Clifton Cathedral News Updates


 5th July 2020


Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11: 28)

Jesus promises not to lay burdens on those who follow him in faith. Far from a religion which oppresses people, Christianity is intended to offer rest to the weary and strength to the weak. Are we able to enjoy our faith or do we see it as something heavy? Is it a weight off our mind or a burden on our soul?

Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar. (William Wordsworth)

Hair-splitting can be left to the theologians and legalists; simplicity is the aim in the life of prayer. (Hubert van Zeller)

The burden is equal to the horse’s strength. (The Talmud)

Faith is living with God and theology is the science of faith. (Oliver Todd)


It’s great news that the government has allowed for places of worship to reopen for public prayer as well as private prayer from this weekend. Although this lifting of restrictions comes with many caveats, I am delighted to be able to welcome some of you back for Holy Mass. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly this week to make it possible for the Cathedral to open its doors again after so long.

Starting on Sunday 5th July, Masses will be celebrated at 9.30am and 6.00pm, with daily Mass continuing at the new time of 9.30am. All of our Masses will continue to be livestreamed so that most will be able to participate from their homes. Due to social distancing and sanitisation requirements we will only be able to accommodate up to 100 people at each of our Sunday Masses, and up to 40 for the daily Masses(subject to variation according to families/social bubbles, using the 1metre+ rule).

In light of this, I anticipate that most of our parishioners will be continuing to join in online from home given the restrictions outlined here. But this is a start and a very welcome one.

After the morning Masses Clifton Cathedral will remain open until 11.30am for individuals to spend some time here in private prayer.

Please only arrive a short while before the start of Mass so we can limit the amount of time people are ‘indoors’ for added safety. Also don’t forget to bring your own face mask/covering with you and keep it on whilst inside the Cathedral.


  • You currently show no symptoms for Coronavirus;
  • Should you develop symptoms prior to coming you will NOT attend;
  • You agree to wear a suitable face-mask and use hand-sanitiser as you enter the Cathedral.
  • You agree to adhere to the social distance required (1 metre +)

 It should further be noted that at this time there will be no toilet facilities available.

There are no communal items being used so please provide your own Missals and if you normally make your offerings to the church using loose coins or envelopes they may be placed in the collection bags as you leave the cathedral. You can of course donate online at our website or by standing order.

We are making these conditions in line with government and diocesan guidelines to protect the health of the parish community. If you are still vulnerable due to health reasons or shielding we recommend you continue to stay home and join our live-streamed Mass for the time being. As the Archbishops of England have written in a letter to Catholics in England:

With the easing of restrictions on worship with congregations, we tread carefully along the path that lies ahead. Our lives have been changed by the experience of the pandemic and it is clear that we cannot simply return to how things were before lockdown. We remain centred on the Lord Jesus and His command at the Last Supper to “do this in memory of me.” We must now rebuild what it means to be Eucharistic communities, holding fast to all that we hold dear, while at the same time exploring creative ways to meet changed circumstances.

It is important to reaffirm that, at present, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. A significant number of churches may remain closed as they are unable to meet the requirements for opening for individual prayer. Fulfilling these requirements is a precondition for any church opening after the 4th July for the celebration of Mass with a congregation.

Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass in our churches. This will determined locally in accordance with social distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary practices. This next step is not, in any sense, a moment when we are going ‘back to normal.’

We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to Mass. Our priests may need to consider whether it is possible to celebrate additional Masses at the weekends. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for more people. 

Canon Bosco MacDonald

Cathedral Dean


Monday 6th July – Ann Duddy RIP

Tuesday 7th July – Private Intention

Wednesday 8th July – The Priests of Clifton Diocese

Thursday 9th July – Special Intention

Friday 10th July – Private Intention

Saturday 11th July – St Benedict – James Edgar RIP, Mary Beach RIP and their son Samuel RIP

Sunday 12th July – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – People of the Parish and  Mary Peacock RIP  

Every Mass is a public official act, even though it might be offered without elaborate ceremonial. Strictly speaking, a “private Mass” in the sense of a private affair is impossible. The entire Church together offers the sacrifice with and through the priest. 

Mass Intentions for other days can be requested either by sending an e-mail to or ring 07765 086525, Monday-Friday 9am-1pm.  Please note that Cathedral House continues to be closed.


Please pray for the sick of our parish and for all who are unwell: Edmund Richardson, Gabriele Green, Jane Cooper, Ann Fletcher, William Gregory, Jess Cox, Judy Haworth, Eliza James,  Lorretto Coyle, Ken Wright, Adam Walker, Sheila Daly, Andy Dawes, Chris Vigars, Pat Kissane, Dolores Kennedy, Sylvia Hambidge, Allan Liversedge, John Hunt, Dinah McAlees, Jo Cotton, Frances Danks, Stella Bateman, Steve Bell, Denise Horobin, Stephen Ellis, Mary Burke, Deacon Rob Easton, Trevor Williamson, Jeff Dahm, Una Dean, Stella Bateman, Jo Cotton, Frances Danks,                                                                                                                       

Those who have died recently especially Mary Peacock RIP

And for all those whose anniversaries occur around this time: Canon Ned Murphy, Fr Michael O’Sullivan, John McNerney, Annette Stevens, Nora Long, Denis Watkins, Patricia Dunn, Peter Dooley, Catherine Chambers, Les Lewis, Rita Tringali, Jane Coffey, David Morgan, Brian Parsons, Annette Fowler.


LIVE-STREAMING: Since lockdown Mass has been live streamed daily at the cathedral, the success of the broadcast has been widely supported. Enabling the broadcasts to continue on a permanent basis funds have been raised to install and provide the equipment.  To date £3,685 has been raised. If you wish to contribute, visit Thank you for your support.  

PRAYER IN THE PRESENCE OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT: Deacon James will be praying the Rosary from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of Clifton Cathedral, livestreamed for parishioners to join in. This will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5.30pm and will include Exposition and Benediction. All welcome.

ST JOSEPH’S HOME: The Chapel remains closed until further notice. The Community and residents continue to be well and safe.

PASTORAL CARE: The Clifton Cathedral Pastoral Care Team remains active during the coronavirus crisis, albeit in a slightly different way to normal. Any parishioners who have self-isolated completely, or who are feeling cut off from the world during this time of lockdown, and who would like to be contacted (regularly or just occasionally) by telephone, are warmly invited to contact Mary Manners at or ring 07765 086525 during office hours 9-5. 

STEWARDSHIP: A number of parishioners have asked how they can continue to support the Cathedral financially whilst unable to attend Mass. The donation ‘button’ that has been added to the Clifton Cathedral website at enables donations to be made using credit and debit cards and via PayPal. Cheques can be posted to: Clifton Cathedral House, Clifton Park, BS8 3BX. Any parishioners wishing to set up a standing order or make a payment directly to Clifton Cathedral are asked to e-mail 

UPDATES: New information and updates will be added here, on the ‘News’ page of the Cathedral website