Following the recent plenary meeting of the Bishops of England and Wales in Cardiff, all Catholics are invited to return to Mass at Pentecost.  The invitation states that: ‘the reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation no longer apply‘ and that (…) ‘”Virtual viewing” of Mass online does not fulfil the Sunday Obligation (…) It has always been the understanding of the Church that when the freedom of any Catholic to attend Mass in person is impeded (…), because of situations such as ill health, care for the sick or legitimate fear, this is not a breach of the Sunday Obligation‘. To read the entire document, please go to:  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/spring-plenary-2022-resolution-returning-to-mass-at-pentecost/ .

The Bishops’ text will also be available in full in the June edition of Oremus, the Cathedral magazine

A Preparation Course for couples who wish to be married is planned to take place on the evenings of Thursdays 12, 19 and 26 May and 9 June from 7.30 to 9.30pm. The Course concludes with an afternoon session from 2 to 5.30pm on Saturday 18 June, followed by attendance at the 6pm Vigil Mass, at which the couples will be blessed.

It is expected that couples will attend all the sessions. For further information, or to register for the course, please contact Fr Brian O’Mahony ([email protected]) or Julie Hanssen ([email protected]).

The Cathedral is delighted to announce that Suzi Pendlebury has been appointed as Cathedral Architect, succeeding Michael Drury after his 25 years in the role. She is a highly experienced conservation architect with the firm Caroe Architecture, having worked on a number of high profile repair projects including the major re-roofing of the dome at Ickworth House which is in the care of the National Trust. She is also Architect to the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich and has been overseeing grant-aided repairs at a number of Catholic churches in the diocese of East Anglia, notably the fine Victorian church of St Mary, Great Yarmouth.

Announcing the appointment, Fr Witoń said: ‘We are delighted to have Suzi joining our team at the Cathedral. Her knowledge and experience of repairing important historic buildings will be a great asset to us as we embark on new phases of repair’.

Suzi grew up in Kent, initially captivated by Augustus Pugin’s church of St Augustine in Ramsgate, and went on to study not only further buildings by him but also those of the great ecclesiastical architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries, alongside the main architectural curriculum. She has worked across a range of sectors in sensitive environments  and, following an award-winning refurbishment of the 1927 housing for working women in Hampstead Garden suburb, moved to work with Purcell Miller Tritton. There she focussed on works of conservation, repair and sensitive adaption including projects for English Heritage, the Royal Parks and the Palace of Westminster. In 2012, she joined Oliver Caroe, working as his deputy at St Paul’s Cathedral and assisting with other buildings in the firm’s portfolio, such as Ripon Cathedral and York Minster, along with her own appointment for George Gilbert Scott Jnr’s Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich.

She notes: ‘I am delighted to be appointed to the role of Westminster Cathedral Architect. Through all my work I enjoy conserving, repairing and keeping our built heritage thriving through careful interventions. Working not only with churches and cathedrals but with other buildings of high significance, I have built a broad understanding of the ever-changing challenges and opportunities that face these places, as they continue to serve us as our needs and expectations evolve through time. The work of the St Anne’s Gate Practice hitherto has brought the Cathedral to a turning point where it is now possible to fully develop and realise a plan for the future, serving as the Mother Church for our faith in England and Wales. It is a great honour to be able to serve Fr Witoń and the team caring for the Cathedral and its complex of ancillary buildings, conserving their past and ensuring their future’.

On Monday 28, Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 March, the Cathedral itself will be closed to allow filming to take place and all services will take place in Cathedral Hall on Ambrosden Avenue. The Hall will open at the usual time of 7.30am and remain open throughout the day for private prayer, closing after the 5.30pm Mass.

Mass will be celebrated at the usual times of 8 and 10.30am (Latin), 12.30 (not livestreamed) and 5.30pm (Sung); Vespers will be sung at 5pm; and there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 1.15 to 4.30pm.

Confessions will not be heard during this period, but the extended confession hours will begin on Thursday 31 March.

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your co-operation.

At St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Friday 25th March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Holy Father, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 5pm (4pm GMT).

On 25th March 1984, Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In unity with the Holy Father, the Act of Consecration will also be made at the same time at the Ukrainian Cathedral of the Holy Family.

Cardinal Vincent will also celebrate Mass in Westminster Cathedral at 5.30pm, also making the Act of Consecration will during Mass.

All are most welcome to attend.

At all Masses on Sunday 20 March, we will welcome Laila Asfoura, who works with the Friends of the Holy Land, and is a member of the Charity’s local committee in Bethlehem.  Laila will speak about the special challenges in Bethlehem arising from Covid-19.  There will be a retiring collection to support the most needy Christians in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and Jordan.  For more information on the work of FHL or to make a donation, visit www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk or telephone 01926 512980.

