MASS DURING THE PANDEMIC
Please visit the Mass Times page for more information on how to book for Mass, or click here.
Please remember to book for Mass every Monday for the following week.
PARISH OFFICE OPENING HOURS
Please note that until further notice, the Parish Office opening hours will be from Tuesdays to Fridays from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Outside of these times, Fr Jamie will respond to urgent phone messages as soon as he can.
ADVANCED NOTICE FOR HOLY WEEK SERVICES
Please do not attempt to book for any of the services shown below right now. We will put reminders in the newsletter and on our website when the time is right to do so. Thank you for your understanding.
This is not possible during lockdown, but will resume again from March 8th by appointment only for now. Please contact the parish office during opening hours to book an appointment. Tel: 01235 520375 or email .
As the church is still currently not accessible in the normal way, we are going to endeavour to deliver the boxes that cannot be personally picked up when attending Mass. This will take place over the next several weeks. Please note that some monthly boxes may include weekly envelopes that you do not normally receive. This is due to a change in our supplier’s collation routines. Please discard any unwanted envelopes
Lent is a time of Hope and Healing! The light and promise of Eastertide shines ever more brightly in the darkness.
To help support you on your Lenten journey this year we invite you to join our parish 2021 Lenten ‘Hope and Healing’ Prayer and Reflections by Zoom.
Beginning on Thursday 18th February the course will continue every Thursday throughout Lent and will include a variety of reflections, scripture, Sycamore films, and the opportunity for prayer. Everyone is welcome to join all or any of the sessions and people can choose whether to participate in various discussions and sharing or can simply listen and reflect if they prefer.
Hope and Healing will be hosted by the parish RCIA team and anyone interested should contact Pauline on or call 07506 753085 to register for the zoom link. You can view the programme more clearly by clicking here, or on the image above.
Our fundraising for our Lenten projects was cut off abruptly last year due to the pandemic! The sum raised by that point was £2,678.40 – less than a third of what we are usually able to raise! The PPC has therefore made the decision to keep the same projects for this year as we did for last year. These were 5th Gospel Christians, a charity that works to support Christians in the Middle East, particularly the Iraqi Christian refugees currently in Jordan, and BeSpace, a small Oxfordshire based charity that works to provide reflective, interactive prayer spaces in all primary and secondary schools in Oxfordshire.
As a reminder, information on these two charities is available on the What’s On section of our website here.
It is not feasible with the current restrictions to fund raise in the usual way. However, individuals and families are encouraged to find creative ways to fund raise for themselves, or to put money in a ‘pot’ during Lent. There will then be an opportunity at the end of Lent (information to be given later) to make your donation online or using the gift aid pink envelope if you have one, or simply putting it in any envelope clearly marked ‘Lenten Projects’.
LENT RESOURCES ON OUR WEBSITE
Resources, which will be updated or added to every week up to Easter can be found in the What's On section, or by clicking here.
There are also resources ad activities for children, which will also be added to every week. This can be found in the Youth section or by clicking here.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
At present it is not possible to prepare our children for their First Holy Communion and this may not be possible until 2022.
However we would like to have an idea of how many children will wish to be prepared once we can get started again. To give us an indication, could you please tell us the name and age of your child/children and give us a contact phone and email address. We can then compile a list and be able to contact you with news about when we can re-start.
Please send this information to Errol Midwinter: Phone 01235 522679 or email:
POPE'S MESSAGE FOR LENT
The Holy Father’s Message for Lent for 2021 is under the title, "Behold we are going up to Jerusalem. Pope Francis gathers and arranges the lessons of the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus into a triad of theological virtues: faith, hope and charity, and a triad of Lenten exercises: self-impoverishment (as in fasting and abstinence), prayer and charity/almsgiving. These virtues and exercises are ones which Jesus himself lived and handed on to his followers to be lived also: to make them more Christ-like! With his Lenten message, Pope Francis recommends the same virtues and exercises for our Lenten journey to the feast of the resurrection of Jesus at Easter 2021.
You can read more here.
Throughout the Lent, the Global Catholic Climate Movement is holding a series of online evenings with inspiring speakers, films, prayer and discussion, challenging people to respond to Pope Francis' call to Care for Our Common Home in Laudato Si'. Hosted by the GCCM Laudato Si' Animators in the UK the events take place on six Thursdays from 18th February to 25th March 2021, from 7.30pm - 8.30pm. To register please click here.
"Living our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience…Truly, much can be done!" (Laudato Si', 217, 180)
JOURNEYING TOGETHER IN FAITH SESSIONS
Our parish sessions using Zoom from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Mondays are suitable for any adult with an enquiring mind who wishes to journey further in their faith. It is also suitable for anyone who has completed the RCIA course. All sessions will comprise of a video and/or presentation, reflection, discussion and prayer. You can join in any or all of the remaining sessions and you can see the programme here. Please feel free to invite others to these sessions as well. To obtain the joining information, please email:
PRAYING THE ROSARY
Since the first lockdown in March, a group of parishioners have been praying the Rosary online using Zoom at 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If you would like to join in, please email to get the joining instructions. You may also like to use the resources provided by Bishop Barron through Word on Fire, which you can access here.
