Thank you all so much for your kindness, hospitality and prayers during this month of pastoral experience at St Mary of the Angels. It has certainly been fruitful as well as highly enjoyable. You will all be in my prayers and do continue to pray for me, the seminarians of our diocese, and for many more vocations. God bless, Gary Carter.
Before opening the church for private prayer, it will be thoroughly cleaned. The cleaning will take place all day, each day, from Monday 22nd to Friday 26th (next week). To give the cleaners maximum time in the church, the Masses next week on Monday to Friday will be celebrated (and streamed) at the later time of 6pm each day (returning to 10am on Saturday).
Please join us online for the Masses.
It is good news that the government have given the go-ahead for churches to be open for the purposes (only) of private prayer. As yet, the details are still being worked out and plans need to be discussed before being put in place. Please watch this space for the latest news. We hope to be open, under specially controlled circumstances, within the next two or three weeks.
Thank you for your forbearance and patience.
Confessions are available under particular social distancing conditions. If you would like to celebrate the Sacrament (usually available each day at 10.30am), please contact Fr Terry by text on 07545 576627 (or by calling 01903 200416) for the details.
At St Mary’s, we have many requests for Mass Intentions throughout the year. Please remember the following: i) whether the priest announces the intention or not, it is always his intention to offer the Mass Intention specified in the newsletter. Announcing the Mass as being for a particular intention is entirely unnecessary (though, perhaps, pastorally helpful); ii) a Mass costs nothing! Some people choose to be associated with the offering of a particular Mass by making a monetary sacrifice/gift, but this is not necessary. We do not speak of ‘paying’ for Masses! Mass is an ‘entering into’ the salvation which Christ won for us – and that cost him his life! That, surely, is payment enough. A Mass stipend helps the priest, certainly – but is not necessary.
Recently, at least three bicycles have been stolen, in broad daylight, from the surroundings of the church during Masses. The thieves are without shame and happily bring bolt cutters with them.
Please take care when leaving your bicycle here at any time. We are looking into ways of increasing security but, as with all vehicles, we have to ask you to take final responsibility for your own bike’s/car’s safety and security.
Our diocese has a well-established network with many trained and experienced spiritual directors. These individuals are available to accompany people on their faith journey. If you would like more information on spiritual guidance, or the Network, please visit the website www.abdiocese.org.uk.
If you have been using weekly envelopes for your offertory donations (Gift Aid and Planned Giving) please collect your new box now. These are available at the car park entrance. If you would like to join the scheme, please hand in your contact details to the Sacristy or contact Mark Hodson, 01903 238628, or email email@example.com.
The scheme is confidential and your personal details and regular contributions are only seen by the Parish Gift Aid/Planned Giving organiser
Hilary Kepa, our safeguarding representative (what used to be known as Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult Officer), reminds us that any of our parishioners who are working with children (anyone under 18), or coming into contact with children regularly through their parish work, or visiting elderly/vulnerable people at home or in hospital/nursing home, MUST have DBS clearance.
Please ask, if this applies to you. Additionally, if your previous DBS (or an old CRB) has expired, please ask for a renewed one. This is not optional but an absolute necessity. Hilary does a great job on our behalf and her details are listed at the end of this newsletter. She will offer any help and support that’s needed. Thank you.
Update on the Word Who Is Life – see Word Who Is Life page linking all relevant content.
The meeting, last week, of the diocesan priests with the bishop, was a positive and hopeful occasion. Changes at diocesan level concerning lay officers and appointments are to take place and a few parishes will move deaneries (creating 12, rather than 13, deaneries; but this doesn’t affect us). In the next 7 years, as priests retire and die, the sharing-out of priests and parishes will gradually moderate and change, so that by 2030 a new look will be in place. What this actually means for us, here, Bishop Richard will explain at the meeting on Thursday 8th November, Chatsmore School, at 7.00pm – to which I hope lots of you will come. If you have questions, do ask – but, at this stage, I may not yet be able to answer them!
See this link for the bishop’s thoughts: www.dabnet.org/news/view/33