Twenty-Ninth Sunday of the Year 2018

Dear Friends in Christ, 

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There is no mystery about the ways of this world. The problem is that these ways easy infiltrate into the Church and become its ways. popeSelfish ambition, self-advancement and self-promotion are often hallmarks of clerical ambition. Pope Francis, for example has put a stop to the plethora of young clerics being awarded the title Monsignor. Under his pontificate a cleric cannot be made a Monsignor until he is the age of 65! One or two have slipped through the net, mind you, but that is understandable; the disease of clerical ambition isn’t easily eradicated from the Body of Christ.

James and John approached the Lord, seeking just this kind of affirmation: pride of place in the kingdom. The desire for power, prestige and position reveals their folly and misunderstanding of the gospel. They want affirmation and promotion. Jesus’ rebuke is not harsh or sharp but compassionate and enquiring: ‘Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptised with the baptism with which I am baptised?’ Their youthful zeal overtakes them and they declare that they can!

serveJesus uses this display or worldly ambition to teach about the new way in his kingdom. If we want to be great, we have to choose to be small. If we want to be first, we must choose to be last. If we was esteem and recognition, we must serve and not be served. Jesus attacks the wisdom of this world which looks to dominate, manipulate and control. To be meek and to serve is a sign not of weakness but of true strength and character. To adopt the disposition of a slave is not to be trampled on but to rise above selfish drives which compel us to serve ourselves and not others.

Jesus is clear and direct; to lord it over others and exercise authority in a harsh, overbearing way has no place in his kingdom. Humility, not pride is the blessed way of the kingdom. Those in positions of authority or power have a vocation to show the world the power of love, service and humility: the greater our responsibility, the more humbly we should behave.


It is with great joy that I would like to inform the whole parish community that our Parish School St. John Fisher, at the recent OFSTED inspection on the 25th & 26th of September was assessed as being a “GOOD” school over all in each of the Five Categories of assessment.

* Effectiveness of leadership and managementgood
* Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
* Personal development, behaviour and welfare
* Outcomes for pupils
* Early years provision

This is truly a magnificent result! I would like to thank and congratulate our Head teacher Mrs Patricia Bryson, and all her staff for the incredible hard work that has gone into the school over the past couple of years. We are now on a par with the schools in our locality. To have this “GOOD” result is a wonderful uplift to the school and the parents alike. We should always give our Catholic support to our local Parish School.

Obviously, with admissions to Reception places for September 2019 taking place over the next few months, I would ask all of our Catholic families, if you have a child eligible for Reception 2019, that you would consider seriously a place at St. John Fisher School. I can assure you we will give the best education to your child, within the ethos of the Catholic School system.

Mrs Bryson states: “We are now looking forward to continuing the journey and building on our success. I am especially proud of my staff and would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work.”

If you would like to know more about our school, you are very welcome to come and visit. The children of St John Fisher Catholic Primary School enjoy talking about and sharing their achievements and our successes.” (Mrs P Bryson)

APPLICATIONS FOR RECEPTION PLACES IN SPTEMBER 2019: The applications procedure for the Secondary School will be completed by the 31st October. Approximately, from the middle of November applications through Essex County can be made for Reception places for September 2019. Parents will not be notified by the Essex County that you have to make application; if your child is eligible to start school in 2019. If your child will be four rising five in September 2019 please complete the procedure ‘on-line’. You have until 15th January 2019 to make your application. For candidates for St. John Fisher School, you will also need a Certificate of Catholic Practice (CCP), signed by Fr. John declaring your weekly practice of faith.

May God Bless You All

Fr John Sig

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