Covid closes prominent Wellington church

Covid has closed St Mary of the Angels Church until March 20.

The prominent central Wellington church is closed due to a positive case of Covid within the priests’ community.

A March 7 notice on the parish’s website says the Church is closed immediately.

Four priests live in the Marist community and all are fully vaccinated.

“Due to a positive case in the community and the priests needing to isolate, St Mary of the Angels Church will be closed immediately and all Masses and Reconciliation are cancelled” states the parish notice.

In his February 17 letter to priests and lay pastoral workers, Archbishop of Wellington Cardinal John Dew emphasised the importance of helping people feel safe when coming to Mass, to the point, in some areas, of going beyond the government’s guidelines.

Among these guidelines, Dew cites the requirement for the priest and other ministers to be masked.

In the same letter, Dew permitted churches to be closed if Covid infections in the parish area rise to a point where it is unsafe or when the priest or priest’s household members contract Covid and need to self-isolate.

The St Mary’s parish also incorporates St Joseph’s church by the Basin Reserve.

The parish is inviting parishioners from St Mary’s to attend Mass at St Joseph’s at 9:30. Mass bookings open on Wednesday at 9 am and close on Friday at 12 pm. There is a 100 person gathering limit.

Dew also asks parishioners not to attend Mass in other parishes as they will be trying to provide for their own people within the 100 person limit.

“In these changing and challenging times when many people are anxious about both the present and future, and there is uncertainty in planning events including Lent and Easter liturgies, I thank you for all you are doing. I am well aware that it is not easy and there are lots of varying opinions about government regulation, but our aim is to keep ourselves and others safe,” writes Dew.

The Government announced on Wednesday that as of midnight Friday the isolation period for Covid-19 cases and their household contacts reduces from 10 to 7 days.


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News category: New Zealand.

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