Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Sunday 1st August 2021
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
With the arrival of this weekend we enter swiftly into August. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us and you will be able to find space for some relaxation and recreation during this month. It is also the time when we in the South West welcome an influx of visitors from other parts of the country, wishing to experience something of the breath-taking beauty of our countryside and the enjoyment of our coastal areas. With the limitations on travel abroad this year, we are likely to see an increased number of such visitors, including to our churches. Despite the natural hesitancy which we might be feeling due to the continuing presence of Covid-19 circulating within the population, I am sure we will offer a warm welcome and show hospitality to those who come the towns and villages within our parish and who come to worship with us in church. Hospitality is understood as a religious obligation in all the main world religions, including Christianity with its roots in Judaism. Recall the frequent refrain in the Hebrew Scriptures about “welcoming the stranger, the orphan and the widow” (eg Deuteronomy 10:19, Leviticus 19:34), or the Lord’s teaching that “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”(Matthew 25:35) and St Paul’s exhortation to the early Christian community to “make hospitality your special care” (Romans 12:13). Our openness to others, our ability to have outstretched arms ready to welcome and to embrace, is a sign of the health of a Christian community and should be a distinctive mark of every parish. I know this is a reality in our own parish community, but there is always room for improvement, so let’s make our ministry of welcome a central focus of the months ahead.
In our Sunday Liturgy we have launched into the reading of the great Eucharistic discourse in chapter 6 of St John’s Gospel, where we hear Jesus proclaim: “I am the Bread of Life”. This not only gives us the opportunity over the next few weeks to reflect on what we truly hunger for at the deepest level of our being and on the ways in which we our spiritual life and our life of faith-in-action are nourished at the Table of God’s Word and at the Table of the Eucharist, but we are reminded too of the millions of our brothers and sisters around the world who continue to starve due to famine and man-made disasters such as war and ecological damage. It is our Christian duty to do what we can to support those charities and agencies, such as CAFOD and Aid to the Church in Need, who work directly with international partners “on the ground” to provide basic essentials to support life to families and individuals regardless of ethnicity or creed. We are also truly blessed within our parish to have CHAT ( https://chatmid.org/), the Churches Housing Action Team. Amongst a number of impressive and much-used services it offers to those who are homeless, who are in debt or who are simply in need of food and other basic necessities, at its AGM which we hosted in St James last week, we were told of the enormous impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on families and individuals with an alarmingly steep rise in the reality of food poverty in Mid-Devon. In the Newsletter, I have shared with you some of the incredible figures regarding the work of the Foodbank in Tiverton over the last 12 months – which included giving out approximately 11,648 cans of beans and 2,104 kgs of pasta! Not only has the Foodbank at CHAT helped those in need in Tiverton and the surrounding areas, but it has also provided assistance to and worked alongside the Foodbanks in Cullompton and Crediton. With the ending of the Government furlough scheme and the continuing impact of the pandemic, recourse to Foodbanks is set to continue to rise, therefore our support will be vital. As you know, there are boxes in the checkout areas of the major supermarkets in our area for donations for the Foodbank and we have our own “red box” in the entrance to the St James for this purpose. During the lockdowns, our contributions via the red box obviously declined to almost nothing. Hopefully our donations will soon return to the pre-lockdown levels and our generosity be even greater.
The Holy Father’s prayer intention for August is for the Church. We are asked to join him in praying that the Church may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel. Reform of the Church to enable her to evangelise and spread the message of the Gospel in this modern era of great transition is vital. Change is never easy for any of us, but it is a necessary part of human, spiritual and Church life. So let us join with Pope Francis and ask for the guidance and gift of the Holy Spirit in this great work. You can watch a video of the Pope introducing his intention each month at https://thepopevideo.org/ . This month’s intention can be seen embedded below:
Monika Manser’s weekly guide to imaginative contemplation on this Sunday’s Gospel is attached to the Newsletter. Please note that there will not be an online Parish Get-Together this week because we have the Tea Party this Sunday and the Book/Lunch Club is restarting again on Thursday.
Finally, in Catholic tradition, August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us invoke her powerful intercession throughout this month for the needs of our parish family, especially those who are sick and those who have died recently, for the pressing needs of our world and for ourselves, that we might have a heart like hers, open to the transforming grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit and ready to treasure and ponder the things of God.
Let us pray for each other.
With every blessing
Important Changes to Mass Attendance at Church
Over the coming weeks, we will be introducing changes to our existing arrangements, and the situation will be kept under review.
- There is no longer any need to book to attend the Saturday or Sunday Mass Please be respectful of other’s space. “Please leave a space” cards are available at the entrance to church to be placed on a bench next to you if you would prefer that people not sit too close to you.
