Important Notice – Update on church closures…

I have just received communication from the Bishop to say that the Scottish Government has corrected what seems to have been a mistake/anomaly/misunderstanding.

So to clarify: our churches are closed with immediate effect, and are not to open again for public worship until further notice, therefore there will now be no Masses or devotions on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, nor for the foreseeable future.

Please pass on this information to your fellow parishioners as a matter of urgency.

My apologies to parishioners who were hoping to attend Holy Mass or devotions before the closure of the churches – this will now no longer be possible.

God bless you and keep you, and Our Lady and St. Joseph protect you,

Fr. Martin Pletts

Statement by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland

Following the First Minister’s statement that all places of worship will close from Friday 8 January until Monday 1 February 2021, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have issued the following statement: “Recognising the dangers posed by the new faster-spreading variant of COVID-19, we note the Scottish Government’s decision to close all places of worship from Friday 8 January 2021.  The Scottish Government believes that such measures are necessary to curtail the spread of this new strain during the roll-out of the vaccine. We appreciate the difficult choices facing the Scottish Government at this time and we have shown ourselves ready both to cooperate with and to support its efforts in protecting the common good.  This has included curtailing public worship in extreme circumstances and for a limited period.   However, we are also perplexed by the decision, given that the stringent measures taken since last March to ensure public safety in our churches have been effective. No evidence has been forthcoming to justify the inclusion of places of worship as sources of infection. Without such scientific evidence these restrictions will appear to Catholics to be arbitrary and unfair.  Moreover, a significant number of other sectors similarly restricted last March alongside public worship – such as construction, manufacturing and elite sports – have now been left free to continue in operation.   We also note that, in England, the essential contribution of public worship to the spiritual welfare of all citizens during this crisis has now been endorsed by the decision not to close places of worship while the Scottish Government has apparently retreated from this view, causing dismay and confusion. We are very aware of the disappointment these closures will cause not only to our own Catholic community, but to many of our fellow-Christians and those of other faiths in Scotland. We wish to emphasise again the spiritual, social and psychological benefits provided by continuing public worship, and we ask for these to be taken into full account in future decisions. Public worship is a human right and is a duty humanity owes to God.  More concretely, Catholics need the Eucharist and the Sacramental encounter with the LORD as necessary to their spiritual wellbeing and their ultimate salvation. While we unequivocally share the common goal of protecting public health, we urge the Scottish Government, when the present measures are reviewed later in January, to reconsider these restrictions in the light of the above concerns.” 

New Government Restrictions

Having now consulted the Diocesan website it seems that all public Masses will be suspended from midnight on Thursday 7th January and for the foreseeable future.

If you have booked for this week (Tuesday to Thursday) then your booking will be honoured. There are still some places left on these weekdays at the moment.

I will try to organise the livestreaming but at the moment there are technical problems with the sound – please pray that these are resolved.

Please keep up-to-date with what is going on in the parish by consulting this website and the parish Facebook page.

My prayers are with you all, God bless,

Fr. Martin

Bookings for Holy Mass, etc.: Monday 4th January to Sunday 10th January

Please now only book via e-mail (Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com) or by contacting me on the landline (01577 863329), please do not use any other means, as this will help to avoid confusion. Please take a note of your booking once it has been confirmed. Remember that the total capacity at any given Mass is 20 persons maximum under current government regulations.

Monday 4th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass.

Tuesday 5th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass.

Wednesday 6th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass.

Thursday 7th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary from 7.00-8.00p.m. *(Confession available from 6.30p.m. to 6.50p.m.)

Friday 8th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Divine Mercy Devotions from 3.00-3.30p.m., *Confession available after Divine Mercy Devotions.

Saturday 9th January – *Confessions in St. Matthew’s from 2.30-2.50p.m., Holy Mass in St. Matthew’s at 3.00p.m.

Sunday 10th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 9.00a.m., 11.00a.m., and 3.00p.m., *Confession available before or after all Masses.

*(Confessions take place in the church hall in St. James’ and in the sacristy in St. Matthew’s – where adequate social-distancing can be observed)

Please make your bookings in good time and please inform me if you will not be able to attend as this may allow someone else to take your place. Remember that bookings can only be made for one’s own church and that there should not be any crossing of local authority boundaries under current regulations.