WELCOME TO THE PARISH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES & ST MICHAEL, UXBRIDGE
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We are a vibrant and welcoming Catholic community situated in Uxbridge, 15 miles from central London and part of the London Borough of Hillingdon. Uxbridge is a parish of the Archdiocese of Westminster and borders the Diocese of Northampton.
You are very welcome to join us here, whatever your age, background or personal situation. You don’t even need to be a Catholic to attend our services – just come along if you are interested.
When you arrive at the church for the first time, please introduce yourself to the priest and other parishioners. We look forward to seeing you soon!
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Our Church and the Current Lockdown
Over the last week I have been listening very carefully to the comments of parishioners about the lockdown and I have consulted with both the Parish Team and the Volunteers Team (on whom we rely to keep the church safe and clean). Many feel strongly that the church building should close for the time being and all services be moved online. Others feel strongly that the church should remain open.
COVID is more virulent than ever and the infection rate has not significantly declined. Yet another new variant has appeared in Brazil and, if we needed any reminder of the seriousness of the risk, the largest morgue in the country has been set up in Ruislip (at Breakspear Crematorium) to serve the area.
Here in the parish, numbers at services have dramatically declined since the new year and it is a challenge to ensure we have enough stewards to make sure the church is as safe and clean as possible. At present several Catholic churches around us have chosen to close for communal worship and it seems that any large gathering does not belong to the spirit of the government’s message to ‘stay at home.’
After much thought and with a heavy heart we have decided to close our church for communal worship from Monday 18th January for the safety of everyone, We will review this in two weekend’s time and hope that, once things have stabilised, we can reopen for at least some services. Lent, after all, is only a month away! In the meantime, Masses will be available online in the usual way. Please check the schedule on this newsletter. We will also be looking for other ways of supporting people’s spiritual lives in this difficult time.
Funerals will continue to be celebrated, where required. In fact, since Christmas we have sadly got ten funerals booked for January and early February already—in a normal year we would expect to have about one funeral a month.
I realise this decision will not be popular with everyone but it is designed as a ‘circuit breaker’ at this particular time of crisis. Let’s hope it will not last long and let’s support each other with our prayers. Do get in touch if we can help in any way. Fr Nicholaselp in anyway. Fr Nicholas