We wish to clarify a report in the media entitled ‘Restaurant proposed on top of Paola parish church’.

Contrary to what has been reported, the parish has no intention of opening a restaurant on the roof of the church. The intention is to use a room in one of the existing belfries to house a small cafeteria for parishioners and visitors.

Tables and chairs will be placed outside but no additional structures will be added. There will be no adverse impact on the aesthetic value of the church. It should be noted that similar initiatives have been undertaken at other churches abroad including St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The project will be carried out subject to Planning Authority approval and is progressing according to Church regulations.

This project will help the parish to be economically sustainable, thus allowing the Basilica to continue serving as a pastoral hub both for residents and the people of the south of Malta and visitors alike.

The project also includes proposals for the ground floor and rooms for pastoral use, which will offer space for the various groups of children, young people, adults and the elderly that make up the parish community.

Further details will be announced in due course.