Dear Parishioners,

I write to you with important information for the parish regarding the suspension of normal activities due to the Covid-19 coronavirus disease. We are following the advice and instructions from the Cardinal, the Diocese of Westminster and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW). These are available to view at the Bishops’ Conference website

If you are able to, please use our website to follow news, updates and Masses. Please also see

From today the public celebration of Masses here at Our Lady of Lourdes will be suspended. Please note carefully that this does not mean there will be no Masses. The Eucharist is always the centre of our lives and of the saving work of Christ in his Church. The Bishops are very clear that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is removed during this time. Father Andrew and I will continue to celebrate Mass every day for your intentions and for the spiritual good of all. You will be able to join in these Masses by watching online through the parish website. If you participate in the Mass by the internet or phone at home, you can unite yourself spiritually to the celebration and to all other members of the parish in prayer. We will say the 10am Mass every day (and on Saturdays also at 6.30pm) for the intentions that have already been allocated. The intentions for the 8am Masses and other Masses will either be transferred to later dates, or sent to be celebrated by other priests who do not have intentions. So here, from tomorrow (Thursday 19th March), Holy Mass will be celebrated and streamed live every day, 7 days a week, at 10am, plus also a Mass at 6.30pm on Saturday evening. All other usual times are now suspended. Let us all, please, continue to pray for each other. Confessions may be heard here by pre-arranged appointment only.

We think it’s important that the church remains open as a place of prayer. The church will be open every day from after Mass (approx. 10.30am-6pm). If you are among those who are still able to go outdoors, please continue to visit the church, light candles and offer prayers here. However, the church will be closed during the celebration of the priests’ Masses in order to safeguard and care for everyone’s health and hygiene. We kindly ask that you do not associate in the church in large groups. Please carefully note that all other activities in the church and hall are now cancelled or suspended, including our groups and catechetical programmes. The parish, however, is a living body – we are not disappearing. We must continue here differently, spiritually, until this moment is over.

We will follow instructions on the celebration of funerals. We have a small number of funerals already arranged which will be celebrated in the church with the participation of the family only. After these have happened, funerals will be at the graveside or crematorium only, in accordance with the rules of the cemetery or crematorium.

The Parish Office will operate a limited service. It will be open each weekday 10am-12 noon. Please contact us by phone or email, unless you have pre-arranged to come in, as we also have a duty of care for our staff. We all to need to follow official guidance, especially the elderly and those with ongoing health concerns who are asked to observe special measures. It’s also important that you let us know how you and your neighbours are coping, or if people are in need of help.

Those of us who remain in good health have a Christian responsibility to look out for others. Rather than establishing a specific group to look out for Catholics, we are asking the whole community to be involved, to the extent that we are able. Looking out for the elderly or vulnerable in your own street is one way everyone can help. You don’t need to be a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes or indeed a Catholic to find yourself in need of help, and we should all be ready to help everyone in need.

The mission of the parish continues, as does our presence here in New Southgate. We kindly ask that, if you are able, you might still consider contributing to this undertaking, either through Planned Giving or Standing Order (contact the office) but please don’t let this become a source of worry for you – these matters can be dealt with in due course. Once life returns to something like normal, we can also address this situation through fundraising activities and other ideas, so that together we can renew the work of the Gospel in our little part of God’s world.

Fr. Andrew and I hold you all in our prayers and I hope we are all united in this most difficult of moments. We’re also praying with the people and priests of our deanery and the wider area who form the living Church in this part of London. There will be a pastoral letter issued this weekend by the Cardinal which will be available online and from the church.

This Lent has proved to be the most difficult of seasons, but every Easter we celebrate the triumph of God’s love over sin and death. Let us pray that God’s love may be among us at this difficult time, as we seek to overcome our present difficulties with the strength of his grace and the power of his victory.

Yours devotedly,

Fr. David Reilly