The Bishops of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland write:

‘In the face of the shocking loss of life, bloodshed, displacement of people and destruction of property in Ukraine, we make these heartfelt appeals.

We ask our Catholic communities to sustain the prayer and self-denial of Lent as a constant offering to God, begging for an end to this pointless violence.

We ask our fellow Christians everywhere, including Patriarch Kirill and all in the Russian Orthodox Church, to join in solidarity with us in daily spiritual and practical efforts for a ceasefire, for humanitarian outreach and the silencing and laying down of weapons. 

We ask all who have an instinct for God to raise their hearts and minds in prayer for peace.

We urge everyone to open their hearts and respond generously to the many appeals for help and support for all who are fleeing their homeland.  We call on the UK and Irish governments to offer an open and generous welcome to those who seek refuge in the face of this warfare.’

Here in the Cathedral you can offer support through a donation in the designated Ukrainian Appeal box near the main doors. Alternatively, support can be given via this link: https://cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-Emergencies/Ukraine-Humanitarian-Appeal , with assistance going directly to Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Poland.

At his Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis said:

The Holy See is ready to do everything, to put itself at the service of this peace. In these days, two Cardinals went to Ukraine, to serve the people, to help. Cardinal Krajewski, the Almoner, to bring aid to the needy, and Cardinal Czerny, interim Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The presence of the two Cardinals there is the presence not only of the Pope, but of all the Christian people who want to get closer and say: “War is madness! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!” “

After every Mass we will pray for peace, and put the people of Ukraine under the mantle of Our Lady by reciting the Memoráre:  

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen

This year, we celebrate 10 years of Caritas Westminster, the social action agency of the Diocese, working with parishes to enable people to lead a life of dignity.  Funds raised in this year’s Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal will be shared between parishes and Caritas Westminster.  Price rises mean many families face an impossible choice: HEAT or EAT?  The Church is responding, with thousands of people putting their faith into action by serving those in need.  Cardinal Nichols has expressed his gratitude to everyone who supports the Appeal, with whatever they can afford.  Just as a mosaic is made up of many different coloured pieces, each one unique, each person’s contribution to this mosaic of hope will bring light into the lives of people across our Diocese.  Please take a donation envelope.  You can use the QR code to make your donation online.  Thank you for your generosity

Welcome to our new website. It is packed with interactive features so parishioners and visitors alike may experience our beautiful Cathedral online and engage with our activities, liturgies, groups and organisations. It is now possible for all to become part of the Cathedral family by joining groups, applying to volunteer, lighting candles and making donations – all online. Or simply explore this uniquely beautiful building through our Virtual Tour featuring videos and a 3D experience.

We are grateful to The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage whose major grant made this website project possible and to The Society of Friends of Westminster Cathedral for supplementary funding. The new site is highly visual, and incorporates many beautiful images to inspire and encourage visitors to experience this sacred space in person.

Alongside our schedule of Confessions, Masses and other liturgies, the website features a series of short videos, of two to three minutes each, which introduce the main highlights of the history, architecture and decoration of the Cathedral. Each one incorporates the music of our world-famous choir.

Watch our video mini-series on the history of the Cathedral and its chapels

To experience how it feels to stand in the Cathedral and view the mosaics close up, why not take our 3D tour? Transport yourself digitally into any chapel, up into the choir apse or the organ loft or fly up to the Tower viewing gallery to enjoy the permanently sunny (!) views. Explore the Crypt and the Sacristy – they’re not normally open to the public. By exploring the upper galleries, you can even find the Cathedral’s store of tesserae, the small marble or glass pieces that are used to create stunning mosaics.

Have you ever needed to light a candle in the Cathedral but were unable to come here in person? Through the new website you can request that a real candle be lit for you at the chapel or shrine of your choice. You can also arrange to sponsor one of our sanctuary lamps for the intention of your choice or make a donation.

Joining the parish register, a Cathedral group or the Friends can now all be done simply online, as well as volunteering for parish work, the St John Southworth Guild or applying to become an altar server.

Our website features useful devotional guides for taking part in our daily livestreamed Masses as well as other regular Cathedral devotions such as the Angelus, the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross, which take place publicly on Friday evenings during Lent.

The Cathedral is grateful to all those who have worked hard to bring this project to launch point. They include volunteers, clergy, Cathedral staff and, in particular, Oink Creative Ltd. our web designers and developers, Ian Copestake our video maker and Weston Media Ltd. who created the 3D Map and aerial photography.

We very much hope you enjoy using our new site and we’d be delighted if you would like to share it with your friends, using the social media links on this page.

Explore Our New Site:

On Fridays during the Lenten season we continue the Cathedral tradition of praying the Stations of the Cross together after the 5.30pm Solemn Mass, starting at about 6.15pm. The Stations prayed are the well-loved compositions of St Alphonsus Liguori, and copies will be available for all who attend – please join us as part of your Lenten prayer.