which they have enabled participation through live-streaming and other means. We are grateful for the pastoral care shown by our clergy to those for whom this time of lockdown has been especially difficult, and, in particular, towards those who have been bereaved. We recognise too the chaplaincy services that have played a vital role in supporting those most in need. Gaining from the experience of all that we have been through, and bringing those lessons into the future, we must now look forward.

With the easing of restrictions on worship with congregations, we tread carefully along the path that lies ahead. Our lives have been changed by the experience of the pandemic and it is clear that we cannot simply return to how things were before lockdown. We remain centred on the Lord Jesus and His command at the Last Supper to “do this in memory of me.” We must now rebuild what it means to be Eucharistic communities, holding fast to all that we hold dear, while at the same time exploring creative ways to meet changed circumstances.

It is important to reaffirm that, at present, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. A significant number of churches may remain closed as they are unable to meet the requirements for opening for individual prayer. Fulfilling these requirements is a precondition for any church opening after the 4th July for the celebration of Mass with a congregation.

Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass in our churches. This will determined locally in accordance with social distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary practices. This next step is not, in any sense, a moment when we are going ‘back to normal.’

We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to Mass. Our priests may need to consider whether it is possible to celebrate additional Masses at the weekends. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for more people.

Moving forward, there will still be many people who cannot attend Mass in person. We therefore ask parishes, wherever possible, to continue live-streaming Sunday Mass, both for those who remain shielding and vulnerable, and also for those unable to leave home because of advanced age or illness.

When we return to Mass there will some differences in how the celebration takes place. For the time being, there will be no congregational singing and Mass will be shorter than usual. None of this detracts from the centrality of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist. We ask everyone to respect and follow the guidance that will be issued and the instructions in each church.

“As I have loved you,” said the Lord Jesus, “so you must love each other.” (Jn 13:34) The lockdown has brought forth remarkable acts of charity, of loving kindness, from Catholics across our communities as they have cared for the needy and vulnerable. We have seen love in action through charitable works, and through the service of many front-line keyworkers who are members of our Church. Now we can begin to return to the source of that charity, Christ himself, present for us sacramentally, body, blood, soul and divinity, in Holy Communion. As we prepare to gather again to worship, let us, respectful of each other, come together in thanksgiving to God for the immense gift of the Holy Eucharist.

Yours devotedly in Christ

 

 Vincent Cardinal Nichols,
Archbishop of Westminster

 

  Malcolm McMahon
OP, Archbishop of Liverpool

 

  Bernard Longley,
Archbishop of Birmingham

 

  John Wilson,
Archbishop of Southwark


This letter is addressed to the Catholic Community in England; the opening of the Catholic Churches in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Assembly who are still evaluating their position on opening Places of Worship.

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Updated 21/06/2020

REOPENING BLESSED SACRAMENT CATHOLIC CHURCH

How lovely is your dwelling place, O God of hosts! (Psalm 84)

 

Our church is a safe and welcoming place for all who want to visit. You might like to pray quietly in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, or light candles. The Church will be open Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon for individual, silent prayer only.

 If you do come, please follow any instructions given by the stewards and bear in mind the following:

  • Please observe the 2m social distance policy.
  • Please use the hand sanitiser on the way in and the way out.
  • There is a one-way system (in through the normal doors, and out through the ramp.
  • The pews are marked where you can sit. There are 19 seats available.
  • Please don’t bring anything with you to leave behind in the church
  • Please do not enter if you have cold or flu symptoms.

Please be aware that there are no toilet facilities available, either in the church or the hall.

Father Seamus

Parish Priest

 

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Updated 15/06/2020

THE BLESSED SACRAMENT CATHOLIC CHURCH

Copenhagen Street

Postal Address: 39 Duncan
Terrace, Islington, London
N1 8AL

Email: copenhagenstreet@rcdow.org.uk

Tel: 020 7226 3277    

Dear Parishioners

SOME IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT THE RE-OPENING OF OUR CHURCH

Happy feast of Corpus Christi – the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – and the patronal feast of our parish.  I celebrated Mass on my own in the church this morning and prayed for all your intentions. It still feels very strange being in the church without you!

Hopefully, from next weekend onwards, we will be able to open the doors of the church again to allow you to come and pray individually before Our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament. This permission has been granted to us by the Government as long as we have the necessary health and safety conditions in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.   We will  need to adhere to the two-metre social-distancing guidelines and strict cleaning protocols. In order for this to happen we need parishioners to volunteer to act as stewards and cleaners. After the request I made in my letter last week, two parishioners have kindly volunteered to be stewards. We need more please! And cleaners are really important too.

The plan is to open the church for individual prayer on Sunday mornings from 10.00 until 12noon beginning next Sunday 21st June. 

The stewards will need to be on duty from just before 10 o’clock until just after noon. Then we will need some cleaners to move in and give the church a thorough clean. We cannot open the church unless we have enough stewards and cleaners. Please consider volunteering for these key roles. You will be provided with the necessary personal protection and also with some basic training.

