Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year A)

World Communications Day

Sunday 24 May 2020

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

Message from Canon Kristian

Dear brothers and sisters

Gaudete – Rejoice!  We are now midway through the Season of Advent and the Liturgy  reminds us of the joy of the Coming of Christ into our world and into our lives.  Despite the mounting challenges around us, we remain a people with a message of hope and joy for the world.  God in Christ chose to become one of us and one with us.  Christ walks with us on every step of our journey, even through the darkest of times.  Indeed, there is light even in the darkness, if only we have the eyes of faith to see it  (cfr John 1:3-5).

Attached with this weekend’s Newsletter is the reflection sheet prepared by our parish facilitators for the third week of Parish Synodal Listening, which is focused on “celebrate”.  I am very grateful for all the work the facilitators are doing to enable all those who want to be heard to speak through the various events of each week.  It is most heartening to see the numbers who are responding.  You will see in the Newsletter that a special social gathering has been planned for all our young adults who have been confirmed over the last ten years on Sunday 19 December.  This is open to ALL our young people and young adults, whether or not they attend church regularly or even at all.  Please do spread the word and encourage anyone who has been confirmed in the last ten years to come along.  The Diocesan Walking Together Update is attached too.  The access details for this week’s Synodal Listening on Zoom on Wednesday are available from the parish office.

Amidst all the glitz and consumerism of Christmas we must not forget those for whom this time of year is far from a cause for feasting – the elderly and isolated, the homeless, those without sufficient to support and to feed themselves and their families, the sick and the millions around the world searching for a safe refuge.  We are fortunate to have CHAT in our parish and I know that many of you will be supporting their outreach to those in our local area who are in particular need due to homelessness, debt and food poverty, especially by means of the “Reverse Advent Calendar” and the boxes for food/household items at the entrance to church and at the checkouts of all our local supermarkets.  Many of you have also responded to the appeal for food and support from the Chaplain of the YMCA in Cullompton and Harberton.  Your support for these charities is greatly appreciated. The latest Newsletter for Caritas Plymouth is attached to help us reflect on the importance of our social engagement over the Christmas period.

The seventh edition of Inspire from Deacon Peter is attached to give us aids to our prayer and reflection during the coming week.

You will also see that the times of the Christmas Weekend Masses are in the Newsletter.  We will not be introducing a “booking” system for these Masses, since it is not a system which would enable us to control the numbers of those who only come to Mass at this time of year, as they will be generally unaware of the need to book a place. Therefore, I am strongly urging you to think very carefully about the Christmas Mass you will participate in.  I know that the 5.00pm Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve is very popular, especially with families with smaller children.  However, if you are able, please consider coming to one of the other Masses instead, so that we can spread our numbers out over the all the Christmas Masses and thereby make sure that there is sufficient space to ensure that a certain amount of distancing is possible and also be able to  welcome those who only come to church infrequently.

Please be aware that, from now on, the wearing of face coverings is now mandatory again for everyone – both by law and by decision of the Bishop – unless you are fall into any of the exempt categories which are set out in the Covid legislation.

I hope you are having a fruitful spiritual Advent Journey.

Let us continue to pray for one another.

God bless

Fr Kristian

Walking Together – Our Synodal Journey Begins – “Celebrate”

This week our Walking Together journey has a focus on Celebrate.  We are invited to reflect on how we celebrate the presence of God in His Word and in the Sacraments. How does our parish support a full Catholic life and Mission – evangelization, catechesis, formation, liturgy and social action? The reflection sheet is attached to the Newsletter for those who would like to start their pondering before joining one of our parish gatherings.

We’d love for people join us – you’re all very welcome. Hopefully one of these options will be possible: after Sunday masses at St James and St Boniface, after Tuesday Mass at St James or online at 7.00pm Wednesday. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can send us your thoughts via the parish website:

We will also be holding a special social event on Sunday 19 December at 7.00pm in the Hall for our young people and young adults who have been confirmed over the last ten years or so which will include a time of listening.  Please spread the word!

