A bishop has criticised Catholic churches that remain locked during the day and called on them to stay open like their Anglican counterparts.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth tweeted his exasperation at failing to find a single Catholic church open during a trip outside his diocese.

He wrote: “Why oh why?! Just spent a few days outside the diocese but every Catholic church I tried to visit was locked. One even had the utter hypocrisy to display a poster ‘From Maintenance to Mission’! Why is this, when every Anglican church is welcomely open?”

A spokesman for the bishops’ conference told the Telegraph that there was no policy on keeping churches open and that it was up to each bishop.

In reply to Bishop Egan’s tweet one Carmelite priest, Fr Nicholas Blackwell, wrote: “I’m a priest and I serve at a ‘poor’ parish. We regularly have things stolen and we don’t have the money to replace [them] or fix damage done.” He asked Bishop Egan not to “shame” parishes with “blanket statements”.

In November 2015, Pope Francis said the doors of Catholic churches around the world should remain open despite security fears following the Paris terror attacks.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection