23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Sunday 6 September 2020

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

Message from Canon Kristian

Dear Parishioners

Pope Francis asked us to keep today as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Lebanon, so I hope that all of us have found some time to prayer and think about the plight of the people there following the recent devastating explosion in Beirut and the continuing internal conflicts affecting the whole country.

Along with the Newsletter for this weekend, I attach a number of important documents:

  • the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW), which advises the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and which provides an platform for the essential voice of Catholic women in the Church in this country, has produced a very useful booklet on domestic abuse as a result of a major spike in the number of reported cases of abuse in the home during the months of the COVID-19 lockdown.  It is really important that all of us within the Catholic community have a heightened awareness of the signs and effects of domestic abuse so that we can be on hand to offer help and guidance to any of our fellow parishioners or others with whom we come into contact.  I commend this booklet to you very strongly and do take a look at the website of the NBCW if you have a chance.
  • the latest newsletter from CAFOD, giving updates of their latest Campaigns.  As we are now in the Season of Creation, a number of these Campaigns are directly related to the care of our environment and a visit to the CAFOD website will give you more ways in which you can become a part of these campaigns.  There is also a dedicated section of resources for the Season of Creation.
  • a flyer giving details of the free on-line SmartLoving Workshop next Saturday, 12 September,  for married couples and anyone wishing to support married couples in their relationship.

As usual, Monika Manser has produced her weekly Handout to help us pray with this Sunday’s Gospel using our imagination, a method of contemplation taught by St Ignatius of Loyola.  I am really grateful to her for sharing her expertise and passion for this form of prayer with the parish community.  As I said last week, if there is anyone else in the community who has a similar expertise and passion for another form of prayer or spirituality which could be offered to the wider parish community, please do not hesitate to contact me to chat about it.  It is important that our gifts are shared!

A reminder of the current vacancies at the level of the diocese is also attached.

The Newsletter includes details of the request from Saskia Hogbin, the Diocesan Youth Events Officer, for help from the young people of the diocese with putting together the next on-line Youth Service, this time centred around the Season of Creation.  It would be great if some of our young people could take part in this initiative.  It is so important that they can feel engaged in the life of the parish and the diocese during this period when many of the usual ways of involvement are suspended due to COVID-19.  I am sure that most of them have access to a mobile phone on which to record a short video for Saskia to use in the next Service.  It would be great if one of our own young people was willing to give one of the reflections too.

You will also see notification of Second Collections in the newsletter which would have usually occurred on weekends during the lockdown period.  Some of these have been postponed until next year, but a few of the more important ones have been rescheduled over the coming months.  Next weekend, the annual Collection for the Holy Places, which normally takes place on Good Friday, will take place at the request of Pope Francis.  The Bishop is aware that, for many of our parishioners, these are financially-tight times and is keen that you should know that you should not feel any obligation to respond to all of the requests for all these causes and suggests that you might choose a couple of them to support if you can.  The collection for the Holy Places is particularly important since, as you might be aware, the situation of the Christian Community under the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is perilous.  Many Christians in the Bible Lands and in the ancient Churches of the East in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Egypt are suffering from extreme poverty and persecution, which is leading many of them to abandon their countries to seek refuge elsewhere.  The loss of these communities where the Gospel was first proclaimed and the earliest Churches were formed is a tragedy for the Universal Church and our support for them, both spiritual and financial, is needed enormously.  Your contributions also go towards the upkeep of many of the churches which mark those places connected with the ministry, life, death and resurrection of Our Lord which, unless the departure of the local Christian communities can be halted, will quickly become museums rather than living places of worship.

In relation to your financial contributions, we are now able to accept contactless donations at church using the new “tap and donate” device, not only for the weekly collection, but also for second collections and purchases from the repository.  Where possible, your donations can also be gift-aided.  Thank you to all of you for your continuing support of the parish in these rather strange times which are not easy for all of us.  A particular thankyou to those who have taken out Standing Orders recently by which their donations are transferred directly to the parish from their accounts.  Margaret Found, our parish treasurer, and Siobhan Gilroy, who is one of the Diocesan Finance Mentors, always happy to talk to anyone and give them help if they would like to set up a Standing Order.

With regards to the re-opening of St Boniface for Mass, we are still waiting for an inspection of the roof to take place due to a problem caused by the ingress of water.  Hopefully this will take place soon and the necessary remedial work done, so that the church can be re-opened for worship.

As ever, I assure you of my continuing prayers for you all, especially those who are going through particularly tough times due to illness or other trying circumstances.

Wishing you every blessings

Fr Kristian

Parish Office Hours

  • Monday to Thursday from 10.00am-1.00pm
  • Friday from 10.00am-2.00pm

The Parish Office is open at the above times for all routine parish administrative matters, as well as to help with any other pastoral enquiries. During these hours it is possible to visit the Office, next door to the Presbytery, or by telephone or email. Emails will normally only be answered during office hours. Contact details on Contact Us section of the website.

