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Catholic churches across East Anglia close doors

Following the Prime Minister’s historic announcement last night (March 23) strengthening restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, all Catholic churches in East Anglia are now closed to the public until further notice.

Bishop Alan Hopes, writing to Diocesan clergy, said: “The opening of churches for ‘solitary prayer’ goes against the four specific reasons for a person leaving home and undermines the desire of the Government for people to remain at home. Many of the people who might be drawn out of their home to go to a church would be the most vulnerable to infection.

“Therefore in line with the Bishops’ Conference, I must ask you to close your church as soon as possible until we are told that they might be opened again.  This must be right – it is for the benefit of others and will help to stop infection.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has stressed that we must all play our part to safeguard the NHS and to save ‘precious lives’.

Speaking in a video message (below), he said: “We’re going to play our full part in it. That was the call of St Paul that we ought to be good citizens and today we ought to be good citizens playing our part in the protection of the vulnerable, in our support for the NHS and in the preserving of human life, which is so precious to God in the face of this virus.”