This page provides links to resources to help sustain our faith at a time when we are unable to join together physically as a community. If you find the resources helpful, do pass the word onto others. If you discover something else which has brought support to you, spiritually or emotionally or practically, at this difficult time, do let us know and we will share it for the benefit of the wider community.
Live Streaming of Mass
While the public celebration of liturgies is suspended, you can participate in Masses that are streamed online. For links to churches offering this service within the Archdiocese of Westminster, click on the Online Mass Schedule button on the left of this page. For links to services elsewhere, use churchservices.tv.
Every Thursday at 7pm, the bishops of England and Wales are taking it in turns to offer Mass, live-streamed from their Cathedral, for all the front-line workers in the NHS and care homes, and for the sick and for their families. This Thursday (28th May), Bishop Terence Drainey will be offering the Mass from Middlesbrough Cathedral. The planned programme of these weekly Masses can be seen here.
Laudato Si’ Week
The coronavirus pandemic has brought home to every one of us how much our world is interconnected. It has also prompted many of us to reflect on the things that are truly important. This week marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, which stresses the importance of caring for this world which is our common home. The climax of this week comes at 12 noon (local time) on Sunday 24th May, when all Catholics around the world are invited to share a common prayer, as we look forward in hope to a better future for all of humanity. Each of us has a part to play in building that future, but we need the Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us.
Prayer in Isolation
Prayer can draw us together, even when we are physically separated from each other. A resource that can be used by individuals to deepen that sense of solidarity in prayer is available here. It includes the Spiritual Communion that we can offer while we are unable to share fully in the Sacraments. You can read today’s Mass readings each day at Universalis.com. Magnificat are also offering their resources free-of-charge online for the time being.
Praying the Rosary
The Rosary is a prayer that we can pray at home, individually or, most especially, as a family. May is the month which we dedicate to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, during this month, Pope Francis invites us to pray the Rosary in our homes. He has offered two special prayers which he encourages us to pray at the end of our recitation of the Rosary, to seek the intercession of Our Blessed Lady in our present need.
Pause for Faith
Fr Stephen Wang, who presents the Sycamore faith-exploration series, has been streaming videos covering a wide range of topics about our Catholic faith. If you would like to take this opportunity to deepen your understanding of the faith, you can access the videos on the Pause for Faith YouTube channel.
A Letter from the Desert
Coping with the lockdown may be getting harder as time goes on. A letter from the Italian Bishop, Arturo Aiello, addressed to contemplative nuns, whose vocation is to live in an enclosed community, might help to put our situation in perspective.
Prayer for a Pandemic
This Prayer is offered courtesy of the Catholic parishes of Borehamwood.
Virtual Children’s Liturgy.
CAFOD are offering a virtual children’s liturgy on Sunday morning. Register to join at CAFOD Children’s Liturgy, where you will also find other resources that can be shared with children.
Wednesday Word is a resource that parents can use to share the Sunday Gospel message with their children.
The Westminster diocesan website offers a selection of catechetical resources which cater for a variety of different spiritual needs at this time.
Candle of Hope
Churches Together in England have produced posters which we are invited to place in our windows as a reminder to others that we are united in prayer, and praying for those around us. There are two versions of the poster, one saying simply that we are praying and the other showing that we are praying for others. Choose one of them to print and place it in your window, as a sign of our solidarity in prayer and in hope. There is a special focus on that shared prayer at 7pm every Sunday evening.
You can access the latest issue of our weekly parish newsletter via the News page. If you would like the newsletter sent to you by email every week, follow the Sign-up link on the right-hand side of this page and then enter your name and email address. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
A number of people also like to read the article from Redemptorist Publications that normally appears on the reverse of the printed newsletter. Use the following link to read the article for this Sunday 24th May.
For the benefit of those who are not able to access live streaming, it is possible to hear Mass broadcast on the radio. Radio Maria England broadcasts on DAB radio in the London area. They have Mass each day following the Angelus / Regina Caeli at 12 noon, plus an earlier Mass at 7:30am or 9:30am. You need to have one of the newer DAB+ radios to receive the broadcasts. Search for ‘RMariaEn’ on your radio – try running a scan or autotune if you can’t find it. Check their website for the latest schedule.
If you would like to hear some heart-warming stories about how people are responding to the needs of others during the pandemic, try the Make a Difference podcast from BBC Local Radio. Heart and Soul from the BBC World Service reflects on how people from different faith traditions are living their faith in the midst of a pandemic. You can also listen to the Thought for the Day reflections that are broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. There are a number of other podcasts available which offer information and inspiration as well as entertainment. You can find them on BBC Sounds, as well as on iTunes and other podcast apps.
It is heartwarming to see the extent to which so many people are making a special effort to help others at this time. If you know of someone who doesn’t have access to the internet, you might like to print a copy of the weekly newsletter, or any of the other resources listed on this page that they might find helpful, and drop it into them.
Not being able to have services in the church is a cause of added distress when a loved one dies. Funerals can still take place at the cemetery or crematorium, subject to the restrictions imposed by the authorities. That inevitably means a very small gathering of close family only. The Government has issued guidelines about funeral arrangements. The funeral director will be able to offer specific guidance in individual circumstances. A Memorial Mass can be arranged at a later date when the current restrictions are lifted. The Art of Dying Well website has an article which you might find helpful. It includes a short service which relations and friends can use at home if they are unable to attend the funeral. The same website also offers a selection of prayers for the dead and dying, including some appropriate Scripture references.
The Barnet Wellbeing Service provides some helpful ideas for maintaining health of mind and body as we try to cope with the changed circumstances of our lives.
Citizens Advice continues to offer assistance, by phone and by email.
Banking in Isolation
For those who are not comfortable with dealing with their finances using online or mobile banking, the Post Office has expanded its services to allow a trusted person to draw cash on behalf of someone who is housebound or self-isolating. Initial contact needs to be with the account-holding bank, but it seems that the banks have been slow to sign up to the scheme. Which? has provided some helpful information about arranging for a volunteer to get shopping if you are unable to go out.
Beware of Scams!
There are many people who are going out of their way to help others at this time, but there are also some who are using the present crisis to take advantage of others. Be cautious about dealing with strangers or responding to unexpected messages. See this report from the BBC News website.
Affirming our Faith
It was not possible to gather for our traditional Good Friday Walk of Witness with other Christians this year. Instead, ministers from different churches in Finchley have recorded an Easter affirmation of faith. Thanks to Revd Paul Martin at Trinity Church in North Finchley for compiling the video.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols issued a Pastoral Letter, before the lockdown, for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, 22nd March 2020.
The Archbishops of England and Wales produced a Pastoral Message for Easter.
Cardinal Vincent has also recorded the following message for Pentecost:
For more information, click on one of the buttons on the left of this page. This information will be updated regularly. For up-to-date news about the parish, click on one of the News buttons. It is possible to leave comments on some of those news items; click on the item heading to reveal the comments section.