DATES AND EVENTS
Please remember to check what's on and dates of events, etc. on our calendar.
PARISHIONERS WITHOUT INTERNET
If you know of any parishioner without Internet access, PLEASE let us know so that we can get the newsletter and other information delivered to them. We will need their name and postal address.
UPDATE ON ALL SERVICES IN THE CHURCH UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Out of necessity, the church will be closed to the public for now except on the days and times specified in the main section of this news page and the newsletter.
Please keep in touch with each other and come to this website for updates and reflections.
Mass times, which can be viewed on our live streaming, will be as follows:
Mondays at 9.00am
Wednesdays at 7.00pm
Thursdays at 9.30am
Fridays at 7.00pm
Saturdays at 9.00am
Sundays at 10.15am and 6.30pm
Attendance at Mass in person is only through our booking system - information below.
If you follow and take part in the Mass on our live streaming, you will be able to receive "spiritual Communion". The meaning of this is explained below. You can access the live streaming on this website in the Mass section or through the Church Services TV link here.
CHURCH OPENINGS AND MASS ATTENDANCE
The church will be open for private prayer only, between 12.00pm and 1.00pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.
This church is once again open for Mass. However, we have safety measures to observe for everyone’s protection and ask for your understanding and help with the procedures which we have put in place.
Please carefully read the information below.
Please be aware that we will have to restrict numbers in the Church to about 30-35. An extensive risk assessment has been done from the guidelines received (copy in the Policies page of our website, under 'About Us'). For this reason, be reassured that if you are not able to attend Mass in person on a Sunday, your weekly observation of worship and participation in the Eucharist is perfectly acceptable for any day of the week on which you can attend Mass in person or online.
Bookings for the week beginning Sunday 19th July should be made on Monday 13th July. Do try and give us several options for days/times when you could come and let us know how many people you are booking for. We will do our best to accommodate your request. If you would like to attend more than one Mass in the week, please make this clear when you book - we will do our best to accommodate you.
To prevent the eventuality that we may have to turn you away from entering the Church, we have a 'booking' system in place, which operates weekly on the Monday for bookings for the following week. To make this manageable, please complete your booking each Monday as follows:
Those people without Internet access can phone 07395 946827 between 10am and 11am each Monday to give the day of the week when they are able to attend Mass. Please do not use the office phone number or phone outside of this time period.
Those with Internet access are asked not to use the phone booking system, but instead to email us at: giving us 2 to 3 possible days of the week when you can attend Mass. Please do this each Monday. You will then receive a reply with the day allocated to you.
In all cases, you are asked to state the number in your family who will be attending Mass. This is essential for our planning and to maintain safety distances.
If you are able to, we request that you wear a face mask/covering while in the Church for Mass. Young children are exempt.
We have trained ushers who will provide you with hand sanitising gel as you enter and guide you to your seating. We request that you respect their instructions, including when leaving the Church.
The ushers will also guide the ‘procession’ to receive Holy Communion. Again, please patiently follow their instructions.
Be aware that singing is not yet permitted under the guidelines. Also, there will be no collection basket passed around, but you may leave donations as you leave the Church.
Please note that until further notice, there will only be two Sunday Masses – one at 10.15am and the other at 6.30pm. This is to allow time for the benches to be cleaned between services.
Thank you all very much for your patience and help.
SPIRITUALITY SUMMER SCHOOL - ONLINE
The Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality one-week Spirituality Summer School offers an exciting new opportunity for in-depth spiritual formation:
A Study of two mystics of the French & Spanish schools of spirituality.
In-depth exploration of the teachings of two doctors of the Church.
And, of course, added bonuses: Eucharist live-streamed, online spiritual accompaniment, guided prayer and silent reflections.
KNOW SOMEONE WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS?
St Mary’s Cathedral in Middlesbrough have a ‘Dial-a-Mass’ system. When someone phones the number, they hear a brief message welcoming them, and then a recording of the Sunday Mass said by the Bishop of Middlesbrough in his cathedral begins. The Knights of St Columba Council 29 is funding the service, which the diocese believes is the first in England that doesn’t require special access codes.
If you know of anyone who could benefit from this service, please pass on the number to them, because they will not be able to read this news online. The number they can ring is: 01642 130120. Please let them know that call charges are at local rates – or ‘free’ if included in the person’s allocated minutes. Also, the Mass can be listened to at any time and on any day after midday on Sundays, but it is always the same Sunday Mass for that week. We are not sure of the quality of the sound, but they can give it a go....
Please let us know if you are aware of any parishioners who do not have Internet access, so that we can get the newsletter and other information to them. You can leave a message on the parish phone or email.
Since it is not currently possible to make Sunday plate and white envelope donations to our parish, we have been able to add a facility to make these donations online, including gift aiding them if you can. Thank you for continuing to support the parish in this way. You can access the donation button on the home page or by clicking here.
