Parish Feedback during Lockdown

Firstly, many thanks to all who completed the survey, an encouraging 151 replies were received, however, several were submitted by couples or families so the number of parishioners who contributed was higher. This gave an invaluable insight into the effects of lockdown, and how this may affect the approach of the parish should another occur. The PPC have now had the opportunity to study and discuss the analysis.

The intention is to provide feedback in sections to the parish over the next few weekends,
giving some statistical results and possible actions.

Lockdown Survey - Parish Feedback


Question: What order of priority would you give to the reintroduction of the following, if lockdown reoccurred?

Celebrating Mass together in church was the first choice for 2 out of 3 replies, with opportunities for private prayer/Eucharistic adoration in church next and the Sacrament of Reconciliation third. The remaining three priorities: Prayer/scripture groups in church, Virtual prayer groups and Praying the Rosary together in church were very closely grouped in that order.

Actions: Mass attendance at weekends has continued to rise, so the number and times of Masses will continue to be reviewed.  A time for Exposition and private prayer is currently available on Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Some commented about the availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Those wishing to celebrate the Sacrament are welcome to contact the Presbytery and make a time with one of the priests. Fr Michael & Fr Julian are currently looking at the possibility of a set time and how this might work safely and practicably. Details to follow in the newsletter.

Question: Which of these services do you think is the most important to be able to access online?

Live-streamed Mass from our church was the most popular, 2 out of 3 choosing this as highest priority. The preference for on-line Masses from other churches was closely followed by Services on the Website similar to those made available for Holy Week and Easter.

Actions: The live streaming of Mass continues to be popular and we have already upgraded our system with new cameras and better sound provision.


Question: Are there any other means by which you feel that the parish could have communicated with you?

4 out of 5 indicated that communication was efficient and well received, without further suggestions.

Actions: Although a very pleasing result, further improvements are being investigated. Current actions:

    • Approximately 500 parishioners receive the weekly updates, including the bulletin, via e-mail; it would be great to see this number increased. A number of parishioners have already asked to receive updates and the newsletter via email. If you would like to go on our email distribution list, please email the presbytery ( ) with your name and email address saying that you wish to be added to the email distribution list.
    • Fr Michael and the new Parish Administrator will look at how the presentation and range of news can be refined.
    • The PPC are investigating an outside noticeboard or making better use of the current ones. This is particularly important while the church remains closed apart from Mass times. In the meantime, a QR code has been made available on the external noticeboard which will take people directly to the parish website and thereby the weekly bulletin.

Lockdown Survey – Parish Feedback (Part Two)

In this second feedback on the parish lockdown survey, we consider resources, parish activities and finances. Thank you for your responses, the results of which are summarised below, and also for the very helpful suggestions that have been incorporated in the action points.


Question: Which resources have you used to pray at home?
Unsurprisingly 85% used some combination of missal, prayer book, bible, or rosary to assist with daily prayer accessed online or through hard copy. It was mentioned that parishioners were thankful that the daily mass readings were included in the bulletin; the most commonly used other aids were Bible Alive, Universalis, Sacred Space, and Magnificat. Others found You Tube helpful – Fr Wang’s being the most popular. 30% engaged in more meditation and reflection through different types of prayer, spiritual books and online sites.


    • Whilst the links for online Masses in the bulletin and on the website were well received, having another list of resources to support individual faith practice (TV, online, paper) would be welcome should restrictions remain in place.

Parish Activities during Lockdown

Question: Please state any parish activity you have taken part in during lockdown?
It is great to note that 40% of respondents had supported other parishioners through phone calls, delivery of bulletin, helping with shopping, etc. It was evident that impromptu actions supplemented anything organised by the parish. 35% donated to foodbanks and/or helped the homeless projects Open Door / Centre 33. It was more sobering to note that 40% either didn’t reply or stated none, suggesting that they hadn’t taken part in any parish activity.

Question: Please mention any ideas about other activities that the parish could have organised.
Around 30% had suggestions, mostly centred around support and networking, mainly through greater use of technology.


    • Links to services and talks on the Diocese of Westminster website have been posted in the bulletin, perhaps these and similar could have a greater profile
    • Fr Michael & Fr Julian are planning a programme of four live streamed Advent Talks that may lead to similar broadcasts in the future
    • Support is always available through contact with the presbytery, but perhaps this needs to be stated more explicitly in these circumstances.
    • Please also refer to ideas on upgrading communication as mentioned in last week’s feedback.


Sadly, as everyone knows, the implications of the pandemic and lockdown are far reaching and parish finances are not immune to this.