Masses at St James

Mass is celebrated at St James on:

  • Tuesday at 10.00am
  • Wednesday at 12noon
  • Thursday at 6.30pm
  • Friday at 12noon
  • Saturday at 6.00pm
  • Sunday at 10.00am and 11.30am.

Please let the Parish Office know that you would like to come to a particular Mass.  Sometimes there are spare seats at some of the weekday Masses, but there is no guarantee that there will be a seat available.  You may now make a “rolling booking” if you wish to come to a particular Mass on a regular basis, but if you do this, please let the office know if you are not able to come so that the place may be released for someone else.

Domestic Abuse

One of the saddest consequences of the recent lockdown due to COVID-19 has been in major increase in reported cases of abuse within the home.  In order to raise awareness within the Catholic Community of domestic abuse and its impact on victims and their children, the National Board of Catholic Women has released a booklet that offers pastoral care and guidance.  The booklet contains notes on Church teaching on violence in relationships and provides useful links and resources to help both those suffering in various situations of domestic abuse and also survivors who need time, space and help to recover.

Preventing and combatting domestic abuse is a shared responsibility and the booklet, a copy of which is available as an online version, contains a section offering simple, practical guidance to Catholics in England and Wales who want to play their part.

Parish Website

We are still looking for a volunteer to share with Graham Parton the work of keeping our Parish website up-to-date. Please get in touch with the Parish Office if you can offer to serve the parish community in this essential ministry.

The Season of Creation and the Next Online Youth Service

The Season of Creation,  during which we are being asked to take concrete steps to care for the gift of creation and for the Earth, our common home, runs until 4 October, the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi. You can find useful information and resources on the Bishops’ Conference Website, and the Diocesan Website and Facebook pages. Other prayer resources, such as the beautiful Novena for the Season of Creation, and the latest CAFOD climate campaigns can be found at

The theme of the next on-line Youth Service is “Laudato Si’, Seasons of Creation”.  Saskia Hogbin, the Diocesan Youth Events Worker, is looking for young people to make a short film in their favourite outside space saying in 2-3 sentences why it is their favourite place. If they are unable to go to their favourite place, perhaps they can draw a picture of it or a photo be provided.  She is also looking for four young adults to do a reflection and she will work with them to produce their pieces:  two reflections will be about how the world is a gift from God and how honoured we are to have received it, a gift given for us to use and enjoy. These reflections can be linked to the creation story in Genesis or to St Francis of Assisi. The other two speakers will talk about how we are overusing or abusing resources, having consequences for people’s lives, animals or the planet itself. They could include a bit about what’s next, how can we stop this, what should our role as stewards of the Earth look life? Passages from Proverbs 21 or from Pope Francis will be linked to these.

The deadline for completed material is 21 September. If any of our young people are interested in taking part in this, please let Canon Kristian, Deacon Michael or Siobhan Gilroy know as soon as possible so Saskia can be informed in good time.

200 Club

Thank you to those pay-monthly members who have sent in or left their dues at church.  Monthly members who have not yet paid are asked to leave the money at church in an envelope or send a cheque made payable to “PRCDTR Parish of St James and St Boniface” to the Parish Office.  Any queries, please contact Simon Coombs on 01884 258331.  The next draw will take place on Saturday 19 September.

Repository Table and Fundraising Items

The Repository is open, selling fundraising items, such as quality Keyring Torches embossed with the name of our parish, and also Mass cards, sympathy cards, etc.  Please take a look and the Stewards will help you if you would like to purchase anything.

Diocesan Job Vacancies

The Diocese of Plymouth has vacancies for the posts of two Property Mentors who will be home-based and for a Project Support Worker for Caritas Plymouth, who will be based at St Boniface House near Ashburton.  Adverts giving more details about the posts are available on the diocesan website at this link.

Parish Giving

Your offerings are vital to sustain the life of the parish. For those who do not give by Standing Order, there are baskets at the entry and exit to the church.  You may now make all donations by debit or credit card using our new “tap and donate” machine at the entrance to the church. If you wish, you can also gift-aid your donations at the same time.  The Stewards will be happy to help you to use the new machine.

Collection for the Holy Places

At the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday there is the traditional collection for the Holy Places, which supports the struggling Palestinian Christian Community in the Holy Land.  As it was not possible to hold the collection during Holy Week, the Holy Father has asked that it takes place next weekend.  As usual, there will be baskets at the door for your offerings, which can also be given using our “tap and donate” contactless giving machine.

Masses and Events this week

Saturday 5 September – St Teresa of Kolkatta (Mother Teresa)

  • Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm

Sunday 6 September – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am (Gabriela Zychlinska RIP)
  • Holy Mass at 11.30am (Pro Populo)

Tuesday 8 September – The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am (Canon Kristian’s Ordination Anniv Ints)

Wednesday 9 September

  • Holy Mass at 12noon

Thursday 10 September

  • Holy Mass at 6.30pm
  • Coffee Morning on Zoom at 11.00am

Friday 11 September

  • Holy Mass at 12noon

Saturday 12 September

  • Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm