Farm Street Church reopens for private prayer
Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, priest in charge, said:
“Farm Street is delighted to reopen our doors to the general public. We will be open from 10:30am (12:30pm on Sunday) - 5pm every day. In the first instance this will be for private prayer as we prepare to open again for public worship. In opening our doors, we are giving out the right message to the world. During the last 10 weeks we have been reaching out remotely to our community and to so many others in London and around the world. This has been a wonderful gift as we have tripled our Mass congregation through live-streaming, videoing and the written word. But the flip side of this success is the image of the church doors closed. The closure of churches has been absolutely necessary but totally contrary to our spirit of welcome and hospitality to all. Opening our doors once more launches a new chapter as we take our small part in responding to the need to address the spiritual health of the nation. As we emerge out of lockdown so many will be trying to make sense of the trauma: bereavement, confinement, domestic abuse, loss of employment, loss of dignity and purpose. Many will need in these coming weeks and months to stop and take time to pray, reflect, take stock of what we have been through. Our beautiful church is open all day for this, thanks to the generosity of volunteer stewards and a team of parishioners ensuring full safety and hygiene. Welcome is what we are all about so we hope as many as possible will visit this beautiful place of oasis in the heart of our city”.
Steven Fachada, Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, said:
“In compliance with new directives issued by the Diocese of Westminster, we have put into place a number of measures to ensure the safety of everyone who comes through our doors. The church has been cleaned thoroughly and hand-sanitising stations have been placed at all entrances. Alternate pews have been roped off and signs are in place so that parishioners and visitors maintain the required safe distance of two metres and all doors remain open throughout the day to facilitate the circulation of air within the building. At the end of each day, the church is cleaned and all pews are disinfected. As a final precaution, a steward is now present at all times whilst the church is open in order to make sure that, for the safety of all, everyone observes our new guidelines.”