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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
It is hoped that the first stage of the dry rot works is now completed. The intention is to begin the daily Holy Hour again at 8.45am from tomorrow. However, due to the noise and the dust, this may have to stop again when stage two of the works begins (we wait and see …).
The new flooring in the car park entrance will be laid on Thursday/Friday 7th/8th June. The car park entrance will be closed straight after Mass on Thursday 7th for preparation work to the under-floor, making that entrance completely inaccessible until the afternoon of Friday 8th. The toilets will also be unavailable while the work goes on. Please use the main entrance during this short time.
Very soon the scaffolding will be removed from the car park side of the church. Thanks to Jim McClean (who has given a huge amount of time to overseeing the work), the roof is now completed and we are leak-free!!
It looks beautiful (from above); it’s like a work of art. Very soon, we will begin to redecorate the sacristy and entrance areas (car park end) of the church, to make good the water damage. Thankfully, some of this is being paid for by our insurer. From Tuesday 8th May, for about 10 days, the sacristy and surrounding area will be out of bounds. This is a health and safety matter and we cannot make exceptions. Whilst the redecoration is going on, please take great care entering and leaving the church and keep an eye on elderly and frail parishioners who may not be aware of potential trip-hazards and the like. We will keep you updated – but, while all this work is taking place, we all need to look after one another. Please also note that access to the shop will be extremely restricted during this time, as it will be required for storage. Thanks.
You may be interested to know some of the following information from our streamed Sunday and weekday Masses for September 2017: number of viewers: 5699; total time viewed: 1660 hours; viewers form some of the countries who logged-on: Botswana, Hungary, Kuwait, Malaysia, Switzerland, and many more; three biggest viewing figures: USA: 218, Ireland: 312, UK: 1198.