Covid causing confusion by Stephen Pittman

These are confusing times. We are advised to work from home where possible. But it is fine to meet colleagues for an office party. We should wear a face covering when gathering with others – unless we’re eating, drinking or singing.


The bishops of Scotland have restored the Sunday obligation. Those in England & Wales have not, explaining Covid has not gone away and that many folk will still feel worried about infection rates.


Those of us who feel able to attend Mass must wear a face covering. Although those in the choir can remove them for singing. And there seems to be a little confusion about the parish coffee and biscuits. As long as there are fewer than 500 people, it’s OK.


Contradictory and confusing advice is not helpful. And, despite the Government legislating on where face masks must be worn, one begins to understand the refuseniks.


The pandemic has taken its toll on our Masses. At the beginning, all but a few older parishioners stayed away. And they haven’t all come back. And many of our congregations are old-age heavy.


So it was cheering to hear of Archbishop John Wilson’s invitation to “come home”. And he’s not just appealing to those who have gone away – he is also inviting those who were not part of our community in the first place. He says: ““Please come, because we love you and we want to give you a great welcome.”


Could the face of our Sunday assembly change?


Salford’s Bishop John Arnold is appealing to all adults who can, to have the Covid vaccination. The comes in the same week that we learned of a woman who has stopped going to Mass because “Them priests are all in it, too. They just want to inject things into us.”


These are, indeed, confusing times.


On a brighter note, Nick Baty has been investigating the history of some of our best-loved carols. Here at The Grapevine, we’re pleased he is merrily ding-donging on high – we just wish he’d wait a week or two.

Stephen P