First Sunday of Advent 2020

Dear Friends in Christ                                      

As we begin this New Liturgical Year on this First Sunday of Advent, we look back over the past several months to the very strange situation that the Universal Pandemic has brought to all our lives. This is totally unprecedented, and there is nothing to compare it with. But here we are, as we enter this Holy Season; a time of preparation, a time of reflection, a time of new resolutions.  I would like to hope and pray that we’ve all had an opportunity over these past several months to reflect on the most important values and aspects of all our lives – our families, our health, our faith – these three are truly at the heart of everything that we strive to be.
See the source image

Advent 2020 will give each one of us over the next four weeks the opportunity, to not only prepare for the Birth of the Saviour into our lives again this Christmas, but also afford us a special time of Renewal of Faith. I truly believe that if this Pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we truly do need God in our lives. There will always be those who don’t agree with these sentiments; but if we are true to ourselves, we can never use excuses as to why we can’t be bothered with the formal practice of faith. Ultimately, we all stand before God alone, and in our hearts, we know and recognise all our own actions. Manifestly, there are no excuses! We either want to follow Christ, or we don’t. Hopefully this Advent will help us to get back on track, because it’s never too late.  What does the Gospel tell us “Stay awake, because you never know when the time will come!”

HOLY SEASON OF ADVENT: Begins this weekend 28/29 November. Unfortunately during this lockdown, we will have to begin this Holy Season by live streaming our masses, as the churches do not officially open again until Wednesday 2nd December. This has been such an unusual year, unprecedented; none of us have ever known anything quite like this. And of course there have been all sorts of reactions and responses; sadly 250 thousand deaths. But as Catholic Christians Hope is central to our lives of faith. We have to look forward in Hope and anticipation to the Coming of Jesus into our lives once again this Christmas. Jesus is Saviour, and it is ultimately God who is in control. This week I would like you all to seriously consider who you will be preparing for the Birth of Our Lord this year 2020. There may need to be areas of improvement in our lives: more charity and kindness; giving time to others; getting back to the practice of our faith when our churches open; more daily prayer; reading of scripture; involvement in our parish. Advent Calendars. Free Religious Advent Cliparts, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on  Clipart Library


CURRENT LOCKDOWN ENDS: On Wednesday 2nd December. We will resume the Tier 2 guidelines that were in place before the lockdown. There will be continued Social distancing in Church. Families, of course can sit close together. Please wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser on entry into the church and on leaving. Please avoid congregating outside of Church; I know this is difficult, but we want to avoid an spreading of the Covid-19 virus. Please follow the directions of the Stewards at each of the Masses. Your health and safety are our prime concern. Please don’t be frightened to attend Holy Mass. We are following strictly all the Governmental & Diocesan guidelines. It will be good once again to resume our celebration of Mass together.See the source image

PARISH BAZAAR THIS YEAR? We open our Churches once again on Wednesday 2nd December. As we are planning a ‘Big Grand Draw’ with good prizes, (about 20 prizes). If anyone would like to donate 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 good prize, please speak to Fr. John.  Tel No: 020 8508 3492 WE NEED MORE PRIIZES PLEASESee the source image

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.Free clipart gift basket

GRAND CHRISTMAS DRAW: This is an additional appeal for GRAND DRAW PRIZES OR MONEY DONATION PRIZES. We need lots of good prizes. Could anyone donate a Colour TV? Or Restaurant Vouchers? Please! Also, we hope to make up as many Christmas Hampers as possible with Christmas goodies; also toiletries to make up Toiletry hampers. No matter how small an offering, it will be used this year.  GRAND DRAW TICKETS WILL GO OUT ON THE WEEKEND 5TH/6TH DECEMBER. We have also worked out a Scheme for donating Online. The Draw will take place on Sunday 19th December after the 11.00am Mass. Perhaps what you would have spent if we had had a Bazaar, you can spend on Draw Tickets. As you know this is our only Fund Raiser each year.

Luxury Christmas Hamper

MAKING UP HAMPERS FOR GRAND DRAW: Would any parishioners have any Hamper Baskets they could let us have, to make up the hampers from the gifts you have donated. Our Bazaar committee members suggested that we do this, and of course, everyone loves a Christmas Hamper. If you can continue to donate Christmas food items and goodies for the Hampers. Also toiletries, we’ll have a couple of Toiletry Hampers as well, fancy toiletry gift sets are available for Christmas at the moment in Supermarkets etc. We continue to need Wine and Spirits (Bottles of Whiskey please; also Gin & Brandy, Baileys, Champagne). I would like to thank all those parishioners who have kindly donated items for the CHRISTMAS GRAND DRAW this year. Obviously, without our Parish Bazaar, our only fund-raiser, and with our offertories down considerably, this will be a good way to make up some funds. Please support us! 



