Previous COVID 19 letters






Pastoral Letter for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

13-14 February 2021


Shortly it will be Ash Wednesday, a day rich in associations and symbolism. It marks the beginning a Lent, a time for turning again to the practice of our faith, in prayer, self-denial (fasting) and practical generosity (almsgiving). Ash Wednesday is the doorway into this season of renewal.

As we cross this threshold we customarily receive ashes on our foreheads, in the sign of the cross. This is a public mark of our turning again to God, seeking his mercy, forgiveness and help. We use these words: ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return’. Yes, we cannot pretend otherwise. Or: ‘Repent, and believe in the Gospel’. Yes, we seek the one thing that is absolutely necessary: the grace of God.

 This year receiving ashes in the church is going to be difficult. Yes, our churches are safe if the protective measures are fulfilled. But we must all be very careful about travelling too far. Some churches will, of course, be open for the celebration of Mass as usual. But I have asked them not to make extra provision for Ash Wednesday. We must be so careful and cooperative in the measures we must take, to protect ourselves and to protect others.

 I now want to emphasise an important point. Receiving ashes is an outward sign of an inner step, a movement of the heart towards our beloved Lord. This year I invite you to concentrate much more on this inner, spiritual movement than on its outward manifestation in the imposition of ashes.

 My suggestion is this: celebrate Ash Wednesday at home, with your family, in the household or ‘support bubble’ of which you are apart. Gather for a while. Read the prayer which I offer. Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other’s forehead. Spent some time praying in a way that you know. But please, make this a prayer of your heart for God’s mercy upon this world struggling to cope with the terrible pandemic and the devastation it is bringing.


Here is a prayer:

 ‘Lord God, with all our hearts we beseech you: have mercy on your people; spare your people; strengthen all people in the struggle against the havoc of this pandemic. Lord our God, without you we are so weak and our courage so limited. Give us your strength; give us your love; give us wisdom and skill to continue this fight. Spare your people, O Lord we pray. Comfort those who mourn and gather into your kingdom all who have died. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, who died and rose to life, who lives and reigns with you, forever and ever. Amen.’

 Then, bless each other, using one of the two traditional formulas I have quoted earlier in this letter. Then continue with your own prayers. A pattern is suggested at the end of this letter.

As a child, my mother or father used to come to my bedside each night to settle me for sleep. I was kissed goodnight and then, either my Mum or Dad would make the sign of the cross on my forehead. They gave me their blessing. This brought me such security. I remember it to this day. Then I slept in peace.

 So please do not hesitate, within your household or ‘bubble’, to bless each other on this Ash Wednesday We do well to remember together our need of the good Lord. Together, and through each other, he wants to comfort and reassure us of his loving presence. If on this day, we set aside every pretence that we can do everything of ourselves, then we create in our hearts and lives the space for God’s grace and strength to find a home in us.

This is the great invitation of Ash Wednesday and of the weeks of Lent which follow. Please do take up this invitation. Open your hearts to the gift of God’s presence to support, comfort
and strengthen you. This year, it may be best to do this, not by going to church, but by sharing the prayer, the blessing and this moment of dedication within the love of your family and friends.


Please do include me in your prayers, too.


May God bless you all,

X Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Archbishop of Westminster


Ash Wednesday at Home


  1.         Gather together and start with the Sign of the Cross.

2.   Read the Gospel for today. It is from St Matthew’s Gospel, 6.1-6 and 16-18.

3.   Say together the prayer given in this Pastoral Letter.

4.   Make the Sign of the Cross on each other’s forehead, using the words you choose.

5.   Pray together: the Our Father; the Hail Mary; each one with his or her own prayer or intention.

6.     Conclude with the ‘Glory be to the Father…’

7.     Give each other a sign of peace.


So Lent begins!



