The British and Scottish governments decided on Thursday 16th April to extend the current lockdown for at least another 3 weeks. This will have repercussions in our lives in many ways and aspects. One of them is our inability to gather in our churches to celebrate the Eucharist or to administer any sacraments – the only exception is a life-threatening situation. As your priests, we will continue to offer as much pastoral care as we can by providing online services and offering individual prayers for you. I hope that a number of parishioners will also continue keeping in touch with other parishioners, particularly those who are vulnerable and/or alone. We can and we will go through this challenge together.

The governments and their advisors have been considering various scenarios of lifting up the current restrictions. Although in the time of writing there are no solid plans presented by the authorities, we can assume that those restrictions will be lifted gradually over a longer period of time. In practical terms, it might mean that larger gatherings will remain restricted even after the restrictions are loosened. This means that the celebrations of the First Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation have to be postponed beyond the summer holidays; actually, I’d strongly advise postponing any planning until we know in certain terms what and when we can do.

The ancient people of Israel wandered in the desert for forty years learning how to trust God in challenging circumstances. We’ve been ‘travelling’ through our desert for a month so far and – hopefully – it will not last forty years. But, as the Israelites grew stronger so can we. Trust God and never give up hope; we will grow stronger. Stay safe and take care of yourselves and of each other – and keep the distance 🙂