Fr Robert writes: Another period of national lockdown is upon us - news that none of us wanted to hear. However, unlike previous lockdowns, places of worship may REMAIN OPEN for communal worship. This means that, for the moment, the Sunday and Thursday Masses will continue to be offered at their usual times. However, we must all be even more scrupulous about the disciplines that have become second nature in recent months: the use of sanitising gel when entering and leaving church, and at the time of Holy Communion; the use of masks (unless exempt); strict observance of social distancing and no 'mingling' with those outside our household or support bubble. With the exception of Mass on Sunday and Thursday, all other services, sacraments, and devotions remain suspended.
As I have emphasised from the beginning, it is very much your decision as to whether you attend Mass or not. If you are older, or clinically vulnerable, or especially anxious about the situation, it might be sensible to lie low for the next few weeks. The good news is that the number of congregation members to have received a vaccine injection is already in double figures and others now have a vaccination date. There is light at the end of the tunnel.