Our Catholic Churches are Essential: reopen UK Churches for Prayer with social distancing

Our Catholic Churches are Essential: reopen UK Churches for Prayer with social distancing

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Rose Mary started this petition to Cardinal Vincent Nichols and


Join with faithful laity of the United Kingdom in asking the bishops of our dioceses to plead with the Government to loosen the restrictions which have been put in place regarding church closures and offering your support to our priests in implementing legal, safe means to reopen our doors and administer the sacraments to the faithful, even if only a limited basis.

Sign the letter below and let our bishops feel your support, faith, and desire to open our Catholic Churches for private prayer and to receive the sacraments through whatever safe, appropriate means possible!


Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishops & Bishops of the United Kingdom,

We are writing to you as Catholics in the United Kingdom in response to the strict guidelines that have been set in place regarding the pandemic, specifically the removal of the freedom to come before the Real Presence of Our Lord in His Sacred Church and the removal of virtually any opportunity to receive the sacraments for the faithful who seek them during these times of great suffering.

We plead with you, help the Lord’s light shine brightly in this time of darkness; do not hide the fullness of His light away from us by continuing to allow our churches to remain closed and by denying the faithful the sustenance they are in great need of at this time for the nourishment of their souls.

It is completely possible to allow priests to open Churches for private prayer of the faithful whilst adhering to the social distancing rules needed. It is also possible to allow priests who are willing and able to continue to offer the sacraments to their parishioners in a way that puts neither priests nor laity at risk. There are measures being taken in America by dioceses and priests who are willing to use unconventional means to bring the sacraments to their people. There are several examples taken from dioceses in America for your review; one of which we include here: Ave Maria Catholic Church:  A letter from the pastor explaining procedure for receiving outdoor communion during the pandemic, supported by his bishop https://www.avemariaparish.org/post/distribution-of-holy-communion?fbclid=IwAR3LTco_M3-3KVXjC_jkcW1T5JjXoBeeD86Hn3DWGrENP5KTlqcFrf7bqHw

There is no reason for us to be permitted to frequent supermarkets to have our temporal needs met when our church doors are locked to our eternal needs, which are much higher in the order of necessity. Through 2000 years of persecutions and any epidemic in the history, the Catholic Church never closed her own doors and suspended the services, until now. In the light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, extreme precautions have been taken worldwide to ensure the physical and emotional wellness of the people, yet we have abandoned our spiritual well-being. We have rightly kept our hospitals, pharmacies, and grocery stores open to nourish and care for our bodies, but we have neglected the health of our souls.

We implore you to allow our parishes to arrange to safely gather in creative ways to worship and receive the sacraments. Specifically, parish priests could be permitted, at their discretion, to offer drive-up confessions, confessions by appointment, Eucharistic Benediction, parking lot services, distribution of Holy Communion and, at the very least, open church doors to limited visitors each day for visits to the Blessed Sacrament and/or adoration and private prayer. These activities can be monitored for number of people and physical distance between participants in the very same way the hundreds of people are monitored inside our supermarkets each day. 

It seems the church should be willing to put forth the same commitment and determination to the mission of bringing our Lord to His people as businesses are to keeping their doors open.

Please hear our plea for our Catholic churches to be reopened safely, with social distancing adhered to, so that the children of God can once again be in the real presence of our Saviour Jesus Christ and pray for the light of Jesus to shine brightly in the darkness of the World which is in great need of His love. Let us show Our Lord Jesus Christ that He is the most important in our lives and open our churches.

As you will see, we have attached the signatures of many laity of the United Kingdom who are ready to support our priests in this endeavour.  

In closing, we leave you with excerpts from a letter written by the secretary to Pope Francis dated March 13 and sent on the Holy Father’s behalf to bishops and priests of Rome, after which they reopened the Church doors all throughout Rome and left the decision of how best to minister to the people to individual pastors.  Let us be as open to change upon receiving these words as the shepherds of Rome were when they received them:

“In the pandemic of fear that we are all living through, because of the pandemic of the coronavirus, we all risk acting as hired men and not as shepherds.

“It is good that the churches remain open. The priests must be at the forefront of the process. The faithful must find courage and comfort by looking at their pastors. They need to know that they can run at any time and take refuge in their churches and parishes and find them open and welcoming. The church must be truly outgoing, even through a “toll-free number” that anyone can call to be comforted, to ask to be confessed, communicated; or to request it for his loved ones.

“We need to increase home-to-home visits, using all necessary precautions to avoid contagion, but never by closing ourselves in, and remaining on our guard. Otherwise, meals, pizzas will be taken home, and not communion for those who want to communicate because they are old, sick, needy. It so happens that supermarkets, newsstands and tobacco shops remain open, but not churches.

“The government has a duty to provide physical care and support to the people, but we have a duty to do the same to the souls. Let it never be said: ‘I am not going to a church that did not come to see me when I needed it.’

“Let us therefore apply all the necessary measures, but let us not let fear affect us. We ask for grace and courage to behave according to God and not according to man!”

(Don Yoannis Lahzi GAID, March 13, 2020)

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter; you are all in our prayers at this time.

Your servants in Christ.


0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!