The RCIA in Abingdon is there to help those adults who are thinking of becoming a Catholic or who are baptised Catholics but who have missed Holy Communion or Confirmation. If you missed the introductory online meeting on Monday 22nd June but would still like to find out more about how we welcome people into the Catholic Church. Please contact for further details.
CARING FOR OUR NEIGHBOURS
Do you live in the parish area? Are you living alone? Are you struggling at this difficult time? There are a number of people in the parish who are able to, and already do, offer some support and help to those who need it. This includes telephone conversations, shopping, collection of prescriptions. If you are in need of help or you know somebody who needs help, you can give us the details using the form below or emailing: You can also let us know if you are willing and able to offer any help using these same communication methods.
INITIATIVES AT THIS TIME
Sometimes it may not seem like it if we are isolated in our homes, but actually there are many things still happening in our parish to keep the community in touch. This is the time when technology (if it works!) is a blessing. Prayer groups meet up using social networking, courses like the RCIA continue using video conferencing, people share prayers, video clips and links to many useful resources.
Praying the Rosary together will continue throughout the month of July on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm. For information on how you can join in, whenever you can, please email:
Hard copies of the weekly newsletter, accompanied by a letter from Fr Jamie and other relevant information, are now being delivered to those parishioners (who we are aware of) who cannot access the Internet. Thanks to the Catenians for helping with the deliveries.
Mothers' Prayers continues through video conferencing or social networking. Email if you would like to join in. For Mothers’ Prayers in Spanish on Mondays at 11.30am, please email
There is a page on our website for this year of "The God Who Speaks". From there you are able to access ten Sycamore videos made by Fr Stephen Wang. Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. You can access the page by clicking here.
The friendly Cake and Conversation group - for those whose first language is not English - has been continuing to meet via Zoom each Wednesday while the Parish Centre is closed. If you would like further information about the group please phone Anne on 525997, Angela on 532296 or email
If you have a query about taking part in anything, you can let us know by emailing:
The JULY edition of this useful booklet that can help you to focus on the daily Mass readings, is now available. Obviously, you are unable to collect a copy from the church for now, but if you would like a copy put through your letterbox - or know somebody who would - please email your name and address to:
PRAY AS YOU GO
Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time. The style of prayer is based on Ignatian Spirituality. It is produced by Jesuit Media Initiatives, with material written by a number of Jesuits, both in Britain and further afield, and other experts in the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola. You can find out more here.
A MODEL OF COURAGE, A BEACON OF HOPE
The Carmelite Priory at Boars Hill are offering a Marian retreat online on the theme of Mary: a model of courage for the present and a beacon of hope for the future. This will take place from 7th to 16th July. Mary the Mother of Jesus is a figure of inspiration and the model of true discipleship. She always leads us to Jesus her son in whom we find the fullness of life. During this nine-day retreat we will reflect on the life and person of Mary the Mother of Carmel as she inspires us with courage to face the uncertainties of the present time and hope for the future. You can find more information or register for the retreat here.
GENERAL FAITH FORMATION FOR EVERYONE
This July, Dominican Sisters formation team is offering a simple introduction to the Old and New Testaments. Join her to discover, discuss and share together, and celebrate the God who Speaks to us in Scripture. You can register for the various events by clicking on the links below:
PARISH OFFICE OPENING DATES AND TIMES
The parish office is now open on Tuesdays to Fridays from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL COMMUNION?
The following prayer might be useful in preparing for a spiritual communion when following the Mass on live stream:
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.” You can download a copy by clicking here.
By following the Mass online, we are, in effect, taking part in the worship and we can receive "spiritual communion".
TIME TO CELEBRATE!
Hairdressers, pubs, clubs can all wait! Rather Our Lady & St Edmund of Abingdon, chose to commemorate a ‘special super Saturday’ by dedicating its first Mass to celebrating the sacraments of baptism and confirmation for RCIA candidates and catechumens. After journeying together for so long, to finally see Nigel baptised, Lynda, Ellen, Gertrude and Victoria all receiving their first Holy Communion and the sacrament of Confirmation, was truly wonderful. We ask for your prayers for the continued journey of conversion and faith for them.
POPE'S PRAYER INTENTION FOR JULY
The Pope's prayer intention for July is that “families be loved, respected, guided.” Last week, Pope Francis released a video message accompanying his prayer intention: click on the photo to watch it. Pope Francis asks everyone to pray that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance. It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month. His text is as follows:
The family ought to be protected. It faces many dangers: the fast pace of life, stress… Sometimes, parents forget to play with their children. The Church needs to encourage families and stay at their side, helping them to discover ways that allow them to overcome all of these difficulties. Let us pray that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance, and especially, that they may be protected by the State.
LOVE REACHES EVERYWHERE
This 35 minute film is available to view on the Mary’s Meals website - just click on the image above to get there. It is well worth watching because it is inspirational and not least of all, it makes us realise how fortunate we are, despite the difficulties we face.
