Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)

Sunday 24th December, 2023

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Message from Canon Kristian

Dear Sisters and Brothers
This weekend we come to the end of the shortest Advent possible where the Fourth Sunday of Advent, in the evening, becomes the Vigil of the Nativity of Christ/Christmas Eve.  However keen we might be to celebrate the Nativity of Christ though, it is important that we give due value and importance to the Fourth Sunday of Advent, which puts before us the unique role played by Mary, the Mother of Jesus the Christ, in the history of our salvation.  Her openness and courage in consenting freely to God’s will for her not only threw open wide the doors of God’s saving grace in the Incarnation, but she also serves as a model for our own relationship with God and the openness and courageousness of our own response to God’s invitation to be a servant of love and compassion. So, the honour we pay to Mary’s “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word” provides the fitting context in which to celebrate the birth of Immanuel, God-with-us!
This weekend’s Newsletter is replete with messages and reflections  particularly from our Bishop-elect Christopher, who sends us all a moving reflection on the Crib, reminding us that “there is room for all of us” within it, and from our Diocesan Administrator, Canon Paul, whom we are blessed to have had guiding our diocese whilst awaiting our new bishop.  Do pray especially for both of them over the Christmas period.
Attached to the Newsletter there is:
  • the weekly guide to a prayerful reading of the Sunday Gospel, offered by Monika Manser
  • the latest edition of Inspire, from Deacon Peter
  • two useful documents regarding our response to the cost of living crisis and to homelessness from Caritas Diocese of Plymouth
  • the Results of the Community Transport Association National Awards (Mid Devon Mobility)
  • information about Crib Offerings
I am sure, given the historical context of the Nativity, we will be praying earnestly over these next days for peace in the Middle East and particularly for those in Gaza who have lost loved ones and for the millions who have had their homes destroyed, are starving or have been displaced.  Over 2000 years have passed, and scandalously the message of the Christmas Angels still remains to be heeded: “Peace on earth and goodwill to all“.
May the peace brought by the Christ-Child reign in your hearts, your homes and in our world.
Let us pray for each other.
God bless
Canon Kristian
Canon Kristian Paver

Parish Priest

Parish of St James & St Boniface

40 Old Road

Tiverton EX16 4HJ

More News of Bishop-elect Christopher
It was announced this week that the Ordination of Canon Christopher as the 10th Bishop of Plymouth will take place on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, 22 February 2024, at 12noon in the Cathedral in Plymouth. Please keep our Bishop-elect in your prayers over the coming weeks as he prepares to take on this challenging ministry among us. Bishop-elect Christopher has sent us all a beautiful Christmas Message, reflecting on the significance of the Christmas Crib. This Message can be found at Canon Christopher also recorded an interview for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in which he shares his joy at the news of his appointment by the Holy Father as Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Plymouth. He also gives us an insight into how he finds his peace and the ways in which he prays. He includes a special message for the priests, religious and people of the three counties of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset:

Christmas Message from Canon Paul Cummins
Canon Paul, our Diocesan Administrator, shares with us a Christmas Message ( which he recorded prior to receiving the news that Canon Christopher had been appointed as our Bishop-elect. Canon Paul will continue to lead our diocese until Canon Christopher’s episcopal ordination at the end of February 2024.

Diocesan Advent Reflection
The final Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, focussed on the theme of “love”, can be found at

Carols at St Boniface
This Sunday, after the 11.30am Mass at St Boniface (and tea, coffee and cake!), the music group will be having an informal sing-through of favourite
Christmas hymns and carols. All are welcome to stay behind and sing along.

Putting Children First – Crib Offerings
Please take some time to visit the crib in our churches over the Christmas period. There is a basket in which to leave an offering and these offerings will be donated to the Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth) as it works across the Diocese spreading God’s love and giving families hope in times of crisis.

Homelessness – How are we called to respond?
Catholic Social Teaching reminds us that housing is not a valueless system, but a core part of what it means to live a dignified human life. Cardinal
Vincent Nichols has said that ‘“the provision of secure, decent housing for all is a hallmark of a good society”. Yet, on any given night, tens of thousands of families and individuals are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness across the UK. This includes more than 200,000 households in England alone. This online event of prayer and reflection, which will take place on Wednesday 17 January 2024, 6.00-7.00pm, will include presentations from organisations working on the frontline of homelessness, including St Petrocs in Cornwall and Routes to Roots in Dorset. They will share their response to the enormous challenge of homelessness and provide suggestions about how we
can best respond. All are welcome to take part. Please register to receive the Zoom invitation at

Modern Slavery – It’s happening near you.
Modern slavery is a serious crime being committed across the UK in which victims are exploited for someone else’s gain. It can take many forms, including trafficking of people, forced labour and servitude. Victims are often hidden away, may be unable to leave their situation or may not come forward because of fear or shame. This two-hour event will hear from a range of speakers about modern slavery in our Diocese and what response we can give. There will be practical advice about what to look out for and what we can do if we have concerns. The event will take place on the Feast of St Bakhita, Patron of victims of modern slavery, on Thursday 6 February, 10.30am-12.30pm at the Church of the Assumption Parish Rooms, Abbey Road, Torquay TQ2 5NJ, and will be followed by a free light lunch. Please register here or email

Mid Devon Mobility National Awards
Mid Devon Mobility, a charitable organisation tucked away in a corner of the multistorey car park in Tiverton, has been growing for over three decades thanks to being powered by the goodwill of its great team of volunteers. It provides services way beyond Tiverton, such as having a centre in Crediton, and operates multiple services in and around Barnstaple up in North Devon. Last month it won three national awards from the Community Transport Association. Congratulations! Further information is attached to the Newsletter.

November Parish Giving
Loose: £917.41 Contactless: £290.00 Standing Orders: £2882.00

“Name the Bear”
A Harrods Millenium Teddy Bear, which has been generously donated to the parish, needs a new home! For just 50p a go, you can try to guess the bear’s name from a list of possible names. The name has been chosen by Canon Kristian and the winner of the bear will be announced on 2 February.

Masses and Events this week

Sunday 24th December, 2023 – 4th Sunday of Advent

  • Saturday 23 December – Advent Weekday (O Emmanuel)
    • Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm Pam Lydon RIP (anniv)
  • Sunday 24 December – Fourth Sunday of Advent (B)
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Popolo
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
    Sunday 24 December – Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord
    Vigil Mass of Christmas at 5.00pm
    Mass during the Night at 12.00am preceded by Carols from 11.30pm
    Monday 25 December – The Nativity of the Lord
    Holy Mass at 10.00am
    Holy Mass at 11.30am (St Boniface)
  • Tuesday 26 December – St Stephen, Protomartyr
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am
  • Wednesday 27 December – St John, Evangelist
    • No Mass
  • Thursday 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents
    • No Mass
  • Friday 29 December – St Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr
    • No Mass
  • Saturday 30 December – Seventh Day of the Christmas Octave
    • Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
  • Sunday 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Popolo
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
  • Monday 1 January 2024 – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
    • Holy Mass at 10.00a