Third Sunday of Advent  (Year A)

Gaudete Sunday

Sunday 11th December, 2022

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Message from Canon Kristian

Dear brothers and sisters

As I write this email to accompany this week’s newsletter, I am looking out of the parish office window onto a garden covered with snow. What a surprise to wake up to snow this morning! It is certainly a sign that we are now well into Winter. Soon we will have the longest day and then await the return of the light. The Church has always used the imagery of nature to symbolise profound theological truths and so at Christmas we will celebrate the birth of the Light – the Light of the World into our world, whose light no darkness can overcome. This weekend marks the midway point in the Season of Advent, something which should be a source of joy for us, as the traditional name for this Sunday emphasises – Gaudete Sunday. This title is taken for the Latin text of the Entrance Antiphon for this Sunday’s Mass, which is taken from the Letter of St Paul to the Philippians (4:4-5): Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord in near (Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, Gaudete. Dominus enim prope est). John the Baptist figures large again this Sunday, pointing us towards the One who is to come, and then next Saturday we begin the “count down” to Christmas as we enter into the final week of Advent marked with the ancient “O” antiphons, expressing our deepest longing for the coming of the One who fulfils the prophecies of the Old Testament and the promises of God. I am sure it will also be a time of more frenetic preparations for the Christmas celebrations for many of you. However, hopefully amongst all the busy-ness, you will be able to find some time to sit and reflect and to prepare yourself spiritually for the celebration of the Nativity of the Lord.

In order to comply with the increased security protocols of the diocesan IT department, we have had to upgrade the parish computer (so please be patient as Rosie and myself get to grips with it. Things may be a bit different from normal for a while!). Therefore, we now have a surplus PC which is looking for a good home. It is in good condition and hopefully there is someone who might like to have it. There is no charge, but a donation would be greatly appreciated if possible. A picture of the PC is attached to this email.

I hope everyone is managing to keep as warm as possible. We all know that challenges many are facing to cover the rising costs of heating their homes, so do keep an eye out for those who might be struggling, and point them in the direction of places like CHAT where they can get some good help and advice.

May God bless you all as always

Canon Kristian

Canon Kristian Paver

Parish Priest

Parish of St James & St Boniface

40 Old Road

Tiverton EX16 4HJ

Pre-Christmas Octave: 17-24 December

Saturday of this coming week marks the start of the second part of the Season of Advent when the Church’s liturgy is more directly focussed on the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. Over these days, the ancient “O” Antiphons are sung as part of the service of Vespers or Evening Prayer of the Church and also used as Gospel Acclamations during Mass on those days. No one knows their exact origin, but they have been sung since at least the 5th Century. Each antiphon begins with a title of Christ taken from the Old Testament

Parish Christmas Party for our Children and Families

A Christmas Party for our children will be held at St James on Sunday 18 December 2022, 3.00pm-5.00pm. All are welcome, and parents/guardians are asked to stay with their children. In order to cater for food and presents, please put names on the list at the back of church this weekend or give your child’s name, age and dietary needs to the Parish Office on 01884 252292 or before 2.00pm on Friday 16 December 2022.

Canon Kristian’s Christmas Cake and the Main Christmas Draws

Draw tickets are on sale for this year’s draw for Canon Kristian’s Christmas Cake and for the main Christian Draw. The draw for the cake will take place this Sunday, 11 December, and the draw for the main Christmas Draw will happen on Saturday 17 December. So, now is the time to purchase your tickets if you haven’t done so already!

Christmas Flower Arranging Opportunities!

If you would like to provide a small flower arrangement for the church window shelves in St James this Christmas, there are containers and oasis ready for you on a table in the entrance to the hall. The colour scheme is red, gold and greenery. Please could the arrangements be returned to the church by Friday 23 December or the morning of 24 December. 

Operation Warm New Clothes Update

We have been able to provide a number of Ukrainian and Mid Devon families with sets of clothes, nightwear and coats so far and CHAT are very grateful for the generosity of the parishioners. We would like to be able to continue to provide clothes throughout the next few months, so we will be pleased to receive more donations. Thank you! 

Epiphany Concert

We will be holding an Epiphany Concert on Sunday 8 January 2023 at 6.00pm in the Hall at St James and want to involve St John’s School, our young people, singers and musicians. It would be great if different groups could prepare something for the concert and make it a really good parish event. Please let Bridget Tosh know if you are able to contribute a song and/or a piece of music to the concert.

Plymouth Diocesan Yearbook 2023

A few copies of the Diocesan Yearbook 2023, containing the up-to-date information about the Diocese, the Diocesan Offices, our parishes, the clergy and religious and our schools, are available for purchase at the entrance to church, priced £4.00.

Flame 2023 – Special Invitation to our Young People

Anyone between the ages of 14 and 21 please join our parish trip to Flame at Wembley Stadium, London, on Saturday 4 March 2023. Flame is the largest Catholic gathering in England and Wales and, next year, it is a great chance to hear from speakers like Robert Bilott, singer/songwriter Adenike and award winner Guvna B. Transport is from Cullompton on a coach so almost door to door!  If you have been before, then do tell others how good it is and sign up to go again.  If parents want to know a bit more, please talk to Elaine Kelly, Siobhan Gilroy or Eduarda Santos as they have all been before.  It’s such a great day out that the parish would like to treat our youngsters to this experience, so there is no cost to the individual.  To get on the coach we need to book tickets now with the diocesan coordinator as there is a limited number on the group transport, so please give your name to the Parish Office as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.  Siobhan Gilroy will be leading our parish group.

Workspace for Worship in Plymouth Cathedral

Applications are invited for the position of Benefactor(s) for a minor programme of remedial restoration work at our Cathedral in Plymouth. To apply and for further details, email Adrian Wardle on or call 01752 830113.

Rosaleen Stephenson RIP

The Requiem Mass for Rosaleen Stephenson RIP will be held at St James this Friday, 16 December, at 11.30am. Her body will be received into church on Thursday 15 December at 4.30pm. Please keep her and her family in your prayers at the difficult time.

200 Club

Congratulations to Sheila Scurr who won the £30 prize and to Bill Kelly who won the £20 prize in last weekend’s draw. The 200 Club is an ongoing fundraiser for the Parish and new members can join for as little as £1 a month. Please speak to either Simon Coombs or Sheelagh Bourdon at St James or Teresa Cummings at St Boniface. 

Masses and Events this week

Sunday 11th December –Third Sunday of Advent

  • Saturday 10 December – Advent Weekday

    • First Holy Communion Preparation at 10.00am in the Hall
    • Vigil Mass at 6.00pm Pro Populo

    Sunday 11 December – Third Sunday of Advent (A) – Gaudete Sunday

    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Lucy Gorlo (birthday ints)
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
    • Shared Christmas Lunch at 12.45pm in the Hall (at St Boniface)

    Monday 12 December – Advent Weekday

    • Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall

    Tuesday 13 December – St Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Geoffrey Xavier RIP (anniv)

    Wednesday 14 December – St John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor

    • Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
    • St John’s School Carol Concert at 6.00pm in St Paul’s Anglican Church, Tiverton

    Thursday 15 December – Advent Weekday

    • Reception of the Body at 4.30pm
    • Holy Mass at 6.00pm

    Friday 16 December – Advent Weekday

    • Requiem Mass for Rosaleen Stephenson at 11.30am

    Saturday 17 December – Advent Weekday (O Sapientia)

    • Holy Baptism of Mia Debek at 11.00am
    • Vigil Mass at 6.00pm

    Sunday 18 December – Fourth Sunday of Advent (A)

    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
    • Christmas Party for Children and Families at 3.00pm in the Hall