Dear Friends in Christ
In these strange times, we have seen over the past week all the new measures that the Government is putting in place up and down the country. Local lockdowns; the closure of working establishments, pubs and restaurants; colleges and universities. The numbers are creeping up again, and more and more people are being admitted to hospital. Covid-19 is very real. Now that the winter is approaching rapidly, and the cold and flu season slowly manifests itself. Our medical services are going to be stretched to capacity. Being vigilant and attentive to the guidelines is vitally essential to abating this disease. It’s true some young people are asymptomatic, but it’ still a killer for some. We should constantly be mindful of others; sanitising, handwashing regularly, wearing face coverings, keeping a social distance. These are not too much to ask, but some people think that these measures don’t apply to them, hence endangering other people’s lives. This is the ‘new normal’. Yes, life has to be lived, and we can’t put everything on hold, but at the same time we need to be aware of others all the time. And possibly this is how it will be until the scientists find a vaccine. Stay alert!
Our aim at St. Edmund’s is keep everyone safe and well. It’s wonderful that so many have returned to the practice of weekly faith. There is an additional mass on a Sunday Morning at 10.00am to assist with social distancing. The health and safety measures at Church are working extremely well; and with the assistance of the Stewards at each of the masses everything is running very smoothly. I have approached the Diocese this week, who in conjunction with Toolbox, are reviewing the possibilities of being able to open our Parish Hall on a limited basis. We are due a visit next week, and hopefully by next weekend I will be able to report a go-ahead date of opening the hall
Nothing can replace Sunday Mass. Livestreaming is not an alternative to Mass and receiving Holy Communion. If people are not in a vulnerable category, or have underlying health conditions, they should make every effort possible to return to the weekly practice of faith. From my observance outside, it appears people are far safer in church than in a supermarket or a restaurant. Please come home to the Lord and the practice of your faith.
LATEST GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES: Every week I receive updates to the latest situation re. Covid-19 guidelines. The Health & Safety Office at the Diocese of Brentwood has sent us a memo about the winter and the turning on of heating in our churches & parish halls; they are awaiting instruction from the Government, and within the next few days I should have a clearer indication as to what we will be able to do. In the meantime, as the temperatures slowly begin to decrease, I would suggest to all of our parishioners that you wrap up really well with a topcoat and scarf. The scientists have assured us that ventilation is vital and necessary with this virus being so virulent. We have good health & safety procedures in place at church.
ADDITIONAL SEATING: Our Health & Safety Committee have managed to add some additional seating in the Church, and in the Library (just off the porch). I do ask all our parishioners to kindly follow the directions of the Stewards who will show you to your seats. Please move right into the benches; obviously families can sit close together in their ‘family bubble’, but please ensure social distancing wearing your face coverings. Also, for Holy Communion make sure there is a metre plus from the person in front of you as you process to the Altar. Thank you! My thanks to Iain McLay who has set up a speaker just outside the church. This will accommodate any overspill, and you will be able to hear very clearly. Unfortunately, as autumn and winter rapidly approaches this service may need to be discontinued.
ADDITIONAL MASS: With the additional mass at 10.00am, the turnaround must be very quick; it is imperative that the cleaning of the benches takes place as quickly as possible after the 9.00am & 10.00am masses. We still need some more Stewards. Or, if you can assist with the sanitising of the benches after the masses, this would be of great assistance to us.
FEELING A LITTLE APPREHENSIVE: About attending Sunday Mass; we have set up a Speaker outside the Church; and parishioners can practice Social distancing outside as well. Obviously if you attend as a family, you can sit closely together in the Church. Alternate benches have been blocked off, and with the wearing of Face Coverings we are complying with regulations.
UNABLE TO ATTEND SUNDAY MASS: If you are genuinely unable to attend one of the Sunday Masses, the Bishops Conference of England & Wales has strongly recommended that you make the extra special effort to attend one of the Weekday Mass, at present being celebrated daily at 10.00am. Please wear a Face Covering. Live streaming is still available daily just go to the Website of St. Edmund of Canterbury, Loughton
FOR THOSE WHO ARE VULNERABLE: For parishioners who are in the vulnerable age bracket 70 plus, (It’s your prerogative to attend Mass). Or if you have underlying health issues or are displaying symptoms of Corona virus PLEASE STAY AT HOME.
