Planning for the future

During the autumn, and then in early 2018, Bishop Richard will visit all thirteen deaneries in our diocese as he begins, with us all, a review of how the diocese will look and work in the future.

This will be an active, honest, realistic, and far-reaching assessment of how to provide for the parishes of the deanery. We know, according to our present numbers, that on 1st January 2030 we shall hope to have just 50 priests under the age of 65 (Fr Terry will be
66 just a few days later that same year!). It is clear that not every parish will have a resident priest by 2030. We all need to prepare for major changes to the shape and structure of diocesan and parish life … Generosity and a willingness to change will be asked of us all (and many of us find change very difficult!).

Please pray for the bishop and his advisers at this exciting (and challenging) time of renewal.

Plan for your Funeral Mass

It’s really important, especially if your family are not practising Catholics, that you make your wishes known for funeral arrangements following your death. Nothing can be presumed! It’s very sad indeed when a regular, committed Catholic has a simple funeral service at the Crematorium, rather than a Mass, because family members (with the best will in the world) don’t know any better. There are, from today, available in the Parish Shop, leaflets (‘Instructions for my Funeral Mass’), produced by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and endorsed By H.E. Vincent Cardinal Nichols. Kindly make a donation of £2 per copy. We can order more if necessary.

Monstrance Campaign

Daily Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 8.45am is well-attended and is an oasis of prayer in busy lives. Fr Terry’s own monstrance (the receptacle in which the Host is displayed for Adoration) is beginning to show its age and needs replacing. If anyone would like to gift a monstrance to the parish, perhaps in memory of a loved one, or in thanksgiving for blessings received, please speak to Fr Terry. Small donations are as welcome as large! Many thanks to those who have already offered to make a gift. A new modest monstrance will cost about £2000.

Cafod Lent Fast Day

CAFOD LENT FAST DAY is Friday, 10th March

Florence is a hard-working mother who is devoted to her family. A few years ago, she was only just making enough to feed her family. However, CAFOD’s partner, the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, recognised how determined Florence was to stand on her own two feet and so they gave her 500 tiny fish, tools and training to build a pond and farm fish.  By selling some of the fish at market, Florence was able to give her children a future – she was able to send them to school.

Please support this Lent Fast Day, to ensure more people like Florence can turn tiny fish into something amazing.  Included in the newsletter is an envelope & prayer card, we would be grateful if you would return the envelope for the 2nd collection next Sunday & fill in the Gift Aid sect if a UK tax payer.

The Lampedusa Cross

Lampedusa CrossLast week the children’s liturgy group designed their own cards with messages for refugees; these are displayed by the cross and will be sent to refugees via CAFOD.

Thanks to the 10 out of our 300+ congregation for writing their messages of hope & support on the Lampedusa cards so far.  Hopefully the children’s contribution will encourage others to do the same.  There are cards by the cross where you can write your message of hope & support.

Millions of people live uncertain lives as migrants and refugees but ‘they are all our bothers and sisters’ (Pope Francis).  Cards in the box will be shared with refugees in the UK and across the world. If words fail you read the children’s cards or see video at: http://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Refugee-action/Send-a-message-of-hope for inspiration

Homelessness Sunday

From November to March each year, 15 churches, including our own, participate in providing shelter to homeless people in Worthing.  As we mark Homelessness Sunday, it is sobering to reflect that there has been a 173% increase in referrals to night shelters in the town since 2014.  The guests attending the centres are offered a chance to understand the causes of their homelessness and attempt to overcome them.

Altar Servers at St Mary’s

We are all very happy to see, week after week, the large number of girls and boys who  kindly serve at Sunday (and other) Masses; they are so generous with their time and energies (they do a lot more for the parish than most of us see!). The time has come to replace their rather tired and worn-out robes. Fr Terry would like to purchase new cassocks and cottas, in all appropriate sizes, for our Altar Servers. It is estimated that this will cost about £2000. If you would like to help, or can give a little, kindly place it in an envelope marked ‘Altar Servers’ and pass it to Fr Terry.

It will take a little while to build up enough cash, but the final effect will be worth the wait!

Thank you for your generosity. In the meantime, please pray for our Altar Servers; who knows, we may have a few priests or Religious among them?

CAFOD Yemen Crisis

YEMEN CRISIS CAFOD is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – a coalition of aid agencies which has launched an appeal to respond to the appalling humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The civil war is now into its second year. The UN estimates that the conflict has killed more than 10,000 people; the resulting humanitarian crisis is desperate. More than 7 million in Yemen do not know where their next meal will come from. CAFOD’s partner in Yemen is providing humanitarian assistance in the form of food, water, medical care and shelter, but there is an urgent need for donations to help CAFOD respond to this crisis. If you can help please donate online at http://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/yemen-crisis-appeal, or send in donations to CAFOD, which will be used towards responding to this crisis. Advent is a time of prayer and reflection and as part of that we remember in our prayers all our brothers & sisters suffering in the world and unable to experience the joy of Christmas. Please give if you can.

Winter Night Shelter

The Winter Night Shelter has now started again in the Parish Centre and continues every Monday night/Tuesday morning until next March.  We have a brilliant team of volunteers in place.  If any new faces want to join us, you are very welcome to call in from 7.30pm onwards.  We would be grateful if you would keep this project in your prayers.