Further to the news item below of 18 January.
Today, Friday 22 January 2021, a parishioner most generously paid for St. Bartholomew's to receive a full deep-clean. Otherwise, it is our stewards who clean the church after each and every use.
We have come to rely on a small number of people to act as stewards, and we really need more of you to come forward, where you feel confident in doing so. Indeed, without stewards we cannot open and, if need be, planned Masses may be cancelled at short or no notice where they are not present. To be a steward, you must be aged 18 or over, not shielding or be from a household shared with anybody who is shielding, and you should not have any symptoms of COVID, whether actual or suspected. You should also be willing and able to help clean the church after Mass and Confessions as appropriate.
Please do contact us if you are able to assist, even if it is occasionally.
Due to a parishioner having reported symptoms of COVID and subsequently tested positive, having attended the 18:15 Mass on Saturday 8 January 2021, the decision was taken to shut down for a short time. Following consultation and advice received, we have decided to reopen this Saturday 23 January 2021 with 10:00 Mass and Confessions, with the 18:15 evening Mass and other Sunday Masses following (the 10:00 remains on hold).
All Mass times remain subject to review, and we shall continue to follow any restrictions which may be laid down by government from time to time.
It is crucial that everybody continues to follow COVID guidance, adhering to hand washing, hand sanitising, wearing masks and other face coverings correctly and maintaining social distancing. Please come warmly dressed, as we are obliged to keep the church well ventilated at all times. Before leaving your bench, please check to ensure that you have not left anything behind.
It is crucial that we continue using Track and Trace forms on every single visit to church, even if we attend twice in one day, for instance on Saturdays. It is only because we have adhered to use of these forms that we were able to contact everybody concerned.
Should you have or suspect you have symptoms, and you have attended St Bartholomew's (or indeed any other church), it is vital that you report to Track and Trace to obtain a test and to provide details of those with whom you have come into contact, and this includes the church - it is critical that you tell them that you have been here, so that they can contact us directly and thus speed up the process of tracing everybody who needs to know.
Before we open, stewards will be coming in to thoroughly clean the church. Without stewards we cannot open and, if need be, planned Masses may be cancelled at short or no notice where they are not present. We have come to rely on a small number of people to act as stewards, and we really need more to come forward, where they feel confident in doing so. To be a steward, you must be aged 18 or over, not shielding or be from a household shared with anybody who is shielding, and you should not have any symptoms of COVID, whether actual or suspected. You should also be willing and able to help clean the church after Mass and Confessions as appropriate.
We are grateful to all who have cooperated and continue to cooperate with us in keeping St Bartholomew's as COVID safe as possible.
With the commitment of all, we hope that, unless rules change, we can continue to hold Mass here.
Please keep an eye on our Home page for updates.
Due to a parishioner having reported symptoms of COVID and subsequently tested positive, the church is now closed until further notice. We have set a date of Monday 1 February 2021 to reopen unless otherwise advised by the Archdiocese of Southwark that it is safe to open beforehand.
The Mass affected was the 18:15 on Saturday 9 January 2021. If you attended that Mass, Father Deo will have contacted you, using the information provided on the Track and Trace forms completed each time anybody attends Mass. This highlights the importance of those forms, no matter how inconvenient they might be. Without them, we could not have informed those present.
Please keep an eye out on our Home page for updates.
We have now entered lockdown which, despite the strongest of representations from our bishops, means that public worship is now prohibited up to and including Wednesday 2 December 2020, which is the planned date for lockdown to come to an end. We earnestly hope to reopen for 10:00 Mass on Thursday 3 December 2020.
Commencing Monday 9 November 2020, the church will be open for private prayer only from 09:30 to 11:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. This is dependent upon the continued availability of stewards, without whom we shall be unable to open. Please note that you will need to complete a Track and Trace form when attending for private prayer.
If you would like to volunteer to be a steward, and if are able to help sanitise the church after each use, please contact the parish office. You must be aged 18 or over and not have symptoms of COVID, whether actual or suspected.
At least two Masses will be said each day, without a congregation present.
Confessions have also been cancelled until further notice.
The Parish Office is now closed until advised otherwise. However, Contact Forms, emails and voicemails will be accessed remotely, on an intermittent basis. All are kindly asked to wait patiently for a reply, where required. Please do not call at the presbytery without first contacting us, unless your need is urgent.
Please refer to our Home page for any future updates/changes.
Letter from Archbishop John concerning the proposed closure of churches for public worship as England faces a second national lockdown
The letter, published below, concerns the proposed closure of churches for public worship as England faces a second national lockdown. This is a communication for every Catholic to reflect and act upon in terms of asking our Government to be accountable and consider the wider spiritual well-being of its citizens.
Dear Father, Dear Deacon
The President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Nichols, and the Vice-President, Archbishop McMahon, released a Statement responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement of further widespread restrictions in England beginning on Thursday 5 November. In that televised statement, there had been no formal announcement concerning Places of Worship; however, the guidance later published on the Government’s own website stated that places of worship will be required to end all acts of collective worship from that date, with the exception of funerals.
As has been made clear in the Bishops’ Statement, Faith communities have played, and continue to play, a vital role in offering support in diverse and essential ways to hundreds of thousands of people in all sections of the community, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised; and that this “critical service towards the common good of all is created and sustained by communal worship and prayer”.
For Catholics, loving our neighbour and loving God are realised perfectly in our celebration of the Eucharist, through which the Lord Jesus shares himself in his risen life. This is the loving mystery which we, as disciples of the Lord Jesus, take out in service to the world.