THANK YOU: I would like to sincerely thank all those parishioners who have volunteered as Stewards, at our Sunday Masses, and for the hour of private prayer during the week. I’m truly grateful for your generosity of spirit and service to the whole parish community. It’s truly wonderful to see! We have purchased special cleaning materials for the benches & surfaces, and they are cleaned every time they are used by parishioners. If you would like to volunteer as a Steward, please contact Iain McLay Tel No: 07806 998187
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues this week on Thursday 15th October at 8.00pm in the Presbytery. Theme: Invitation to share God’s life through Jesus Christ. Please pray for our enquirers. This programme is a systematic study of all aspects of the Roman Catholic Faith, with the view of the enquirer deciding to receive the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & the Holy Eucharist.
BAPTISMS: We have been given permission to resume the Baptism of infants in our churches. As of 28th September, the Governmental guidelines have reduced the number of people present to 6 persons. Manifestly, this is very distressing to families who really want to celebrate this beautiful sacrament. I really don’t know how long this situation will continue, but the most important thing is that your baby is baptised. If this is your first child Sharon Chalk, our Baptism Catechist will meet with you, and go through the whole process of Baptism
ST. JOHN FISHER CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL: will not be offering any on-site tours to view our school this year. Instead we have prepared a virtual tour. Please visit our school website on www.st-johnfisher.essex.sch.uk (our admissions page is under the Statutory Info section). The virtual tour will give parents the opportunity to see what the school is like.
Admissions open on the Essex website on 9th November 2020, and the closing date is 15th January 2021. We ask parents to complete a supplementary form, also obtainable from the admissions page, (especially if they wish to be considered under criteria 2 or 3 of the admissions policy) and can be returned directly to the school. If you need further information, please contact Mrs McGrenra on firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. Your donations of are needed as much as ever now by people in our area who are struggling to put food on the table. Basic staple items are always welcome including the unbranded supermarket basic ranges which can make your generous donations go even further. Currently they are in urgent need of the following items: instant mash, tinned meat, packet noodles, savoury crackers, sponge puddings, crisps, snack bars, laundry tablets (small and medium) bars of soap and hand sanitisers. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/
YOUR WEEKLY OFFERTORY: My sincere thanks to those who are making their weekly contribution of Gift Aid envelopes and through the banking system that has been set up through the Diocese whereby your Offertory can be paid directly into the Parish Account, details below:
Or you can use Parish Bank Account: Using Online Banking
HSBC Sort Code 40-13-22
Account Number: 11019651
Please put your name as reference and your Gift Aid number if you have one.
If you can set it up as a regular payment this would be excellent and save a lot
of time in the future. If you don’t have GIFT AID this is a good time to start, you can do this by e-mailing Maria Mosquera (email@example.com).
With continued thanks for your generosity.
God Bless You All Fr. John
TRINITY CATHOLIC HIG SCHOOL ADMISSIONS SEPTEMBER 2021
In response to the COVID-19 situation and due to extraordinary circumstances this year, the school has commissioned a virtual tour of Trinity Catholic High School, which can be found on our website (https://fc.tchs.uk.net/). The school has taken this decision, not to expose our prospective parents to any unnecessary risks. The school realizes that you, as parents, may be disappointed with regard to this but please be aware that we only have the interests of the parents, and our school community, at the forefront of this decision, and would not wish to disadvantage any parents who may not feel able to attend. The website contains a lot of information regarding Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 teaching and the School Prospectus contains details of the life of the school. Please contact Mrs L Scrivens, Admissions Officer, on LScrivens@tchs.uk.net, if you have any further queries and this will be passed onto the relevant department.
The closing date for applications is 31st October 2020. Please note that applicants will need to complete a common application form which will be provided by their own Local Authority. This application will then need to be returned to the applicants own Local Authority. For applicants wishing to submit a Certificate of Catholic Practice, this Diocesan document can be obtained through your parish priest, on the Diocesan website or the priest who will be signing your form. You will also need to complete a SIF form which can be found on the Trinity website, under Year 7 – 11 Admissions.
Parents will be able to drop these documents off at the Sydney Road entrance in the drop box, not directly to the school office as visitors will not be allowed on site. Please contact the office via the buzzer on the gate to let them know that documentation has been left. Please provide a SAE if you require a receipt’. May I thank you once again for your help and support with this process and please do not hesitate to contact me if any questions arise.
With every good wish. Yours sincerely, Dr P C Doherty OBE, Headmaster.
FOR TRINITY CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL: A Certificate of Catholic Practice is necessary. This clearly states that you are a practicing Roman Catholic; both you and your child attend Weekly Mass. If you don’t meet this requirement the form cannot be signed, and you must make applications without the CCP form. Obviously, our churches opened again on the 4th July for weekly mass. CCP forms can be downloaded, please hand personally to Fr John after Sunday Mass on weekend 17/18th October. The fact that children are now back at school, they should be attending weekly mass.
