First Sunday of Lent (Year A)

Sunday 26th February 2023

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Message from Canon Kristian

Dear sisters and brothers

It was great to see so many of you on Ash Wednesday for the imposition of the ashes to mark the beginning of the Season of Lent.  May our Lenten practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving bear much fruit both for ourselves as individuals and, more importantly, for those who are in need, whether in our parish community, in our local communities or in the wider world.  This coming Friday is the CAFOD Lent Fast Day which is always a reminder for us that there are millions of people in the world who lack the very basic necessities of life and that, even in the midst of the present cost of living crisis, it costs most of us very little to give something from our relative abundance.  Donating the equivalent price of just one meal on that day to support the work of CAFOD and its partners on the ground can make the difference between life and death to the very poorest of our world.  As we hear this Sunday, responding to the first of the temptations, Jesus reminds us that we “do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  Speaking that word through the Prophet Isaiah, we are left in no doubt that true fasting – the fast that is pleasing to God – is: “…to break unjust fetters and undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke, to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man who you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin” (Isaiah 58:6-7).  As we fast from food this coming Friday, let us bear in mind the reason why we are doing so – to enable others to carry out the very actions proclaimed by Isaiah on our behalf, actions which constitute our true fasting in the eyes of God.

You will recall that we have the joy of initiating Levi Roach into the Church at the Easter Vigil this year.  This Sunday at 3pm in the Cathedral in Plymouth, he will be joining the other catechumens from across the Diocese to undergo the Rite of Election, during which the names of those who are to be baptised at Easter are written in the Book of the Elect.  This is an important ceremony that emphasises both the commitment of the catechumen in his or her final weeks of preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation as well as the fact that, as Catholic Christians, our belonging to the Universal Church is primarily through the Diocese (or the Particular Church as it is technically called) rather than through the parish.  Therefore, during the Rite of Election, the Bishop or his equivalent formally chooses or “elects” the catechumens for baptism at Easter.  The ceremony is open to everyone to come and take part so, if you would like to show your support to Levi, it would be great to see some of the parish community there.

The latest Diocesan Youth Events E-Newsletter can be found at:  This Newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with diocesan youth events.  I am delighted to say that we have a great group of our teenagers and young adults going to Flame, the national Catholic youth event which will take place in the Wembley Arena at the beginning of March.  The diocese still has a few places left so, if there are any other teenagers or young adults aged between 14 and 21 who would like to join the group, please let me or Siobhan Gilroy know as soon as possible.  As a parish we should be so thankful for, and proud of, the many children, teenagers and young adults we have in our parish community.

Our Confirmation Catechists will be meeting this week to plan the preparation programme for those wishing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this year.  If you have a young person who will be 14 or over this year and who would like to be confirmed, now is the last chance to get in touch with one of the clergy or the parish office so that their name can be added to the group that have already come forward.

On a more sombre note, one of our parishioners fell prey to a scam this week and lost over a £1000.  This parishioner has always been careful when they have received unsolicited or suspicious text messages, phone calls or emails purporting to be from the groups like the Post Office, a parcel delivery service or Amazon,  and it just shows how easy it is to make a costly mistake even if we are normally on our guard.  So, on their behalf, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to be extremely cautious and on the alert if you receive any unsolicited or suspicious communications.  Remember that banks and similar bodies will never ask for your pin or password, and that it is important to verify where the communication actually comes from by asking for their details and calling them back or by checking the email address of the sender. Here are two helpful websites that give more information about scammers and what to do if you have been scammed: Fraud, tricks and scams: guidance – GOV.UK ( and What to do if you’ve been scammed – Citizens Advice.

Along with this Newsletter this weekend, I attach:

  • the weekly guide to prayerful contemplation on the Sunday Gospel, offered by Monika Manser
  • Number 61 of Inspire from Deacon Peter
  • the latest Newsletter from The Lighthouse Christian Books and Café in Tiverton
  • a flyer about the Wildlife Warden Scheme mentioned in the Newsletter

Please remember in your prayers Joan Jee and Patricia Hudson who have died recently and their families, together with the sick and needy of our parish community.

May we all be blessed by a fruitful Lent!

Canon Kristian

Canon Kristian Paver

Parish Priest

Parish of St James & St Boniface

40 Old Road

Tiverton EX16 4HJ

Tel: 01884 252292

Pope’s Prayer Intention for March

Pope Francis asks us to during the month of March pray for victims of abuse. Together with him, we pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church. May they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering. Visit to watch a video of the Holy Father presenting this month’s intention.

CAFOD Lent Fast Day – Growing In Strength Rooted In Love

This Lent your donations to CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day Appeal this Friday, 3 March, will help families fighting the climate crisis and ensure that our Church network can quickly respond to emergencies like the recent earthquake in Syria and Turkey. You can give using the Fast Day envelope, contactlessly or at Please pray for CAFOD’s development and emergency response work all over the world. You can watch the Lent Appeal video at

Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Confession

During Lent, after Mass on Thursdays at St James, from 6.30-7.30pm, there will be a time of silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well as another opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession in addition to 11.30am-12noon on Fridays.

