Follow Lent and Easter with Arts and Faith on our website page here.
MASSES AND OTHER INFORMATION
Please visit the Mass Times page for more information on Mass times and other events, or click here. Please note that there will be no Mass on Wednesday 6th March.
PARISH OFFICE OPENING HOURS
The parish office opening hours are from 8.15am to 12.15pm Tuesday to Friday. Closed on Bank Holidays.
“My House is a house of prayer,” so says the Lord. It is only we who can make of this Church a true house of prayer. We come here each Sunday to pray, not just individually, but collectively as members of a family should. Let us reflect on the attitude we bring with us to church. Here we should draw close to the Father in prayer. We pray first of all by being here. Then we pray with our lips. But most of all we pray with our heart. Unless our heart is behind what we say, then our words are no better than a gong booming or cymbal clashing.
Here we also draw close to one another as members of a family. The quality of our prayer depends on the bond that exists between us. If we are united in heart and mind our prayer will ascend to heaven like fragrant incense. But if we are not reconciled with one another our prayer will be like a choir singing out of tune.
Lord Jesus, help us to make this house a true house of prayer.
INSTRUCTIONAL MASS FOR LENT
During Lent this year Fr Jamie will be offering a series of “instructional Masses”. These have been popular in the past as they are more informal setting and allowing us to pause to reflect on some part of the Mass we otherwise don’t. Fr Jamie will celebrate these Masses at 5pm on Saturday evening – so they satisfy your Sunday Mass intention. The ideal number of participants will be 8 – 10 people at each Mass. Therefore, you will need to “sign up” in advance. We began on Saturday 24th, and other dates are: Feb, 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd March. Please take advantage of this opportunity using the sign-up sheets on the table at the back of church.
LENTEN PRAYER INVITATION
During Lent we are always looking for ideas: I would highly recommend parishioners to consult the webpage for Ignatian Spirituality. It offers amazing opportunities to grow and deepen spiritually during Lent. In particular, I would recommend “Through Lent with Pope Francis”. There is also a booklet that goes with it. You can preview the book and order. It complements our reflections on the Year of Prayer. Please visit their website here.
CURRY NIGHT - FUNDRAISING EVENT
In aid of the two charities we are supporting for Lent, we are having a CURRY NIGHT on Wednesday 13th March from 7.30pm in the Parish Centre. We will have a selection of curries, including vegetarian, so please do come along and join us. So that we know how many to cater for, please sign-up to the evening using the form at the back of the church. Donations will be welcome on the night. If you would like to get involved and perhaps make a curry for the evening, please contact Debbie Brooks on 01865 432423
SECOND COLLECTION NEXT SUNDAY
The second collection on Sunday 10th March is for the Clergy Assistance Fund.
THE BIG LENT WALK
Do you like walking? If so, why not challenge yourself and take on The Big Lent Walk! Walk 5km a day when and where you choose over the 40 days of Lent, alone or with friends and raise money to help people as they overcome poverty. “The Big Walk is something to look forward to”, says Angela Powell from CAFOD. “It’s a great way for children and adults to step outdoors to appreciate our God-given environment and to act out our faith as part of something that brings about change for the better”. You can find more information – and sign up – here.
WELLBEING PROJECTS IN SCHOOLS
Would you like to help support Abingdon’s school communities? TrinityLearning is a small church funded charity which runs wellbeing projects in Abingdon Schools, who are currently looking for volunteer storytellers who could spare a couple of hours for our Experience Easter project from 11- 22nd March 2024, and volunteers to join us weekly for about an hour on a regular mentoring project starting in September. St Edmund’s School is a beneficiary of both projects. We are committed to safeguarding and safer recruitment procedures are always followed during volunteer recruitment. We also offer many other volunteering opportunities such as craft preparation, gardening, knitting or crocheting. Please email Nicola at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit our website here to find out more about our work.
PILGRIMAGES ON OFFER
Fr Claro from Faringdon is offering the following:
PILGRIMAGE TO POLAND: Pilgrimage to Poland and the Divine Mercy, 7th - 14th May 2024. Chaplain to the group: Fr. Claro Conde. For more details, contact All Saints Travel: 01793 881166 or 020 3720 0450, or email: email@example.com
PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES: 18th - 21st June 2024. Chaplain to the group: Fr. Claro Conde. For more details, contact All Saints Travel: 01793 881166 or 020 3720 0450, email:
We will continue holding a Children's Mass on the first Sunday of every month during term-time. We hope to see many of you there!
