Mass attendance trebles during lockdown

Mass attendance has trebled in a Welsh diocese due to online services being broadcast.

The Welsh bishops’ conference website says about 1300 people viewed the Palm Sunday Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.

This is three times the normal congregation for that service.

There has also been a vast increase in daily Mass attendance in the diocese.

Where 20 people usually attended daily Mass, over 300 are logging in. One weekday Mass had a congregation of 914.

Those attending the online Masses include families, and people of all ages from their mid-twenties to their eighties.

A similar pattern emerged over the Easter Triduum, with 529 people, double the usual number, attending the online Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral.

On Good Friday, 379 people joined Bishop Peter Brignall (pictured) in a meditation on the Seven Last Words, compared to around 20 people in other years.

The surge in attendance is also reflected in other online prayer services.

The diocese has reported a sixfold increase in the number of people taking part in Exposition.

Furthermore, up to three hundred people are participating in Compline in the bishop’s private chapel.

Traffic to the diocesan website has also increased by 320 per cent in the past fortnight.

Brignall says the sense of community in the small diocese is deep.

“People are keen to maintain connections online during these unprecedented times.”

Although he says the raw data needed to be analysed and interpreted, he Brignall hopes the growing congregations is a sign that online services are helpful.

“The Church is nourished and discovering afresh a living and robust faith that will bring us through this crisis. It is now not just the case of a glass being half full or half empty, it is the discovery of the desire for a bigger glass,” he says.


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