Fourth Sunday of the Year 2021, Year B

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Dear Friends in Christ                             Fourth Sunday of the Year 2021

As the Universal Pandemic continues, and as we listen daily to the various implications and consequences of this situation, we have seen the emergence this week of another vaccine, that hopefully will assist in protecting more and more people from this terrible disease. Health & Safety will always remain the top priority for everyone. As more and more people are receiving the vaccine, manifestly this will have the knock-on effect of reducing the number of people being admitted to hospital. But obviously, we wont see the benefits of this for another few weeks. Sadly, this past week we peeked at a hundred thousand deaths in the UK. Every single one of these people came from a family, and there are literally hundred of thousands of people grieving at this time. I spent the largest part of the past two weeks talking to families who’ve lost loved ones. Because people are so isolated, even from their own family members, it’s very hard when you’ve lost a loved one, and there’s very little personal support because of isolation and social distancing. Just being able to listen to loved ones talking about their deceased family member is very humbling. Please pray for all who have lost loved ones recently.

I would like to personally thank the many parishioners who have so kindly sent messages and letters & cards about contintuing to provide Masses to the Faith Community. A beautiful card I received during the week talked of the open Church as a ‘life-line in this darkest of times.’ To be able to come in and pray, and light a candle, and also to be able to attend Holy Mass, has been a real source of strength and support to so many. The fact that we are able to contiune to be able to celebrate Funeral Masses, compared to last year when we could only conduct a grave-side service, is a blessing and grace in itself. As you know we follow strictly Governmental & Public Health England & Diocesan Guidelines. Our Health & Safety Officer has checked and approved all the safety measures we have in place, and have given approvel. The Church is open for Mass every day and at weekends, but it is up to the individual as to whether they attend or not. I can assure you, Church is a safe space.

Dear Friends in Christ:     Fourth Sunday of the Year,B

Today we see Jesus in the Synagogue at Capernaum; when he is presented with what people at that time considered possession, Jesus completely takes control, and ‘with authority’ releases the man from his infirmity. The words ‘with authority’ have real power behind them. Where does this authoriity come from? Of course, it comes directly from God. That’s why Jesus had such an effect and recognition from the people. But at the same time, it agitated the religious leaders, because they were never able to achieve such faith, in the same way the people believed in the Lord.  We have to constatnly remind ourselves who Jesusis, the Son of God; his authority comes directly from the Father, and he never doutbs in what the Father can do in and through him. 

These of course, are powerful lessons in faith in our own time also. In an age that is far less conscious of the sacred and divine; in a age of scepticism and cynicism; in an age of apathy and indifference; we have to truly be strong in faith. Faith in God, faith in Christ Jesus, faith in the Church, are the means whereby the Lord continues to reveal himself in the world of the twenty-first century. A take-it-or-leave-it attitude, or Cafeteria style religion is not true Catholicism; total commitment and a desire for understanding in faith are the key constituents of a life lived in Christ. These are not pious sentiments, they are important facts and realities about the life of faith as it can be lived today; It’s up to you if you want to live that life!

May God Bless You All,

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: My grateful thanks to all our Confirmation Candidates who tuned in via ZOOM last Wednesday for the beginning of our Confirmation Programme for 2021. After a few technical hitches, we were able to conduct the session resonably well. My thanks to Mark Anthony our Porgramme Director, and also our Catechists who helped in this new venture.Confirmation Welcome Visitors Our Church Greetings - Sacrament Of  Confirmation Word Clipart - Full Size Clipart (#1263314) - PinClipart

This is truly a wonderful time in a young person’s life. It’s when you personally make a decision about your ongoing life of faith. Basically, it’s about becoming a young mature adult. The decisions that we make in our lives will always affect the future for all of us. The decision to be Confirmed in Faith is no exception to that rule. It affects the decision to marry in the future; to become a committed Catholic Christian; to assume our rightful place within the life of faith and the Church. 

