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Two Hours of Prayer on 13th November for our Deceased Family and Friends

Normally we have an annual mass for our dead in November in the Church and City of London Cemetery.

It’s not possible this year therefore on Friday 13th November from 7 to 9pm the will be 2 hours of prayer will be for our dead. The names of all who died this year will be displayed.

You may purchase a candle in memory of a loved one, light it and place it on the altar steps and pray for the soul of the person or persons. May all those we have known and loved rest contentedly in The Fathers House.

Sunday Mass for 8.11.20

Today is #RemembranceSunday and Mass will be live streamed at 11.30am on our YouTube channel at

Statement from Catholic Church on England &Wales on the Four-Week National Lockdown in England and a Call to Prayer



Today, Parliament passed into law the Regulations governing many aspects of activity in the whole of England until Wednesday, 2 December.

These Regulations prohibit the gathering of people for communal worship in churches and other religious buildings.

Churches remain open and in use for activities other than communal worship, including personal prayer and support for those in need.

Funeral Masses and funeral services may be held. Please refer to the Regulations (for places of worship see paragraph 18) and associated Guidance.

Despite profound misgivings it is important that we, as responsible citizens, observe these Regulations, which have the force of law:

“Remind them to be obedient to the officials in authority; to be ready to do good at every opportunity” 
Titus 3:1

We do this in solidarity with so many others on whom are being imposed restrictions which impact severely on their lives and livelihoods.

It is also important to recognise that these Regulations are not an attack on religious belief. However, they do demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the essential contribution made by faith communities to the well-being, resilience and health of our society.

At this difficult moment, we ask that, as a Catholic community, we make full use of our churches as places of individual prayer and sources of solace and help.

Daily Prayer

We must sustain each other in our patterns of prayer, joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm, and observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21 November) as a day of prayer for the ending of this pandemic.

We encourage you all in your practical service and support of each other and those around you in need.

This pathway of prayer and service is the royal road we are to take as a gracious witness in our society today.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP

Issued: Wednesday, 4 November 2020

From the Bishops of England & Wales on Public Worship


Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has joined UK faith leaders in writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to express the view that there is no scientific justification for the wholesale suspension of public worship from Thursday, 5 November.

The letter has been sent ahead of a four-week national lockdown in England to address the spread of COVID-19.

The faith leaders also highlight the contribution made by the UK’s faith communities in responding to the pandemic:

“Much has been made of the adverse impact on mental health of volunteer and paid carers during this pandemic. Common Worship is an important way of sustaining the wellbeing, and ability to serve, of people of faith who volunteer. The benefits of public worship are scientifically well attested.

“For this reason alone, given the size and duration of the contribution of faith communities to the pandemic response, and the importance of sustaining their commitment and wellbeing, public worship is essential, should be classed by government as necessary and supported to continue.

“It enables and sustains people of faith in contributing to the service and health of our nation.”

Full Text

Rt Hon Boris Johnson, PC, MP
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 0AA


Rt Hon Robert Jenrick, MP
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Lord Stephen Greenhalgh
Minister of State

Dear Prime Minister

We write as leaders of faith communities represented on the government Places of Worship Taskforce to raise our profound concerns at the forthcoming restriction measures to be introduced in England on Thursday, 5 November 2020.

Since the Covid-19 virus first emerged, faith communities across the country have been acutely aware of the tragic consequences for people everywhere and of the intractable dilemmas which the government has had to negotiate. Our thoughts and prayers have been with the Cabinet, Parliament and all who advise them, and above all with those who have died or are bereaved, unemployed or unbearably stressed by the virus and its consequences.

Public Worship is Covid-19 secure

In the last six months we have collaborated closely with Ministers and officials to keep people safe.  We worked together to establish two principles of co-operation:

  1. Ensuring a balance between the government providing health and safety requirements, and faith communities subsequently determining theological aspects of what forms of worship/activity could be accommodated within this. Many of us have gone above and beyond the former and safely implemented the latter. In this way, the fine and desired balance has been maintained.
  2. The importance of proceeding on the basis of good quality scientific and medical evidence, but also that the language of the guidance was both specific enough to ensure safety, but non-specific enough to allow accommodation of different faiths without implicit bias towards one group or another.

We have demonstrated, by our action, that places of worship and public worship can be made safe from Covid transmission. Given the significant work we have already done, we consider there to be, now, no scientific justification for the wholesale suspension of public worship.

We understand entirely that the country faces significant challenges and the reasons behind the Government’s decision to bring in new measures. But we strongly disagree with the decision to suspend public worship during this time. We have had reaffirmed, through the bitter experience of the last six months, the critical role that faith plays in moments of tremendous crisis, and we believe public worship is essential. We set out below why we believe it is essential, and we ask you to allow public worship, when fully compliant with the existing covid-19 secure guidance, to continue.

Public Worship is Essential to sustain our service

Faith communities have been central to the pandemic response, and we will continue to be so.

During the first period of restrictions, we ceased public worship in our buildings. We moved much online, and we have provided significant resource to support our communities and our nation, from practical support such as foodbanks and volunteering, to promoting social cohesion, mental health and coping during these months.

But common worship is constitutive of our identity, and essential for our self-understanding.  Without the worshipping community, our social action and support cannot be energised and sustained indefinitely. Our commitment to care for others comes directly from our faith, which must be sustained and strengthened by our meeting together in common worship. Worshipping together is core to our identity and an essential aspect of sustaining our mission and our activity. 

Common worship is also necessary to sustain the health and wellbeing of faith community members engaged in caring for others whether paid or voluntary[1]

Much has been made of the adverse impact on mental health of volunteer and paid carers during this pandemic. Common Worship is an important way of sustaining the wellbeing, and ability to serve, of people of faith who volunteer. The benefits of public worship are scientifically well attested[2].

For this reason alone, given the size and duration of the contribution of faith communities to the pandemic response, and the importance of sustaining their commitment and wellbeing, public worship is essential, should be classed by government as necessary and supported to continue.  It enables and sustains people of faith in contributing to the service and health of our nation.

Public Worship is necessary for social cohesion and connectedness

Increasing social scientific evidence makes clear that social connectedness, solidarity and social cohesion are key to both enabling people to stay resilient throughout restrictions due to Covid-19 and central to compliance with the behaviours we need them to adopt to reduce transmission.  This has been attested to in papers from Government’s own Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies. We also know that faith communities are creators of such connectedness and cohesion and their public presence and witness helps engender this.  Given the importance of solidarity and connectedness, and the importance of public presence, we believe public worship should be classed as essential, and supported to continue.

Public Worship is important for the Mental Health of our nation

The health benefits of attending worship are well known, and the burden of psychological and physical ill-health from isolation and during the pandemic are increasingly well understood.  This is especially so for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people.  Public Health England’s own review found that faith communities were an important connect for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people during this period.

Moreover, it is a well-known and well-studied phenomenon that people turn to faith communities as a way of coping with trauma and grief[3]

This is the common experience of faith communities in England during COVID and especially since communal worship restarted.  People are turning to faith communities, not just in our social care services but during public worship, as a way of coping with their sense of trauma, grief and loss.  The public mental health impact of this has been significant, and it provides an important way of supporting the nation without overburdening NHS and other mental health services.  Public Worship provides an important sign that faith communities are there for people. We believe this must be regarded by government as essential.

Public Worship is an essential sign of hope

The psychological impact of uncertainty, restriction and the impact of the infection is increasingly well studied.  We know that people seek signs of normality to help them make sense of restrictions and major change and disruption to their lives.  We also know that where people see others act with hope and purpose that we will recover from disasters and traumas; this gives them hope and encouragement too. From a social psychological perspective, faith communities who consistently embody behaviours and attitudes that are covid-19 safe and hopeful provide encouragement to others through modelling these behaviours and attitudes. They are part of the journey to recovery. Public worship is therefore an essential sign that we can find new ways of living with Covid-19 until the vaccine is found, and part of the psychological and social cohesion needed to exit restriction measures. Public worship should therefore be supported to continue.

In summary, the scientific evidence shows that social solidarity and connectedness are key to people maintaining motivation to comply with COVID secure measures and to maintain good mental health. And there is good scientific evidence of the importance of faith and faith communities for positive mental health and coping, especially for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people.

We have already said there is no scientific rationale for suspension of Public Worship where it is compliant with the guidance that we have worked jointly with government to establish.  We believe government, and Public Health England, accept this.

Government is making decisions about what aspects of our life during this period of restrictions are essential. We believe we have demonstrated that continuation of public worship is essential, for all the reasons we have set out above.

We call on government to recognise and support this, and enable us to continue to worship safely, as part of the essential fabric of the nation.

Yours sincerely,

+ Justin Cantaur
The Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury

+Vincent Cardinal Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

+Stephen Ebor
The Most Revd & Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell
Archbishop of York

+Sarah Londin
The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Sarah Mullally
Bishop of London
with the support of the members of the House of Bishops of the Church of England 

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

Gurmail Singh Malhi
President, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall

Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf
Chair, The British Board of Scholars and Imams

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei
Al-Khoei Foundation

Agu Irukwu
Senior Pastor, Jesus House for all Nations

Rajnish Kashyap MCICM
General Secretary/Director, Hindu Council UK (HCUK)

[1] Koenig HG. Research on religion, spirituality, and mental health: A review. Can J Psychiatry. 2009;54:283–91

[2] Bruce MA, Martins D, Duru K, Beech BM, Sims M, Harawa N, et al. (2017) Church attendance, allostatic load and mortality in middle aged adults. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177618.

[3] Park, C. L., Holt, C. L., Le, D., Christie, J., & Williams, B. R., Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2017. Positive and negative religious coping styles as prospective predictors of well-being in African Americans

Private Prayer during Lockdown

From Thursday the 5th November the church will be open for private prayer at the following times;

Monday to Saturday 9am to 10am
Friday 7pm to 9pm
& Sunday 10am to 11am

The 11.30 mass will be live streamed every Sunday on our YouTube Channel at

Statement from Bishops’ Conference

Statement from the President and the Vice-President of the Conference on the Prime Minister’s Statement

Saturday 31st October 2020

This evening, the Prime Minister announced further widespread restrictions in England beginning on Thursday 5th November. The Government have published their New National Restrictions Guidance on their website here. Whilst there was no formal announcement on Places of Worship by the Prime Minister, there is clear guidance on this website that places of worship will be required to end all acts of collective worship, except for funeral ceremonies. In response the following statement is issued by the President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference.
The announcement of a new ‘national lockdown’ in England will, we know, bring hardship, distress and suffering to many. We must hope and pray that this is an effective strategy against a growing pandemic which has tragically taken so many lives already and threatens so many more.
Faith communities have played a vital role in sustaining personal, spiritual and mental health and encouraging vital charitable activities, which support hundreds of thousands of people in all sections of the community, especially the most vulnerable. That critical service towards the common good of all is created and sustained by communal worship and prayer. Part of this selfless giving has been a strong ethic of responsibility in the way in which we have reopened our churches so that essential worship has been enabled. Our communities have done a great deal to make our churches safe places in which all have been able to gather in supervised and disciplined ways.
It is thus a source of deep anguish now that the Government is requiring, once again, the cessation of public communal worship. Whilst we understand the many difficult decisions facing the Government, we have not yet seen any evidence whatsoever that would make the banning of communal worship, with all its human costs, a productive part of combatting the virus. We ask the Government to produce this evidence that justifies the cessation of acts of public worship.
To counter the virus we will, as a society, need to make sustained sacrifices for months to come. In requiring this sacrifice, the Government has a profound responsibility to show why it has taken particular decisions. Not doing so risks eroding the unity we need as we enter a most difficult period for our country.

The Prime Minister has stated that the draft legislation will be placed before Parliament on Monday 2nd November. Members of Parliament will have the opportunity to discuss the issues and vote on the proposed national restrictions. In this short timeframe, questions can be raised with our elected Members of Parliament regarding the cessation of public common worship. They are in a position to require the Government to publish the data that drives the decision to cease public worship under these restrictions.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP President Vice-President


Following the announcement tonight from the Prime Minister and instructions from Bishop Alan the Church will close until further notice for weekday and Sunday masses from Wednesday 4th November at 10am. The church will be open for private prayer and times will be announced later.

Sunday 11.30am mass will continue to be live streamed.

This is a testing time for us all. Let us continue to pray for and look after each other.God Bless all in the Parish. ~Fr Pat

All Souls – 2nd November

Monday is the feast of All Souls and there will be Masses at 7am, 9am and 8pm.

Track and Trace QR Code for our Church and Pastoral Centre

We now have a NHS Track and Trace QR codes setup for the Church and Pastoral Centre.

Please use this to check in every time you visit the church or Pastoral Centre.

The posters will be available for you to check in as you enter the church (or Pastoral Centre)

How to Check-In

  1. Open the NHS COVID-19 app
  2. Select Venue Check In
  3. Hold your phone up to the QR code on the poster & you are checked in!

Sample screenshots showing a successful checks.

The QR code is the square black & white “barcode” (QR means Quick Response). When the app registers the code, you’ll see a tick and our church’s name: Our Lady of Lourdes Wanstead

Data is held on your phone for 21 days and when it will automatically deleted.

Please download the App for your phone via the App Store or Google Play

For help downloading and using the NHS COVID-19 app

A few words from Fr Adrain

A few words from our new assistant Priest Fr Adrain Low