WELCOME TO SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
The present church building of St Catherine of Siena, Bristol Street, Birmingham, dates from 1964. It replaced an earlier building which was begun in 1875 and which was demolished to make way for a road improvement scheme. It has a distinctive round shape which suited the liturgical and architectural ideas of the time. The local area has undergone many changes in recent years. The congregation is now drawn from people who have come from all over the world.
To stay up-to-date with the parish, please visit the News page.
A Message from Fr. Mario
On Sunday 5 July at 11.00 a.m. we will be able to celebrate public mass for
the first time in a long while.
Please remember the Sunday obligation remains suspended. Though we
really want to see you, attendance is at your discretion. There is no
expectation that anyone should feel obliged to attend particularly if you are
in a vulnerable group where you should limit social contact generally.
If you are in the extremely vulnerable category of shielding and have
received specific personal instructions not to attend religious services then,
obviously, you should not attend.
Please be prepared for a difference. Things will not be the same. The Holy
Water stoups will remain dry. There will be no books, no singing, no offertory
procession, no Sign of Peace, and it is unlikely that you will be able to sit in
your normal place.
We need volunteers to steward at Mass and help clean the church
afterwards. If we don’t have enough we cannot have Mass. We are very
grateful to those who have already volunteered and are helping plan our
reopening. We need more. Please consider volunteering as a Steward/
Cleaner to assist with welcoming people, guiding people to receive Holy
Communion, helping them leave and cleaning the church after Mass. If you
are interested please contact the Parish Office via email
A message for our Altar Servers, Readers and Eucharistic Ministers: I greatly
appreciate your help and support, but you will not be required until further
notice due to social distancing and hygiene regulations.
On returning to celebrate Mass we ask that you please be careful and
comply with the following rules:
- Our Archdiocese allows social distancing of “1 m +” in our churches – this is
subject to compulsory wearing of a face covering in church. Social
distancing of 1 metre must be observed both in the church grounds and in
the church at all times. I am under instruction to stop mass if this obligation
- If you arrive for Mass and you do not have a face covering you will not be
allowed entrance unless you have a respiratory illness. Children under 5
also do not need a face covering. You will need to bring your own face
covering with you. These will not be provided for you.
- To meet the “1m+” rule our seating capacity is greatly reduced. The
maximum number of people we can have at any one time is 80. When
the church reaches capacity no further entry will be allowed. A one-way
system will be in operation inside the church
- Entry will be by the doors of the main church. Doors will be clearly marked
and stewards will be there to guide you. Please socially distance while
waiting to enter the church. You will be guided to a seat by a steward.
Please comply with their direction. They are there to help keep everyone
- There is no fair and equitable way of allocating spaces for Mass therefore
places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
- You must sanitise your hands with the hand gel provided on arrival and
- Children are welcome but only when accompanied by an appropriate
adult. Parents must ensure that their children abide by the social
distancing requirement. Please do not bring pushchairs or prams with you
– there is no space to store them.
- We will provide offertory stations for you to put your offertory or even gift
aide envelope. Make a donation on entering the church the stewards will
guide you on how to do this.
- You must not touch any of the statues.
- Our toilet will not be available for use.
- If you leave anything behind it will be thrown away.
- If you wish to you can bring your own missal or prayer book. This must be
for your own use only and cannot be shared. You can print your own
bulletin from the website too.
13.You must follow the direction of the Priest and Stewards during Holy
Communion. Holy Communion will be distributed at the end of Mass as
you leave the church. It will not be possible to return to your seat after you
have received Holy Communion.
- Exit will be via the main entrance and Lady Chapel door as directed by
the steward. Please do not congregate outside the church or on the
grounds after Mass.
A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops
of the Catholic Church in England
Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
On Tuesday we heard the announcement that, from the 4th July this year, places of
worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services. We welcome this news with
great joy. Since the lockdown began, members of all faiths have faced restrictions on
how they have been able to celebrate important religious festivals. Our own
experience of Easter was unlike any other we have known. Now, in our churches,
and with our people, we can look forward again to celebrating the central mysteries
of our faith in the Holy Eucharist.
The recent reopening of our churches for individual private prayer was an important
milestone on our journey towards resuming communal worship. Our churches that
have opened have put in place all the measures needed to ensure the risks of virus
transmission are minimised. This includes effective hand sanitisation, social
distancing, and cleaning. We remain committed to making sure these systems of
hygiene and infection control meet Government and public health standards.
We want to thank everyone within the Catholic community for sustaining the life of
faith in such creative ways, not least in the family home. We thank our priests for
celebrating Mass faithfully for their people, and for the innovative ways in which
they have enabled participation through live-streaming and other means. We are
grateful for the pastoral care shown by our clergy to those for whom this time of
lockdown has been especially difficult, and, in particular, towards those who have
been bereaved. We recognise too the chaplaincy services that have played a vital role
in supporting those most in need. Gaining from the experience of all that we have
been through, and bringing those lessons into the future, we must now look forward.
With the easing of restrictions on worship with congregations, we tread carefully
along the path that lies ahead. Our lives have been changed by the experience of the
pandemic and it is clear that we cannot simply return to how things were before
lockdown. We remain centred on the Lord Jesus and His command at the Last
Supper to “do this in memory of me.” We must now rebuild what it means to be
Eucharistic communities, holding fast to all that we hold dear, while at the same time
exploring creative ways to meet changed circumstances.
It is important to reaffirm that, at present, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass
remains suspended. A significant number of churches may remain closed as they are
unable to meet the requirements for opening for individual prayer. Fulfilling these
requirements is a precondition for any church opening after the 4th July for the
celebration of Mass with a congregation.
Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend
Mass in our churches. This will determined locally in accordance with social
distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we
might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary
practices. This next step is not, in any sense, a moment when we are going ‘back to
We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to
Mass. Our priests may need to consider whether it is possible to celebrate additional
Masses at the weekends. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider
the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of
numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for
Moving forward, there will still be many people who cannot attend Mass in person.
We therefore ask parishes, wherever possible, to continue live-streaming Sunday
Mass, both for those who remain shielding and vulnerable, and also for those unable
to leave home because of advanced age or illness.
When we return to Mass there will some differences in how the celebration takes
place. For the time being, there will be no congregational singing and Mass will be
shorter than usual. None of this detracts from the centrality of our encounter with
the Risen Christ in the Eucharist. We ask everyone to respect and follow the guidance
that will be issued and the instructions in each church.
“As I have loved you,” said the Lord Jesus, “so you must love each other.” (Jn 13:34) The
lockdown has brought forth remarkable acts of charity, of loving kindness, from
Catholics across our communities as they have cared for the needy and vulnerable.
We have seen love in action through charitable works, and through the service of
many front-line keyworkers who are members of our Church. Now we can begin to
return to the source of that charity, Christ himself, present for us sacramentally,
body, blood, soul and divinity, in Holy Communion. As we prepare to gather again
to worship, let us, respectful of each other, come together in thanksgiving to God for
the immense gift of the Holy Eucharist.
Yours devotedly in Christ
✠ Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
✠ Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool
✠ Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham
✠ John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark
This letter is addressed to the Catholic Community in England; the opening of the Catholic Churches in Wales
is devolved to the Welsh Assembly who are still evaluating their position on opening Places of Worship.