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At the end of March 2020, we went through an unprecedented experience of Churches being locked and nobody was allowed to come and join the celebration of Mass together. We were grateful that through, the skills and generosity of parishioners, we were one of the many parishes who were able to provide livestream Mass. It was touching to constantly receive emails that expressed appreciation that the Eucharistic celebration could be brought to their homes. In fact, people used their livestream as an opportunity to travel all over the world. Nothing, of course, can replace the joy of actually coming together. It was a difficult time for us all and we pray that we never experience such a time like that again. It undoubtedly made quite an impact on us all.
When we were allowed to come back to public Mass in July of that same year, albeit with many restrictions in place, there was still no obligation for people who had health or other genuine fears. Livestream for many was still the most suitable option. However, we are at a stage that has made living with COVID for the vast majority possible so a new beginning of bringing us all back together is encouraged. Next Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, will begin a time of welcoming people back to the Church.
Our Archbishop, John Wilson will be providing a letter for us next Sunday with an encouragement for us all to reach out to people to invite them back to the celebration of Mass, especially those over the past two years that may have fallen out of the habit through livestream and may need that little bit of encouragement.