12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Sunday 21 June 2020

Please contact the parish to receive the newsletter by email each week.

Message from Canon Kristian

Dear Parishioners

This week saw the first tentative steps towards the re-opening of our churches.  For three periods during the week, St James is now open for personal prayer.  The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar throughout the whole of these periods. I hope you are able to visit the church to pray, even for a short time, during these periods.  A time has not been fixed for Sundays, since I know that many of you are participating in Sunday Mass online.  However, if there is a strong desire to have St James open for a time of personal prayer on a Sunday, I am sure that can be arranged.  Please do let me know if that is something you would like to happen.

I want to say a special thank you to those who have worked really hard to prepare the church for opening and to the band of willing volunteers who will act as Stewards during the times when St James is open.  There is always room for more volunteers on the rota, so do let our parish secretary, Rosie, know if you would like to added to the list and what period suits you best.

In the normal way, this Sunday would have been the annual Day for Life, which was to have the theme “Choose life” – the choice God strongly desired that the People of Israel would make in the Book of Exodus as they were entering the First Covenant.  It is the same choice that God continues to put before us and which reached its supreme expression in the life, death and resurrection of Christ.  In this Second Covenant, we are called to share in, become one with, the death and resurrection of Jesus, to die and rise with him, in order to receive new life, true life, life which is everlasting.  In this way, we become heralds and agents of a “culture of life” in our society and towards all of God’s creation, opposing the “culture of death” which we can clearly see in the proliferation of war and violence around the world, the promotion of discord and division, the rise of racism and discrimination in all their manifold forms, the plight of refugees and migrants, the persistent scourge of modern forms of slavery, the human degradation of poverty, starvation and homelessness, the destruction of our planet and the avaricious exploitation and depletion of its resources and riches, the plague of abortion of the unborn and the rise of euthanasia of the sick and the elderly…the list could go on and on.  The magnitude of the task can seem overwhelming – and indeed it would be if we were to rely solely on our own resources.  We know that, in Christ, life has definitively conquered death, that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more!  Motivated by that hope and reassurance, and strengthen by the unquenchable divine life of the Spirit that lives within each of us, we can each make changes in our own lives and undertaken actions, even small ones, towards others and the world around us that express our “option for life” and invite others to “choose life” with us. “Choose life” is the basis of our Christian morality and ethics, as it is of many other faith traditions.  So, together with all people of goodwill, if we make the choice of life the basis of all our decisions and actions we can and will overcome the culture of death.

The newsletter is below and, as usual, Monika Manser offers us a handout on this Sunday’s gospel reading, inviting us to contemplate it using our imaginations.  I am very grateful for her willingness to share this form of prayer with the community. Both documents are provided to either read online or to download as PDF to read offline.

There are two “virtual” parish gatherings this week – this Sunday at 11am and on Wednesday at 11am.  They are open to everyone.  Please contact the parish for details on how to join.

I send you my good wishes as always and the assurance of my prayers for you all.

With every blessing

Fr Kristian

St James is OPEN for Personal Prayer!

St James Church is now open for personal prayer three periods during the week and the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar throughout these times:

Tuesdays 10.00am-12.00noon

Fridays 11.00am-1.00pm

Saturdays 4pm-6pm

We have had to re-organise the interior of the church in order both to follow the prescribed social-distancing regulations and to create an environment conducive to prayer at the same time.  Most of us are now familiar with the new way of interacting with others, especially in shops, and so some of the new procedures for being in church will not be unexpected:

