stwoy_logoThe Jack Pledger WindowSt. William of York ChurchArchdiocese of Southwark

Welcome to St. William of York Catholic Parish

Whether you are an old hand or a newcomer to the parish, we hope you will find this website informative and useful. This Parish belongs to the Archdiocese of Southwark. We are one of ten parishes in the Deanery of Lewisham. There are details about our Patron Saint and the history of our Parish and Church on this website. Please register as a member of our parish (digitally or on paper, available here in Word or PDF format).

COVID-19 Update (26/27 June 2021)

Dear Parishioners

Easing of restrictions - new arrangements weekend 26/27 June

Following the government's plan to ease restrictions, on the 17th of May the Bishops conference of England and Wales issued a Covid-19 Route Map: Step 3 Guidance.

This guidance sets the steps parishes can take to ease the restrictions in a way it is safe to the community. From the weekend of 26th/27th June I'm very pleased to announce some easing of the restrictions in place for Mass here at SWOY.

What will change?

Sunday 9.15 Mass will return to its original time of 9.30.

The church will be open to parishioners for the Saturday 10.30 Mass

Seats will be 1m apart, with 1.5m between rows. This will allow us to fit more people into the church building

Reintroduction of the offertory procession

It will be optional for readers to sanitise their hands before approaching the lectern

We will not sanitise every chair with antibacterial cleaner after every Mass (which makes it possible to have 9.30 and 11.30 masses, because less cleaning is needed in between).

The map on the booking system will look different because there will be more seats in the church, but it will work in the same way as it does now.

What will remain in place?

    The booking system, with people sitting in designated seats

    Masks to be worn by all unless exempt

    Windows and doors open to ensure there is good ventilation

    Communion brought to you where you sit. Ministers will sanitise their hands before distribution

    Hands sanitised as people arrive

    Door handles and the toilets sanitised after every Mass

    Still no singing out loud, and no sign of peace

    Fr Habte will still take all the current precautions when presiding – sanitising his hands, keeping the hosts and chalice covered, etc

    Don't attend if you have tested positive or have any symptoms.

    Is it legal?

    Yes. We could have moved to 1m distancing a while ago, but decided to remain at 2m. We are also following the diocesan guidelines.

    Is it safe?

    A group of parishioners updated the risk assessment which was done when we first opened. We looked at the local rates of infection and vaccination, and read the church and government guidance. We decided it was safe to reduce the distancing between the seats, if all the precautions listed above remained in place.

    It is each person's own decision whether they feel it is safe to come to Mass. The church's dispensation remains in place so it is not a requirement to attend. We have just celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi - the Body and Blood of Christ - and heard again Jesus' words that we should "do this in memory of me". This reminds us that the Eucharist is the centre of our faith. If you haven't felt able to come back to the church building yet, please do think about it now - you will be very welcome!

    Mass will be live-streamed every Wednesday at 9.15am and on the first Sunday of the month at 11.30am

    You can access the live streaming of the Mass by clicking here: LIVE STREAMING.

    Please Note: You do not need to create a Facebook account to view the streaming. If a pop-up window appears asking you to sign in or create a new Facebook account, you can choose to ignore it by clicking "not now" then proceed to the live streaming.

    We will of course change the restrictions as necessary as the situation changes locally and nationally. If you have any questions regarding these new arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact Mary or myself, your feedback will be most welcomed.

    We look forward to seeing you.

    With every blessing,

    Fr Habte

    COVID-19 and the Catholic's Church response:

    Pastoral Letter Concerning the Reopening of Catholic Churches for Individual Prayer

    1. Statement from Archbishop John Wilson - 23 March 2020

    2. Liturgical Advice by Bishops


    4. Liturgical Advice given by the Diocese

Weekly Masses

For up-to-date information see the weekly Bulletin and Diary. We also have a page on Facebook.

Ministry to the Vulnerable

I appeal to your generosity and kindness and if your financial circumstances allow to please donate Supermarket food vouchers or cash and post in an envelope through the presbytery door at 4 Brockley Park earmarked "SWOY Families in need Crisis Fund".

If you are currently donating to the parish via a standing order you may wish to consider increasing the amount donated to assist with the "SWOY Families in need Crisis Fund".

If you are unable to leave the house and are able to donate funds to help our "Crisis Fund", via a bank transfer, Our parish bank details are as follows:

  • NatWest Bank
  • Sort Code 60-50-01
  • Account number 79124437
  • Account name St William of York Reg Charity 1173050
  • Reference - Your name, gift aid number and "SWOY Crisis Fund"

It would be helpful if you could please send an email to Mary at to notify your donation and gift aid number and Mary will ensure we receive tax relief.

1. Food items can also be left in the box at the back of the church for our parish families in need, food banks are in great need of donations at this time.

2. We are coordinating a telephone ministry to those in need of such contact and to arrange necessary practical assistance. If you know of anyone who may require such assistance, please contact us via email ( or telephone (020 8690 4549).

3. Please also contact Mary via telephone or email if you wish to volunteer to help parishioners by shopping, collecting prescriptions, doing errands etc.

Fr Habte

Hospital Admissions

Due to rules and regulations regarding privacy in hospitals it is important to remember that if you or a relative are admitted to hospital it is your responsibility to let the staff know that you or they are a Catholic and would welcome a visit from the Catholic chaplain. It would also be helpful to let the Parish office know so that the Clergy and Parishioners can remember you and your relatives in their prayers.

Moved recently?

Please let the parish office know if you have moved and give your new contact details.