Letters from Fr John

9 September

Dear Parishioners of Our Ladys, St Anne’s and St Jerome’s,

As I write this letter to you, it has just been announced that the number of people allowed to meet indoors is to be reduced from 30 to 6. This represents a dramatic drop. Weddings and funerals are exempted and I presume the celebration of Mass also. However, it is clear that the infection rate and the death rate are climbing again. We are moving towards the winter. I think we all realise that a potentially difficult time lies ahead.

I am apprehensive about what this might mean for public Masses in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we need to look carefully again at the number of people we are permitted to accommodate safely in our churches. This number has been growing recently and some of you have been turned away. This is very difficult and cuts totally against the grain for us. However, safety is paramount, especially in an older community. Therefore we have to be stringent about the numbers we allow into church at any one time. I will keep you all informed of developments as they happen.

In my last letter, I spoke of my intention to improve communication across our Catholic community. Since then, we have been pulling together some new solutions. Here they are;

  • From this weekend, all Sunday Masses and all Requiem Masses will be live streamed from Our Lady’s and St Jerome’s. Details of how to access the live streaming will follow this letter. 
  • From this weekend, a new website will be launched for the Formby Catholic community. Presently we have a website for St Jerome’s and St Anne’s and a website for Our Ladys. When you access these websites, you will be redirected to the new website. Eventually, the old websites will go.
  • Again, details of how to access the new website will follow this letter.
  • From this weekend, we are producing a new printed newsletter. It will look different to previous parish newsletters which published details of meetings and events which are no longer happening. This newsletter will carry simple news items and information. It is primarily intended for those who cannot access the internet. Perhaps you would be good enough to post one through the door of those who need it? The newsletters will be available to you as you leave church. 
  • The Formby Catholic Community Facebook page is also up and running for those of you who use social media. The St Jerome’s Facebook page will be taken down soon.

All these initiatives, whilst effective in their own way, cannot replace phone calls and conversations. In large part, we are a well connected community. Perhaps we can consider spreading church news in our conversations. It is a good way of covering all the bases. 

Just to say a big ‘thank you’ to all who have been working behind the scenes to improve our communication outreach. Your efforts are much appreciated by us all.

In the meantime, keep safe and well!

God bless you all,

Father John