Dear Friends in Christ
Over the past seven days we’ve seen even more parts of the country having to adopt stricter measures and guidelines from the Government with regards to this Pandemic. People are asking the questions, what can I do and what can’t I do? There is much confusion up and down the country. Health & Safety are of prime concern for everyone. For those who are vigilant, following the Governmental guidelines is extremely important; but even walking up the High Street it’s plainly seen that many of these guidelines are being flagrantly disregarded; and then people wonder why the virus continues to be spread. Our Health & Safety & Diocesan guidelines are quite stringent, and we have followed them very strictly. The Church is set up with a one-way system; hand sanitisation; wearing a face covering; social distancing; sanitisation of church after every Mass. I would like to thank all our parishioners for being so supportive and helpful in all these measures. As I’ve stated several times before, it’s far safer coming to church than going to the supermarket or a restaurant these days!
Just a reminder; 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 start after Christmas. These are unusual times, and we all must 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, M & S Gift Cards. 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.
NOVEMBER – MONTH 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 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
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 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 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: How do we recognise the Church today? 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.
KEEPING OUR CHURCH CLEAN DURING THE PANDEMIC: In compliance with Governmental & Diocesan guidelines, our church is sanitised after every Mass. I’m truly grateful to our Stewards who are helping with this process each week. CAN YOU HELP? This is an appeal to any parishioner, who would be willing to give half an hour or so on Saturday 31st October to help with a deep clean, which we are doing every three weeks. We will commence at 12Noon. Please contact Sharon Fitzmaurice if you’re able to help. Thanking you in anticipation.
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/
ROSARY WHIRLWIND BRITISH ISLES: On Saturday October 31st October – Eve of All Saints – National Rosary relay from 9am to 9pm Dioceses are invited to take an hour. The designated Hour for our Diocese is from11 am we are invited to pray the Rosary sometime between 11am and 12 noon before we hand on to the next Dioceses. The contact for our Diocese is Fr Mark Swires at Brightlingsea. We will pray the Rosary after the 10am Mass
Further details can be found on: https://shoutout.wix.com/so/cdNL6PSiB?cid=2035b9a8-a3d4-4ac4- a72f-8fe6b683216d#/main
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With continued thanks for your generosity.
God Bless You All Fr. John
WEEKLY OFFERTORY: Unfortunately, this week our Offertory took a nose dive to £504.79; these are difficult times. I truly do appreciate your generosity week in and week out. We all have to cut our cloth accordingly these days and many people are struggling. I want to thank you all for your ongoing support through your Weekly Giving. During the past month we have had to pay our Annual Insurance on all our buildings which was £2,276.47. We also still have to pay our monthly Quota to the Diocese £2,230.00
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!
APPLICATIONS FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL PLACES FOR 2021: I would presume by now that all those who are applying for places in Secondary Schools for September 2021 have already completed their online application forms through Essex County. The cut-off date for applications is 31st October; please ensure that all applications have been completed by this date.
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. I have completed all the CCP forms and have forwarded them to Trinity Catholic High School. Parents, you will need to forward a copy of your child’s Baptismal Certificate to the School before 31st October.
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). 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). 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.
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 email@example.com.
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!
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
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!
MSS INTENTION REQUESTS: Unfortunately, there have been very few Mass Intention requests; therefore, there are many openings. If parishioners would like mass intentions for any occasion or anniversary, please put your request & mass offering in an envelope and drop off at the Presbytery as soon as possible. Thank you!
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: Joyce Gregory RIP, Mary Fox RIP & Maura Highland RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
OFFERTORY COLLECTION: £504.79 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 – NOVEMBER 2020
|Sat 24th||10.00am||Dr L Mitchell RIP (Carmen)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Church resumes regular Sunday Schedule|
|Sat 24th||6.00pm||Breege & Michael Kerrane (Mary)|
|Sun 25th||9.00am||John Ormond RIP (Catherine Mills)|
|Sun 25th||10.00am||Lily Brennan RIP & Ben Cunnea RIP (Senan & Louise Pierce)|
|Sun 25th||11:00am||Neil Millward RIP (Carole Millward)|
|Mon 26th||10.00am||Thanksgiving – Birthday – Wedding Anni(The Bacuetes Family)|
|Tues 27th||10.00am||Vincent & Theresa McMorrow RIP (Maureen Perry)|
|Wed 28th||10.00am||Agnes McRory (M Ryan)|
|Thurs 29th||10.00am||Margaret & Johnny Kane RIP (M Duffy)|
|Fri 30th||10.00am 10.30am||Pina & Albert Martinelli RIP (M Duffy)Holy Hour Exposition of the Bl. Sacrament|
|Sat 31st||10.00am||Janet Devine RIP (Maureen Perry)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday|
|Sat 31st||6.00pm||Mary Leahy RIP (Philomena Egan)|
|Sun 1st||9.00am||Andy Jeffreys RIP (Barbara Jeffreys)|
|Sun 1st||10.00am||Hazel McClurg RIP ((Maureen Perry)|
|Sun 1st||11:00am||People of the Parish|
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.