Responding to Bishop Malcolm’s proposals: Q2.2

If the two parishes are to share one priest, what times should Holy Mass be celebrated on Sundays?

  • 9.00am and 11.00am
  • 9.15am and 11.15am
  • 9.30am and 11.30am

Which of these do you want? Which of these do you think is best?


About Fr Martin

Fr Martin Sylvester is the dean of Nottingham West deanery, and parish priest of Long Eaton.
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4 Responses to Responding to Bishop Malcolm’s proposals: Q2.2

  1. Martin says:

    Is it practical, if one priest is to celebrate Holy Mass in both parishes? The Mass times at present are like this:
    – Saturday St Francis 6pm Holy Mass
    – Sunday St Hugh 9.30am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy, and St Francis 10.30am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy

    A common theme when priests who’ve taken on a second parish are asked to reflect on their experience is the advice: “Never have less than two hours between the start of two Masses.” Their experience is that less than this means that they can have no time to linger and chat to people after the first Mass, and they can find themselves unable to arrive in time for their spiritual preparation before the second Mass. This is unsatisfactory for parishioners who don’t get to talk to their priest, and if it persists as a long term arrangement (versus a temporary emergency), the anxiety of knowing that he has the next Mass to get to can do serious damage to a priest’s devotion. He can find that this habitual anxiety means he no longer looks forward with serenity and joy to a celebration of Holy Mass; and in some cases, after years of coping, it can even lead to priests celebrating Holy Mass in a joyless, hurried, careless fashion, giving the congregation the impression that Holy Mass for their priest is a chore, celebrated (if that’s the word) as if he’s got something better to do.

    Each of the parishes has had the experience of losing a Mass in recent years; Long Eaton, their 8.30am Mass, and Borrowash, their 11am Mass and their Sunday evening Mass. Of those losses, the ending of the Borrowash evening Mass was the most recent (the other two Masses ended more than three years ago). Does this history mean that Long Eaton should in charity be more willing to give up a Mass, or change their Mass time, than Borrowash?

    There are two special groups whose needs we might want to keep in mind. People who rely on public transport, and children who attend the children’s liturgy. Sometimes only one parent is Catholic, and the other parent looks forward to their spouse and child returning from Mass so they can spend the rest of the day together – a children’s liturgy too late in the morning could cause tensions in some households. Some of these parents might judge that for the sake of family harmony, and to have more time for family activities, they would have to choose the earlier Mass wherever it is celebrated.

    Here’s some possibilities for Sundays.

    – St Hugh’s 9.00am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    – St Francis 11.00am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    This shares out the pain of moving Mass time, as each congregation has a half hour adjustment. If many of the parents of the 32 children from St Francis children’s liturgy choose to move to an earlier St Hugh’s Mass instead, that might be overwhelming (not just for the children’s liturgy, but also because there are only twenty spare seats in Borrowash on a Sunday). So the two times could be swapped.

    – St Francis 9.00am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    – St Hugh’s 11.00am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    Might 9.00am be too early? In that case, keeping a 9.30am Mass at St Hugh’s would look like this:

    – St Hugh’s 9.30am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    – St Francis 11.30am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    The danger of overwhelming St Hugh’s with children and parents from St Francis still exists in that plan, though, but it does have the advantage of keeping a time that those who have lost their Sunday evening Mass at St Hugh’s are still getting used to. We could, though, keep that time, and, as before, swap the churches so that the earlier Mass is at St Francis, the larger church.

    – St Francis 9.30am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    – St Hugh’s 11.30am Holy Mass with children’s liturgy
    Is 11.30am too late, and would a quarter of an hour make any difference? So instead of 9.30 and 11.30, Holy Mass is celebrated at 9.15 and 11.15?

    Are any of these options workable? Are there other options for the Sunday Masses (keeping in mind the needs of parents and children, and of those who rely on public transport)? Which option do we prefer, and why?

  2. Judy Spittle says:

    If Long Eaton is to have two Masses and Borrowash only one, I think it is reasonable for Borrowash to choose which Mass they would like best. I agree entirely with the concept of leaving at least two hours between masses.

  3. ashton m says:

    st francis should retain the saturday 6pm mass and then mass at 9,30am sunday and then an 11am mass at borrowash

  4. Mary Bradford says:

    I agree with the priciple of leaving two hours between Masses. I would like St Francis to retain the 6pm Saturday Mass. My preference for Sunday masses would be 9am & 11am both with Children’s liturgy. Is 9am too early for young families? A time later than a 11am start would I think be too late finishing as I have noticed that Mass on a Sunday morning at St Francis is about 1hour and 15 minutes long.

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