Diocesan Vacancy

The Diocese is looking to recruit an Administrator for the Diocesan Chancery and Tribunal, reporting to the Chancellor/Judicial Vicar. The administrator is responsible for the effective running of the office and the oversight of the processing of cases and Chancery matters. The role forms part of a small team, so flexibility with regards to duties and hours is essential. This is a permanent, part-time position of 14 hours per week, based at St Boniface House, Ashburton, with some homeworking. For more information, please visit To apply, please send your application form with a covering letter to The closing date is 6 March 2023.

CHAT Foodbank Donations Needed!

The CHAT Foodbank urgently needs donations, especially tins of meat, tins of fruit, tins of vegetables, and all cleaning products. The Foodbank is struggling to meet the increasing demand. On two days this week, food with given to 100 people – nearly 40 families!

Lent Retreat Day at St Rita’s, Honiton

On Saturday 18 March, starting at 9.30am, Father José Romero OAR will lead a day on the theme: “Holy Shroud of Jesus – Icon, Relic, Witness”. The cost, including lunch (3 course meal), is £25.00. Booking can be made by phone, email or online ( Payment can be made on the day. If you have any questions, please contact Krista Radzina on 01404 42635. Further details are on the noticeboard.

Lives to Inspire Online Lenten Retreat – Postponed

Very sadly the online Lenten Retreat cannot go ahead as planned as Barbara is unwell. The ISC booklets have safely arrived and look lovely, so we hope we can run the Lives To Inspire retreat as an in-person group later in the year.

Book”/Lunch Group

On Thursday 2 March, the “Book”/Lunch Group will meet for lunch at Weatherspoon’s in Tiverton. If you are planning to go along, please be there by 12.30pm.

Great Big Diocesan Quiz

Our parish will be taking part in the Great Big Diocesan Quiz on Friday 28 April at 7.30pm. You are invited to form teams of four people to take part in the Quiz which we will hold in the hall at St James. Please give your team a name and let Rosie know the details of your team at the Parish Office via email. The winning team will receive a lovely little trophy as a keepsake and this event really does help raise much needed funds for the Catholic Children’s Society.

Creation Care Support

If you are looking for opportunities to get involved in, or even lead, creation care projects in your local area, or if you are looking for opportunities to connect with your community, friends and neighbours, then do get in touch with Jess Carter at the Mid Devon Wildlife Warden Scheme ( The Wildlife Warden Scheme is a support scheme for volunteer groups, and offers training, networking, talks and information for local people wanting to protect wildlife, work on local environmental projects and generally boost the natural world in the local places and spaces that they live in. 

Bishop’s Palace: The Secret Garden

The garden of the Bishop’s Palace is one of the best kept secrets of Exeter. It covers three acres and is one of the most ancient in Devon. Bounded by the old Roman bank and city wall to the east and by the Cathedral to the west, it is a haven peace in the middle of the city. Rarely open to the public, it will be open this year on Sunday 5 March, Sunday 12 March and Sunday 2 April, 2.00-4.00pm, in aid of Devon Historic Churches Trust. Entry: £4 per person, free for children.

Masses and Events this week

Sunday 26th February – First Sunday in Lent A

  • Saturday 25 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday

    • Vigil Mass at 6.00pm Pro Populo

    Sunday 26 February – First Sunday of Lent (A)

    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Theresa Musial RIP
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Virginia Arendt RIP
    • Rite of Election at 3.00pm in the Cathedral
    • Stations of the Cross at 4.00pm
    • Taizé Reflective Evening at 5.00pm in St Peter’s CofE Church, Tiverton

    Monday 27 February – Lenten Weekday

    • Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall

    Tuesday 28 February – Lenten Weekday

    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Ronald and Margaret Bolton RIP (anniv)
    • Monthly Lunch, 12noon-2.00pm, in the Hall
    • Confirmation Catechists Meeting at 7.30pm in the Hall

    Wednesday 1 March – St David, Bishop, Patron of Wales

    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Joe and Maureen Xavier (60th Wedding Anniversary)
    • Requiem Mass for Joan Jee RIP at 12noon (at St Boniface)

    Thursday 2 March – Lenten Weekday

    • Book”/Lunch Group at 12.30pm at Wetherspoon’s, Tiverton
    • Holy Mass at 6.00pm
    • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions 6.30-7.30pm

    Friday 3 March – Lenten Weekday – CAFOD Lent Fast Day

    • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions at 11.30am
    • Holy Mass at 12noon Albert Orrock RIP

    Saturday 4 March – Lenten Weekday

    • Vigil Mass at 6.00pm Pro Populo

    Sunday 5 March – Second Sunday of Lent (A)

    • Holy Mass at 10.00am followed by Scottish Breakfast
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
    • Stations of the Cross at 4.00pm