Dear Friends in Christ
As the Pandemic continues all around the world; not to sound lik e some broken record, I would like to reiterate that my one main concerm throughout this situation has always been the Health & Safety of every single person. From the outset of the Pandemic, the Sunday Obligation was lifted with regards to attending Sunday Mass. As you know there have been various lockdowns, and the Church remained closed for 18 weeks in total. As the Scientists and Experts have got to learn more about the virus, so our response has changed. In this present lockdown according to Governmental, Public Health England & our Diocesan Guidelines, places of worship are allowed to remain open for Services & Private Prayer. The decision to attend Holy Mass is ultimately yours. We have complied with all the Governmental recommendations witih reagrds to Hand Sanitisation on entry & exit of the Church; Following the One way System both on entry & exit & the distribution of Holy Communion; The Mandatory Wearing of Face Coverings, which is now Law; the Track & Trace completion of infortmation dockets as you enter the Church (please leave your soiled pens in the buckets provided). Social distancing is maintained, alternate benches have been cordoned off. The Church is disinfected after each service; PPE is available for all of our Stewards, who have volunteered for this great Service to the whole community. Please aquaint yourselves with these guidelines. Manifestly, there are fewer people attending the Church at this time. As I conclude every Mass – Keep Safe & Well.
Obviously, with the Vaccine being offered to those who are 70 and upwards, hopefully this will have a dramatic effect and reduction in numbers having to to be admitted to Hospital. Please continue to pray for all those working on the Frontline; they’re all being stretched to the liimits, and the emotional strain it is putting on everyone’s lives is most definitely showing. Let us continue to pray earnetly for an end to this Pandemic. Ultimately, it is always God who is in control.
My Dear Friends,
Last Monday 18th January at 10.10am we lost our dear Mary Walstow at St. Clare’s Hospice, where she had been for three weeks. There have been some wonderful tributes paid to Mary since her death and it is clear that she was truly loved by the whole parish community. Mary lived in Loughton all her life; and examining the Baptismal registers, Mary’s was the third Baptism in the Parish after it was established back in 1926; a truly long history! Many of you have known Mary for such a long time, and her total dedication to the Parish of St. Edmund’s is unquestionable. Daily Mass was the highpoint of her day; and I would suggest if anyone wanted to do something special in remembrance of Mary, it would be to have Mass celebrated for her. There are deceased Mass Cards in the Repository. Mary very kindly ran the Sacristy for many years, and in gratitude of that she was awarded the Bene Merenti Medal for Service to the Church back in 2009. Mary continued to serve the Church in all sorts of different ways even after she retired from the Sacristy. She had boundless energy, and people were often surprised when they learnt how old she was. Over the past 18 months, she was suffering a little, but it stop her coming daily to Holy Mass, even if at times she didn’t feel a hundred percent. I know she found the past year very difficutl with Covid. It was only in October last year that she stopped driving. Mary lived a good long life, happy with her lot in life. She now enjoyes her eternal reward in heaven. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen
Mary’s Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday 16th February at 12.15pm. Her remains will be brought into St. Edmund’s on Monday 15th February at 4.30pm. (perhaps some may like to attend the reception of the Body – We will pray the Holy Rosary). Unfortunately, during this Pandemic only 30 people are allowed to be present at the Funeral. There will be about 8 family and close friends, and the rest will be parishioners, most of whom have known Mary many decades. With the help of Social Media I will livestream the funeral mass, and if anyone would like to pay a personal tribute to Mary, please congregate in the Church Car Park at approximately 12.55pm. Please wear your face coverings and ensure social distancing thankyou! There will be Family Flowers only; any donations should be made to St. Clare’s Hospice.
May God Bless You All,
REQUIESCANT IN PACE: There have been several deaths in the Parish
Michael John Roe RIP Requiem Mass Wednesday 27th Jan at 12.15pm
Barbara Pope RIP Cremation Service Tuesday 2nd February at 1.30pm
Louis Salvoni RIP Requiem Mass Tuesday 4th February at 12Noon
Mary Walstow RIP Requiem Mass Tuesday 16th February at 12.15pm
Kathleen Whitty RIP Funeral Service Thursday 18th February at 12.15pm
Michael Edward Barrass RIP To be announced
I commend all the deceased to your prayers, and please remember their families at this great time of loss. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen
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: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/
CRIB COLLECTION: Each year is for the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society. They do incredible work up and down the Diocese with thousands of children and their families. As you can appreciate most of the Aid Agencies over the past twelve months have been unable to fund-raise due to the Pandemic, so this annual Crib Collection is extremely important. For those who Gift Aid, there should be a Special Envelope in your boxes. You are extremely generous every year, could I make this extra special appeal this year under these difficult circumstances With grateful thanks. As you can see we have two beautiful Cribs this year, and there are collection Boxes at each of them. They will remain until 2nd February, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
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
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021: There has been very little response this year to applicants for the First Holy Communion Programme. I have spoken at length to Kathryn Poulter who runs the programme; and in light of the Coronavirus restrictions at this present time, with the virus raging out of control, it is going to be almost impossible to run any kind of meaningful interactive programme for the children. We considered the prepration for the Sacraments of Reconciliation & the Holy Eucharist far too important to run a programme with no engagment from the children. Therefore, we will postpone the Programme this year until we know when it is safe to gather again as a community. I know this may sound very disappointing; but your Health & Safety are our first priority at this very difficult time. Please pray for all the families of our Parish. Thank you. Fr. John.
HOLY SEASON OF LENT: I know we are barely out of the Christmas Season, but each of the Liturgical Seasons of the Year help to prepare us for the great events in the Life of Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. Sadly, last year, we locked down during Lent & Easter. Hopefully, we will be able to remain open this year. Manifestly, we will have to be attentive to Governmental Guildelines. Ash Wednesday is on 17th February. I would presume that this lockdown will continue to be in place. But there will be various different ways that each one of us can enter the Lenten Season. Please continue to refere to the Parish newsletter and I will give you a whole programme for Lent 2021. With thanks, Fr John.
CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: A very big thank you to all of our Young People who have made application to enrol in the Sacrament of Confrimation. Much to my surpirse we have 44 applications. I have sat down and read every single application; some were only a sentence or two, but others were very thoughtful personal reflections on the Sacrament and what it means to the young person. I found this very inspiring and hopeful!
Our Programme will commence on Wednesday 27th January at 7.30pm. We will be using ZOOM which is online. Please ensure that you have the passcode and entry details for the Zoom Meeting. If I haven’t got your email address, you will not have received these details. Each time you sign in with Zoom please kindly register your presence. If you are unable to be present through sickness, kindly speak to Fr John directly. Mr Mark Anthony is our Programme Director, and I will also assist Mark in the Programme. I would encourage the Paretns of our Candidates to also be present for the sessions. It not only shows support to your son or daughter, but will also afford you the oportunity of importance and power of this Sacrament which has been requested by your child. The Porgramme we will use this year is called Sycamore. It was created by Fr Stephen Wang, a Priest of the Westminster Diocese.
The one thing we ask of all our candidates is total commitment to the programme. None of this will make any sense whatsoever if you’re not genuinely committed. In addition, if you are able to attend Holy Mass, (and we have four on the weekend), please kindly do so. I notice many are already attending. Our presence at Holy Mass is not only our personal witness to Christ and our faith, but also affords us the grace that we need to become a real strong young Catholics in the Church today. As the Late Pope St. John Paul II, said on his pastoral Visit to the UK back in 1982 of our young people: “In the Church of today, you are the hope of tomorrow.”
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the Sacrament of Mission. Think of the first Apostles, who at Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Spirit, empowering them to, ‘Go out into the whole world and procalaim the Good News.’ The Catechism tells us that we become a Soldier of Christ at Confirmation.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 821 5921 7708
CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021
Wednesday 27th January 19.30
Session 1: The Search for Happiness
Wednesday 10th February 19.30
Session 2: The Existence of God
Wednesday 24th February 19.30
Session 3: Who is Jesus?
