Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday 5 December 2021

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Message from Canon Kristian

Dear sisters and brothers

I am delighted that so many of you took the time to participate in one of the parish gatherings to begin the journey of “walking together” in a spirit of openness and inclusivity, focussed on the theme of listening.  This week the theme is “mission” and centres around what you, I and every member of the Church is “sent” by the Spirit to be and to do both within the Church community and in the wider community.  The prayers and questions for this week’s theme are attached.  If you haven’t yet joined in one of our parish gatherings, I strongly encourage you to do so, if you can.  It is important that as many voices are heard as possible.  Some of you will, of course, prefer to undertake these reflections individually and that is perfectly fine.  The details of the times and ways to participate in the Newsletter.  The zoom details for the online meeting on Wednesday are available from the parish office.

I also attach the latest Newsletter from St John’s School.  Covid permitting, the St John’s Carol Service will take place on Monday 13th December at 6.00pm at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Tiverton.  This Service is always both joyous and very moving, and so I encourage parishioners to go along to support our children if you can.  The School Governors met this week and Jane Trott took over from Simon Coombs as the Chair of Governors.  Simon is stepping down from the Governing Body after more than 25 years of involvement with the school both as a parent and as a Governor! His wholehearted dedication, service and love of St John’s has been simply outstanding and we as a parish community owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. Thank you, Simon, and may you enjoy the free time that you so clearly deserve!

This Sunday also carries the name “Bible Sunday” and encourages us to reflect on our openness to the Word of God.  Along with the Advent “Day by Day” booklets, Deacon Peter’s 6th instalment of “Inspire” gives us much food for reflection and prayer on this important aspect of our Christian life.

I hope you are all having a blessed Advent.

Keeping each other in prayer.

God bless

Canon Kristian

Walking Together – Our Synodal Journey Begins – “Mission”

As Gerard Hughes said, listening ”is perhaps the most healing gift anyone can possess”. It’s a gift which many of us in the parish focussed on practising last week as we started our Synodal Journey. People in parishes around the world all just took a moment to stop and really listen to each other. In our parish, we shared our thoughts and grew some bonds, as we learned more about each other and ourselves.

This week, Catholics around the world will start to listen to each other as we ponder our Mission. What is our own Mission? What about that of the parish and the Church? For me (Facilitator Jane), I’m happy to say I’m really not sure, so this will be a week where I’ll be very interested to listen to others in order to inform my own thinking.

We’d love for people to 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, you can send us your thoughts via the parish website:

“Day by Day”

For those who did not get them last weekend, there are still copies of the Advent “Day by Day” booklets available which contain the scripture readings for the days of Advent and a thought for each day.  There are also some booklets especially designed for Infants and Juniors.  All these booklets are offered FREE of charge, so please do take copies to help with your spiritual preparation for Christmas during the Advent Season.

“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.

Video Advent Calendar

Let’s forget Winterval and those seasonal festivals that seem to erase Christ from Christmas. It’s time to get back to the real reason for the season – something more eternal, awe-inspiring and uplifting than the office parties and men with white beards and red suits. What can be more incredible and miraculous that Christ’s coming at Christmas – the Word made flesh – fully human and fully divine? Our National Office for Vocation (NOV) is offering a video Advent Calendar this year focussed on keeping Christ at the heart of our Christmas journey. Just click on the day to see the video for each day.

Advent Retreat Day

An Advent Retreat Day, “Waiting for a Child”, will be led by Fr Jose Romero OAR at St Rita’s, Honiton, next Saturday 11 December.  The day will begin with coffee/tea at 9.30am, followed by two talks and silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the morning.  There will be Mass at 2.45pm and an opportunity for confession.  Cost, including lunch, is £25.  Bookings can be at or on (01404) 42635. Payment can be made on the day.

YMCA Christmas in Cullompton and Halberton

The chaplain of Cullompton and Halberton YMCA is appealing for donations of a Christmas gift of around £5 in value for either a male or a female (no alcohol).  Please do not wrap the present but attach a card saying that you are from the parish of St James and St Boniface.  Christmas tea items, such as Christmas cake, Yule log, stollen, panetone, chocolate treats and mince pies (including gluten free items) are also be very welcome, along with single packets of biscuits which the chaplain can use at the weekly drop-ins.  Donations can be left in church or dropped off at St Andrew’s Church Office in Cullompton before 20 December.

St John’s School Wish List

If you would like to give a gift to our parish school this year, they would be very grateful for some new books.  The staff have been busy designing a reading spine so that they can read exciting and engaging books to our children.  An Amazon Wish List has been created containing all the books that they would like:  Your kindness and generosity will be greatly appreciated by all at our school.

200 Club

Congratulations to Dorothy Yates who won the £30 prize and to Ewelina Zychlinska who won the £20 prize in the December draw. Parishioners can join the 200 Club for as little as £1 a month. Please consider doing so if you are not a member, and speak to either Simon Coombs or Sheelagh Bourdon at St James or Teresa Cummings at St Boniface.

Christmas Draw and Canon Kristian’s Christmas Cake Draw

Tickets for Canon Kristian’s Christmas Cake are now on sale and the draw will take place next Sunday, 12 December.  There will be a main Christmas draw too, which will take place on Sunday 19 December.

Parish Services and Events This Week 

Saturday 4 December – St John Damascene, Priest and Doctor

  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)

Sunday 5 December – Second Sunday of Advent (C)

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

Monday 6 December – St Nicholas, Bishop

  • Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall

Tuesday 7 December – St Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am Geoffrey Xavier RIP
  • Synodal Listening at 10.30am

Wednesday 8 December – Immaculate Conception of the Blessed 

Virgin Mary

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

Thursday 9 December – Advent Weekday

  • Funeral of Richard Biber RIP at 12.20pm at North Devon Crematorium
  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm

Friday 10 December – Advent Weekday

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

Saturday 11 December – Advent Weekday

  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)

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

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