19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Sunday 9 August 2020
Please contact the parish to receive the newsletter by email each week.
Message from Canon Kristian
I hope you are keeping well and that you will be enjoying something of the fine sunny weather this weekend. Notwithstanding the continued spread of COVID-19 in some parts of the country, parish life is slowly beginning to find a new rhythm. It is heartening to see more people coming to the Masses throughout the week and to be able to welcome Fr Wieslaw from Weston-super-Mare again to celebrate Mass in Polish. It has been a joy to have been able to celebrate a wedding and some significant wedding anniversaries recently and, I am happy to say, that there are a couple of baptisms in preparation over the next few weeks. Members of the SVP continue to take Holy Communion to a number of our housebound parishioners on a regular basis and I have been able to visit a few of them and to celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick with them over the last week. Please do let me, Rosie or one of the SVP know if you or someone you know would appreciate a visit.
From today, the wearing of face coverings becomes mandatory whenever we are gathered in church, unless you fall into one of the exempt categories (go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own for more details). This is for the good of all who gather in the church for Mass as it is an enclosed public space where there are people from differing households who they do not normally meet. Whilst in the sanctuary, priests are not required to wear face coverings, but they must do so when distributing Holy Communion. Readers and deacons may remove their face coverings at the lectern in order to proclaim the Word of God and replace them again before returning to their places. Communicants should unloop their face coverings and consume the Sacred Host and then replace the face covering before moving back to their seats in an orderly manner. I know that this will take a bit of getting used to, but it is a concrete act of love towards our neighbour and I am sure we all want to keep as many of our parish family as safe as possible.
Along with the Parish Newsletter, I attach Monika Manser’s helpful handout to help us pray imaginatively on this Sunday’s Gospel of the Calming of the Storm. In addition, there is a poster about the visit of the Sisters of St Elisabeth to our parish next weekend, giving some information about the ministry to which they dedicate their lives in Minsk, Belarus. Whether or not to intend to come to Mass next weekend, it would be really great if you could find the time to drop by the church to meet the Sisters and to purchase something from the small stall of artefacts that are made in their convent workshop. It is all too easy for us to take the health and social care we receive in our country for granted, so it is important that we show our support for those who work in places where these basic human necessities are very limited.
You will not have failed to hear of the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, earlier in the week. CAFOD has launched an Emergency Appeal to assist Caritas International and Caritas Lebanon in providing help to the many thousands who have been injured and whose homes and livelihoods have been completely destroyed. Lebanon was already struggling economically and with dealing with COVID-19, so this explosion has caused immense additional suffering. You can donate to the CAFOD Appeal online and I have attached a copy of the CAFOD prayer for people of Beirut to the Newsletter.
Last Thursday, 6 August, was the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. I attach an extract from the message of Pope Francis to the people of Japan, especially to the hibakusha, the survivors of the bombing who are still alive. The Holy Father’s prayer for peace and his unequivocal message that the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, as is the possession of nuclear weapons, deserves to be heard and reflected upon by us and by society in general.
All the attached documents are available to download as PDF from the website for ease of access.
Lastly, there will be the usual Zoom “Coffee Morning” this coming Thursday, 13 August, at 11.00am. If you are able to use the Zoom App you are very welcome to spend some time meeting and chatting with other members of our parish family online. Please contact the parish for joining details.
Remember that Rosie is in the Parish Office every weekday for a few hours (the times are in the Newsletter and contact details on the Contact Us page of the website) to receive your requests for places at Mass and to help deal with other requests, so do get in touch if you need to. She is always happy to hear from you.
This email comes with the assurance of my prayers for each and every one of you.
Parish Office Hours
The Parish Office is open on:
- Monday to Thursday from 10.00am-1.00pm
- Friday from 10.00am-2.00pm
for all routine parish administrative matters, as well as to help with any other pastoral enquiries. During these hours it is possible to visit the Office, next door to the Presbytery, or by telephone or email. Emails will normally only be answered during office hours. Contact details on the Contact Us page of the parish website.
Masses at St James
Mass is celebrated at St James on:
- Tuesday at 10.00am
- Wednesday at 12noon
- Thursday at 6.30pm
- Friday at 12noon
- Saturday at 6.00pm
- Sunday at 10.00am and 11.30am.
It is important that you let the Parish Office know that you would like to come to a particular Mass. At the moment there are sometimes spare seats at some of the Masses so you can chance turning up without booking, but there is no guarantee that there will be a seat available
Due to an increase in the spread of COVID-19 in parts of the country, the wearing of face coverings is now obligatory in places of worship from Saturday 8 August. Therefore, anyone coming to church from now on is required to wear a face covering when inside the building.
Because of the introduction of face coverings, the distancing arrangement of the seating in the church has been changed in line with the “1 metre plus” rule to allow for more people to take part in Mass.
Parish Tea Party
A Parish Tea Party will be held on Sunday 23 August, 3.00-5.00pm, in the Presbytery garden. This occasion will be an opportunity to meet and enjoy each others’ company again (whilst, of course, observing the important social distancing rules and Health & Safety guidelines) after the months of separation due to the lockdown. A cream tea will be provided, but do feel free to bring your own cakes and scones with you if you would feel safer doing that.
Those who come are asked to bring their own chairs, plates and cups with them if at all possible, although some chairs will be available for those who cannot bring their own. We are hoping for sunny weather but, if it rains, there will be gazebos for shelter, so nothing should put you off!
It will be great to see the parish family together again and there is plenty of room in the garden for us to do this safely.
CAFOD Emergency Appeal for the People of Beirut
On the evening of Tuesday 4 August, two explosions at the port of Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut sent an enormous shockwave across the city killing over 100 people and leaving more than 4,000 injured.
Rescue workers are still searching for many more missing people and parts of Beirut are now uninhabitable. Thousands of families were affected by the explosion. Many of them have slept in shattered homes or temporary accommodation, while also facing the deadly threat of the coronavirus pandemic. At least 300,000 homes have been damaged, and many are no longer habitable. The UN has estimated that the total damages could reach 3-5 billion USD.
Christine Allen, CAFOD’s Director, said:
“CAFOD expresses its deepest sympathies and prayers to the families of the victims, as well as to the people Lebanon, following the horrific explosions in Beirut. Local Lebanese organisations, that CAFOD works alongside, have told us of the widespread destruction that has swept the city, and how their volunteers are already on the frontlines, assisting in hospitals and helping the injured. This disaster has happened at a challenging time for Lebanon, as they deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s economic turmoil. This explosion threatens to push many who were already suffering further into poverty and hunger. CAFOD remains committed to supporting Lebanon at this difficult time.”
Please join in praying for all those affected by these horrific explosions using the prayer for the People of Beirut is available to download here.
The Sisterhood of St Elisabeth, Minsk, Belarus
Representatives of the young and vibrant Orthodox Sisterhood of St Elisabeth’s Convent in Minsk, Belarus, who dedicate themselves to a special ministry in an orphanage and with mentally challenged adults and children in a number of hospitals and rehabilitation centres, will be visiting the parish next weekend, 15/16 August, in order to sell icons, ceramics, decorations and other artefacts produced in the workshop of the convent. All the money which they raise goes to support their ministry. The Sisters spend many weeks travelling round Europe to raise much needed funds. They make a great sacrifice to do this and I am sure that we as a parish can show them our support.
The Sisters will be present in the entrance hall of the church throughout Saturday and until after 11.30am Mass on Sunday. It would be really great if you could come to meet them and buy something from them, even if you will not attending Mass over the weekend.
Imaginative Contemplation of the Gospel
A handout to help us to pray with this Sunday’s Gospel using our imagination is available to download from the Resources section of the parish website, here. There is an opportunity to pray this Gospel together in our weekly on-line prayer group. Contact email@example.com for the Zoom access details. All welcome.
There will be a draw in August. Those members that pay annually will be credited for the four months not drawn and those that pay monthly will not owe for those months. For the August draw, those who pay monthly are asked either to leave the money in a clearly marked envelope at the presbytery or to send a cheque to the Parish Office, made payable to “PRCDTR Parish of St James and St Boniface”. Any queries, please contact Simon Coombs (01884) 258331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are truly grateful for those who have continued to give their parish offerings over these last difficult months. Your offerings are important to sustain the life of the parish. For those who do not give by Standing Order, there are baskets at the entry and exit to the church.
We will also soon be introducing a “Tap and Donate” system similar to the contactless pay methods that are now used in many shops and services.
Masses and Events this week
Saturday 8 August – St Dominic, Priest
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
Sunday 9 August – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
- Holy Mass at 10.00am and at 11.30am (Pro Populo)
Tuesday 11 August – St Clare, Virgin – Patron of Television
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
Wednesday 12 August – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Thursday 13 August – Weekday
- “Coffee Morning” on Zoom at 11.00am
- Holy Mass at 6.30pm
Friday 14 August – St Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Priest and Martyr
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 15 August – Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm