Last updated 1st February 2022

Whilst the reduction of restrictions brings about a more normal way of living, the Covid-19 virus is still in circulation, and this should be in the mind of those participating in the life of the Church as time goes forward holding in balance the need for personal safety and taking responsibility for that safety.

Please continue to test regularly; informing us of close contact and if you test positive. 

Last updated 7th March 2021 at 17:17

Following recent advice from the Diocese and the local Heath Authorities, we are now able to plan a return to Sunday Mass. We have carried out a thorough risk assessment and plan to re-open on the Fourth Sunday of Lent; 14th March.

Last updated 5th January 2021 at 12:03

Following yesterday’s announcement that we are to enter a third ‘lockdown’ and on the strong advice of the Diocese of Chelmsford, we have reluctantly decided to close S Alban’s for both corporate worship and private prayer until further notice.

This is likely to remain the case until the end of February at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Mass on YouTube will be broadcast at the new time of 10am as under previous restrictions.

With my continued love and prayers,

Fr Stuart

Fr Stuart Halstead SSC
Parish Priest, S Alban, Great Ilford

Last updated 8th November 2020 at 17:10

Current restrictions mean that there will be no public worship in church until 2nd December.  The church will be open for Private Prayer at the advertised times.  Sunday Mass will be published at 9am on Sundays on our YouTube channel: please search on YouTube for S Albans Ilford.

We are hopeful to return for Sunday Mass on the 6th December.

Last updated 24th July 2020 at 13:12

Church re-opening: with the exception of those who are ‘shielding’ on NHS advice until 1st August, it is now considered safe and permissible for a to return to church.  The latest advice from the Church of England is that face coverings are recommended when in church.
Wednesday Mass: Wednesday Mass at 12 noon will resume on 12th August.  We are still required to allow 72 hours between services, so until further notice there will be only one midweek Mass.
Recorded services: Sunday Mass will continue to be published on YouTube at 9am on Sunday until Sunday 2nd August.
Covid-19 testing: a testing facility has now been established in the Mildmay car park opposite the church.  It is open daily from 9am – 9pm.  We are all encouraged to ‘get tested’ so that silent carriers of the virus can be identified so as to reduce the rate of transmission.  The test involves a simple oral swap.  Please do consider attending for a test for the benefit of ourselves and others.

Last updated 4th July 2020 at 13:07

Church re-opening: public Mass will be celebrated at 10am on Sunday 12th July.  In advance of that, please note the following:

1. Please follow the directions of the stewards who will ensure that the safety and social distancing measures are observed.

2. Hand sanitiser should be used on entry and exit.

3. Please ensure that the 2m distancing rule is followed (1m if you are in the same household).  Alternate pews will be closed off to facilitate this.

4. Singing is not allowed; but there will be organ music.

5. Hymn books and Mass booklets should not be used; but the pewsheet can be if taken home.

6. People who are ‘shielding’ or in the ‘highly vulnerable’ category are discouraged from attending, but that remains a personal decision. 

7. All readings and the intercessions will be conducted by the priest.

8. The Altar Servers are encouraged to return: distancing measures will be in place.

9. There will be no ‘handed round’ collection.  Please place offerings on the plate by the main entrance. If you are giving cash, please place it in a giving envelope.

10. Face coverings are optional.

11. Communion can be received, but only the Host (no Chalice).  Please follow the direction of the priest.

12. The lavatory will be open, but please wash your hands and use the sanitiser afterwards.  Please do not flush paper towels but put them in the wastepaper basket.

13. Please refrain from unnecessary conversation at all times.

14. Please leave in silence, observing social distancing.

Last updated 25th March 2020 at 18:11

Please share this information widely, especially with those who are not on the internet or social media.

We will be distributing the pewsheet and notices to those who must stay at home and who do not have email. If anyone needs urgent pastoral care, please contact Fr Stuart on 07752 401 496.

Our earlier plan to record and broadcast services from the church can no longer happen, as even the priest is now  not allowed to offer prayers in the church building. I plan to record Sunday Masses, Palm Sunday and Holy Week and Easter services at the Vicarage and these will be posted to our YouTube channel.

You should search for S Alban’s Ilford on YouTube to find us.

Uttermost, I hope and pray that this time of difficulty will end soon. Meantime, I hold you all in my prayers.

Every blessing,

Fr Stuart


Last updated 24th March 2020 at 15:06


Last updated 22nd March 2020 at 17:50

Following the increase of cases in London over the past 24 hours, the decision has been made to close Church premises until further notice.


Last updated Wednesday 18 March 2020 at 18:00

Dear Friends,

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York advised yesterday that all public worship is to be suspended until further notice (with the exception of weddings and funerals). That means that there will be no weekday or Sunday masses at S Alban’s for the foreseeable future.

However, the Archbishops encourage churches to remain open at various times for people to attend for private prayer. In light of this guidance, our weekly timetable at S Alban’s will follow this pattern:

Sundays: the church will be open between 10am and 11am for private prayer and Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

Wednesdays: the church will be open between 11am and 12 noon for private prayer and the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Fridays: the church will be open between 9.30am and 10.30am for private prayer and the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Saturdays: the church will be open for private prayer and hall bookings between 10am and 12 noon; there will be no Coffee Morning (but you can bring your own refreshments).

Further advice:

  1. The now customary advice about staying at home if you feel unwell in any way, and observing scrupulous hygiene, applies to anyone who might plan to visit the church. 
  1. The planned APCM and PCC meetings are deferred indefinitely. 
  1. Anyone in immediate pastoral need should contact Fr Stuart on 07752 401 496. 
  1. Please avoid the urge to panic buy essential commodities: this only harms the people most in need. 
  1. There is no need to be afraid.  If we follow the advised protocols we can help ourselves and each other to keep safe and well. 
  1. Please continue to pray for those affected in any way by this crisis and especially for those who at especial risk of falling ill.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any extra concerns or questions.

At this challenging time, I hold you all in my prayers.  Through faith and good practice we can, together, come through this unprecedentedly difficult time.

With my love and prayers, 

Fr Stuart Halstead SSC

Parish Priest, S Alban, Great Ilford


Last updated Tuesday 17 March 2020 at 16:50

In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. 

Churches should be open where possible but with no public worship services taking place. Prayers can be said by clergy and ministers on behalf of everyone and churches should consider ways of sharing this with the wider community.


Parish Church of St Alban – 17th March 2020


In light of the continued increase of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United Kingdom, our guidance is to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the Peace, blessing or “laying on of hands”. We advise that all priests should:

  • Offer Communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine;
  • Suspend handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the Peace;
  • Suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or “laying on of hands”. 

If you are unwell, seek appropriate NHS advice here or call 111.

Please support our most vulnerable at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and adhere to any additional guidance provided.


Parish Church of St Alban – 16th March 2020