Local church providing online Mass

MORE than 600 people are tuning in to daily online Masses streamed from St Dunstan’s Catholic Church in Woking, compared with up to 50 before the coronavirus outbreak.

At Easter this rose to just under 2,100 viewings of services on Good Friday and more than 3,600 for the live-streaming of Easter Masses on Saturday night and Easter Day.

Father Peter Andrews conducting an online Mass

The church in Shaftesbury Road has been live streaming daily Mass for about three years, but now this is the only way for local Catholics to worship.

Mark Potter, who is part of the leadership team, said St Dunstan’s is one of the few Catholic churches in the area with online Mass.

He said Father Peter Andrews has to lead Mass on his own, wearing protective gloves.

Live streamed Masses are also provided by the Vatican and most cathedrals, including Arundel.

The local branch of the church charity, the St Vincent de Paul Society, has been in contact with all the vulnerable and isolated parishioners.

“We, like many churches, have a large number of key workers, including nursing and other medics,” Mark said.

St Dunstan’s has donated £2,000 to the Shah Jahan Mosque’s food aid for people in self isolation during the coronavirus crisis.

The move came after Father Peter spoke with Imam Hashmi. The church offered help in distributing food aid, but the mosque had enough volunteers and so the donation was made instead.

Father Peter included a note with the donation which read: “It is a gift of love towards all our brothers and sisters and thanks for your organising.”

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