If you wish to volunteer, please let either myself or Sr Miriam know by phone or e-mail.My telephone number is 020 7226 3277 (option 3) and Sr Miriam’s is 020 7837 8378.The parish e-mail address is at the top of this letter.

I look forward to hearing from you – and to seeing you back in the church very soon.

If we can manage opening the church for individual private prayer, we will get good practice for the time when we are allowed to gather for the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments.

May God bless you and your families in these continued uncertain times!

Fr Séamus

Parish Priest

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Updated 02/05/2020

God is with us

Banner in front of the Church by children at Blessed Sacrament School.


A People who Hope in Christ

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The radiance of the risen Lord shines upon us. At a time when so many shadows are cast into our lives, and upon our world, the light of the resurrection shines forever to renew and restore our hope. In the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis:
‘In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side.’ (27 March 2020)

The impact of Covid-19, both nationally and internationally, has been immense. So much of what we take for granted has changed. Our health and physical interaction, our capacity to travel and gather, have all been affected. There is uncertainty in our future, especially with work and the country’s economy. As we know, very sadly, large numbers of people have died because of the coronavirus, and others have been or remain seriously ill. Keyworkers, not least in the National Health Service and care sectors, are serving selflessly to sustain the life of our nation. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who is suffering because of Covid-19, and to all those battling to overcome its effects. May those who have died rest in peace and those who are bereaved find comfort.

When the Prime Minister announced the lockdown, this included places of worship and therefore Catholic churches. These measures were put in place to stem the general transmission of the virus. It is right that the Catholic community fulfils its role in contributing to the preservation of life and the common good of society. This must continue until the restrictions applied by the Government are lifted.

None of us would want to be in the situation in which we find ourselves. While the live-streaming of the Mass and other devotions is playing an important part in maintaining the life of faith, there is no substitute for Catholics being able to physically attend and participate in the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments. Our faith is expressed powerfully and beautifully though ‘seeing, touching, and tasting.’ We know that every bishop and every priest recognises the pain of Catholics who, at present, cannot pray in church or receive the sacraments. This weighs heavily on our hearts. We are deeply moved by the Eucharistic yearning expressed by so many members of the faithful. We thank you sincerely for your love for the Lord Jesus, present in the sacraments and supremely so in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The bishops and priests of every diocese are remembering you and your loved ones at Mass each day in our churches as we pray ‘in hope of health and well-being.’ We thank our priests for this faithfulness to their calling.

As the Government’s restrictions are relaxed step by step, we look forward to opening our churches and resuming our liturgical, spiritual, catechetical and pastoral life step by step. This will also be of service to those beyond the Catholic Church who depend on our charitable activity and outreach through which much goodness is shared by so many volunteers from our communities.

None of us knows, as yet, how or when the lockdown will end. There is likely to be a phased return to travelling and gathering. As a church, we are now planning for this time and our discussions with the statutory public health agencies and Government representatives are ongoing. Together with Catholics across England and Wales we desire the opening of our churches and access to the sacraments. Until then, we are continuing to pray and prepare.

We want to acknowledge with gratitude the service of our fellow bishops and priests, our deacons and religious, our families and lay faithful, together with all our parish and school communities, for the wonderful ways the life of the faith is being nourished at this time, especially in the home. We also pay tribute to the Catholic organisations and networks that are working to support the vulnerable and needy.

On that first Easter day, the disciples were in lockdown and the doors were closed. In their isolation the Lord Jesus came among them and said ‘Peace be with you.’ May the peace of the risen Lord reign in our hearts and homes as we look forward to the day we can enter church again and gather around the altar to offer together the Sacrifice of Praise.

We unite in asking the intercession of Our Blessed Lady and assure you of our prayers and blessing

Yours devotedly in Christ,

✠  Cardinal Vincent Nichols,
Archbishop of Westminster

✠  Malcolm McMahon
OP, Archbishop of Liverpool

✠  Bernard Longley,
Archbishop of Birmingham

✠  George Stack,
Archbishop of Cardiff

✠  John Wilson,
Archbishop of Southwark

 

 

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You will find us off the west side of Caledonian Road, half a mile north of Kings Cross Station, beside 157 Copenhagen Street, N1 0SR.

Our Postal Address is Blessed Sacrament Church, c/o 39 Duncan Terrace N1 8AL

The telephone number is 0207 226 3277 (This is the office at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Islington)

Our email address is copenhagenstreet@rcdow.org.uk.

We’re keen to hear from you, so please feel free to contact us!

Clergy:

Mgr. Seamus O’Boyle – Parish Priest,
Fr. Allan Alvarado Gil,
Fr. Larry Milby
(Clergy also serve St. John the Evangelist Parish and are resident at 39 Duncan Terrace N1 8AL. Tel: 020 7226 3277)

Religious:

School Sisters of Notre Dame,
Sister Miriam Bruder (Pastoral Assistant Email: ssnd27@yahoo.co.uk; Tel: 020 7837 8378)
Sister Paulette Tomlinson