THE PRAYER AND LISTENING SERVICE
Prayer and listening to God is a vital part of our everyday life, but sometimes it is difficult to pray when we are exhausted or in stressful situations or by ourselves. The diocese has created a team with experience in both praying with others and in spiritual listening. All of the volunteers are trained in this service and have been through the essential safeguarding training and other requirements. We are offering a service where people fill in a short form on the diocese website requesting a phone call, of 10 to 15 minutes usually. Additionally, we are asking key workers if they would like to give us their name and work place and we will pray for them by name each day. Please go to the home page of the diocese website and under “Coronavirus” you can click on a box called “Prayer Support”. You can also access that page by clicking here.
ENRICHING MINISTRIES - CARMELITE PRIORY
On Saturday 14th July, the Carmelite Priory in Oxford are offering an Enriching Ministry Day as part of their spiritual enrichment lecture series, specially dedicated to prayer ministers. 'It aims to resource prayer ministers who have to support the faithful, distressed in these perplexing times who seek solace from God and a strong spiritual front against this plague.' If interested, you can view the information by clicking here. The event will be run online.
VACANCIES AT ST EDMUND'S SCHOOL
St Edmund's School are currently advertising the following vacancies to start in September 2020 or earlier if possible.
School Business Manager: 37.5 hours per week, term-time + 5 INSET Days + 2 weeks (41 weeks)
Caretaker: 20 hours per week
Cleaner-in-Charge: 15 hours per week, term-time + 5 INSET Days + 2 weeks (41 weeks)
Further details of these posts are available on the School website or by contacting the School Office. Applications close on 13th July 2020.
In line with current Government and Public Health guidance regarding the Coronavirus, Marriage Care is now providing all Marriage Preparation and Relationship Counselling services online, via secure webcam, and ceasing all face to face service provision for the time being. Counselling and marriage preparation sessions can still be booked via our appointments phone line - 0800 389 3801 - or by emailing We know that support for marriages and relationships at this time will be more vital than ever so we would like to assure you that our services are still available and online access is simple and easy to use. More information about Marriage Care and our services can be found at our website - www.marriagecare.org.uk
The effects of coronavirus on developing countries where CAFOD works are likely to be devastating. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water and healthcare are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. The poorest and most marginalised communities will be pushed further into poverty. Your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever to help protect the lives of those in poor communities. While we are not able to hold physical collections in our church, you can donate as individuals at cafod.org.uk/coronavirusappeal. Please also consider signing the CAFOD petition to the Prime Minister which urges the cancellation of debt for the poorest countries and sharing of a vaccine when it is developed. If you would like to do this, you can do so here.
The Foodbank at Northcourt Road is open on Tuesday and Friday Mornings. Donations can be brought there between 9.30am and 1.00pm, and parcels can be collected between 11.00am and 1.00pm. On Wednesday the South Abingdon Foodbank is open between 1.00 and 2.30 at Preston Road Community Centre.
Any of the items shown below are welcome. You can either drop donations off at Northcourt Road or contact us to pick them up from you by emailing:
ABINGDON COMMUNITY FRIDGE
The Health & Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, is open each weekday 10.30 - 11.30 am. It distributes surplus food from supermarkets.
Click on the image above to open the summer edition of this newsletter.
PRAYER FOR THE RENEWAL OF OUR DIOCESE
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, we beg you to change us, to convert us and to make us holy. Fill us with a deeper faith, hope and love for you. Send into our hearts the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit and powerfully renew all the clergy, religious and laity of our Diocese. Unite us in love and respect for one another and unify us as your one, holy people. Grant us a new passion and zeal for our Catholic Faith, for mission, outreach and service. Help us to proclaim your Gospel generously to the poor and needy that many more souls may be saved by finding their way to you in your Church.
May Mary Immaculate help us. May St Edmund of Abingdon and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati pray for us. Amen.
Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do though, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
ABINGDON VIRTUAL PRAYER WALK
In normal circumstances, the churches in Abingdon would have welcomed visitors from churches of various denominations in our 5 Twin Towns to Abingdon this coming weekend for a full programme focused on faith and the environment. As Catholics, our contribution to this would have included, of course, the urgent message of Laudato Si' and our own parish journey to live out our faith as a Live Simply parish. Because of the coronavirus situation, the weekend had to be cancelled of course. The virtual Prayer Walk round Abingdon, produced by Rosemary Perrow of Abingdon All Saints Church with input by members of the Church Twinning Team, will be sent to the churches in Lucca, Schongau, Argentan, Colmar and Sjnt Niklaas - French, German and Italian have been used in 3 of the prayer stops. Join Abingdon Church Twinners in a prayerful walk around Abingdon by clicking on the image above to get to the virtual prayer map. Each purple walkers' sign on the map offers a chance to see part of our town and share some thoughts during lockdown.
Please visit our Parish Blog on this section of our website for regular snippets of information and updates.
We spend much of our lives living our faith and so preparing for God’s Kingdom when we die. Why not also make sure that our loved ones know our wishes for our funeral when we die? There are forms at the back of the church to help you to do this, or you can download one here. Please do take one and follow the instructions on it.