The Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Dioceses of Menevia and Wrexham welcome the announcement by the First Minister that churches may be opened for private prayer from Monday 22 June 2020. In the interests of your continued safety, given the measures that will need to be put in place in the coming days, it seems that Saturday 28 June will be the likely date for those churches who fulfil the health and safety requirements may be opened for a specific time to be announced.
With the re-opening of churches, certain responsibilities are laid on both the parish and the diocese to ensure the health and safety of those who come to pray. Amongst these are the following:
1. Each parish will need to decide the hours of opening and these times will be published on the diocesan website, once the Risk Assessment has been made and the Health and Safety certificate has been issued.
2. Everyone visiting the church will be required to follow the necessary guidelines and signage to ensure the safety of all
3. Each parish will need to provide two or three volunteers to ensure the safe flow and placement of people,seating,distance,cleaning,signage, stewards.
a. The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday remains dispensed.
b. Social distancing must be observed (currently two metres–except for household groups).
c. Each person must sanitise their hands on entering and leaving the church.
d. Should a person feel unwell or has been to an infected place in the past 14 days he or she should not enter the church.
e. The numbers entering the church will be restricted –depending on the seating available. One-way entry and exit paths will need to be established.
f. Churches must be cleaned every day prior to opening, and portions cleaned during the time it is open. Special attention must be paid to pews and door handles. Where possible, windows should be open. Air circulation helps reduce infection.

g. Hymn books,prayer books,pamphlets and leafletsshould be removed.h. Those who are “shielding”or self-isolating must remain at home and not come to the church for private prayer.

i. Some of our churches will be unable to fulfil these requirements through being too small, or not being able to recruit the necessary volunteer stewards or cleaners. Hopefully, the main church in each deanery will be able to welcome visitors from elsewhere

j. Face coverings may be worn butare not strictly necessary. Their use is voluntary and not disrespectful to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament or the sacred space which is the church.

k. Parents and guardians bringing children to the church should be mindful to care for them particularly by ensuring they touch as few surfaces as possible for their own safety.“I rejoiced when I heard them say “Let us go to God’s house, and now our feet are standing within your gates O Jerusalem”. (Psalm 121:1-2)


I share with you the following statement made on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, which I fully endorse. I would encourage you to share this statement via your parish newsletter/website.

“We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the USA as they challenge the evil of racism and the brutal killing of George Floyd. As the US Bishops made clear: “we cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.”

“Systemic racism is embedded in our own society. The disproportionate harm suffered by BAME people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted profound inequalities, marginalisation and injustice here in the UK. The peaceful Black Lives Matter protests taking place in our towns and cities this week reflect the understandable anger that so many people feel about this.

“As Catholics we recognise that racism is an evil which must be opposed; we all have a responsibility for actively promoting racial justice. Whenever we ignore racism or dismiss BAME people’s experience of it, we are complicit in violations of human dignity. We pray for God’s help to overcome racism in all its forms and that we might protect everyone who suffers its consequences. We are all made in God’s image.”

Bishop Declan Lang Bishop Paul McAleenan

Lead Bishop for International Affairs Lead Bishop for Racial Justice


You will already know of the significant changes proposed by the Welsh government to the curriculum in Wales. The consultation on this proposal is taking place until the 28 July. The changes proposed for the teaching of RE will have a significant effect on our Catholic schools. If enacted, these proposals would compel Catholic schools to teach the new “Religion, Values and Ethics” syllabus as non – Church schools alongside our own confessional syllabus.

I have already had a telephone conversation on this matter with the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams. In recent weeks, Bishop Peter Brignall and myself have written to the First Minister saying this is the wrong time for the consultation to take place and the implementation of such radical changes, particularly with the challenges facing all schools as pupils return. The Catholic Education Service is engaged in discussion with the Welsh government on the significance of this proposed legislation for our Catholic schools. They have produced briefing material to assist Heads and Governors in their response to this consultation. That information is available from Paul White at the following:

The consultation document “Curriculum for Wales: Religion, Values and Ethics” is obtainable at Please share this information as widely as possible.

George Stack

Metropolitan Archbishop of Cardiff & Apostolic Administrator of Menevia