Copenhagen Street




                                        O come, thou day-spring, come and cheer

Our spirits by thine advent here
Disperse the
gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

We are near the end of the Season of Hope which is Advent, looking forward to the great Feast of Christmas and the celebration of the Incarnation of God-with-us, Emmanuel. We all long for the gloomy clouds of coronavirus to be dispersed, which, please God, they will be in the months ahead as vaccines are made available throughout the world.  But we must hold fast for now to the restrictions that remain in place. The virus is busy at work infecting many people in London – it does not know that it is Christmas!

As a result of this, our Parish celebration of Christmas will be quite different this year. Overleaf is a list of the Masses over the Christmas period.  Please note the changes to times – and remember that the Church can only seat 50 people socially-distanced and wearing face coverings.  While some parishioners have booked places in the Church for Christmas Mass, the others will be on a first-come, first-served basis.    I thank the parishioners who have so generously offered to act as stewards and cleaners at these Masses and ask you please to do as they say!

On behalf of Sr Miriam, Sr Paulette, Fr Allan, and Fr Larry I wish you and your loved ones every blessing this Christmas, and may the Year of Our Lord 2021 be a healthier and safer one for the whole human family!

Mgr Séamus O’Boyle

Parish Priest






5 November 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

As we enter this second ‘lockdown’ and loss of communal celebration of Mass, I wish to add these few words.

This is a time for us to show our strength. And by that, I do not mean strength in defiance. I mean strength in mutual support; strength in service; strength in perseverance and hope. I mean, then, the strength of our faith in action.

The first act of faith is the praise of God. It is deep and constant prayer. This must be at the root of our lives, as individuals, as families, as households. I urge you, then, to stay faithful to daily patterns of prayer. Pray privately; pray together at home; come to church to pray; pray without ceasing. I thank God that our churches remain open to be places of peace and prayer, and the live streaming of the Mass celebrated every day in our churches, is a great help. But that too must be rooted in our own life of prayer.

Only by receiving the living water from the Lord will we pass through this arid time. Indeed, if we stay close to the Lord, we will be changed for the better by this time of crisis.

The second act of faith is a humble service. This is the road we are to follow: service of each other; outreach to the lonely; nourishment for the hungry; compassion for the sick, the isolated, the dying, especially those facing death alone, and those who mourn. Let’s do it.

These are the strengths we have, the strengths we must contribute to our society’s way of life. Only in this day-to-day practice can we shape a different future, a better future, one that is more compassionate, more just, more charitable. This is the future which must come out of this crisis. We cannot just wait to ‘get back to normal’. This is a time to rebuild a better family, a better household, a better neighbourhood, a better world.

May God bless and sustain us all in the weeks ahead.

Yours devotedly,

X Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster




04 July, 2020

Dear Parishioners


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 remains 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 10.30 am and 11.30 am.

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


Please see Cardinal Vincent’s video about public Masses on

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.


Updated 21/06/2020


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


Updated 15/06/2020


Copenhagen Street

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


Tel: 020 7226 3277

Dear Parishioners


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



Updated 02/05/2020

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





Copenhagen Street

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


Tel: 020 7226 3277    

Parishioners and friends,


This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity which begins the Ordinary Sundays of the Church’s year after the celebration of Lent and Easter.  It is also the ‘Twelfth Sunday in Lockdown’ – next weekend marking a whole quarter of the year since we were able to join together in Church for the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments!

You may have heard on the news last weekend the Cardinal’s plea to the Government to allow for the opening of churches and other places of worship. It does seem ridiculous to us that bookstores and garden centres as well as other ‘non-essential’ businesses are now able to open up while our churches are not.

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have put a set of proposals to the Government, in consultation with Public Health Authorities, for the safe opening of our churches in keeping with the current health and social-distancing protocols.

One of the key elements in the Bishops’ proposals is the identifying of people in our parishes who would be willing to act as ‘stewards’ in managing the flow of people into church.  It does seem likely that at the beginning of July we will be allowed to open for people to come into church for individual prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. However, there is, as yet, no sign of us being able to gather in larger groups for the celebration of Mass or the Sacraments. If we can manage the individual prayer we will get good practice for the future possibility
of public acts of worship.

