The Baptism of the Lord (B)

Sunday 10th January 2021

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Message from Canon Kristian

Dear Parishioners

The Christmas Season draws to a close this weekend with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which along with the Epiphany and the Miracle of the Water into Wine at the Marriage Feast at Cana, traditionally form the three great moments of revelation of who Jesus is as Messiah and Saviour of all.  Very appropriately, as we then set out on a journey reflecting on and deepening our discipleship each Sunday in “Ordinary Time”  through the lens of the Gospel of Mark, we are invited to return to the source of our own Christian life of grace, to our own baptism, when we ourselves became beloved daughters and sons of God.

Along with the Newsletter this week, a Pastoral Message from Bishop Mark is available to read in which he shares his reflections on the present lockdown in the light of the gifts offered by the Magi to the Christ Child at the Epiphany.

The delayed First Communion Celebrations started last week in St Boniface and will continue throughout the month of January.  We are very blessed to have so many children taking this important step in the faith journey, so let us thank God for this gift to our parish community and offer what support we can to both the children and their families.  We already have a number of applications for both First Communion and for Confirmation this year, but there should be quite a few more, so I strongly encourage those parents who have children/young people who are due to receive these Sacraments to complete an application form and return it to the Parish Office as soon as they can.

The Mass schedule has returned to normal, but please note that the Mass on Thursdays is now at 6.00pm rather than 6.30pm.

Thanks to Monika Manser for her weekly leaflet to help with contemplative imaginative prayer on this Sunday’s Gospel.

Finally, as we have entered into another lockdown period, the weekly Zoom “Coffee Morning” on Thursdays at 11.00am will recommence to provide an opportunity for parishioners to maintain contact and enjoy conversation with other members of the community.  The access details are available from the parish office.

I hope you are all keeping safe during this worrying time due to the rapid spread of the new strain of Covid, and that those of you who are especially vulnerable have received, or are soon to receive, the vaccine.  Let us not lose hope that, God willing, we will be able to celebrate Easter this year together again as a parish community.

I remember you all daily in my prayers

With every blessing

Canon Kristian

Lockdown Restrictions

During this third lockdown Mass can continue, but great care must be taken to observe the social distancing rules, to wear face coverings (unless you are exempt) and to sanitise hands frequently whilst in church.  Moreover, as it is not permitted to mix with people from outside your household or support bubble – even outdoors – in Tier 3 areas, please refrain from engaging others in extended conversation and maintain an appropriate distance from others at all times, both inside the church and outside in the carpark.

If you would like to come to Mass at the weekends, please contact the Parish Office, either by telephone on weekdays between 10.30-11.30am, or by email, so that we can ensure that there is a space for you.

As there are always spaces available, it is no longer necessary to book a place for at a weekday Mass.  However, on arrival at church, please remember to fill in a track and trace slip or to give your details to one of the stewards.

Both St James and St Boniface have their own QR code for use with the NHS App and these are posted at the entrance and exit of each church.

Pastoral Message from Bishop Mark

Bishop Mark has issued a new Pastoral Message to the Diocese (download it here), which he wrote on the Eve of the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord within the context of the imposition of the latest lockdown restrictions.  Whilst expressing gratitude that we will continue to be able to celebrate Mass publicly, which is a fundamental source of strength and spiritual energy for our continued service of others, the Bishop acknowledges how we will all have to “dig deep” within ourselves and in our faith over these next few months.  He invites us, in the words of St John of the Cross, to:

Enter within yourself and work there in the presence of your Lord who is always there loving you” and to look to the One who brings light to our eyes and strength to our weary limbs.

First Holy Communion Masses in January

At the 11.30am Mass at St Boniface on each Sunday throughout January, a number of our children will be receiving their First Holy Communion.  This will mean that space for parishioners to attend that Mass will be even more limited than usual, so do please make sure you check with the Parish Office that there is space available for you as, unfortunately, there is no “overflow” seating at St Boniface.

The children preparing for First Communion at St James will be celebrating their First Communion during two Masses which will take place at 3.00pm on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January.

Please keep our First Communion Children in your prayers

Sacramental Preparation 2021 – First Communion and Confirmation

Parents of children (aged 7 and over) due to make their First Holy Communion are asked to fill out an Application Form and return it to the Parish Office as soon as possible. If you are 12 or older – or have a young person of this age – and would like to be confirmed by the Bishop in July 2021, please complete the Application Form and return it to the Parish Office ASAP!

“Welcome the Stranger” Online Event

Caritas Plymouth and Caritas Clifton invite you to join Bishop Mark and Bishop Declan Lang for an evening of prayer, reflection and discussion on the issues facing refugees, migrants and those affected by modern slavery in the South West on 8 February, 5.00-6.30pm.  Guest speakers include Nick Hanrahan from the Jesuit Refugee Service and Caroline Virgo from the Clewer Initiative.  The event will take place via Zoom and you can register by following this link or emailing

Youth “Dance Workshop” on the Wedding at Cana

On Monday evenings,18 January – 8 February, 7.30-8.45pm on Zoom, young people are invited to join Saskia Hogbin, the Diocesan Youth Events Organiser, to reflect on the story of the Wedding at Cana and discover themes there – such as commitment, unconditional love and its consequences – to strengthen and think more about their faith and through which to create movement.  Learn how to tell a story with your body, embody themes and have a great team-building experience. Contact Saskia on to book your place.

200 Club

Canon Kristian will do the January Draw after the 6.00pm Mass this Saturday.  Many of you pay your subs for the year in January and, although the 200 Club was suspended for four months last year, you may wish to continue to pay annually now.  Please leave a cheque or money in an envelope marked “200 Club FAO Simon Coombs” on the stewards table in St James. Alternatively, a cheque can be sent to the Parish Office. Most of those parishioners who go to Mass in Cullompton have paid up until June, so your subs will be asked for later in the year via Teresa Cummings.

George Fitz-Costa RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of George Fitz-Costa who died this week, and also remember his wife, Jean, and their family in your prayers at this difficult time.

Devotion to St Joseph during the Year of St Joseph

Throughout the Year of St Joseph, Bishop Mark is asking all parishes to seek St Joseph’s intercession every Wednesday, the day normally dedicated to him, and on the 19th day of each month. In particular, on those days, he asks that the prayer to St Joseph, given in the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter be said at Mass:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.

Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil.


Holy Mass and Events this week 

Saturday 9 January – Christmas Weekday

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

Sunday 10 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am George Fitz-Costa RIP
  • Holy Mass at 11.30am (St Boniface)

First Week in Ordinary Time (I)


Tuesday 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx, Abbot

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am Brian Downs RIP

Wednesday 13 January – Weekday

  • Holy Mass at 12noon (St Boniface)

Thursday 14 January – Weekday

  • Coffee Morning on Zoom at 11.00am
  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm

Friday 15 January – Weekday

  • Holy Mass at 12noon Michael Hancock RIP (anniv)

Saturday 16 January – Weekday

  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)