East Anglia Catholic churches open for private prayer

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East Anglia Catholic churches open for private prayer

Around 60 Catholic churches across the Diocese of East Anglia have re-opened their doors for private prayer in a move welcomed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Bishop Alan Hopes.

Cardinal Nichols said: “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for his decision that our churches may now open again for individual prayer. This is a first measured step in restoring the more normal practice of our faith and will be welcomed by so many, who have waited with great patience since March 23 when our churches were closed, by Government decision, as part of the fight against this pandemic. I thank everyone for that patience.

“This first step enables us to learn and prepare for those that will take us to a fuller use of our churches, for the celebration of Mass and other sacraments. We await that time with deep longing but patient understanding that the protection of the health of our society, especially of the most vulnerable, is a proper cause for caution and care.”

Welcoming the news, Bishop Alan said: “I know that all Catholics throughout the Diocese of East Anglia will welcome with relief and joy the news that our churches are to re-open on June 15 for private prayer.  This is a cause for real rejoicing and gratitude – We thank our people for the enormous patience they have shown over these last 12 weeks.

“This will be a great blessing, not just for Catholics but a benefit for all the people of East Anglia – a sacred space where we can pray not just for ourselves but for all who need peace and healing at this time.

“This is the first step towards restoring the full practice of our Faith, for the celebration of Holy Mass and the other Sacraments, a time for which we await with deep longing. 

“The detailed guidance that we have been given for the opening of our churches will be fully observed, in order that people may enter them safely and confidently. This may mean that some of them are unable to open on June 15, but will do so at a later date. It is important that we still work with the Government in protecting all members of our society from this pandemic and in particular the most vulnerable,” said Bishop Alan.

The following churches have re-opened for private prayer, mostly from June 15


St John the Baptist Cathedral, in Norwich will be open for private prayer from June 15 on Monday-Saturday 11.30am-1.30pm and from 4-7pm, Sundays 11:30am-4pm. The Cathedral will operate a one-way system and the public should enter through the door off Earlham Road and exit via the Narthex.

Holy Apostles in Norwich will be open from 2-4pm on Wednesdays and from 9-11am on Saturdays, beginning on June 17.

King’s Lynn Parish will open one of its churches from June 15 for private prayer for one hour each day, except Tuesday – the time and place to mirror “normal time” arrangements for Mass: Monday – 12 noon, Our Lady’s; Wednesday – 7pm, Our Lady’s; Thursday – 9.30am, Holy Family; Friday – 12 noon, Our Lady’s; Saturday – 10am, Holy Family; Sunday – 4pm, Our Lady’s

Our Lady and St Walstan, Costessey, will be opening from 2pm to 6pm seven days a week from Monday June 15.

Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury in Wymondham will open seven days a week from 10am to 12noon from June 15.

Sacred Heart and St Margaret Mary, Dereham, will be open for private prayer for two hours following Mass. This will depend on the number of volunteer stewards. The times of Mass are in the parish newsletter and on the website: The Parish The Sacred Heart and St. Margaret Mary. East Dereham, Norfolk 

Our Lady of the Annunciation in Poringland, will be open for private prayer from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am-8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The opening times for the three churches in the North Walsham parish are: Sacred Heart, North Walsham: Sundays (from June 21): 2-3pm. Tuesdays 2-3pm; St John of the Cross, Aylsham: Mondays 10-12 midday. Thursdays 2-4pm; St Helen’s, Hoveton: Wednesdays 9-11am. Saturdays 5-7pm.

St Mary’s, Thetford opens for the first time on Saturday June 20. Opening times are on Tuesdays (10-11am and and 6-7pm) Thursdays (10-11am) Saturdays (10-11am and 5-6pm). People who wish to visit the Church must book a 20-minute slot, via Roger Hall, on 01842 761878.

St Joseph’s in Sheringham will open Tuesday (June 30 only) and Saturdays 2- 4pm.

Our Lady of Refuge in Cromer opens on Wednesdays  11am – 1pm.

St Henry Morse in Diss will be open: Wednesdays 10am-12pm, Sundays 2-4pm and Mondays 6-8pm.

St Mary’s, Great Yarmouth: Tuesday to Saturday: 11am – 1pm and 4-6pm; Sunday: 1-4pm.

St Peter’s, Gorleston: Tuesday to Saturday: 11am – 12 noon; Sunday: 4-5pm.

St George’s, Norwich, will be opening initially from 2-4pm every afternoon.

Our Lady of Pity in Swaffham is open Tuesday – Saturday  9.30am – 12.30 noon and Sunday 4-5pm.


St Mark’s, Ipswich, will be open Monday to Friday from 9-10am and 5-6pm, Sunday 11am to 12noon and 5-6pm. 

St Edmund’s in Bury St Edmunds, will be open every day at the following times: Sunday 2-4.30pm; Monday 9.30am-12noon; Tuesday 3.30-6pm; Wednesday 2-4pm; Thursday 10.30am – 1pm; Friday 3.30-6pm; Saturday 11am – 1.30pm.

