Statement from Bishop Alan Hopes, the Bishop of East Anglia, as our churches prepare to re-open for private prayer on June 15th
I know that all Catholics throughout the Diocese of East Anglia will welcome with relief and joy the news that our churches are to re-open on June 15th for private prayer. I am so grateful for the patience and resilience that they have shown since March 23rd, the day on which the churches were closed, by Government decision, in order to help in the struggle against the present pandemic. This will be a great blessing, not just for Catholics but a benefit for all the people of East Anglia – a sacred space where we can pray not just for ourselves but for all who need peace and healing at this time.
This is the first step towards restoring the full practice of our Faith, for the celebration of Holy Mass and the other Sacraments, a time for which we await with deep longing.
The detailed guidance that we have been given for the opening of our churches will be fully observed, in order that people may enter them safely and confidently. This may mean that some of them are unable to open on June 15th but will do so at a later date. It is important that we still work with the Government in protecting all members of our society from this pandemic and in particular the most vulnerable.
Bishop Alan Hopes
Bishop of East Anglia