Lockdown Roadmap: On Monday (19 July) we reach Step 4 of the Government's roadmap for coming out of lockdown. Whilst this means there will no longer be legal restrictions imposed upon us, it does not mean that everything is now safe and back to normal. The Prime Minister and his advisers were clear in their announcement that the pandemic is not over.
We have received advice from the Bishops' Conference regarding our approach to Step 4. This basically asks us to consider very carefully the local prevailing conditions in making any decisions about changing our current practice. Interestingly, Wales (which is also covered by the same Bishops' Conference) is not emerging from lockdown until sometime in August.
Here in Salford (both the City and the Diocese) we continue to be in an area where the prevalence of the virus is still strong and so Bishop John is urging us, having established very good practices in the use of our churches, to change little for the time being. This is sound advice and so we will not be making any dramatic or speedy changes here in Our Lady of Hope Parish. We will look carefully at things in the coming weeks and only lift our restrictions when we judge it is safer to do so.
The Bishops' Conference have also issued a statement entitled Sunday - it is our Day in which they reaffirm that the Sunday Obligation cannot be safely restored at this point, though they hope it might be possible by the First Sunday of Advent.