APPLICATIONS FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL PLACES FOR 2021
If you have a child who is currently in Year 6 who is eligible to start Secondary School in September 2021, you need to seriously start thinking about the applications procedure. First and foremost, none of the High Schools are having open evenings this year but have published virtual tours of their schools online. The two schools that our parish tend to deal with are Trinity Roman Catholic High School & Davenant Foundation School. Before you make any applications please view the online presentations.
The applications procedure, especially if this is your first time, is through Essex County. It is an online procedure; you must complete the questionnaire application in detail by the 31st October 2020. You will receive a registration number, which you can use to access the application form to change or alter any information up until 31st October; after that date you will be locked out.
FOR DAVENANT FOUNDATION SCHOOL: The applications procedure is slightly different. They have an 11-page online applications form going into detail about their requirements. A Seven Year practice of faith is required. Once again, our churches opened on the 4th July for weekly Mass. I would like a copy of what you recorded for your Weekly Practice please. (I have the relevant page (hard copy) for you to complete). Please collect a copy of Weekly Practice for 7 years from Presbytery and return personally to Fr. John after weekend Sunday masses 17/18th October. In November the School will contact me with your application form. (I will not be signing application forms if I have not received your personal self-evaluation practice form in advance). I can only attest to the truth in my 18 years here in the parish about your practice of faith. So please be honest and truthful in your personal assessment of practice. I will not sign anything that is untruthful. If you are not a practicing Catholic, you will have to take your chances and make your applications without reference from me. The fact that children are now back at school, they should also be attending weekly mass.
DIFFICULT DECISIONS: Obviously, parents know what the requirements are for applications into our faith school; namely the weekly practice of faith, this is nothing new I will never compromise my personal integrity by signing a form that I know is not true. Please read both schools Admissions Criteria. You can also find relevant information on the Diocesan Website regarding admissions. The Priests’ guidelines are mapped out very clearly by the diocese.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH:
Margaret Baldwin, Brian Beveridge, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, James Geller, Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Barbara Pope, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Walstow, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.
ANNIVERSARIES: Maureen Epsom RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
OFFERTORY COLLECTION: £706.38 With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme there are application forms in the Church Porch, or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you!
THE SISTERS AT CHIGWELL CONVENT: Would be most grateful for your used postage stamps for their Missions. There is a Box in the Porch of the Church for the stamps. Especially all your Christmas Stamps. With many thanks!
MASS INTENTIONS – OCTOBER 2020
|Sat 10th||10.00am||Cecilia & Fred Adams RIP (Steve & Teresa)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Church resumes regular Sunday Schedule|
|Sat 10th||6.00pm||Kazimierz Michalik RIP (Nick & Joanna Jarvis)|
|Sun 11th||9.00am||People of the Parish|
|Sun 11th||10.00am||Natalie Cosgrove (sick) (Philomena Egan)|
|Sun 11th||11:00am||John Maton (sick) (Diana & Ferdi Tisi)|
|Mon 12th||10.00am||Forwood Family thanksgiving. Marion & Terry (knee op) (Staines Family)|
|Tues 13th||10.00am||Bernadette Craft RIP (anni) Kendal Family)|
|Wed 14th||10.00am||Gloria Walters (sick) Geraldine & Denis O Donoghue)|
|Thurs 15th||10.00am||Violet Clarke RIP (Margaret & Pat)|
|Fri 16th||10.00am 10.30am||Dec’d members of the Epsom Family)Holy Hour Exposition of the Bl. Sacrament|
|Sat 17th||10.00am||Maree Kavenagh’s Int’s|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday|
|Sat 17th||6.00pm||Guillaume, Becky Luca & Christophe Julien (Kathleen Sorrell)|
|Sun 18th||9.00am||Rachel Frances Murray RIP (M Duffy)|
|Sun 18th||10.00am||People of the Parish|
|Sun 18th||11:00am||Peter McRory RIP & Dec’d members of McRory family. (Geri Fitzgibbon)|
BOOKING MASSES: At present there are many openings for Mass Intentions. If you would like a Mass for a particular intention, please write your details on an envelope and post it through the letterbox at the presbytery. You can Gift Aid your intentions just put the GA number on envelope. Place your Mass offering in the envelope. Thank you!
IN CASES OF EMERGENCY: Tuesday is usually Fr. John’s Day Off. In
Cases of emergency please call one of the local parishes, either in Epping – Tel: 01992 572516, or the St. Thomas of Canterbury Friary at Woodford Green – Tel: 020 8504 1688. This would also apply if Fr. John is away for a few days break or on Retreat. All the local funeral directors have a contact number for Fr. John if a funeral needs to be arranged in his absence.