63 gathered in the Social Centre on Wednesday evening to decide the most convenient times for Masses which one priest is able to celebrate on Saturday evening and Sunday.
The good-natured meeting ran from 7.30 to 9.30pm during which six options were debated before a paper ballot was taken. 61 votes were cast: 33 voted in favour of a 6pm evening Mass in Dunsop Bridge (a time which allows farmers to complete milking and other chores) with the two regular Sunday morning Masses at 9.30 in Clitheroe and 11am in Sabden remaining as they are, followed by an additional Sunday evening Mass at 5pm. Three other options gathered 19, 6 and 3 votes respectively.
This result will be a disappointment to many who attend the current Saturday evening Mass in Clitheroe and I do regret this, but choices had to be made. I pray and hope that regular attenders will consider travelling to Dunsop or attending one of the three Sunday Masses in Clitheroe and Sabden; we are after all, one parish. If none of these are convenient, please consult this list of Mass times in other churches in the area.
Saturday pm Sunday am
Settle 6.30 11.15
Stonyhurst 5.30 8.30
Hurst Green 10.00
Langho 6.00 10.00
Whalley 5.00 11.00
Osbaldeston 6.30 10.00
When I met with the Bishop on Thursday he endorsed this decision and indicated that he would not have been happy had we asked for two Saturday evening Masses in an area where there are so many.
We live in a region rich in the memory of Martyrs who died and many others who suffered to retain the Mass. Please do not stop your practice because of this change, difficult though it may be to accept.
The new times will take effect in a month’s time on Saturday 10th June.