Twenty-Seventh Sunday of the Year, 2021

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

A prevalent view today is that divorce or separation can be amicable and reasonable (which is of course preferable to complete breakdown), but also that it is painless and civilised – i.e. the process is legally smooth and financially uncontentious, and both parties can remain on speaking terms. However, for many the experience is brutal and painful ad lives are torn apart.

Form the very beginning monogamy was part of God’s plan: a man and a woman become ‘one flesh’. However, this ideal wasn’t upheld by the people of Israel and polygamy was widespread in Old Testament times. The Mosaic Law – while containing provisions to protect women – did permit divorce, although according to Jesus this concession was because of their hardness of men’s hearts. 

Still, today one in every two marriages ends in divorce. The tragedy of the Fall is that we all experience evil and discord both within and without. From the beginning, the marriage union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy and conflict that can and often does escalate into hatred and eventually separation

Marriage is a divine institution: ‘What God has joined together let no man separate’. Marriage is God’s plan for the human race and the marriage bond is a sign of God’s covenant. It is a gift of love, and by God’s grace couples partake in restoring God’s original order of creation in which men and women were united to live together in covenant and unity.

Married couples, then, have received a lofty and noble vocation. There is a very real way in which the entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal live Christ has for the Church. Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her.  

OCTOBER THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY: At the end of each of our weekday masses we will pray a decade or the Holy Rosary for the intentions of our parish. Parents, please teach your children the rosary, it is a truly beautiful prayer. 

Dear Friends in Christ,

The second encyclical letter of Pope Francis was called ‘Laudato Si’ On Care for Our Common Home is the appeal from Pope Francis addressed to “every person living on this planet” for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path. This encyclical is written with both hope and resolve, looking to our common future with candour and humility. The title is taken from the first line of the encyclical, “Laudato si’, mi Signore,” or “Praise be to you, my Lord.” In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. 

Our Bishop Alan has sent a Pastoral Letter this week to coincide with the launch of our own Diocesan initiative. This can be downloaded from the Parish Website and is attached to your newsletter. You will receive a handout also on the Laudato Si Invitations, Commitments & Actions 2021 – 2024. This is a personal invitation to every Catholic in the Brentwood Diocese to pray and act, to cherish God’s creation and strive for justice for the world’s poorest people. The handout gives a litany of suggestions of the things that each one of us can do in protecting and enriching our planet. All of them are practical and achievable; whether we are recycling all our waste, growing our own vegetables, walking or cycling more, being more informed on climate change, installing smart meters & insulating our homes, etc. If everyone does a little a lot gets done!

The pope is expected to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow in November 1-12. He will only be present briefly giving his approval, in light of the Laudato Si encyclical, that each human being should be a custodian of our creation, and to do everything where possible to preserve our planet.

PRAYERS PLEASE: I would personally like to ask your prayers over the next few days for a very special intention. We should never underestimate the power of prayer. If you could pray a decade of the Rosary every day during the month of October, (Month of the Holy Rosary). 

God Bless You All,

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
Account Number: 11019651 GIFT TO GOD & HIS CHURCH

PARISH FINANACES: As you can appreciate, during this pandemic the parish income took a severe hit, and we are still not back at the same levels as we were prior to 2020. My sincere and grateful thanks to those who have signed up for online giving and Gift Aid, this is helping. Many parishioners have not returned to the regular practice of faith, and many Gift Aid boxes were not collected this year. Please consider your weekly offertory to God.

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS The Presbytery at 7.30pm next Thursday 7th October; it’s still not too late to join the programme. Theme: Restoration of friendship with God  If you want to know more about the programme please contact Fr John, Tel No: 0208 508 3492 or Email:

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME: The Children’s Programme will continue on Sunday 3rd October at 10.00am. Please put these class dates in your diary. Thank you!  Please pray for all our children preparing for the sacraments. This is truly a wonderful moment of time in their lives. 

ST EDMUND’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: Talking to our Bazaar Committee, we have decided once again to have a Grand Christmas Raffle with about 30 Prizes. This was extremely successful last year thanks to your generosity; and with the precarious nature of the Pandemic still with us, and many people still feeling uncomfortable in enclosed spaces, we have decided to move forward with this. If you would like to donate gifts for Christmas Hampers, both Food & Bottle Hampers (Champagne, Wines, Spirits, Prosecco;  Brand Name – Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings Mince Pies, Pickles, Crackers, Sweets, Boxes of chocolates, Chocolate selection boxes, Turkish Delight, Christmas Nuts,   these would be gratefully accepted. Also some really big Gifts, Colour TV, Latest X Box,  Theatre Tickets, Restaurant Vouchers, M & S Vouchers, New Glassware (Crystal), Spa Vouchers, etc.  Also if you’re able to help in anyway in collecting gifts and items please let us know. There may be some parishioners who have commercial contacts, who would be willing to donate gifts and items.  We would preferably want all new items as Christmas gifts for the Draw. Free christmas bazaar clipart


If your child is due to start Primary or Secondary School in September 2022, You need to read the below very carefully; please note that:

a) Fr John will know those families who have been practising their faith by coming to Weekly Sunday Mass. These families will receive a Certificate of Catholic Practice.

b) If you have not been practising your faith, please do not approach Fr John for a Certificate of Catholic Practice as he will be unable to provide you with this document. