Covid-19 Crisis

Message from Fr Martin – Jan 2021

Times of Opening of the Cathedral


It is wonderful to have parishioners attending Mass again, albeit in restricted circumstances. But the ongoing health crisis means that must register your attendance at Mass using the Government Track & Trace app on your mobile phone. This can be done either before or after your visit to the Cathedral.

massSocial distancing in action at the 11:30 am Mass

See details of Track & Trace



Everything you wanted to know about coming to Mass on Sunday but were afraid to ask

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are the most important things to remember at this time?


If you or a member of your household have any of the symptoms of Covid-19 you must stay at home. Please do not come to the Cathedral. If you have been advised to isolate or are particularly vulnerable you must stay at home. If you are 70+ years old you should follow the Government guidelines.


2. When can we attend the Cathedral for Mass or Private Prayer?


Details opening times for Masses & private prayer



Image of Mass before the lockdown


3. Do I have to “book” in order to attend?


No. However, family households and individuals will have to arrive in very good time before Mass begins in order to ensure a seat.


4. Will I be able to sit in my usual spot or wherever I like?


No. You will have to wait to be seated by an usher. You will have no choice in where you sit. Available seats in the Cathedral will be filled up row by row in an orderly fashion as ushers seat family households, couples and individuals. In this way, we will maintain social distancing and ensure that we can safely seat the maximum number of people.


5. Will there be the same number of seats available as usual?


No. Every second row of seats has been removed and a strict space of two chairs must be kept between every family household or individual and the next family household or individual.


6. Will I be able to use the toilets?


No. The toilets will be locked. Please make sure that you go to the toilet before coming to Mass.


7. Will the Cathedral be cleaned?


Yes. The Cathedral is cleaned every day, and on Saturday and Sunday there will be especially thorough cleaning of the Cathedral. We are employing a professional cleaning company to do this work.


8. Which doors must I use to enter the Cathedral?


There are only two entrances to the Cathedral: the doors of the Cathedral narthex and the doors at the toilet/west end of the Cathedral. You must not enter by any other doors. Two ushers will be at each entrance.


9. What is the first thing that I must do when I arrive?


Pray. As you cross the threshold into this sacred space, thank Jesus for being able to come into His presence and to meet Him again in word and sacrament.


10. What is the second thing I must do?


Sanitise your hands. Please use a single pump of the hand sanitiser which will be available at the entrance doors.


11. And the third thing?


If you haven’t done so already, put on your face mask or covering. This must be worn throughout the celebration of Mass.


12. And then what will happen?


Respecting social distancing measures, please queue and wait to be seated by one of the ushers. This may take a little time.

If you or a member of your family are in a wheelchair or have a disability, please make yourself known to an usher and you will be seated immediately in an area reserved alongside the font.

Please remember, this is new to all of us; and, therefore, we ask for your patience and understanding, and to treat our ushers with respect.


13. Will the celebration of Mass be as normal?


The essential elements, for example, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist will be the same. However, some things will be different, for example, sadly, there will be no music.


14. Will I be able to receive Holy Communion or come up for a blessing?


Yes, of course. We are now able to receive Christ’s Body and Blood but at this point under “one kind”, that is, the consecrated host which, of course, contains the fullness of Christ’s divine life and love. You will be guided by the ushers row by row and in an orderly and prayerful fashion to receive Holy Communion.


Please maintain social distancing as you process to receive our Lord.


Please receive our Lord’s Body on the throne made with the palms of your hands. You cannot receive on the tongue at this time.


Hold your arms at full length and have your palms flat so that the priest or Minister of Holy Communion can place the Body of Christ onto your palm for you to consume reverently. Holy Communion will be distributed in silence.


If you are coming up for a blessing please stand a good distance away from the minister with your hands across your chest and you will receive a simple blessing in silence.


If you are not receiving Holy Communion or a blessing, you also must also come up and follow the people on your row back to your seat. In this way, people will not have to step over or pass close to you as they return from receiving Holy Communion.


15. After I have received Holy Communion or a blessing, what do I do?


Pray from your heart the greatest prayer: “Thank you, Lord.”


16. Which doors must I use to exit the Cathedral?


There are three exits from the Cathedral: the main doors of the Cathedral narthex, the doors of Mercy behind the choir stalls and the emergency fire doors at corner of the west end of the Cathedral. You must not exit by any other doors. An usher will be at each door.


Please leave the Cathedral in an orderly fashion, being particularly aware of social distancing. Please hand sanitise as you leave.


17. What about my offering for the running and support of the parish?


Many people have experienced financial hardship during the lockdown and face uncertain financial futures. Our parish has also experienced the challenge of very reduced finances which is a serious concern.


We thank you for the offering you give this day. There will be boxes for you to place your offering in as you leave.


If you want to support the parish by standing order or give online, please see the Cathedral website or newsletter for more information.


18. Newsletter!! Will there be a newsletter?


Yes, it’s back. For those who do not wish to access the newsletter on the website, it will be available to pick up and take home at the end of Mass.


19. Will I be able to chat to the Clergy after Mass?


Sadly, not at the moment. For the time being, the clergy will not come outside as we would normally do because we do not want to risk people congregating around us and breaking social distance rules. But if you want to speak to us, please do ring. If we can help you in any way, we will.


20.  How can I assist any “track and trace” requests?


Please use the Government Track & Trace system by scanning the QR code into your mobile phone. It is very simple to do and will only take a few moments of your time. … click here


Please remember that you are all in our prayers, and every day we have been lifting you in the Eucharistic arms of the Church to our Heavenly Father. Be assured that we will continue to do so.


We look forward to seeing you on Sunday. God bless and protect you, your families and friends.

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