Coronavirus / Covid-19

Continuation of Public Worship

During the national Lockdown, churches remain open for public worship. However, in line with Government guidance, various precautions remain in place for the time being. These are aimed at ensuring maximum safety and peace of mind among those who come to the Shrine to worship and to pray. It is not necessary to reserve seats before attending Masses; seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Please keep checking the newsletter and our social media for updates.

Obligation to attend Mass

The Bishops of England & Wales have still suspended the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and designated Holy Days. If we do not attend Holy Mass, however, we are to keep the Lord’s Day holy by some other means (abstaining from unnecessary manual labour, spiritual reading and/or prayers at home, etc.). Mass will continue to be live streamed on our website at

Those who are suffering from the coronavirus or who show likely symptoms should not come to the church, please, until they are well in the clear.

In order to ensure social distancing, we ask those who are planning to come to Holy Mass to be mindful of the markings on the floor and the spacing between pews. Please keep a minimum distance from those not in your household.

When arriving at and leaving the church please do not congregate in the porch or outside. On entering the church there will be instructions about hand-sanitisation. Please respect the personal space of others so that everyone feels safe.

Face Masks

Face coverings are required by law to be worn in places of worship. Members of the public who are attending churches must wear a face covering unless they are exempt from doing so (for a list of exemptions, see the Government’s guidance).

For Holy Communion, please take care in removing your face covering before receiving the Sacred Host and in replacing the covering afterwards.

During Holy Mass

Seating has been arranged in the church in such a manner that social distancing may be observed at all times, and so that families who live under the same roof may sit together. Volunteer stewards will be on hand to answer any queries.

Congregational singing is not presently permitted.

After Mass, please do not congregate in the porch or outside. Take any printed newsletters, notices, etc. with you, or deposit them in the dustbins in the street.

Holy Communion

Because other mitigating measures are now in place (especially face coverings), Holy Communion is administered at its normal place within Holy Mass. Please maintain the rules of social distancing when approaching the Altar Rails.

Please take care in removing your face covering before receiving the Sacred Host and in replacing the covering afterwards.

Catholics are only obliged to receive Holy Communion once a year, and so if anyone is apprehensive about the danger of contagion at Holy Communion, they are advised not to receive until the present risk has subsided, and to make an Act of Spiritual Communion (cards available at the back of the church).

To receive Holy Communion, we must be in a state of grace (any mortal sins must have been absolved in the Sacrament of Penance), and to have fasted for a minimum of one hour before reception.


Confessions will be heard in the Lady Chapel with appropriate social distancing in place. You may make your confession before Mass, or whilst the church is open for prayer, or by making an appointment directly with Fr Alan. Either telephone 020 7836 4700, or email


will not be distributed. If you would like the Mass texts to follow, we recommend buying your own CTS Missal from their website (click here) and to keep this on you. Missals for the Extraordinary Form (1962) can be bought from Baronius Press (click here).

The Live Stream

will continue to operate 24 hours a day on our website at so that you can continue to watch Mass from home at the advertised times.


Collections will not be taken during Mass, but there will be an opportunity to give as you leave. There is a device for you to make contactless donations using a debit or credit card, and a bucket for cash donations. You can also make a donation on our website through Virgin Money Giving. Click here for more information.

Unlike many parishes in London, we have no investments and no property from which we collect rents. We receive no money from the Diocese – in fact, the Diocese collects money from us each month – and, contrary to opinion you may see in the press, we receive no money from the Vatican. We rely 100% on what you give us each week to survive and keep our doors open.

Mass is offered once a month for Benefactors of the Shrine, and as such, you will be remembered at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Without your support, the Shrine will not be able to stay open. Please be as generous as you are able. Thank you!

An Act of Spiritual Communion

When we are unable to receive Holy Communion, and indeed many times in the day, we may make a Spiritual Communion by turning to our Lord and desiring to be united to Him. The real solid value, in God’s eyes, of holy desires in general, is not half understood by us; they could so easily be nourished and yet are so rarely encouraged in our inner life. Much more will the desire of Holy Communion give God honour, as it makes our hearts so like His own. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque once said to her Divine Spouse, “My most loving Jesus, I wish to be consumed with the desire of You and since I cannot receive You today I will not cease to desire You” – to which our Lord answered: “I take so much pleasure in being desired, that as many times as the heart forms this desire, so often do I look upon it lovingly to attract it to Myself.” Let us often give this pleasure to our merciful Saviour, that we may reap from it the sweet fruit that He promises.

My Jesus, I most firmly believe that You are really present in the Blessed Sacrament. I place my whole confidence in You, and I love You above all things. Oh that I had never offended You! I ardently desire to be united to You, my loving Saviour, and never to be separated from You. What have I in heaven, and besides You what do I desire upon earth! Veni, Domine Jesu!