The traditional paper Grand Draw Tickets will be available after every mass on the weekend 5th/6th December and the Grand Draw will take place on Sunday 19th December after the 11.00am Mass. This year, because of the Covid-19 crisis, you can also purchase the tickets electronically. You just need to email your request for tickets to Iain McLay ( and transfer the money to the parish account with the reference including the term ‘Raffle Tix’. We will then put the equivalent number of tickets, with your name on, into the live draw. The tickets are in books of 5, £5 for a book. The details of the Parish Bank Account are: 

Sort Code: 40-13-22
Account Number: 11019651
Account Name: Catholic Church Loughton St Edmund

PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS: Due to Governmental guidelines on social distancing, at present we are only able to accommodate 125 persons maximum at each mass. Chrstimas tends to be a time of year when more people make a visit to Church.  In a bid to cope with numbers, I will add some additional masses. There will be no children’s mass this year; and I would ask all parishioerns to seriously think about masses they attend. Please don’t all turn up for the first mass, because we will have to turn away parishioerns once we have reached our capacity of 125.

Christmas Eve Masses: 5.00pm, 7.00pm, 8.30pm & 10.00pm

Christmas Day Masses: 9.00am, 10.00am & 11.00am

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 next Saturday 5th December 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. Salem Cleaning Day - Dec. 9 - Salem Lutheran Church

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic and our donations are still needed desperately as more and more people in our community are finding it hard to make ends meet. 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: tinned fruit, tinned ham, tinned carrots, sponge puddings, chocolate bars, Nutella, toilet rolls (2 or 4 pack), washing up liquid, laundry tablets/powder and shower gel. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with 

The Foodbank via their Facebook page:

ST. JOHN FISHER CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL: (School Applications for September 2021) 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 (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

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. Please also continue to put your Gift Aid envelopes through the Presbytery letterbox; every little helps!

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 (
With continued thanks for your generosity.Fr

God Bless You All      Fr. John 

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.

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 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!

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the repose of the soul of Doreen Wiltshire RIP who passed away recently. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Thursday 3rd December at 12.15pm at St. Edmund’s; followed by burial at Chigwell Cemetery.

Please also pray for the repose of the soul of Anthony Orsini RIP who passed away recently. His Funeral; Service will take place at Forest Park Crematorium on Wednesday 2nd December at 1.30pm We extend our condolences to his family in this time of great loss.

PARISH REPOSITORY: There are a variety of Christmas gifts and items available at the Respository. Religious Christmas Cards, Beautiful Cribs, Advent Calendars, Children’s Christmas Books, Statues, Glass Crib Scenes, Christmas Candles, The Church is open daily 10.30am – 11.30am there is a Money Box available for your purchases. The Church will be open for public masses once again from Wednesday 2nd December     

DIARY 2020


Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, 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: Pat Murphy RIP, Catherine Wright RIP, & Peter Smith RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: No Weekly Offertory. 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! 

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: NO OFFERTORY. 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: At present all baptisms have been suspended until after 2nd December. The new Government guidelines have maintained that only 6 persons can be present at a Baptism. 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 BaptismTransparent Tutor Clipart - Baptism Clipart, HD Png Download - christening  png - Transparent PNG, Transparent Clipart (763*578) - PNG Image on

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues on Thursday 3rd December 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: The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist – The Jewish Notion of Memory.  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.RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

SUNDAY MASSES: Nothing can replace Sunday Mass. Livestreaming is not an alternative to Mass and receiving Holy Communion. 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. 

MASS 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!


Our Parish Church will be open for Public Mass from 

Wednesday 2nd December.

Sat 28th                                                                              10.00amPeter & Lattricia Jayawardene 50th Wedding Anniversary.  All Holy Souls
First Sunday of Advent Vigil Mass for Sunday: Church resumes regular Sunday Schedule
Sat 28th               6.00pmEmily & Gerald McKernan RIP (McKernan Family).   All Holy Souls
Sun 29th   No 9.00am or 10.00am Masses
Sun 29th                                               11:00amBen Cunnea RIP (S & L Pierce)  H/S
Mon 30th    10.00amMrs Pat Hopper RIP & Mrs Alice Egan RIPHoly Souls)
Tues 1stDecember                                                                      10.00amDec’d members of the Epsom Family
Wed 2nd                   10.00amThomas Smith RIP  (Noreen Smith)
Thurs 3rd                 10.00am12.15pmFred & Tracey Quinn RIP (M & K Munro)Requiem Mass – Doreen Wiltshire RIP
Fri 4th                                                10.00am 10.30amTony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)Holy Hour Exposition of the Bl. Sacrament 
Sat 5th                                                10.00amAndrew & Catherine Tucker RIP ((Mills Family)
Vigil Mass for Sunday
Sat 5th                        6.00pmSapper Raymond Marchant RIP (Pat Marchant)
Sun 6th      9.00am10.00amPeople of the ParishMargaret McLaughlin RIP Peter & Christine Burrowes)
Sun 6th                                                                11:00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)

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