Welcome to St. Pancras, the Catholic Church serving Central Ipswich
A warm welcome from all at St Pancras, whether you are a new parishioner, a returning parishioner, or a visitor.
Sometimes, when a priest is new to a parish, he is asked what his priorities are. The same answer might be given by every priest, namely to give glory to God and to work for the salvation of souls. Everything a priest does falls under one or both of these headings. Whilst COVID-19 restrictions apply, these works are best served by keeping the church open for prayer, continuing our daily services of Mass and confessions, and reaching out to those who are shielding.
Once the restrictions are lifted, the main works will become those of encouraging people to return to the ordinary means of worshipping God by being personally present at Mass, and of helping to build up a sense of community amongst parishioners once more.
Whatever the impact this pandemic has had on your life, please be assured of continuing prayers offered in the belief that a merciful and just God will no more forget you than a woman will forget the infant in her womb, for He has carved you on the palm of His hands (Is 49:15-16).
With every good wish for God’s blessings,
160th Anniversary of the Opening of Our Church
On Wednesday, 12th May, our patronal feast day, Bishop Alan Hopes celebrated Mass in honour of St Pancras to mark the opening of our church on Wednesday, 12th June 1861. Bishop Amherst, the Bishop of Northampton, celebrated the opening Mass, and Dr. Manning, Provost of Wesminster, preached on the subject of the Catholic Church as God’s spiritual kingdom here on earth.
A new lockdown was announced by the Government on 4th January 2021 with the message ‘Stay at Home’. However, the churches can remain open for both private and communal worship. Please see the comment from Cardinal Nichols by clicking here. The newsletter gives the times of the daily and Sunday Masses.
The newsletters are published every Saturday. Please click here for the latest
The Easter edition of the parish magazine can be downloaded by clicking here.
Our Car Park
Very soon – and for an indeterminate number of weeks ad experimentum – we shall have a barrier across the entrance to our car park which will be opened about thirty minutes before each service and locked again about thirty minutes after each service. Pedestrian and wheelchair access will not be affected. But why is this thought to be necessary?
Many – possibly most – of our car park users do not worship at St Pancras Church. Indeed, many have no connection at all with any of the local Catholic parishes. Over the years, and even during the national lockdown, local residents and their visitors as well as local business users (staff and customers) and their various tradesmen, have made free use of the space in front of our church.
Now, as the lockdown restrictions are being lifted, the car park is becoming busy once more, so much so that parishioners sometimes find it hard, and at times even impossible, to find a parking space because of use by non-church goers. Now seems a good time to take the management of our limited space in hand, but the issues are more complex that most people would suppose.
Even amongst our own parishioners, the factors are not simple. For example, should parking be allowed for St Pancras parishioners if they pop into church briefly but have shopping as the main purpose for their use of the car park? Should the same apply for Catholics from other local parishes? If there is a wedding, or a funeral, or a baptism later in the day, at what point do we close the car park to ensure there is parking for the guests? And what do we do about cars already parked there by people who are not guests but who have left their car in place all day? Should kindly neighbours who are, nonetheless, unconnected with St Pancras be allowed to park here? If so, how many spaces may they take up? (There are eleven marked parking bays.) Might we charge local business users who wish to park there? This would involve legal contracts and obligations on our part and, inevitably, disputes. Might we have a permit system? But who is to police it? Could we have a keypad access system for authorized users? The cheapest system we have found so far would cost approximately £6,500 to install. In the evening, choir members turning up for a rehearsal have, in the past, found either that there is no space for them to park because visitors to local bars and restaurants have filled the space, or they have been able to park but at the cost of blocking other car park users in, who have then become angry and knocked on the presbytery door when they have found they can’t get out.
Clamping vehicles, fining offenders, and locking unauthorized cars into the car park are all unlawful unless carried out by a properly licensed car-park management company on our behalf. We have been unable to find a company willing to operate such a small car park. There is not enough profit to be made to make it worth their while.
What, then, should we do? We might leave things as they are, in part because it would be easier and in part because it would be the open and welcoming thing for a Christian parish to do. Yet it is Fr Joseph’s hope that we can and should reclaim this space for St Pancras parishioners, but this will require a new approach to the management of this much sought-after resource. So far, no better system has been found, although we continue to look for one. In the meantime, the plan, outlined above, will go ahead, starting in the next few weeks. It will cause some inconvenience, for which the parish priest apologises in advance, but the intention is eventually to make the space more readily available for our own parishioners once more.
Times of Services
Sunday Mass times
Saturday 6pm Vigil Mass of Sunday
Sunday 11am (sung)
Weekday Mass times
(Confessions 20 minutes before each Mass)
Monday 10am followed by the rosary
Tuesday 8am (EF) followed by the rosary
Wednesday 6pm followed by the rosary
Thursday 12:15pm followed by the rosary
Friday 10am followed by the rosary
Saturday Mass times
10am Mass followed by devotions to Our Lady of Ipswich & S. Pancras
Adoration & Confessions: 5pm – 5:45pm
Vigil Mass of Sunday: 6pm