St Mary Magdalen in Ipswich will be open for private prayer every day from 10am – 12noon. Canon Mathew George said: “People are welcome to make phone calls to make an appointment for any other time and I will be happy to open it for them.”  Tel: 1473 741975.

St Thomas of Canterbury in Woodbridge will be open for private prayer: Sunday: 10.30am – 12.30pm; Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 9.30-10.30am; Saturday: 5.30-6.30pm.

St Clare in Framlingham will be open for private prayer on Sunday: 10-11am and Thursday: 11am – 12noon.

St Edmund’s Catholic Church, Bungay will be open every day from June 15 from 10.30am – 12 noon and from 5.30-7pm.

St Thomas More in Harleston will be open Tuesday and Friday 10.30am-12 noon.

St Felix church in Haverhill opens: Tuesdays 6-8pm, Fridays 9-11am and Sundays 2-4pm

Our Lady & St John’s in Sudbury opens every day 5-6pm.

St Joseph in Hadleigh open on Sundays from 11.30am – 12.30pm.

Mother of Good Counsel in Clare opens 2-4pm daily.

Our Lady in Stowmarket is open: Thursday and Sunday between 10am – 12noon.

St Felix in Felixstowe is now open every day from 11am – 12noon and from 2-3pm.

Our Lady Star of the Sea, Lowestoft, opens for private prayer, Mon, Tues, Wed and Sat from 10-11am.

St Nicholas, Pakefield, is open Thursday from 10-11am.

St Mary’s, Ipswich, opens on Tues, Thurs and Sat from 11.30am – 1pm.

Holy Family, Kesgrave, opens on Wed and Fri from 11.30am – 1pm.

St James, Ipswich, opens on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat from 11am – 12 noon.

St Benet’s in Beccles is open 10am – 12 noon Tues to Sat and 2-6pm on Sun, Wed & Fri and 2-4pm on Saturdays. 

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Gillingham  is open Sun 9-10am and Wed 2-4pm.

St Pancras in Ipswich will be opening for private prayer on Tues, Thurs and Sat from 10am – 12 noon.

Cambs & Peterborough

Sacred Heart, Ramsey will be opening for prayer on Mon and Thurs from 10-11am. 

St Jude, Whittlesey will be opening for prayer on Tues and Fri from 10-11am. 

Our Lady Immaculate and St Etheldreda, Newmarket, will be open from 9.30-11am every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Our Lady of Lourdes in Sawston will be open from 10am to 12noon every day for private prayers, but St John Fisher in Cambourne will remain closed as the administrators of the community centre are not ready to open it as yet.

Blackfriars Dominican Priory of St Michael the Archangel in Cambridge will be open from June 15 every weekday from 11am to 1pm and 7-9pm and over the weekend from 3-5pm.

Our Lady and St Charles Borromeo, Wisbech, will open its church porch every day from June 15 from 11am – 1pm and 5-7pm, In addition there will be an opportunity for private prayer in the parish memorial garden.  The supervised reopening of the main body of the church will take place once the work on the floor and the deep clean have been completed. 

St Laurence’s in Cambridge will be opening from 10am – 12noon and 2-6pm every day except Sundays which will just be open from 2-6pm.

Our Lady of The Assumption and The English Martyrs in Cambridge will be open for private prayer on Monday – Friday 10-11am, 12-1pm, 3-4pm and 6-7pm, Sunday: 11.30am-12 noon and 3-4pm.

All Souls, Peterborough will be open from Tuesday, June 16 every weekday from 10am til 12 noon and on Sundays from 12 noon til 2pm.

St Luke’s, Peterborough will be open from Tuesday June 16: Tuesday 2-3pm, Thursday 2-3pm and Sunday 2-6pm.

Sacred Heart, St Ives is open every day for private prayers 10.30am – 12 noon

St Michael’s Huntingdon, will be open for private prayer on Wednesdays from 11am -1pm and 3.00 and Sundays 1-4pm.

Sacred Heart & St Oswald in Peterborough is open for prayer Mon to Sat daily 12 noon – 2pm. 

Saint Philip Howard, Cambridge is open for private prayer Mon to Sat 10.15-11.30am and 6-7.30pm. Also Sun 2-5pm.

St Etheldreda’s in Ely will be open for prayer from June 21 on Sun 10am – 1pm, Tues 2-4pm and Thu 10am – 12 noon.

I did send across our Church opening times but they seem to have got lost in the ether, so here they are again:

Our Lady Immaculate and St Etheldreda’s in Newmarket will be open every Mon, Tues, Wed, Sat and Sun between 9.30-11am.

St Joseph’s in St Neots is open Sun 2-4pm, Wed 10-12 noon and Fri 10am – 12 noon.

St Hugh’s in Buckden is open Sun 2-4pm, Wed 10-12 noon and Fri 10am – 12 noon.

More churches will be added when their details are sent to keith.morris@rcdea.org.uk

Pictured top are Bishop Alan Hopes and Canon David Paul opening the doors of St John’s Cathedral to the public for the first time since lockdown began; middle, Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury in Wymondham, prepared for socially-distanced private prayer and, bottom, stewards help visitors for private prayer at St John’s Cathedral.