The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

15 Norfolk Catholic churches reopen for prayer 

Around 15 Catholic churches across Norfolk will reopen for private prayer from tomorrow, June 15, and the move has been welcomed by the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Cardinal Nichols said: “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for his decision that our churches may now open again for individual prayer. This is a first measured step in restoring the more normal practice of our faith and 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. I thank everyone for that patience.

“This first step enables us to learn and prepare for those that will take us to a fuller use of our churches, for the celebration of Mass and other sacraments. 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."

Welcoming the news, Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, said: “I know that all Catholics throughout the Diocese of East Anglia will welcome with relief and joy the news that our churches are to re-open on June 15 for private prayer.  This is a cause for real rejoicing and gratitude – We thank our people for the enormous patience they have shown over these last 12 weeks.

“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.

“This is the first step towards restoring the full practice of our Faith, for the celebration of Holy Mass and the other Sacraments, a time for which we await with deep longing. 

"The detailed guidance that we have been given for the opening of our churches will be fully observed, in order that people may enter them safely and confidently. This may mean that some of them are unable to open on June 15, but will do so at a later date. It is important that we still work with the Government in protecting all members of our society from this pandemic and in particular the most vulnerable,” said Bishop Alan.

Norfolk churches reopening for private prayer

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. 

Pictured top is Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury in Wymondham, prepared to open seven days a week from 10am to 12noon from June 15.

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