In order that we might do as the Lord has commanded, Catholics have acted with great care and responsibility in the way churches have reopened, thus enabling the essential worship of God to be celebrated in a safe and organised way.
As the President and Vice-President make clear in their statement, the Government has a profound responsibility to show why it has taken this particular decision to prohibit the public celebration of the Liturgy; to do otherwise, would risk losing the good-will and unity needed at this difficult time.
The draft legislation is due to be brought before Parliament on Monday 2 November. In this short timeframe I would urge all priests and deacons to encourage the faithful to raise this matter with their constituency MPs, asking that questions be raised in the House regarding the publication of the data which has driven this regrettable decision to cease public common worship.
With every blessing
Yours sincerely in Christ
Most Rev John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark
World Mission Sunday takes place on the weekend of 17/18 October 2020.
In the absence of envelopes, you are kindly asked to make your donation via the MISSIO web site: https://missio.org.uk/donate/?donation=4
We have a proud record of raising funds for MISSIO, though we understand that during COVID, all charities have been severely affected, and this may not be possible. Please give what you can. You may also Gift Aid your donations online.
To all MISSIO Boxholders and Promoters, we advise that COVID has also affected the collection, emptying and return of boxes. We trust that next year this will not be repeated. In the meantime, if you are able, you may donate online via the MISSIO web site: https://missio.org.uk/donate/.
You may also Gift Aid your online donations. Bank transfers and cheques may also be used. The Parish Reference for St Bartholomew’s is: SOU 103. Our collection for 2019 came to £5137.40. Thank you so much for your great generosity. In the meantime, magazines have been distributed to you all. Please see the back page of your magazines for more information on how to donate.
We can now announce the reintroduction of Confession. This will be on a first-come-first-served basis from Saturday 8 August, after the 10:00 Mass, from 10:30 until 11:00.
Confessions will be heard in the working sacristy, where the servers normally vest. You will firstly be directed to the Retro Chapel to wait. After you have made your Confession, you should leave immediately and make your penance at home. Please follow social distancing guidelines and any directions you are given by the clergy or stewards.
Archbishop John Wilson to celebrate Mass online to marking his 1st Anniversary (25 July) and Silver Jubilee of priestly ordination (29 July)
On Wednesday 29 July Archbishop John Wilson celebrates the twenty fifth anniversary of his ordination as a priest, his Silver Jubilee. In the evening he will be celebrating Mass in St George's Cathedral at 19:00. The Mass will be live-streamed via the Diocesan YouTube Channel, and will be accessible via the following link: https://youtu.be/ljRkwUnz2ZA
Due to restrictions it is not possible for Archbishop John to celebrate his Jubilee in person with family, friends, former parishioners and people from the different dioceses that he has served in. He hopes that the live-stream Mass will enable many people to join him in thanking God for the gift of priesthood and the many other gifts that the Almighty has given to him.
Ad Multos Annos.
We re-started public Masses last weekend. Whilst this is a much longed-for development, it comes with its own rules and regulations.
Our church is now open for Mass at the following times:
To maintain this schedule we need enough parishioners to act as stewards / volunteers / cleaners to enable us to conform to COVID19 guidelines. If you are willing and able to help, please email the parish office as soon as possible on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening the church for Private Prayer has now ceased.
The Obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended by our Bishops until further notice.
On entry to the church please follow the guidance of the stewards at all times.
It is important that you .....
We are anticipating the recommencement of public Masses at St. Bartholomew’s on Sunday 12 July. Masses will be celebrated at 08:30, 11:30 and 17:00 (no 10:00 Mass). From Monday 13 July there will be daily Masses at 10:00, and on Saturday 18 July the Saturday Mass of Anticipation at 18:15 will return.
You will be asked to complete a Test & Trace Form when attending. Please see our Newsletter for the latest information.
We are in need of volunteers to act as stewards in order to make these Masses sustainable. You must be 18 or over and not self-isolating or in any at-risk category. Please contact the Parish Office as soon as possible to register your availability. Please spread the word to those who might not get to see this request.
Opening for individual private prayer will cease when Masses recommence on 12 July. Until then the church will open for individual private prayer and thanksgiving between 11:00 and 13:00 on Sunday 5, Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8 and Friday 10 July.
In spiritual solidarity with all those who are suffering from COVID-19, their families and those who care for them, Archbishop John Wilson will celebrate a national live-streamed Mass in St. George’s Cathedral on Thursday 2 July at 19:00. Visit: http://youtu.be/i9E6KwpYD08
As Schools and Colleges in the Archdiocese of Southwark head towards the end of the Academic year, Archbishop John Wilson has recorded a message to staff, pupils, governors and all connected with diocesan education.
Cardinal Vincent welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement on 23 June that collective acts of worship can resume, saying: 'I welcome the statement by the Prime Minister earlier today, that places of worship are now able to resume collective acts of worship from 4 July. This is welcome news for members of all religions in England..... Read more>>>
Details of the arrangements for Masses at St. Bartholomew's will be posted as soon as they have been made.
We are delighted to announce that, with effect from Tuesday 23 June, our church will be open for private prayer and thanksgiving between 11:00 and 13:00 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. We thank the Lord that our church can open its doors once again. Do pop in and be in His sacred presence, even if just for a minute or two, whilst we're open.
A risk assessment has been carried out, and the church made ready.
We now need volunteers to act as stewards in order to make this re-opening sustainable. You must be 18 or over and not self-isolating or in any at-risk category. Please contact the Parish Office as soon as possible to register your availability. Please spread the word to those who might not get to see this request.
Pastoral Letter from Archbishop John concerning the Reopening of Catholic Churches for Individual Prayer