Third Sunday of Lent 2021

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Dear Friends in Christ                                  

On a more optimistic note this week we have seen an incredible decrease in the number of people in hospital with Covid by a third; and the number of deaths is decreasing almost daily compared to a month ago. Obviously we still have to keep vigilant and continue to protect ourselves against this terrible disease. Many of our parishioners have received the first ‘jab’, giving them a little more confidence and hope about the future. The reports through the media, and the scientific assessments, has far surpassed the expectations of all those who have produced the vaccine. We are now starting to see the results after a few months of distributing the vaccine, and these are really positive, so much so, that Europe has changed it minds about our Oxford vaccine and are now distributing it in the various countries. Manifestly, according to reports, this may well be something we may have to live with for the foreseeable future. We may need ‘top-up’ vaccines that coincide with our annual flu vaccine. Obviously it’s an unknown quantity at present, but if you have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, please don’t refuse it. It is most definitely saving lives!

This week we will welcome all of our children back to school. Throughout the Pandemic, we have to remember our schools have always been open, for those children of key and front-line workers. I would like to commend our Headteacher and Staff who have maintained a great disci0line in trying to teach online classes for our children. Obviously, this is a completely new phenomenon for many of them, and they have had to adapt very quickly to ensure that the children receive as much learning as possible. The Government are certainly erring on the side of caution with regards to opening all sectors at once. There will be close assessment of how these next five weeks will fare, once the schools, colleges & universities are opened up once again. Please God; this will be the last lock-down that we have to experience. We have been closed up approximately 26 weeks over the past twelve months.

Dear Friends in Christ:                                   

In the scriptures today, Jesus drives the money-changers out of the Temple, quoting the scriptures saying: ‘my house shall be a house of prayer’. The Lord’s anger was righteous; they have turned the House of God into a Market selling their wares animals and changing money. Obviously this really angered those who were present, and even the scribes and Pharisees should have known better than to allow this happen. But once again, they turned a blind eye. The Temple was the most sacred place and was the House of God. As far as the Lord was concerned they were desecrating this sacred place. The Jews enraged question Jesus about his authority to do such a thing. His reply was somewhat of an enigma to them; ‘destroy this Temple and I will raise it up in three days’; manifestly he is talking about the Temple that was his body. But they failed to understand. It’s only after the resurrection that the Apostles really understood what he meant.

I wrote to the Parish last Thursday informing you that I would reintroduce the additional Mass at 10.00am on Sunday Mornings. I trust the majority of you will have received this news by now. I want every parishioner to know that you are always welcome at Sunday Mass. Last weekend there was an extremely good attendance, that’s why I’ve reintroduced this additional Mass. With an increase of those who have received the vaccine, and people’s confidence growing, I’m really hoping that the faithful will seriously return to the practice of the faith in person. Virtual screening is all well and good, but it is not the same as the faith community gathered together, and being able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. I encourage all of our families to seriously consider this invitation. As we are now well into our Lenten Season, it’s an opportunity to really enter into the spirit of this Penitential Season. There are a number of spare places available at the 6.00pm Vigil Mass on Saturday evenings. Also when I was celebrating the 10.00am before there were a good number of spaces at this particular celebration.

May God Bless You All This Week,

DIARY 2021 


Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Noel Johnson, 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: Anthony Rattigan RIP, Pat Steele 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 11th March 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: THE HOLY TRINITY of Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Please pray for our Catechumen Steven Bullock who is preparing to receive the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & the Holy Eucharist.RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 30 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 12 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.

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 (
With continued thanks for your generosity.Fr

God Bless You All      Fr. John

FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE PARISH: You may have noticed that the Weekly Offertory, on some occasions, is extremely low. Obviously, we are all experiencing financial issues during this Pandemic. Some parishioners have reverted to online giving since last year. Others have opted to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme, and are using Direct Debit weekly/monthly payments. I would say that the Weekly Offertory has probably dropped by a half over the past twelve months. Manifestly we have to cut our cloth accordingly. I would like to thank all of our parishioners for your ongoing support of the parish and all its buildings. There is no other income, other than your weekly contribution. Thank you One and All!

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021: There has been 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, 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.

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. The Foodbank has a list of 40 items needed during Lent and they are also supporting families with packed lunches and food parcels during the Easter holidays. Here are the 40 items being requested during Lent: Laundry tablets, anti-bacterial spray, washing-up liquid, UHT milk, long-life fruit juice, squash, instant coffee, tinned ham, corned beef, vegetarian tinned meal, microwave rice, instant noodles, packet mashed potato, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, tinned sweet corn, custard, sponge pudding, rice pudding, chocolate bars, tinned spaghetti, cous-cous sachet, packet soup, hot chocolate powder, peanut butter, chocolate spread, jam, breakfast bars, cereal bars, biscuits, halal tinned meat, hand sanitiser, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face masks, strong carrier bags.  Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page:

REQUIESCAT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Patricia Gardener RIP, who passed away recently. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Wednesday 10th March at 12.15pm. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. May she rest in peace. 

THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE: For those who postponed marriage last year, and for those who are thinking about getting marriage, could you kindly let Fr. John know your plans. Obviously, a great dealing of preparation has to go into marriage. It is good to know well in advance please.