Our next meeting will take place via ZOOM on Wednesday 10th February at 7.30pm. A few practical notes; and you will be reminded of these prior to the meeting. Whichever email you submitted to Fr. John & Mark Anthony should be maintained throughout the programme, because your email addresses have been fed into the programme so we can break you up into your groups. If you intend using another e.mail you must let us know immediately. At each session of the programme you will be registered present. If you are unable to be present at a particular session through sickness please get a parent to contact Fr. John directly.  I would once again encourage parents of our candidates to be present at the sessions. It shows how we conduct the programme, but will also be a great support to your son or daughter. In our Catechists Meeting after the session it was discussed that all Candidates should kindly make themselves visibly present, and not just have a blank image only with your name. And kindly refrain from using your phone for texting during the session. We only a little over an hour each session, and have to cover a lot of material.

The Programme we use is called Sycamore. It was created by Fr. Stephen Wang, who features throughout the programme. Fr Stephen is Chaplain to London University. It is an engaging programme and will give the Candidate a lot to think about over the next several months in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.     

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.

All Candidates will have now received a Copy of the Programme with dates and times etc. Please ensure that you start to check in about 7.20pm for each session, so that we can start on time at 7.30pm. Hopefully this will help to avoid and technical hitches 

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.

 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:

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 for Crib Collection on 2nd February. If you wish to use the online Banking System to make a Crib Offering just use the Heading Crib BCCS. 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.

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: There have been several deaths in the Parish

Barbara Pope RIP Cremation Service Tuesday 2nd February at 1.30pm

Louis Salvoni RIP Requiem Mass Tuesday 4th February at 12Noon

Margaret White RIP Forest Park Crematorium 8th February at 12.00pm

Michael Barrass RIP Requiem Mass Monday 15th February at 12.30pm 

Mary Walstow RIP Requiem Mass Tuesday 16th February at 12.15pm

Kathleen Whitty RIP Funeral Service Thursday 18th February at 12.15pm

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

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: 1101965

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.

DIARY 2021 


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, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

ANNIVERSARIES: Maureen Barker RIP, Celia Roe RIP, Eileen Bevan RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: £287.08 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 4th February 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: Eschatology – the four last things. 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.RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

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.


Sat 30th    10.00amEvelyn Bearne Int’s (Veronica & Noreen)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: 
Sat 30th                    6.00pmKevin Hopkins Int’s ((Nancy Hands)
Sun 31st    

Sun 31st       

Alan Baker RIP (John & Sue Campbell)

People of the Parish
Sun 31st                                                    11:00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Mon 1stFebruary         10.00amMike & Maggie Duley 55th Wedding Anni
Tues 2nd                                                                            10.00amMary Walstow RIP (Margaret & Pat)
Wed 3rd                      10.00amGeraldine Lucey RIP (Monica Maycraft)
Thurs 4th 

Thurs 4th  

Joseph Duffy RIP (Margaret Duffy)

Requiem Mass: Louis Salvoni RIP
Fri 5th                10.00amAnn Hawkes Int’s (Remy)
Sat 6th                                                      10.00amMargaret Tucker RIP (Maree Kavanagh)
Vigil Mass for Sunday
Sat 6th                                6.00pmPeople of the Parish
Sun 7th      9.00amJacqueline Dodd RIP (S & J Campbell)
Sun 7th                                                                       11:00amDorothy Walker RIP (Marjorie Fairlamb)

SUNDAY MASS AT 10.00am: I introduced the additional 10.00am Sunday Mass some months ago to accommodate the numbers attending, and to assist with the social distancing. There are so few attending now that I have decided to revert back to our 9am & 11am masses only, where there are still plenty of spaces. If, after the lockdown (March 8th), the numbers increase again, I will reintroduce it. Thank you! 

One thought on “Fourth Sunday of the Year 2021, Year B

  1. Thank you for your informative newsletter I am in chigwell parish., i.e. st thomas’.but do join mass from st edmunds occasionally.


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