Wednesday 3rd March 19.30
Session 4: The Power of Prayer
Wednesday 10th March 19.30
Session 5: Finding True Freedom
Thursday 18th March 19.30
Session 6: The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation
Wednesday 21st April 19.30
Session 7: Forgiveness, Healing and Mission
Wednesday 5th May 19.30
Session 8: The Christian Vocations
Wednesday 19th May 19.30
Session 9: The Holy Eucharist
June (TBC) 19.30
Penitential service & rehearsal
All Zoom sessions will be attended by at least two adults – Mark Anthony and Fr John. Where break-out rooms are used, each of these will be attended by an adult catechist and these will be monitored by Mark Anthony and Fr John. For all sessions, the following guidelines must be followed:
• No 1:1s, groups only
• Catechists and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
• Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred, if possible.
• All Zoom sessions will be set up with a password, to reduce the chance of hacking.
• Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
• The catechists will record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held.
We will not be able to have the voluntary work aspect of the course this year due to COVID-19. We hope to run a retreat, but this will be dependent upon government guidelines and will not take place until after Eater at the earliest
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH
Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, 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
ANNIVERSARIES: Frederick George Burgess RIP, Bruna Maria Morelli RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
OFFERTORY COLLECTION: 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!
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues Thursday 28th January 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: The Sacrament of the Sick. Please pray for our enquirer. 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.
SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 5 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 30 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 15 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms are allowed to take place in the context of a Sunday Mass setting. These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the advent of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.
DIOCESAN YEAR BOOK: Is now available for purchase from the Parish Repository. It cost £2.80. It really is worth investing in a Yearbook, as it gives all the latest details of parishes, priests’ addresses, statistics, general information about the Catholic Faith and the Church. PLEASE BUY ONE!
PARISH REPOSITORY: Has a large selection of Religious items; gifts for baptisms; Medals, Statues, Religious books for children, Mass cards for all occasions, Bibles, Prayer Books, and many other items. If there is something that would specifically like to order please see Teresa Wallace or Fr. John. Our thanks to those who purchased various Christmas items this year; especially Cribs and Advent Calendars. The Christmas stock has now been removed. Thank you to Teresa for keeping the Repository so well stocked for all occasions.
MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY 2021
|Sat 23rd||10.00am||Debbie Clarke’s Int’s (Maree Kavanagh)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday:|
|Sat 23rd||6.00pm||Pat Sheehy RIP (The Ruiz Family)|
|Sun 24th Sun 24th||9.00am10.00am||Anne Jones RIP (John & Sue Campbell)People of the Parish)|
|Sun 24th||11:00am||Joyce Casey RIP (Evelyn Bearne)|
|Mon 25th||10.00am||Denzil Rose RIP (Marjorie Fairlamb)|
|Tues 26th||10.00am||David Emslie RIP (N Ironside)|
|Wed 27th||10.00am12.15pm||Mary Walstow RIP (Veronica & Steve)Requiem Mass:|
|Thurs 28th||10.00am||Kathy Lowe’s Int’s (Nalan Hassan)|
|Fri 29th||10.00am||Martin Maher (sick) (Monica Maycraft)|
|Sat 30th||10.00am||Evelyn Bearne Int’s (Veronica & Noreen)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday|
|Sat 30th||6.00pm||Kevin Hopkins Int’s ((Nancy Hands)|
|Sun 31st Sun 31st||9.00am10.00am||Alan Baker RIP (John & Sue Campbell)People of the Parish|
|Sun 31st||11:00am||Peter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)|
BOOKING MASSES: If you wish to book masses for various anniversaries, or any occasion, please use the Mass Envelopes available in the Porch of the Church. Complete the details on the front, place your Mass Offering inside and post through the Presbytery Front Door. I will always try to accommodate the nearest date possible for each Mass Intention. Thank you!