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

The Bishop of Elphin has told Ocean FM that he and other bishops of the Tuam province 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 public worship won’t be lifted until the third week in July.

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

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.