Our Diocesan Newsletter 01 June 2020

Social Media & Information

Please note that all our advice will be on the Diocesan website www.rcsouthwark.co.uk. Other useful and/or interesting information can be found on our other links:

Pastoral Matters

Archbishop John wrote to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, this week expressing his understanding of “a growing sense of dissatisfaction” particularly as our churches are not yet permitted to open where a growing number of retail outlets will soon open their doors.

Religious faith can help support people, both directly and indirectly, with respect to their wellbeing. Access to places of worship is integral to this.

Archbishop John also wrote to all MP’s with constituencies in the Diocese. A full copy of his letter to the Prime Minister can be found on the Diocesan website.

The Bishops’ Conference have organised a weekly live stream Mass to pray for Keyworkers and their Families. These Masses are celebrated by a different Bishop each Thursday at 7pm from one of the Cathedrals across the country. Archbishop John will be celebrating the 2nd July Mass. The planned schedule for the next few weeks is:

4 June
Bishop John Arnold
Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Salford
Salford Cathedral on churchservices.tv
YouTube Channel

11 June
Bishop Patrick McKinney
St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham
Nottingham Cathedral on churchservices.tv

18 June
Archbishop Bernard Longley
St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham
St Chad’s on MCN Media

25 June
Bishop Alan Hopes
Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich
YouTube Channel

2 July
Archbishop John Wilson
St George’s Cathedral, Southwark
YouTube Channel

9 July
Bishop Tom Williams
Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool
YouTube Channel

Government Update

Current advice is:

  • If you cannot work from home you should return to work if your work premises are open and can be operated safely. Before anyone can return, we will have to undertake a risk assessment to make sure workplaces are safe. PLEASE NOTE this does not mean that our parishes have reopened, so please do not go back to the church, church hall or presbytery.
  • Plans are currently being prepared for churches to reopen for private worship in July. It does not mean that we will be able to open all Churches at once as there will be many factors that will have to be managed; we will provide an update as soon as we can about what that will mean for us all.

Easing of Lockdown Restrictions:

The next couple of weeks will see an easing of a number of the lockdown restrictions including:

  • From today primary schools and nurseries will start to reopen for early years, reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils
  • Open markets and car showrooms will open on 1st June and other non- essential shops will reopen on 15th June
  • You can spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
  • If you go out you should still maintain social distancing which means that you must stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people at all times.
  • You can go outside for exercising as often as you like and things like picnics or group sports with members of your own household will be permitted.
  • Continue to wash your hands frequently and immediately if you have been out.
  • If you are in the high-risk category of people and are shielding, you should continue to do so.

Full details are available from the government website


Further advice on symptoms of coronavirus and treatment can be found here.

Please remember to wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds at a time several times a day. Cleaning hard surfaces with an antibacterial cleaner is also recommended as the virus can live for several days on a hard surface.

Regular exercise, even if it is very gentle, is also essential for your physical and mental wellbeing. More information can also be obtained here.

We are aware that many of you may be anxious and feel alone during this period. If you would like to talk to someone from the Diocese during this period please email and we will organize regular telephone contact with you.

MIND have also created some excellent advice on taking care of your mental health over coming weeks, including what to do if you are worried about housing and benefits. This advice can be found here.

We recognize that times are very difficult currently for a variety of reasons. If any of you are suffering severe financial hardship currently please email for help.

Spiritual Wellbeing

During times of stress it is easy to let our spiritual life suffer but maintaining our prayer life can be a great source of strength and comfort.

Try making 10 minutes available during the day to sit quietly and read a passage of scripture, perhaps from the Mass of the day. Say a prayer for those affected by Covid19, those who care for them and also for our own family and friends. A prayer can be as short or as long as we like. It does not have to be in a set format but can be whatever comes to mind. There is no such thing as the wrong way to pray.

There are lots of resources to help us:

The Diocesan Spirituality Commission and the Centre for Catholic Formation have lots of resources on their websites that may help.

Universalis has the readings for the day as well as prayers for different times of the day.

If you have any general coronavirus queries or have suggestions as to what you would like to see in the bulletin, please contact us by email.

We are requesting that if you need to send anything to the Finance Office or other Curial Offices, that you email it, if at all possible, as the offices are now closed completely.