The Catholic churches in Norfolk and Suffolk which are back open
- Credit: Archant
Around 40 Catholic churches across East Anglia have reopened their doors for private prayer after being closed for more than 12 weeks.
The move has been welcomed by the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales, and the Bishop of East Anglia.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols described it as the first measured step in restoring the practice of faith across the Diocese of East Anglia.
“I am grateful to the prime minister for his decision that our churches may now open again for individual prayer,” he said.
“[This step] will be welcomed by so many, who have waited with great patience since March 23 when our churches were closed, by Government decision, as part of the fight against this pandemic.
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“I thank everyone for that patience.”
The reopening will see a move towards preparing churches for more use, including for the celebration of Mass and other sacraments.
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He added: “We await that time with deep longing but patient understanding that the protection of the health of our society, especially of the most vulnerable, is a proper cause for caution and care.”
Echoing the same ethos, the Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, said now was a time for “rejoicing and gratitude”.
“I know that all Catholics throughout the Diocese of East Anglia will welcome with relief and joy the news that our churches are to reopen for private prayer.
“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.”
Detailed guidance has been provided in order to make churches safe for people to enter confidently.
Many churches were able to open on Monday, June 15, although some were unable to and it is hoped they will open a later date.
The following churches reopened for private prayer, mostly from June 15:
- St John the Baptist Cathedral, in Norwich will be open for private prayer from June 15 on Monday-Saturday 11.30am-1.30pm and from 4-7pm, Sundays 11:30am-4pm. The Cathedral will operate a one-way system and the public should enter through the door off Earlham Road and exit via the Narthex.
- Holy Apostles in Norwich will be open from 2-4pm on Wednesdays and from 9-11am on Saturdays, beginning on June 17.
- King’s Lynn Parish will open one of its churches from June 15 for private prayer for one hour each day, except Tuesday – the time and place to mirror “normal time” arrangements for Mass: Monday – 12 noon, Our Lady’s; Wednesday – 7pm, Our Lady’s; Thursday – 9.30am, Holy Family; Friday – 12 noon, Our Lady’s; Saturday – 10am, Holy Family; Sunday – 4pm, Our Lady’s
- Our Lady and St Walstan, Costessey, will be opening from 2pm to 6pm seven days a week from Monday June 15.
- Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury in Wymondham will open seven days a week from 10am to 12noon from June 15.
- Sacred Heart and St Margaret Mary, Dereham, will be open for private prayer for two hours following Mass. This will depend on the number of volunteer stewards. The times of Mass are in the parish newsletter and on the website: The Parish The Sacred Heart and St. Margaret Mary. East Dereham, Norfolk
- Our Lady of the Annunciation in Poringland, will be open for private prayer from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am-8pm on Saturday and Sunday.
- The opening times for the three churches in the North Walsham parish are: Sacred Heart, North Walsham: Sundays (from June 21): 2-3pm. Tuesdays 2-3pm; St John of the Cross, Aylsham: Mondays 10-12 midday. Thursdays 2-4pm; St Helen’s, Hoveton: Wednesdays 9-11am. Saturdays 5-7pm.
- St Mary’s, Thetford opens for the first time on Saturday June 20. Opening times are on Tuesdays (10-11am and and 6-7pm) Thursdays (10-11am) Saturdays (10-11am and 5-6pm). People who wish to visit the Church must book a 20-minute slot, via Roger Hall, on 01842 761878.
- St Joseph’s in Sheringham will open Tuesday and Saturday 2- 4pm
- Our Lady of Refuge in Cromer opens on Wednesday and Friday 11am – 1pm.
- St Henry Morse in Diss will be open: Wednesdays 10am-12pm and Sundays 2-4pm.
- St Mark’s, Ipswich, will be open Monday to Friday from 9-10am and 5-6pm, Sunday 11am to 12noon and 5-6pm.
- St Edmund’s in Bury St Edmunds, will be open every day at the following times: Sunday 2-4.30pm; Monday 9.30am-12noon; Tuesday 3.30-6pm; Wednesday 2-4pm; Thursday 10.30am – 1pm; Friday 3.30-6pm; Saturday 11am – 1.30pm.
- St Mary Magdalen in Ipswich will be open for private prayer every day from 10am – 12noon. Canon Mathew George said: “People are welcome to make phone calls to make an appointment for any other time and I will be happy to open it for them.” Tel: 1473 741975.
- St Thomas of Canterbury in Woodbridge will be open for private prayer: Sunday: 10.30am – 12.30pm; Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 9.30-10.30am; Saturday: 5.30-6.30pm.
- St Clare in Framlingham will be open for private prayer on Sunday: 10-11am and Thursday: 11am – 12noon.
- St Edmund’s Catholic Church, Bungay will be open every day from June 15 from 10.30am – 12 noon and from 5.30-7pm.
- St Thomas More in Harleston will be open Tuesday and Friday 10.30am-12 noon.
- St Felix church in Haverhill opens: Tuesdays 6-8pm, Fridays 9-11am and Sundays 2-4pm
- Our Lady & St John’s in Sudbury opens every day 5-6pm.
- St Joseph in Hadleigh open on Sundays from 11.30am – 12.30pm.
- Mother of Good Counsel in Clare opens 2-4pm daily.
- Our Lady in Stowmarket is open: Thursday and Sunday between 10am – 12noon.
- St Felix in Felixstowe is now open every day from 11am – 12noon and from 2-3pm.