Christmas Mass Times

Christmas Day this year falls on a Saturday.  Therefore, the Mass times for the Christmas weekend are as follows:

Friday 24 December – Christmas Eve

Holy Mass at 5.00pm – Vigil Mass of Christmas

Saturday 25 December – Christmas Day

First Mass of Christmas at Midnight, starting with carols at 11.30pm

Holy Mass at 10.00am

Holy Mass at 11.30am (St Boniface)

Sunday 26 December – Feast of the Holy Family

Holy Mass at 10.00am

Holy Mass at 11.30am (St Boniface)

Please note that there will be no requirement to book a place for these Masses.  However, due to the unquantifiable numbers of those who do not come to Mass regularly but who may wish to participate at Mass in Christmas, our regular Mass attenders are urged to spread their attendance over the four Christmas Masses and to avoid all trying to come to the 5.00pm Vigil Mass.  It is important to remember that the celebration of Our Lord’s Incarnation is 25 December, not 24 December, and so we should give priority to taking part in Mass on the day itself, if at all possible


Promoted by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life based in the Vatican, the #IamChurch initiative consists of five videos demonstrating the daily struggles of persons with disabilities who, far from feeling burdensome or “set aside”, provide their own specific contribution within their ecclesial communities, and not without a smile…In his recent message on the occasion of the International Day dedicated to those who are differently abled, Pope Francis affirms that “no one can refuse the Sacraments to people with disabilities,” thereby responding to the question that Serena, a young Italian woman, asks him in a video testimony.

This is the first video of the #IamChurch series: a campaign aimed at giving voice to persons living with disabilities, who contribute daily to the life of every church community.

“The Night Journey” by Fr Robbie Low

 Bishop Mark writes: “Fr Robbie Low (a priest of our diocese) has written a lovely new Christmas children’s book, ‘The Night Journey’. I highly recommend it as a beautiful reflection on the Mass which leads us to the manger and the child in the arms of Mary.  It is beautifully illustrated by Jan Burrell and begins and ends in the parish church and family home.  I think I would make a great Christmas gift for children, grandchildren and godchildren – a little work of evangelisation and, as you will find in the book, a key link across the generations.”  The book costs £7.50 and all proceeds go to charities working with disadvantaged children.  Copies are available at the entrance to church.

Caritas Online Homelessness Event

Caritas Plymouth would like to invite you to an online event on homelessness on Tuesday 18 January 2022 from 6.00-7.00pm. As Britain emerges from the crisis of pandemic and begins to come to terms with the impacts of the crisis over the last few years, the effects on homelessness are likely to be significant. It is predicted that the economic aftermath of COVID-19 risks a substantial rise in core homelessness, including rough sleeping. This event will offer an opportunity for prayer and reflection on how we can take practical action to support those who are homeless. Please register using the following link: or email

Christmas Draw and Canon Kristian’s Christmas Cake Draw

The draw for Canon Kristian’s Christmas Cake will take place this Sunday.  The main Christmas Draw will take place next Sunday.

Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

 There will not be an Advent Service of Reconciliation this year.  However, if you would like to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance in preparation for Christmas, please do contact Canon Kristian directly or the Parish Office to arrange a mutually convenient time.

Monthly Lunch

The Monthly Lunch will take place in the Hall on Tuesday 21 December 12noon-2.00pm. There is a sheet on the board in the hall for those who can offer to make a soup and a pudding.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

Everyone is welcome. So please come along and show your support. It would be great to see more of our own parishioners too! The donations you give on the day will this month be given to CHAT.

Parish Services and Events This Week 

Saturday 11 December – Advent Weekday

  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass) Pro Populo

Sunday 12 December – Third Sunday of Advent (C) – Gaudete

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am Lucy Gorlo (ints) Synodal Listening
  • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Synodal Listening

Monday 13 December – St Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

  • Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall
  • St John’s School Carol Service at 6.00pm in St Paul’s Church

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

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am followed by Synodal Listening at 10.30am
  • SVP Meeting at 7.45pm in the Hall

Wednesday 15 December – Advent Weekday

  • Holy Mass at 12noon (St Boniface)
  • Synodal Listening on Zoom at 7.00pm

Thursday 16 December – Advent Weekday

  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm

Friday 17 December – Advent Weekday – O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions at 11.30am
  • Holy Mass at 12noon
  • Tiverton Rangers at 6.30pm in the Hall

Saturday 18 December – Advent Weekday – O Adonai (O Lord God)

  • First Holy Communion Preparation at 10.00am in the Hall
  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)

Sunday 19 December – Fourth Sunday of Advent (C)

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo Synodal Listening
  • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Synodal Listening