THE PARISH priest of Corpus Christi Church in Ballymurphy says there will be social distancing measures in place for the resumption of public Mass on Monday.

The Stormont Executive confirmed on Thursday that services will resume on June 29. Churches and places of worship had closed their doors in March due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Last month churches reopened their doors to allow for private prayer with social distancing guidelines in place. Fr Paddy McCafferty welcomed the announcement adding that parishioners will be “very happy indeed”.

“People are pining for the Eucharist,” he said. “It’s a relief in a sense as it was a bizarre situation, it was a situation you would not want to become used to.”

Fr Paddy has been using the church’s webcam to deliver daily and Sunday Mass throughout the closure.

“It was the best we could do for the past three months, we did the best we could," he said. "Thank God we had the webcam, we would have found some way of reaching out to the people via some form of social media. With the webcam we were able to reach out with daily Mass, Sunday Mass and other prayers, it was a way for people to keep in touch.”

He continued: “Thank God, we are very hopeful now that on Monday we’ll have public Mass again. Social distancing measures will be in place, we will have a one-way system coming in and leaving the church and we have the seats already marked out where people can sit safely. We’ll do everything that we need to do in order to make this happen.”