Bishops working on plan to re-open churches before July 20th

The Bishop of Elphin has told Ocean FM that he and other bishops from the western provinces are preparing a plan to enable public mass to safely resume in Churches before the 20th of July.

Under the government’s roadmap of phased re-openings, restrictions on church worship won’t be lifted until mid-July.

Kevin Doran says any earlier opening would be contingent on approval from the public health authorities.

There will, he says, be a cost implication too as dioceses and parishes have seen their incomes collapse since the pandemic began.

Bishop Doran says the size of congregations would have to be reduced in size – and signalled that some parish may consider staggering mass attendances by townland or area over the course of a weekend, to enable all parishioners attend church again.

He stressed that parishes will be relying on members of their congregations to assist with stewarding and cleaning, as churches begin to re-open.