Final analysis of the responses shows that over 67% thought that the message of the impact on finances had not been stated strongly enough or had failed to be recognised – with only 2% thinking it had been overstated. As well as sharing more about current ‘maintenance’ costs, e.g. Bell Tower guttering and sacristy roofs, we have already begun to register more about the impact which COVID has had on parish finances in the newsletter. Alongside the fall in income, which has been partially augmented by the furloughing of staff, COVID has necessitated an increase in expenditure on cleaning materials and PPE for stewards. It has also seen a significant outlay of just over £8,000 on a new camera/streaming system.


    • The parish continues to be very grateful to those who have been able to contribute so far whilst recognising the financial strain which the pandemic has placed on many households.
    • Encourage those who are able to set up a monthly standing order. A letter was sent out to all those who have traditionally used offertory promise envelopes to consider giving via standing order.
    • Promote on-line donations using Virgin Money Giving. A link is available on the parish website.
    • Promote Contactless giving using the new contactless payment point in the porch.
    • Facilitate cash donations using the black metal box at the exit.

Lockdown Survey – Parish Feedback (Part Three)

This third, and final, feedback summary on the recent parish lockdown survey considers pastoral care for parishioners during lockdown and how lockdown affected people’s attitudes towards faith.

Pastoral Care

Question: I have felt cared for by the parish during lockdown?

It was highly encouraging that 64% of replies were in agreement with this statement, many also including a message of appreciation for everything that had been done. Conversely 15% disagreed, a relatively small but still significant number that needs further investigation as to what could have been done better. The remaining 21% expressed no opinion.

Chart showing the level of care in the parish during lockdown


Question: In what ways has the parish cared for you?

The most quoted responses, all between 40 and 20% of the total number of replies, were, in order of popularity

    • Communication Updates (Bulletin/newsletter, email update)
    • Live-streamed Mass
    • Contact/Support (including by other parishioners)
    • General availability of Priests

Question: In what ways could the parish have cared for you better?

Unfortunately there were very few suggestions offered (all less than 3% of the total number of replies), these centred around

    • Better local networking
    • More Individual contact
    • More Information on Sacramental rescheduling
    • Online Mass sooner


    • The majority of points raised for improvement point to the need for better and more varied means of communication in order that key messages are not missed
    • Encourage those who would like support to contact the parish office so as to be linked with a local parishioner and/or be contacted by a priest

How Lockdown Affected Attitudes Towards Faith

Question: How has lockdown affected your faith?

Extremely heartening to find that most people indicated they coped well during Lockdown: 35% replied their faith had strengthened and nearly 30% that it had no effect, with only 4% saying faith had lessened. The main positive outcome was that it gave more time to meditate/reflect/pray.

The negatives mentioned were: Missing Church community (10%), Frustrated sacramentally (4%), Concern for young (2%)

Question: How has lockdown affected your view of the church?

Around 4 in 5 replies were positive either emphasising the importance of their view of the church or its being unchanged, many also mentioning that the parish had responded very well to the situation. Only a small number (8%) indicated that its importance had lessened or that it was more remote.

Question: How has lockdown affected your view of Sunday Mass?

Similarly a large majority (70%) indicated that its importance had been reinforced or unchanged. However, a significant group (18%) felt that Sunday Obligation had become less important for them: with several commenting that the simplicity and brevity of the online model suited them and their children, including the ability to pause and the convenience of choosing the time to watch


    • A very high percentage affirmed that Lockdown had not diminished their faith life and in some cases have found it strengthened. This highlights the importance of continuing to support the majority whilst investigating ways of guiding people who have found the situation more challenging.
    • The Liturgy Group and PPC are canvassing opinions of their members to recommend possible alterations to the style of services although actions are limited by national restrictions.


Final Remarks

We are extremely grateful for all the replies. Your views and suggestions have helped and refined our reflection on the events of the past months. Certainly, they will help shape our response should another lockdown be imposed, or public Masses and services be suspended once more. It is reassuring to know that the vast majority of respondents were supportive of and grateful for everything achieved under these difficult and unique circumstances. The overall response rate was encouraging, with a high proportion of those who were contacted directly (eg. via the emailed updates) contributing.

A few final reminders:

    • Please remember we are here to support you. If at any stage you are feeling vulnerable or know of another parishioner who needs support e.g. lonely, isolated, in crisis please contact the parish office (ideally by phone or email, but also by calling at the presbytery). We cannot help if we do not know.
    • Similarly, if further constraints are imposed and you feel you would be able to offer your support e.g. supporting the isolated by delivering newsletters, stewarding for public Masses or services, reading, please contact the parish office. Please note that involvement in any activity to support the vulnerable requires that the necessary safeguarding checks be in place.
    • Please continue to read the parish website and Newsletter. These are our main source of communication, especially when public Masses are limited or suspended. If you are looking for resources to help and general updates this is where you will be able to find them.