LENT FAMILY FAST DAY
The CAFOD Lent Family Fast Day was on 26th February. You can still make donations using this link cafod.org.uk/lent but if you are unable to access that but would like to make a donation, you can send it directly to: CAFOD head office, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB. More information about the appeal can be found here. Please do not leave your donations at our church.
CALLED AND GIFTED - NOW ONLINE
The Called and Gifted Team is very pleased to announce that the Called and Gifted discernment process is now available ONLINE. With the support of Bishop Philip and the Catherine of Siena Institute in the US, the team has created a new C&G website with links to both the Diocesan website and the Institute's high quality teaching videos. The new website not only explains the benefits of discerning your spiritual gifts (charisms) it also includes personal testimonies for each charism and an easy-to-use booking process that enables participants to purchase access to the videos (stage 1), book their online personal discernment conversation (stage 2) and book a place on a small discernment group (stage 3). See the new website here.
For more information or to discuss what Called and Gifted could mean for you, please contact one of the C&G Core Team:
Gerry Penfold -
Anne-Marie Fletcher -
Geoff and Gina Poulter -
SPIRITUALITY SERIES & A LENTEN RETREAT
The Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality (CACS) is happy to announce a new spirituality series - LIGHT for THE WORLD -
featuring six exceptional Carmelites - Francisco Palau, Hermann Cohen, Père Jacques de Jésus, Titus Brandsma, Marie-Eugène and Raphael Kalinowski - who lived at a time of much political and social strife yet witnessed to the spirit of true Carmelite humanism. This series will explore their courage and Gospel fidelity. Their witness offers hope and is a beacon of light for us as we navigate our own equally challenging times. The lives of these faithful disciples of Christ will inspire you, give you insights that will transform your life and encourage you in your spiritual journey. You can get more information or register here.
They are also offering individually and group guided Lenten retreat sessions. “Be Drawn to Christ” is a weekly Wednesday invitation to engage your faith journey. Whether you may have shrugged off, or never much committed yourself to, a regular time of praying meditatively – why not let this time be different? Let this mini-series accompany that inner emptiness, call it dis-ease within, that desires God. For information and to register, please look here.
The Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality (CACS) are offering two new prayer courses that will begin on 20th March this year. You can find information about the courses by clicking on the images above or using the link here.
CONTINUE TO PRAY DURING THIS PANDEMIC
Bishop Philip reminds us that it is important to continue to pray for everyone badly affected by the pandemic and redouble our prayers at this time for the government, for our political leaders and for all who have responsibility in leading us through this coronavirus crisis - hardly an enviable task!
Please continue to pray for:
a speedy end to the pandemic;
the protection of all, especially our family and friends;
the health of the sick and those who care for them;
those suffering financially or socially;
patients in hospitals and the residents of care-homes;
all medical staff and key workers;
government leaders, scientists and advisors;
the effective distribution of a vaccine;
patience, perseverance and mental well-being;
all who have died and those who mourn them;
those who have not been able to return to church and those who have simply drifted away.
Almighty and eternal God, our refuge in every danger, to whom we turn in our distress; in faith we pray, look with compassion on the afflicted, grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love, so that together we may give glory to your holy name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen
DEPUTY HEAD TEACHER VACANCY
The Governors of St Edmund's School are seeking to appoint a highly motivated and inspirational leader to join our Headteacher in leading our successful and much-loved school.
Calls to discuss this position further with our Headteacher, Mrs Maria Delany-White are encouraged and warmly welcomed.
Please contact The School Business Manager (01235 521558 or ) to request an application pack.
Closing date: Wednesday 3rd March 2021 by 12.00 noon.
DONATIONS TO THE FOODBANK
Still urgently needed are:
Long life cow's milk - semi skimmed or whole
Tinned meat for hot meals (mince, stews, meatballs)
Dried chick peas and couscous
Bottles of squash
Small (500g) bags of sugar
J cloths (other brands are available)
WHY CHOOSE OLA LOWER SCHOOL?
Meet the Principal, staff and pupils to find out in a 30-minute introduction for prospective parents to OLA’s Lower School.
The event will be available over Zoom on three different days:
Thursday 11 February 2021 | 4.00pm–4.30pm
Wednesday 24 February 2021 | 4.00pm–4.30pm
Saturday 6 March 2021 | 11.00am–11.30am
Register to join a session here. We hope to meet you online soon.
OLA Lower School is a Catholic independent day school for age 7–11s accepting children of all faiths and none.