1st Sunday of Advent  (Year B)

3rd December, 2023 

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

Message from Canon Kristian

Dear Sisters and Brothers
Happy New Year!
This weekend we start the Holy Season of Advent which, this year, is brief since the Fourth Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve!  Thus, in effect, we have only three weeks to reignite our anticipation and expectation of the joyous event of the Coming of Christ at the end of time, ushering in the fullness of the Kingdom of God, and to prepare for the celebration of the Incarnation of God in Jesus the Christ during the Christmas Season.  To assist with this awakening and preparation, you will be offered some booklets and prayer cards at Mass this weekend and there will be a weekly session of adult faith formation on the Wednesday evenings of Advent in the hall at St James.  In addition, there is an Advent Taize Service at 3.00pm this Sunday at St James which will be a lovely, gentle and meditative way to enter into the spiritual environment of the Advent Season.  I hope to see many of you there.
The First Sunday of Advent is a day of prayer for migrants and refugees.  We are all aware of the terrible plight of refugees throughout the world, including those who lose their lives trying the cross the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel.  In addition, there is the continuing tragedy of those who are displaced due to the destruction of their homes, especially the people in Gaza.  The Holy Father continues to issue a call for peace and has asked that the recent truce in Gaza be extended, highlighting the “war is always a defeat” (Pope: May the truce in Gaza continue – Vatican News).
This Sunday is also the International Day of Disabled Persons.  Although this is a United Nations Day,  it is also an opportunity for us to look at how we value people with disabilities in our church communities.  The Bishops of England and Wales are encouraging us to listen to a special Catholic News podcast in which Cristina Gangemi, a highly experienced disability advisor who has long worked to make the Church a more inclusive, valuing and understanding place, talks about the day but also discusses the wider issues  – Valuability – a better way of looking at people with disabilities – Catholic Bishops’ Conference (  Quite appropriately, given the focus of this day, our local charity “Mid-Devon Mobility” has recently be given three national awards, which is an amazing achievement.  More information about this is attached to this Newsletter.
You have probably heard that, due to ill-health, Pope Francis has not been able to attend the meeting of COP28 in Dubai.  However, the Holy Father’s concern for the care of the environment and its intrinsic link to matters of faith has been a central pillar of his teaching throughout his time as Pope.  Bishop John Arnold, the lead bishop for environmental issues in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has issued a statement on COP28 and encouraged us to engage actively in the debate using the resources produced by CAFOD – Environment Bishop: “There is no option but for COP28 to succeed” – Catholic Bishops’ Conference ( .  The Laudato Si’ Group is one way in our parish in which we can respond to the call of Pope Francis to care for our Common Home.  It meets today at 4.30pm in the hall in St James and on every first Saturday of the month at the same time.  You might consider going along and joining in the work of the Group.

Along with the Newsletter this weekend, I attach:

  • the weekly contribution for Monika Manser to help with a prayerful reading of the Sunday Gospel
  • Number 91 of Inspire, offered by Deacon Peter
  • the invite to the Parish Children’s Christmas Party next Sunday, 10 December, 3.00-5.00pm
  • News about Mid Devon Mobility.

May we call have a fruitful and blessed Advent journey!

Maranatha – Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Be assured of my prayers for you all

Canon Kristian

Canon Kristian Paver

Parish Priest

Parish of St James & St Boniface

40 Old Road
Tiverton EX16 4HJ

The Holy Season of Advent
This Sunday marks the beginning of the holy Season of Advent. Advent has a twofold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas, when Christ’s coming to us in the Incarnation, the birth of Jesus, is remembered, and as a season when our minds and hearts are focussed on awaiting the final Coming of Christ at the end of time. To help us to use this short season well as a time of spiritual preparation, please take with you today a copy of “Walk with Me” and “Day by Day”, which contain the daily readings from the Scriptures and a short daily reflection. If you can, please try to find a time each day of Advent to read and pray with these texts. There is also a CAFOD Advent Candle Prayer Card for everyone. Booklets and calendars are available to help our children observe this season too.

Advent Taizé Service
An Advent Taizé Service takes place this Sunday afternoon at 3.00pm at St James. Make this a special way to enter into the Season of Advent.

Advent Retreat Day
An Advent Retreat Day – “Prepare a Way for the Lord: Faith and Works” – will be held at St Rita’s Centre, Honiton next Saturday, 9 December, led by Deacon Nick Johnson. The day begins at 9.30am and concludes with Mass at 3.15pm. The cost, including lunch, is £25.00. Booking can be made by phone, email or online ( Payment can be made on the day.

