The Masses will take place in St Albans in the parish of St Bartholomew’s, 47 Vesta Avenue, St Albans, AL1 2PE (pictured above) and in Willesden, north-west London, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden, Nicoll Road, London NW10 9AX (pictured below).
In both cases, the parish priests have been asked by the archdiocese to learn and celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
Neither Fr Tim Edgar of St Albans nor Fr Stephen Willis of Willesden has previously celebrated the Extraordinary Form, but both are approaching the opportunity of offering the ancient form of Mass with a very positive and pastoral attitude. It will obviously take some time for them to reach the necessary level of proficiency to start offering Masses publicly. Nevertheless, training has begun and regular weekly Masses on Sundays will start later this year on dates and at times yet to be announced. Their parishioners have already been consulted and informed about the introduction of the Extraordinary Form in their parishes and the reaction has been positive.
This very good news follows meetings between the LMS and the archdiocese over a period of a year or more, in which LMS Chairman Dr Joseph Shaw, Local Representative for Hertfordshire Mike Mason, and LMS General Manager Mike Lord met with Bishop Alan Hopes and Bishop John Sherrington a number of times to discuss wider provision of the Extraordinary Form.
The LMS would like to thank Bishop Hopes, Bishop Sherrington and Archbishop Vincent Nichols for their work in helping to make the Traditional Mass available in these areas of the Archdiocese of Westminster.
LMS General Manager Mike Lord commented: ‘We are very pleased at this positive response from the archdiocese to what has been something of a pastoral crisis in Hertfordshire and north-west London in recent years for Catholics attached to the Extraordinary Form of Mass.
'It is doubly pleasing that the parish priest in each case has been asked to be the principal celebrant. The Traditional Mass needs to become a full and accepted part of parish life in dioceses across the country with an important role to play in drawing the faithful closer to Christ, especially in this Year of Faith. In the cases of St Albans and Willesden, the Extraordinary Form is set to do just that.’