- As there is still a restricted number of spaces at St Boniface due to the size of the church and the limited ventilation, the booking system for the 11.30am Mass will continue for the time being.
- Sanitiser dispensers will remain at strategic places within our churches. It is strongly recommended that good hand hygiene to maintained and hands sanitised often.
- Continue to use the NHS Track and Trace QR codes. Stewards will still take your names to ensure we have a record in the event of the need to self-isolate, which remains a legal requirement. Additional contact details of those on our parish database will no longer be required. If you have not filled in a census form, or your details have since changed, census forms are available at the entrance to church.
- The “one way” system is no longer in place. However, we are now more conscious of others when we enter and leave the church and please follow the guidance of the stewards at the time for Holy Communion.
- The wearing of face coverings is no longer a legal requirement, but those who can are asked to continue to wear them whilst in church.
- Singing will be re-introduced gradually. However, the congregation is asked not to remove face coverings when singing.
- There will be the opportunity to place offertory money into a basket during Mass, but the preferred way of giving your regular donation is either by setting up a Standing Order or by giving using our contactless facility.
- Holy Communion will to be administered solely under one kind and, although it is permissible for people to receive Communion directly onto the tongue should they so wish, Communion on the hand is the recommended way of receiving Holy Communion as it presents less risk of cross infection.
Parish Afternoon Tea Party
This Sunday we will be holding an Afternoon Tea Party at 3.00pm to celebrate a time of togetherness as a parish community. If the weather is inclement, we will hold it inside, ensuring people are appropriately spaced.
The August draw will be made by Canon Kristian after the 6.00pm Mass this Saturday. New members are always welcome. If you wish to join this fund raiser for the parish, please speak to either Simon Coombs or Sheelagh Bourdon at St James or Teresa Cummings at St Boniface.
Donations to CHAT
The red box at the entrance to St James is once again available for your donations to the Foodbank. The last 12 months have seen an incredible 346% increase in people needing the Foodbank, 47% with children. 881 households were helped, 2582 food parcels were given out, 276 monthly food packs, 1107 7-day crisis packs and 1199 school holiday helps. So our donations are more important than ever. In addition, at this time, CHAT is looking for donations of 2-person tents and clean saucepans. These can either be delivered directly to CHAT or left in the entrance hall at church.
Diocesan Safeguarding Caseworker – Victim /Survivor Support and Communications
There is a vacancy for a part time Safeguarding Caseworker – Victim/Survivor Support and Communications – to work within the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. The role is to provide and develop services to victims and survivors of abuse, regardless of where such abuse occurred, as well as to promote safeguarding across the Diocese and to the wider community.
The role is for 21 hours a week, based at St Boniface House, Ashburton, and the salary is £19,800 per annum plus mobile phone allowances and pension scheme (subject to eligibility). Please ring 01364 645383 for a copy of the job description/person specification and an application form or email email@example.com. The closing date for applications is Monday 16 August 2021 and interviews will be held in early September 2021 at St Boniface House.
For an informal discussion regarding the role, please contact our Safeguarding Caseworker, Ms Annette Moody-Burkinshaw, on 01364 645432 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can be found on the noticeboard.
Diocesan Environment Policy Online Workshop
Everyone is warmly invited to join an online event on 14 September, 5.00-6.00pm, organised by Caritas Plymouth, to enable people to learn more about our Diocesan Environment Policy and the plans for next steps. The Diocese is keen to hear views from parishes and individuals. The Season of Creation runs from 1 September to the Feast of St Francis on 4 October. During this season we are encouraged to pray and to engage in events to deepen our relationship with God, our neighbour and the earth we share, being ever more attentive to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. You can register for the event here and you will receive an email with Zoom details nearer the time.
Holiday Activities for the Family
Looking for great ideas for holiday activities for all the family? The Celebrate Trust, a Catholic ministry that runs events, hosts activities and produces resources to support families and groups, has produced its latest free resource for summer. Take a look at www.celebratetrust.org/celebrateathome.
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 31 July – St Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass) Joseph Gorlo RIP (anniv)
Sunday 1 August – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
- Parish Afternoon Tea Party at 3.00pm
Tuesday 3 August – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Holy Souls in Purgatory
- SVP Meeting in the Hall at 7.45pm
Wednesday 4 August – St John Mary Vianney, Priest
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
Thursday 5 August – Weekday
- Book and Lunch Club at Fisherman’s Cot, Bickleigh, at 12.30pm
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 6 August – The Transfiguration of the Lord
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 7 August – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 8 August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Pro Populo