Reopening of our churches

Over the last few weeks the Government has relaxed the regulations surrounding places of worship, and now our churches are able to open for private prayer and for Mass too.  Our churches in Southwell and Calverton, being part of the Diocese of Nottingham, are subject to the decisions of Bishop Patrick, who has issued regulations concerning how we might reopen our churches.

            Sincere thanks to those who have offered to help as volunteers in our churches, and who have emailed Father Simon with suggestions, advice, and offers of help over the past few weeks.  If you’ve not done so, and wish to be involved, please email Father Simon this coming week.  The current situation is:


  1. the protocols we have to follow are relevant to every Catholic church in England, and so although they might seem onerous we have no option to not follow them, although there is no pressure to reopen our churches in Southwell and Calverton until we are ready to do so;

  2. although we are one parish we have two churches with little cross-over in their similarly-sized congregations; therefore it would be good to be able to reopen both churches at the same time;

  3. the Sunday obligation continues to be suspended and so there’s no requirement for Masses to be celebrated on Sunday, if celebrations on other days might be more feasible; indeed, in our parish setting we might consider one Mass in each church each week;

  4. once he public celebration of Masses have been resumed it would be advantageous to continue celebrating each week; therefore offers of help, rotas, etc, have to be sustainable over the medium term;

  5. there is still some doubt about whether those over 70 years old can volunteer as stewards; alternatively there are other jobs to be done which could be undertaken from home, or by those who are shielding;

  6. all stewards, cleaners, and those working in church would have to be registered volunteers with the diocese; anyone helping from home wouldn’t have to be;

  7. we would need a minimum of four volunteers per Mass, and the duties would last perhaps two hours (including the cleaning beforehand and afterwards);

  8. realigning pews and chairs to observe the two-metre social distancing, and a one-way system, we might be able to accommodate 20 people in either church.


Father Simon hopes to hold a meeting within the next fortnight for those who have offered to help.  If you haven’t yet, but could do so, please email him this week.

Please also look at the newsletter,

or under the coronavirus tab above,

for ways in which you can help to reopen

our churches for private prayer and Mass

Father Simon on Pentecost morning

Our Lady's church on Pentecost morning

Halam Road

NG25 0AD

Mansfield Lane Calverton

NG14 6NP