While it will be relatively easy to put in place the necessary two-metre spacing still required, and the provision of hand sanitizers as well as a one way system for entering and leaving the church, the most important element in the phased re-opening will be the stewards.

I am therefore asking if any of you might please be willing to join a team of stewards to assist in the opening of the church. Obviously you cannot be a member of any group deemed to be at risk. Your services should only be needed for an hour or two on the days we plan to open. Training will be provided, as will the required PPE for this key role. Quite simply put, if we cannot identify stewards we cannot open up!

Please let me know if you are willing to be a steward – by e-mailing the parish, leaving a message via the parish phone number or just posting a note through the Presbytery letter box at 39 Duncan Terrace.

Thank you for your messages asking how we priests are managing. We are doing well despite the complete lack of contact with the majority of you!  Fr Allan is honing his skills as our barber – both Fr Larry and I have now undergone two lockdown haircuts!

We continue to offer Mass for your intentions in the Church and look forward to seeing you back in the benches soon!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,   as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen!

Fr Séamus

Parish Priest



Added 23/04/2020


Copenhagen Street

Dear Parishioners and Friends

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

We are already into the second week of Eastertide – normally a time of joyful celebration in the Church, this year muted by the continuing nightmare of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet our Easter faith tells us that the Light of Christ rising in glory will banish the darkness of our world. That Light is to be found in the brave and dedicated professionalism of all those in the frontline
combatting the virus, it is there in the many scientists working hard to find vaccines, and in the heart-warming tales of so many acts of generosity and kindness. Wherever there is love and loving kindness God is there! Christ’s Light is there!

Thank you for kindly asking after the wellbeing of Sr Miriam, Sr Paulette, Fr Larry, Fr Allan and me!  We are managing well thank God.  Sadly, the priests’ main ministry at the moment is with families arranging funerals for loved ones who have died because of Covid-19 or other natural causes. It is so tough for them not to have been able to say goodbye properly to those they loved, or to be able to give the families the comfort of a Funeral Mass in church. Please keep these bereaved families in your prayers.

My apologies to those who have been trying to contact us by phone!  The parish phone system crashed on us nearly two weeks ago. An engineer finally came out to try and fix the problem, but to no avail.  Apparently, it is a cable fault and so requires a cable engineer to visit! If you try phoning us, you get a continuous ringing tone – which is more than we hear! I hope this is remedied soon.

The paid parish staff have been furloughed in keeping with guidance from the HR department of the Diocese.  I am sure that many of you are in a similar situation. This means, of course, that the parish office is currently closed. Neither Lisa the secretary nor Oscar our bookkeeper is working. Some of you have been enquiring about how to make your regular donation to the parish, or if you are members of our Planned Giving scheme, when you might receive your new boxes of Offertory envelopes. The answer to that question is – I don’t know – Oscar does!

If, however, you are in the fortunate position of being able to make a financial contribution to the parish you could please do so by direct electronic transfer. Here are the parish bank account details:

HSBC a/c:  WRCDT Blessed Sacrament Church

Sortcode: 40-05-20
a/c no: 91308661

At Easter we were due to welcome into the Church through Baptism and the other Sacraments of Initiation a number of adults in this year’s RCIA group. It was quite a let-down for them, the lead catechist David, Sr Miriam, and indeed the priests, not to be able to celebrate with them the Easter Vigil which we were all so much looking forward to. Also, over the coming weeks we were supposed to be sharing in the joy of families whose youngsters were making their First Holy Communion or being Confirmed. Those celebrations will have to be re-arranged after the lifting of restrictions.

We continue to offer Mass for you and your intentions in the empty church, with that clock at the back ticking loudly! We are all looking forward to the day when we can come together once more as a worshipping community. In the meantime, let us hold each other up in prayer.

God love you and bless you!

Fr Séamus

Parish Priest



Copenhagen Street


Dear Parishioners and Friends

It is ‘Spy Wednesday’ as I write this – the middle of what has been a very unusual Holy Week for us all.  Tomorrow we begin the great ‘Three Days’ of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday leading up to the joyous Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter! It will be strange indeed not to be celebrating these keys days of our faith without you being present in person.

