St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
Dear Friends in Christ
It’s really amazing what can happen within a week. As you know, as of midnight Friday the new Government restriction came into place. London and Essex, and many other part of the country are now experiencing these measures once again! Yes, it may be frustrating and annoying, but Health & Safety always come first! With regards to the attendance at Church, according to Government & Diocesan guidelines we retain the Status Quo. Hand cleanliness and sanitisation, Social distancing, Face coverings, the cleaning and sanitisation of the Church after each Mass. Also please follow the Stewards directions.
Obviously, this is something that we’re all going to have to learn to live with for the foreseeable future. Vigilance and attentiveness to other people is necessary for the non-spreading of this virus. Unfortunately, walking up the High Street and visiting the supermarket seeing the lack of social distancing and lack of face coverings, is quite disconcerting. Covid-19 is very real, and is not very nice if you contract it. We all probably know of someone who lost their life to this terrible disease, that’s why we need to preserve and promote all health and safety measures.
I approached our Diocesan Health & Safety Officer this week about the reopening of our parish hall. The Diocese have decided that there are so many stringent government rules and regulations attached to the opening of halls, that for the time being the diocesan policy is that they remain closed. This is extremely disappointing for our Uniforms Groups in the parish, who have worked so hard with the Scouting organisation in strategic planning for groups of children to meet. But the diocese has stated that outside of School Education of children we cannot gather in our halls. Unfortunately, this also means that we are unable to commence First Holy Communion & Confirmation Programmes, which I was hoping to do after Christmas. These are really unusual times, and we all have to employ as much patience as possible. I don’t know what ‘Normal’ is anymore. But let us see what happens over the next few weeks with these new measures in place!
PARISH BAZAAR THIS YEAR? With the uncertainty regarding the Covid 19 Pandemic, I have made an executive decision not to have our annual Parish Bazaar this year. Instead, it would be good to have a ‘Big Grand Draw’ with really good prizes, (about 20 prizes). If anyone would like to donate really good prizes for the Draw these will be gratefully accepted. Money Prizes, Colour Television, I Pad, Kindle, X Box, Crate of Wine, Restaurant Vouchers, Various Hampers (large & small), Large Bottle of Champagne, Large Bottle of Whiskey/Brandy, Health Spa Treatment, Theatre Vouchers, Set of Crystal Glasses, Men’s / Ladies Watches, Obviously, it would be good to know in advance so we can publish a list of prizes. If you can donate a really good prize please speak to Fr. John. Tel No: 020 8508 3492
CHRISTMAS HAMPERS: Some of our Bazaar Committee Members have suggested that we make up some beautiful Christmas hampers. If parishioners are not in a position to be able to contribute one of the larger prizes, if you could contribute items for hampers this would be wonderful: Bottles of wine, Bottles of Prosecco, boxes of biscuits, Shortbread, Boxes of mince pies, Jars of jam & marmalade, Jars of pickles, Jars of coffee, Tea, Christmas Puddings, Christmas Cakes, Boxes of Chocolates & Sweets, Candy Canes, Selection Boxes, Chocolate Oranges, Bags of Crisps, Popcorn Crackers for Cheese, Box of Dates, Turkish Delight, Christmas Nuts (Walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazilnuts). Etc. Depending on how much we get in, we’ll make as many hampers as possible! During the week, you can leave items in the box in the porch 10.30am – 11.30am; also I will leave a box at the Presbytery Front Door, and one in my Garage at the back of the Presbytery. Thanking you all in anticipation.
SUNDAY MASSES: 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. There is an additional Sunday Mass at 10.00am to help with Social Distancing numbers. We can accommodate approximate 125 people at each mass now. Vigil Mass on Saturday at 6.00pm. Sunday Masses at 9.00am, 10.00am & 11.00am. Please come and join us!
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.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues this week on Thursday 15th October at 8.00pm Unfortunately, due to the latest Government guidelines we cannot meet together in the presbytery; therefore, there will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: 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.
NOVEMBER – MONTHS OF HOLY SOULS: In the Catholic Church, November is traditionally the Month of the Holy Souls. It is when we remember in a very special way all of our deceased loved ones, relatives, friends and benefactors. There are November Deceased Envelopes available to parishioners, as you leave Church today. If you would like to remember your deceased loved ones, please make a list and place it in the envelope with your Mass Offering. Holy Mass will be offered each day throughout November for our Holy Souls; and a decade of the Rosary will be prayed at the end of each weekday mass, with the additional prayers for the deceased. Please return your Deceased List Envelopes by All Souls Day 2nd November. There will be three masses that day. 10.00am, 12.15pm & 8.00pm
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.
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/
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.
LEAVING WINDOWS OPEN: It may feel a little uncomfortable at times in colder weather. But Government guidelines state that there should be plenty of ventilation in enclosed spaces. Some windows and the doors will remain open in the Church during Sunday Mass. Please dress accordingly, with warm topcoat, gloves and scarf. Keeping everyone safe is our top priority!
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 this 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 DAVENTANT 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, Evelyn Bearne, 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: Emily Courtney RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
OFFERTORY COLLECTION: £736.48 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!
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
MASS INTENTIONS – OCTOBER 2020
|Sat 17th||10.00am||Maree Kavangh’s Int’s|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Church resumes regular Sunday Schedule|
|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)|
|Mon 19th||10.00am||Peter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)|
|Tues 20th||10.00am||Amal & Family Int’s (Mrs O’ Donoghue)|
|Wed 21st||10.00am||Grandchildren of Jenny & Arthur Cattterall|
|Thurs 22nd||10.00am||Danny Clarke’s Int’s|
|Fri 23rd||10.00am||Bill McQuade RIP (Margaret Duffy)|
|Fri 23rd||10.30am||Holy Hour Exposition of the Bl. Sacrament|
|Sat 24th||10.00am||Dr L Mitchell RIP (Carmen)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday|
|Sat 24th||6.00pm||Breege & Michael Kerrane (Mary)|
|Sun 25th||9.00am||John Ormond RIP (Catherine Mills)|
|Sun 25th||10.00am||People of the Parish|
|Sun 25th||11:00am||Neil Millward RIP (Carole Millward)|
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.