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 (Mass in Polish at 1.00pm)
Attendance at Mass in person is only through our booking system - information below.
If you are genuinely unable to attend Mass and follow and take part in the Mass on our live streaming, you will be able to receive "spiritual Communion". The prayer for this is in the section 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 16th August should be made on Monday 10th August. Do please try and give us several options for days/times when you could come during the week, as the Sunday Masses are usually full - and be clear about 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 as well 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.
Please note that, for now, we are unable to provide the newsletter in church. If you would like a copy for the readings and prayers, please print your own copy from the News page of our website (if you have the Internet) or for those without Internet access, bring the copy delivered to you on Saturdays. We are also unable to accept any books, pamphlets, etc. at this point in time, so please don’t bring any of these to church with you.
The parish office is open from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Tuesdays to Fridays..
NEW PASTORAL AREA
Bishop Philip has approved the merger of Thames Isis Pastoral Area with North Downs Pastoral Area. Our new Pastoral area will be known as: English Martyrs Vale of White Horse
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".
FAITH IN PRACTICE
Lockdown deprived us of that greatest of gifts – to worship Christ in His real presence in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle and to receive Him sacramentally during Mass. We are blessed in our parish to be able to do this once again. The Eucharist sustains and strengthens us! The Church reminds us that the celebration of the Eucharistic mystery is “the source and summit of the whole Christian life.” If you are able to, don’t deny yourself any longer – you are encouraged to come along for quiet and private prayer on Tuesdays and/or Fridays between 12pm and 1pm or, even better, come along to a Mass during the week (using our booking system)..
PRAYING THE ROSARY
We continue to pray the Rosary together online using Zoom. If you would like to join us on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm in August, please email us on:
so that we can send you the new link.
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.
YOU ARE CALLED!
The Congregation for Clergy in Rome issued a document about parishes and their reform called “The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the church.” It says the goal of parish reform must be to move parishes from a “self-preservation” model to an evangelising one. We are all called to reach out to everyone, without exception and to continue our own Spirit-led efforts at spiritual renewal within our parish and the Diocese, for the sake of outreach, mission and service. The lay faithful are called upon in our present age to make a generous commitment to the service of the mission of evangelisation, first of all through the general witness of their daily lives, lived in conformity with the Gospel, in whatever environment they are in and at every level of responsibility; in a particular way, they are called to place themselves at the service of the Parish community [paragraph 86] If you would like to read this document, you can do so here.
YOUR PARISH NEEDS YOU!
The parish still needs your donations. You can make these on our website. This will enable those who normally use the weekly gift aid white envelope system or loose plate donations to continue to support the Parish. You can also place donations in the basket as you leave church. Your continued support for the Parish is greatly appreciated. You can access the donation button on the home page or by clicking here.
Lockdown may have affected couples who are managing the stress of day to day living, whether that is because both are working from home and juggling the home schooling, or maybe both are furloughed worrying about potential redundancy. The impact of these difficulties and stresses can test the strongest of relationships. Marriage Care is there to help. 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
PRAY FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY THE VIRUS
Whilst we continue to pray for all key workers, those who are sick, those who have died, and for the families who are bereaved, please also remember to pray for all the less visible 'victims' of the virus. Pray for:
those whose family relationships have been a struggle;
for those for whom job security has been a concern or who have lost their jobs;
for those who are still anxious about leaving their home or anxious in any way;
for those who face losing their homes;
for those who are struggling to pay their bills;
for those who have lost their sense of purpose and struggle with their faith;
for those in other countries who are facing the devastation of the virus amidst their own crises of poverty and conflict.
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 would like to find out more about how we welcome people into the Catholic Church. Please contact for further details.
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 August 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 have been meeting on Zoom but our last session before the summer break was on Wednesday 29th July. We will start again on 9th September. For further information contact Anne on 525997 or Angela on 07866195998.
If you have a query about taking part in anything, you can let us know by emailing:
VACANCIES AT ST EDMUND'S SCHOOL
St Edmund's School are currently advertising the following vacancies to start in September 2020.
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 17th August 2020
On the 5th anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si’ - in
May this year - Pope Francis announced the beginning of a
Laudato Si’ Year. He encouraged everyone to actively
participate in the Season of Creation which runs from 1st
September to 4th October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. Anne Dodd gives an introduction and signposts to the main websites in the document which you can access here. Clare Simpson offers the second instalment of a the series of articles to heighten our awareness of Laudato Si' Year, celebrating the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' Encyclical on Care for the Common Home. You can access her article here and also access Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter 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:
The AUGUST 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:
ABINGDON COMMUNITY FRIDGE
The Health & Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10.30 - 11.30 am. It distributes surplus food from supermarkets.
Click on the image above to open the Summer edition of this newsletter.
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.
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:
The Sisters of Mercy have commissioned some changes to their plot in our cemetery. Although some may miss the concrete crosses, the changes are aesthetically pleasing (especially after the grass re-grows) and make the plot easier to manage.
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.
THE CHURCH IN ABINGDON
The August issue of the CiA newsletter can be opened by clicking on the image above.
Please visit our Parish Blog on this section of our website for regular snippets of information and updates.
AUGUST - IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
The month of August has traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is one of the patrons of our parish, so let us ask for her intercession with all our prayers and especially for the renewal of our parish.
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.