Fr Allan, Fr Larry and I, together with Sr Miriam and Sr Paulette, will be remembering you in prayer – please try to do the same for us and your fellow parishioners so that we at least are united in spirit!

I celebrated Palm Sunday Mass at Blessed Sacrament all by myself. I thought of you and imagined you sitting in the benches in the Church.  I must admit that, on a couple of occasions during the Mass, I could have burst into tears! But I did notice something that I have never noticed before….that
the clock at the back of the Church actually ticks quite loudly! It was so quiet and still that it was really noticeable.  I hope not to be able to hear it once more when we are all back together and filling the space!

Pope Francis set the scene for these important days when he said the following at the General Audience in the Vatican this morning. He has a wonderful way of choosing just the right words to say:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: At this time of anxiety and suffering caused by the current pandemic, we all face uncertainty and may ask where God is to be found in this situation.
During these days of Holy Week, we can find solace in the account of the Passion of Jesus. Our Lord also faced questions, with many wondering
whether he really was the promised Messiah. It was only after his death that a centurion confirmed that Jesus truly was the Son of God. He did this after seeing Christ suffer silently on the cross, which teaches us that God’s power is revealed in humble and self-sacrificial love. We, like the disciples, may have preferred the Lord to manifest his strength by resolving our problems according to our own measure of what is right. Yet the death and resurrection of Jesus show that while earthly power passes away, only love endures forever. Dear brothers and sisters let us draw courage from our crucified and risen Lord, who embraces our fragility, heals our sins, and draws us close to him, transforming our doubts into faith and our fears into hope.


Cardinal Vincent will be celebrating the Holy Week ceremonies in Westminster Cathedral and they will be livestreamed together with Easter Sunday Mass.  Why not try and join those celebrations via:

Let’s keep each other in prayer and remember especially those who are suffering with the effects of Covid-19 both near and far. Of course, we must continue to pray for our wonderful NHS workers at the frontline.

I hope to see you soon – but in the meantime send my love and prayers.

Stay safe and well!

Fr. Séamus

Parish Priest


Updated: 28 March 2020

Our Archbishop, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, published a statement on the 24th of March saying that following on from the Prime Minister’s message on Monday 23rd March, churches in the Diocese of Westminster are to close with immediate effect and to remain closed until further notice. “As our churches have to remain closed” he says, “let’s open our hearts even wider. As the Psalms say ‘Grow higher ancient doors and let the King of Glory enter.’ These are the doors of our hearts. God knows well how to fill our lives. We must open our hearts in prayer and silent welcome.

For the full statement, click on the tab “Advice on Coronavirus” For faith resources in this time click “Online Mass Schedule” and “Resources during Mass Suspension”. You can find Wednesday Word on line as well.



Copenhagen Street

Tel: 020 7226 3277

Dear Parishioners,
In response to  the  Coronavirus  pandemic,  so  many  aspects  of  our  lives  must  change. Following  official  advice  and  in  order  to  keep  each  other  safe,  save  lives  and  support  the  NHS,  at  this  time our Bishops have directed that we must  not  gather  for  public  acts  of  worship  in  our  churches. This will take effect from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
Our  church  will  remain  open for a few hours each Sunday.    It is not closing. In visiting the church at this time, please  observe  with  great  care  the  practices  of  hygiene  and  the  guidance  on  social  distancing. However, the celebration of one Mass here, Sunday by Sunday, will take place without a public congregation.
The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other.  There are many ways in which we can do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially   those who are elderly   and   vulnerable;   contributing   to   our  food   bank;   volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.
The Cardinal has written a letter to us all about these unprecedented times – there are copies on the table by the door. There is also a list of parishes in the Diocese where Mass is livestreamed on the internet. That list is on the table as well.
Let us continue to pray for each other, for those who are sick, those caring for them in the NHS, and all those working hard to find remedies and a vaccine for the virus.

May God bless us all!
Fr Séamus
Parish Priest