  1. Stewards will be supervising entry and exit to ensure that individuals not from the same household remain at least two metres in all directions from each other. This means only a very limited number of people can be allowed into the church at any one time (approximately 14).  It is important to follow the Stewards’ guidance at all times.
  2. A steward will ask for your name, address and telephone number before you can enter the church proper. This forms part of the “track and trace” system to protect you and others in the event of a COVID-19 infection being discovered.  Your details will be held solely for this purpose and in accordance with data protection law.  By way of reminder, people with cold or flu-like symptoms should not come to church.
  3. Hand sanitizers must be used as you enter and leave the church.
  4. A one-way system is in operation. Entry is through the front door of the church and exit through the back door.  Arrows on the floor show the direction of travel, all the while observing the two metre social distancing rule.
  5. The seats available for use whilst in church are marked clearly with a yellow cross.
  6. The church windows (and possibly some doors) will be open to increase ventilation.
  7. The toilet facilities cannot be used and have been closed off, and the kitchen is locked.
  8. All books or leaflets not intended for single use have been removed from the church. You can of course bring printed materials with you when you visit for prayer, but please ensure that you take them home with you when you leave.
  9. The Repository will not be available, but Mass cards, sympathy or get well cards are available between 10 and 1 on weekdays from the Parish Office.
  10. It will be possible to light a votive candle, which must be lit from an already lit candle. Please wipe your hands with a disposable towel and wait at least a full minute from use of the hand sanitizer in order to ensure that the alcohol in the sanitizer has dissipated.
  11. Social distancing must also be observed in the car park. Please be aware that work will be being carried out in the carpark in the coming weeks to lay a new water pipe, so extra care will need to be taken.

To have these restrictions in church will be very alien to us and perhaps be seen as an unwelcome intrusion into an area of our life which is very precious to us, but they are based on Government requirements and advice for the re-opening of churches and we have to follow them for now.  Let us remain hopeful that, some day in the not-too-distant future, we will be able to gather in church with less restrictions and be able to re-establish something of a more familiar rhythm and experience of church and parish life. Until them, let us give thanks that at least one of our churches is open for private, personal prayer.

Parish Mass Books

The sets of Mass Books are in the hall and can be collected from a steward if you visit St James during the times that it is open for private prayer.  There appear to be plenty to go around, so please let us know if you would like a set if you haven’t already done so by contacting the Parish Office. We will deliver them to you if you are unable to come to the church.  Just let us know. The books are being given away for free, to encourage you to read the Mass readings at home in preparation for listening to them being read at Mass.  Of course, if you would like to give a donation, it would be gratefully received.

Alternatively, there are various digital options to access the Mass readings on your phone, computer, tablet or e-reader. A list of some digital resources that parishioners may find useful has been added to the parish website under the Resources section.

Imaginative Contemplation of the Gospel

A handout to help us to pray with this Sunday’s Gospel using our imagination is available under the Resources section of the website. There is an opportunity to pray this Gospel together in our weekly on-line prayer group.   Contact for the Zoom access details.  All welcome.

CELEBRATE Online Conference June 2020

“Fan into a flame the gift of God which in in you” (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

As there can be no in-person CELEBRATE conference this year, this event for all the family will be taking place online over the weekend of 27/28 June, starting at 10.00am on Saturday 27 June. Hear inspiring speakers, take time to retreat in prayer, get creative, join with live worship and celebrate Mass together.

All the content will be hosted on the CELEBRATE Facebook page.  You do not need a Facebook account to access the page.  You can join the conference via the link: All content will be able to be replayed if you missed it or want to watch it again.

Shopping Online and Fundraising

Due to present restrictions, many of us have been doing a lot of our shopping online.  “Easyfundraising” is a way to raise funds for the parish.  It costs nothing and, over the last few years, we have raised just short of £1000.

Not all sellers are a part of it, but whenever you shop online, go to and see whether the seller is there and click on the relevant link.  Thank you to all those who use do this facility already.

Masses and Events this week

Sunday 21 June – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

  • Holy Mass without a congregation at 10.00am
  • Virtual After-Mass Gathering at 11.00am

Monday 22 June – Feast of St John Fisher and St Thomas More

St Thomas More is the patron saint of lawyers and those in public life (Day of Prayer for those who suffer persecution, oppression and denial of human rights)

  • No Mass Today 

Tuesday 23 June – St Edward, King and Martyr

  • Holy Mass without a congregation at 9.00am
  • St James Church open for Private Prayer between 10.00 am-12 Noon

Wednesday 24 June – Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist

Patron of motorways, farriers and tailors

  • Holy Mass without a congregation at 10.00am
  • Virtual Coffee Morning at 11.00am

Thursday 25 June – Weekday

  • Holy Mass without a congregation at 10.00am

Friday 26 June – Weekday

  • Holy Mass without a congregation at 10.00am
  • St James Church open for Private Prayer between 11.00am-1.00pm

Saturday 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor

  • Holy Mass without a congregation at 10.00am
  • St James Church open for Private Prayer between 4.00pm-6.00pm