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: Lent is a Penitential Season – which means that every Catholic should avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We all need to celebrate Christ’s forgiveness, Confession and Penance. This has always been a spiritual custom during the Special Holy Seasons of the Year. Not one of us is perfect, and our faults and failings can mount up over a period of time. The Sacrament affords us the opportunity to be released from the burden of sin, to be free or those things which create barriers between ourselves and Almighty God. I will be hearing Confessions throughout the weeks of Lent on various different days, please try to prepare for Easter by celebrating the Sacrament. Thank you!

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: Our fourth session in the Confrimation Programme will be streamed Via ZOOM on Wednesday 10th March. There were a number of our young people missing from the programme last week. As a matter of courtesy kindly notify Fr. John if you’re unable to attend the Zoom meeting. Thank you! You can catch up on this session, Mark Anthony wiill be able to forward you’re the details. Parents please remind your sons and daughters of the importance of each session; you are also welcome to attend the sessions, and see how the programme is taught.  

THIS WEEK’S TALK: Findiing True Freedom – Is there such a thing as right and wrong? Are there any limits to our freedom? People have such different views about moral issues, but most people have some kind of moral code. What are the values that shape our lives? How can we find moral guidance when we need it. Ask yourselves the question, who are the people in your lives that have given you a moral compass? Do your Catholic Christian morals truly affect your lives? This session on the Sycamore programme will help to explore these important questions and many more.

As you begin grow in your understanding of the whole meaning of the Sacrament of Confirmation, hopefully this will give you the information necessary to make the right decisions in your young lives. Every action has a consequence; e.g. every time we say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ it has a domino effect in our lives, and can profoundly touch the lives of so many different people. Even the most private actions of our lives, effect, not only our person bu the lives of those around us. We all make mistakes, but our lives are not determined by our faults and failings, but on how much we learn can learn and grow through these issues. That’s why the Church has always advocated the Sacrament of Reconciliation to assist and help us.   

You may not always consider your presence at Holy Mass important, but it is. You are part of this bigger familiy, God’s family; and to be an active participant in the family can only enrich the whole family. You are precious in the sight of God, and your expressions of your love for him, even for half and hour each week, is something that will continue to transform your lives. Being a Roman Catholic isn’t just an Sunday exercise, it affects everything that we are, and who we are trying to become in life. Let God in!

Lilies at Easter 2021

Every year at Easter we remember 

our deceased loved one by decorating 

the Church with White Lilies.

If you would like to have a stem of lilies placed in 

the arrangements throughout the Easter Season, 

in memory of a deceased loved one, relatives or friends.

Please complete this form below and return to the 

Presbytery in an envelope by Maundy Thursday 1st 

April 2021


St. Edmund of Canterbury: _________

Names: of those remembered: (Please print clearly)

………………………………        ………………………………

………………………………        ………………………………

………………………………        ………………………………

……………………………….        .……………………………..

Amount enclosed     £……………… Gift Aid No:……………..



Please Use Your Spare Gift Aid Envelopes


Sat 6th    10.00amTony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: 
Sat 6th                    6.00pmMichael Carrig RIP
Sun 7th       9.00am10.00amMary Walstow RIP (Esther Penn)People of the Parish
Sun 7th                                                       11:00am5.00pmEllen Manley RIP (M Ryan)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.
Mon 8th March  9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Frank Westcott)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 9th                                                                                10.00amDavid Faud RIP (John O’Rourke)
Wed 10th                         10.00am10.30am12.15pmMark Rowley RIP (Marjorie Fairlamb)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. SacramentRequiem Mass; Patricia Gardner RIP
Thurs 11th  12.15pmEdward Martin Duffy RIP (M Duffy)
Fri 12th                    10.00am10.30am Mary Walstow RIP (Irene Olivelle)Holy Hour with Stations of the Cross & Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Sat 13th                                                         10.00amDavid Faud RIP
Vigil Mass for Sunday
Sat 13th                                     6.00pmPatrick O’Donoghue Int’s (G O’Donoghue)
Sun 14th           9.00am10.00amBernie (Get Well) (Bridget Kinsella)People of the Parish
Sun 14th                                                                            11:00am5.00pmMary Walstow RIP (The Poulter FamilyStations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.

MASS INTENTIONS: If you wish to book a Mass for a particular intention, please let us have it well in advance of the date. This will avoid disappointments if that date has already been taken. Thank you! 

3rd Sunday of Lent

First Reading : 

Exodus 20:1-17

God spoke all these words. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

  ‘You shall have no gods except me.

  ‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God and I punish the father’s fault in the sons, the grandsons, and the great-grandsons of those who hate me; but I show kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  ‘You shall not utter the name of the Lord your God to misuse it, for the Lord will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.

  ‘Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath for the Lord your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals nor the stranger who lives with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that these hold, but on the seventh day he rested; that is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it sacred.

  ‘Honour your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God has given to you.

  ‘You shall not kill.

  ‘You shall not commit adultery.

  ‘You shall not steal.

  ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

  ‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.’

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 18(19):8-11

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

The law of the Lord is perfect,

  it revives the soul.

The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,

  it gives wisdom to the simple.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

The precepts of the Lord are right,

  they gladden the heart.

The command of the Lord is clear,

  it gives light to the eyes.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

The fear of the Lord is holy,

  abiding for ever.

The decrees of the Lord are truth

  and all of them just.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

They are more to be desired than gold,

  than the purest of gold

and sweeter are they than honey,

  than honey from the comb.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

Second Reading : 

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel : 

John 2:13-25

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money-changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

  During his stay in Jerusalem for the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he gave, but Jesus knew them all and did not trust himself to them; he never needed evidence about any man; he could tell what a man had in him.

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