Thursday, July 2

Still nothing to report about our church reopening.

The order for cleaning materials, PPE etc., placed for us by the diocese hasn’t yet materialised.  I can't arrange for cleaning and  preparation of the church and the mandatory diocesan inspection until all of this stuff is delivered.

In addition,  I’m in the process of arranging for the testing of all portable electrical appliances,  along with other health & safety requirements unrelated to the prevention of infection with covid-19, as our diocese proscribes reopening without completion of these...

One thing is certain: when you do, eventually, get to come back into your church building some things will be different, including: 

  • You will be expected to use the hand sanitiser that is provided on arrival and departure, or be seen to be using your own
  • You’ll be directed to a place in church by a steward, and numbers allowed inside at any time will be restricted
  • When the diocesan Ordinary permits me to celebrate public Mass again, it will be brief, the order may be slightly altered, especially for the distrbution and reception of Holy Communion, and there’ll be no singing 
  • You are encouraged to do wear a nose/mouth covering when in church
  • Mass times will very likely have to be altered* 

I’ll do my best to keep you informed of any progress on this website.

HOWEVER, NONE of this can happen without the help of volunteers


The obligation to attend Sunday Mass is still suspended by the bishop. 

Don’t be anxious if you can’t, or would rather not, come back to church straight away. If we manage to open and have sufficient volunteers to enable stewarding for some weekday Masses, these are likely to be less busy, and that could be an option for some.

Unfortunately, I can't see St Thomas’ Church reopening for a while yet. Having no side aisles, there is no way to establish  a ‘one-way’ system, and, with the still-recommended-as-safer 2 metre social distancing in place, we would be able to admit very few people into the building. For the time being, I'll concentrate all efforts on opening the larger building at Our Lady of Mount Carmel  in the hope, that parishioners from St Thomas’ who are able to will go there.


*This will depend on how many Masses I may need to offer in order to accommodate those who want to come. A great proportion of the space in church can’t be used due to social distancing requirements. In churches that are furnished with pews, usually only one in every three pews can be used and, unless occupied by a family or household ‘bubble’, only two persons can be in a pew, each at opposite ends. I may have to resort to some sort of booking system for the places that we are able to utilise.


____________———_____……………BUTBBUTBUThoweveHOWEVER, NONE of this can happen without the help of volunteers - and we don’t have that many.

  • If you have volunteered I will be in contact with you as soon as the materials and PPE arrive with more details about cleaning and stewarding. There will be a brief meeting to explain the procedures we have to implement.

  • The pool of volunteers must be limited to those who are under seventy years of age and who are free from any underlying health condition that might place one at risk.

  • We have 8 volunteers so far. This should mean we can open on a Sunday, and perhaps at some other times during the week. Given that some of the volunteers may be back at work, it is difficult to envisage how we could do much more. 

  • It would be good if we had small team who could be available to steward etc. at funeral services. These will be possible once the church is able to open, but only with this help in place. The number of people permitted to attend a service would still be very limited, there will be no music or singing of hymns at them.

It is likely that these measures will have to be in place for some months, so whatever we do, it will need to be sustainable. A larger group of volunteers will help this to be the case. I won’t allow this to become overly burdensome for a small group of parishioners.  

Thank you to parishioners who have volunteered so far. 

If you are able to volunteer to help with stewarding or cleaning please contact me.


The English Metropolitan Archbishops have issued a letter about the return to parish worship (linked).

Links to live-streamed (and recordings) of Holy Mass etc.:  English texts are on our Today tab on the menu bar above. Schedules are on most of the live-stream websites.

Live-streamed and recorded daily Holy Masses from the York Oratory

Click here  for the 24 hr live-stream of Masses & devotions at the Walsingham Basilica

Click here for a live-stream of the Traditional Latin Mass (FSSP)

Live Mass for the Sick, their Families and Care-givers

Recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone, special Masses will be celebrated for the sick, their families, care workers and NHS staff will be celebrated by one of our Bishops in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pmFull schedule.

Click here for very useful suggestions from the Bishop of Leeds on how to participate in streamed live Mass  when remaining at home

an invitation to a virtual Lourdes ‘pilgrimage'