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION / CONFIRMATION
Please pray for the 28 children (and their families), who are currently preparing for their First Holy Communion.
Please also pray for the young people preparing for their Confirmation in May this year.
NEWS FROM CARITAS
Church Beyond Walls Workshop
Caritas have put together a workshop to help guide parishes to start to answer the question ‘What does Poverty look like in my pastoral area?’ The workshop gives a parish the opportunity to explore what poverty is and how it impacts people locally, consider what gaps in support exist in the community, what gifts and resources are available within the parish and then start to discern and plan a response in line with Catholic Social Teaching. For further information or to plan a workshop please get in touch with Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org. See flyer attached.
This spring, Caritas is focusing on our need to Care for Our Common Home – how we can use our grounds to both increase biodiversity as well as saving water and energy. We are just finishing resources so watch out for updates on the diocesan Intranet.
Please continue to support the Abingdon Food Bank. However, please do not leave your contributions in our church. The collection points are at:
GIFT AIDING YOUR MONETARY DONATIONS
If you aren't doing so already, please consider gift aiding your donations – it makes them all the more worthwhile, because if you tell us that you pay tax in the UK, then we can claim back 25% from the Government - that's 25p for every £1 you give! You can do so by filling in the yellow form available at the back of the church or online on our website here. Thank you.
Items for the newsletter should be sent to the parish office (email@example.com) by the Wednesday of each week please. Copies are available in the church and on this website here. Please keep contributions as brief as possible and please take newsletters home with you. Thank you.
To keep up to date with the news of the Diocese and the Bishop please follow on:
E- News: use the link here. (subscription service available)
The Diocese website: https://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/
If you would like to share news with the rest of the Diocese, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
JOB VACANCIES IN OUR DIOCESE
All current vacancies in the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth can be viewed here.
LENTEN PROJECTS 2024
The PPC chose two charities we will support this year. Friends of the Holy Land, supporting our Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine in the Holy Land, especially in these difficult days. The second is to support Helen & Douglas House, our local hospice for sick and dying children. Current fundraising events in the parish is available on the leaflet at the back of church and also here. Please do get involved and please offer further suggestions to raise funds. You may be able to host friends and neighbours for something at home that could help or have other good ideas. Let us know by contacting the PPC through the parish office.
BIG BREAKFAST AND PRODUCE SALE
This takes place this Sunday 3rd March after the 8.45am and 10.15am Masses. Come along and enjoy a bacon, sausage or vegetarian roll, tea, or coffee, and to aid our Lent Fundraising effort. Cakes, and other edible items and goodies can be dropped off at the Parish Centre any time after 8.30am this Sunday.
ST PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATIONS
Friday 15th March, 6.30pm-10pm in the parish centre. Enjoy an evening of Irish music, song, dance and food to help raise money for the Lenten project. Tickets £17.50 per adult and £7.50 per child to include Irish stew and selection of deserts, vegan option also. Tickets available on Sunday 3rd and 10th March after 10.15am Mass or email Laura to reserve tickets: email@example.com or Bernadette: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Laura on 07947 178394. Drinks available on the night or bring your own. Great raffle on the night. We look forward to seeing you there! Tea and cake after 10.15am Mass on St Patrick's Day too.
PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
Father, we are your people, the work of your hands. So precious are we in your sight that you sent your Son Jesus. Jesus calls us to heal the broken hearted, to dry the tears of those who mourn, to give hope to those who despair, and to rejoice in your steadfast love.
We, the baptised, realise our call to serve. Help us to know how. Call forth from among us, priests, sisters, brothers and lay ministers. You continue to love your people through our hearts. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
GOLF DAY AT DRAYTON PARK GOLF CLUB
A date for your diary - our regular fundraiser for the Lenten projects will take place on Monday 8th April. Once again a big thank you to Mary McKenna for letting us hold this event at no cost. We will be meeting up from 8.30am for tea/coffee and bacon roll. First t time is 9.32am. There will be the usual format of 4 players per team with best 2 to score on each hole, and prizes for the best two teams plus prizes for the nearest the pins on 3 holes. The price to join in is £25. We usually get terrific support from our golfers for this very worthy event. Please contact Terry Murphy on 07584 248169 or 01235 527597 or email email@example.com
Why not join us on Saturday 9th March at 10.15am in the church to pray for our children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. All welcome.
EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE
Divine Renovation and Alpha invite you to their upcoming online event, The Future is Now: Empower Young People in Parish Renewal. Join Matt Regitz and Huw Warmenhoven on Thursday, March 21, where you will:
Get insights on how you can involve young people in your parish's vision for renewal;
Explore recent, cutting-edge research on engaging Gen Z — the Open Generation;
Be inspired by real-life stories from parishes engaging young people in renewal and the fruit they're seeing.
This is a wonderful opportunity if you are interested in youth ministry but need some support and encouragement to empower young people in the parish ministry. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive information on “The Future is Now”, the online and international event on 21st & 22nd March. Our young people are our future so please do consider registering for this event. More details and the booking form are available here.
OPEN DOORS/WARM SPACE
In anticipation of colder weather, Open Doors/Warm Space sessions will be slightly longer during January, February and March. Sessions will run from 10.30 am until 2.30 pm. We offer a warm space, friendly conversation, refreshments and a hot lunch to anyone in the Parish or local community who is on their own or would just like more company or who would appreciate a warm space for a few hours. Do come along - you will be very welcome.
VACANCY AT ST EDMUND'S SCHOOL
Our caring, Catholic school has been described as one which ‘inspires pupils with determination to change the world’ (Ofsted 2020). Now the school is looking to welcome an enthusiastic, dynamic and committed part time Teaching Assistant supportive of our school mission and Catholic ethos to join our happy, motivated children. Please visit the School Website here for further details of all the vacancies. Closing date: Monday 4th March at 12.00 noon.
RITE OF ELECTION
Please continue to pray for our four candidates who were recently presented at the Rite of Election in Portsmouth, having been part of this years RCIA, and who will be welcomed at the Easter Vigil.
DIVINE MERCY LENTEN RETREAT
The Divine Mercy Apostolate, London is holding a Divine Mercy Lenten Retreat 2024 at St Michael and St George, the Cathedral Church of the Bishop of the Forces, Queen’s Avenue, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2BY on Saturday 9 March from 11am to 4pm, led by the Marian Fathers. The Retreat will include teachings on the Message of Mercy, Stations of the Cross, Holy Mass, Hour of Mercy with Adoration and Benediction and Veneration of the Image of Merciful Jesus. All Welcome. Please call Millie on 07957594646 for more information.
LITURGY WEBSITE AND UPCOMING COURSES
The Diocese now have a Liturgy website, which provides reflection, guidance and a chance to ask questions. You can access by clicking on the image above.
Two training days are also being offered - one for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and one for readers. These will be held at St Bede’s Church and Hall in Basingstoke as follows:
Day for EMHC – Saturday 4th May
Day for Readers – Saturday 19th October
Both days will run from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm and will include some light refreshments. Please enrol now if you would like to by emailing email@example.com You will then be sent a reminder with precise details nearer each date.
DIOCESAN MISSION PLAN - UPDATE
Bishop Philip thanks everyone, clergy, and laity, for all the hard work being done in our Pastoral Areas and in individual parishes to bring to life the diocesan mission plan: You Will Be My Witnesses. He has asked every area for a first draft of their Pastoral Area plan by 26th March and says that it needs to cover the three main themes of (1) deepening faith; (2) mission and service; and (3) parish structures. Bishop Philip will then be visiting the teams in each pastoral area to hear of progress and offer support. In our own Pastoral Area, English Martyrs Vale of White Horse, each parish priest together with two lay representatives from each parish will meet on March 6th at Wantage to try to take us forward initially with the Pastoral Plan. This will be the second of such meetings and please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us in our discussion. There are some ‘flyers’ on the table at the back of church outlining the plan. Please help yourselves to a copy.
ARE YOU IN NEED?
For nearly two centuries the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) has been seeking and finding those in need and responding in love. Today, the SVP in England and Wales represents almost 10,000 members across around 1,000 groups. If you are aware of a need, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the parish office. As well as visits, we can offer practical and financial help where possible. We always maintain confidentiality. Our SVP members meet every fortnight on a Wednesday evening.
Abingdon Community Fridge fights food waste by redistributing surplus food from local businesses and members of the community. The Abingdon Community Fridge is open to all. For more information visit their Facebook page here, or email email@example.com
They are located at Hadland Road Community Centre, OX14 3YH and open on:
NEW TO THE PARISH? OR CHANGED ADDRESS?
We warmly welcome all new parishioners who have joined our parish in the last year. Please do make yourselves known if you have not already done so, and also let us know if you would like to contribute to parish life in any way. If you have already registered with us, but have changed your address or contact details, please also let us know. Forms and other information are available on our website here to register. Forms and other information are also available in the porch at our church.