Advent Faith Formation
Canon Kristian will be leading a weekly session of adult faith formation based on the Advent Sunday readings over the next three weeks on the Wednesdays of Advent – 6, 13 and 20 December, starting at 7.00pm in the Hall. All are welcome to come along and take part.

Parish Children’s Christmas Party
The Parish Children’s Christmas Party will be held next Sunday, 10 December, 3.00-5.00pm in the Parish Hall. The invite is attached to the Newsletter. It is important either to contact Margaret on the number provided or to put names on the list at the entrance to church, giving names, ages and any allergies. Please remember that, for children aged 11 and under, parents must remain on the premises throughout.

Christmas Lunch at St Boniface
After the 11.30am Mass next Sunday, 10 December, there will be a Christmas Lunch in the Hall at St Boniface. There is a list for names at the entrance to St Boniface. Please bring along some food to share.

Diocesan Reflection for the First Week of Advent
Click here for the first of four diocesan Advent reflections based on the theme of hope.

Pilgrims of Hope – Towards the Jubilee Year 2025
2025 will be a Year of Jubilee for the whole Church. The theme of the Jubilee is “Pilgrims of Hope” and it will be an occasion of joy and mercy, grace and celebration. We will be preparing for the Jubilee throughout the coming year as a diocese, a deanery and as a parish. Pope Francis has asked that our preparation should have two particular points of focus: the Our Father – as the focus for our prayer – and the teaching of the four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council (on the Sacred Liturgy, Divine Revelation, the Church and the Church in the Modern World) as the basis for our catechesis and formation. A short trailer in preparation for the Jubilee has been produced – EPxDc1VbW4MOqzljm) – and there is also an App, available on all devices – Iubilaeum25 – which contains the latest news about the preparation for the Jubilee, the hymn specially written for the Jubilee and a calendar of events that will be taking place in Rome.

St John’s School Carol Service

The Carol Service led by our children from St John’s School will be held in St Paul’s Church, Tiverton, on Thursday 14 December at 6.00pm. This is always a beautiful and uplifting occasion, so please do come along and both show your support for our children and celebrate the coming of Christ.

Switch On Support
This year’s parish winter project for CHAT – Switch On Support – is to purchase kettles, toasters and slow cookers to give to people moving into
temporary or new accommodation, who are setting up home with a minimum of cooking appliances. Though these appliances are ordinary, they are vital in the process of creating a home. Items can be left at the entrance to church.

Catholic Children’s Society Christmas Cards
Packs of Christmas Cards with designs drawn by pupils in our Diocesan Primary Schools are available for sale at church, £3 a pack. Funds raised go to support families of all faiths and none in these very challenging times.

Parish Christmas Draw
Tickets for the Christmas Draw are on sale at the entrance to church, £1 each.

200 Club
Canon Kristian will make the draw for December after the 6.00pm Mass this Saturday. If you are not a member of this fund-raising initiative, please
consider joining. Please speak to Simon Coombs or Sheelagh Bourdon at St James or Teresa Cummings at St Boniface.

Masses and Events this week

Sunday 3rd December– 1st Sunday of Advent

  • Saturday 2 December – St Osmund of Salisbury, Bishop
    • Finance and Property Committee at 9.30am in the Hall
    • Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm Pro Populo
  • Sunday 3 December – First Sunday of Advent (B)
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
    • Advent Taizé Service at 3.00pm
  • Monday 4th December
    • Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall
  • Tuesday 5 December – Advent Weekday
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am
  • Wednesday 6 December – Advent Weekday

• Holy Mass at 12noon

• Advent Faith Formation at 7.00pm in the Hall

Thursday 7 December – St Ambrose, Bishop
• “Book”/Lunch Club at 12.30pm at The Bluebell Restaurant, Willand
• Holy Mass at 6.00pm

Friday 8 December – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
• Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions at 11.30am
• Holy Mass at 12.00noon

Saturday 9 December – Advent Weekday
• Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm Pro Populo

Sunday 10 December – Second Sunday of Advent (B)
• Holy Mass at 10.00am followed by a French Breakfast
• Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
• Christmas Lunch at 12.30am (St Boniface)
• Children’s Christmas Party 3.00-5.00p