DATES AND EVENTS
Please remember to check what's on and dates of events, etc. on our calendar.
MESSAGE FROM FR JAMIE
HICCUPS WITH LIVE STREAMING OF MASS ON SUNDAYS
We are aware that there have been some hiccups with the live streaming of Masses for last Sunday and this Sunday. Last Sunday we were fortunate that it happened just as the Mass ended. This Sunday it was during the Mass itself. This is not unique to our church. Church Services TV, who provide the service for us, have explained that there is extraordinary demand because of the current situation. They are doing their utmost to increase outage, but understandably, at certain times in the day nearly all churches who live stream are doing it more or less at the same time. If viewers experience buffering and all of them refresh their screen at the same time, this increases the surge and aggravates the situation. We are fortunate that this week, the system didn't crash completely as it did for many churches last week. Small things we can do which might help include:
Staggering our 'entry' into the live stream on Sundays - so, for example, not all joining in exactly at the time Mass starts.
If you experience buffering, try to wait for several seconds before refreshing your screen if it doesn't resolve itself in that short time.
Thank you all very much for your patience and understanding, and for joining together in Mass in our parish.
UPDATE ON ALL SERVICES IN THE CHURCH UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Out of necessity, and following instructions from our Prime Minister, the church will be closed to the public for now.
Please keep in touch with each other and come to this website for updates and reflections.
Mass times, which can only 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 (Mass in Polish at 3.00pm)
Some people are calling in to say that they can't hear any sound on the live stream - please remember to turn up the volume on your device (laptop, PC, tablet, etc)!
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.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER SERVICE TIMES
Palm Sunday (5th April): 10:15am
Maundy Thursday (9th April): 7:30pm (Mass in Polish at 5.30pm)
Good Friday (10th April): 3:00pm (Mass in Polish at 5.30pm)
Holy Saturday (11th April): Easter Vigil at 8:00pm (Mass in Polish at 5.30pm)
EASTER SUNDAY: 11.30am (Mass in Polish at 3.00pm - also on Monday)
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL COMMUNION?
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI said that "Even in cases where it is not possible to receive sacramental Communion, participation at Mass remains necessary, important, meaningful and fruitful. In such circumstances it is beneficial to cultivate a desire for full union with Christ through the practice of spiritual Communion."
Spiritual communion was defined by St Thomas Aquinas as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him”. In the present context it means not receiving the Blessed Sacrament physically.
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".
UPCOMING SUNDAY MASSES
If you have a Mass Intention booked for either 8.45am or 6.30pm on a Sunday, please contact the office to re-schedule. Many thanks.
Due to the Coronavirus, many of the UK Catholic Diocesan newspapers are now on one website (www.ChurchPaper.co.uk) so parishioners can stay in contact with their Church and their community. The website, www.ChurchPaper.co.uk, contains over 600 editions of newspapers.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Yes, you can now follow this online! The video is accessible on our Lent page, which you can get to by clicking on the image above or here.
We will periodically give some ideas which you could use to safely occupy your children or grandchildren. The following activities are provided by BeSpace - one of the charities we are supporting through our Lenten projects. You can download the files below. We hope you're finding these activities helpful. If anyone has tried any of them, they would love to see your photos, so please email them to BeSpace at:
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.
I'M STAYING AT HOME, LORD!
This beautiful prayer was written by an Italian priest who is self-isolating at the moment and very sadly lost his own brother a few days ago to Covid-19.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And today, I realise, you taught me this, remaining obedient to the Father, for thirty years in the house of Nazareth, waiting for the great mission.
I stay at home, Lord, and in Joseph's studio, your keeper and mine, I learn to work, to obey, to round the corners of my life and prepare you a work of art.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And I know that I am not alone because Mary, like any mother, is in the next room, doing chores and preparing lunch for all of us, God's family.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And I do it responsibly for my own good, for the health of my city, for my loved ones, and for the good of my brother, whom you have put beside me, asking me to take care of him in the garden of life.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And in the silence of Nazareth, I pledge to pray, to read, study, meditate, be useful for small jobs, in order to make our home more beautiful and more welcoming.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And in the morning, I thank you for the new day you give me, trying not to spoil it and welcome it with wonder, as a gift and an Easter surprise.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And at noon I will receive the greeting of the angel, I will make myself useful for love, in communion with you who have made you flesh to live among us; and, tired of the journey, thirsty, I will meet you at Jacob's well, and thirsty for love on the Cross.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And if the evening takes me melancholy, I will invoke you like the disciples of Emmaus: stay with us, the evening has arrived and the sun sets.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And in the night, in communion of prayer with the many sick, the lonely and all the caregivers, I will wait for the dawn to sing your mercy again and tell everyone that, in the storms, you have been my refuge.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And I don't feel alone and abandoned, because you told me: I'm with you every day. yes, and especially in these days of confusion, O Lord, in which, if my presence is not necessary, I will reach everyone, only with the wings of prayer.
The two Lenten fundraising projects for 2020 are BeSpace and 5th Gospel Christians. Their work is explained on our website in the ‘Whats On’ section which you can access here. Details of all fundraising activities and any updates will also be included on that page as we receive them.
Whilst we have had to postpone many of the planned fundraising events for the time being, we hope to re-schedule them at a later date in support of these worthy causes.
If you do have a fundraising idea or plan to organise an event please inform Hilary Webb: 01235 525928 or Debbie Brooks: 01865 432423
PARISH OFFICE CLOSURE DATES
Please note that the Parish Office will be closed until the end of April.
HOW TO CONFESS WHEN YOU CAN'T GET TO CONFESSION
Fr Stephen Wang reflects on the issues which arise and the questions we are asking. He offers us clarity of explanation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in relation to our current situation of restrictions and isolation. If you long to go to confession, or need to go to confession, but you simply can't because the churches are closed in the coronavirus lockdown, then here are some very practical tips about what you can do in the meantime. Here is an act of contrition you can memorise: O my God, because you are so good, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you; and I promise that with the help of your grace, I will not sin again. Amen.
HOW TO MAKE A GOOD SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
What on earth is a "spiritual communion"? How can I receive the graces of Holy Communion if I haven't been to Mass? How do I actually do this? Fr Stephen gives some background theology to help you make sense of this beautiful tradition, and some practical advice about how to do it.
The Easter issue is available. Obviously, you cannot collect a copy, but if you live locally and would like it put through your letter box, please email your name and address to:
It will not now be possible for the public to attend the Chrism Mass at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth. If you have already made and paid for a booking on the transport, please contact the Didcot Parish Office with regard to a refund, on 01235 812338, or email
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
We are cancelling all youth group events until further notice. Updates will be given on this website.
ONLINE LENTEN RETREAT
Join the online Lenten Retreat with our Boars Hill Carmelites. Each Wednesday and Sunday you will receive an email with audio, text and video reflections. Register by emailing:
FUN IN THE PARK
Fun in the Park is a free event organised by Abingdon Town Council aimed at families, on Saturday 6th June in the Abbey Grounds, from 11am to 3pm. The Church in Abingdon has hosted a stall there every year since its inception to make the most of the outreach opportunity. We’ve always relied on a small team of volunteers, but we need to build up the team if we are to be able to take part again this year. There’s plenty of scope for using your gifts, even for just an hour: we need set up/clear up teams; face painters; crafty people; chatty people. We need to know who is onboard by mid March. Please contact Debra McKnight, CiA Administrator, (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to be involved.
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. Please do take one and follow the instructions on it.
Please visit our Parish Blog on this section of our website for regular snippets of information and updates.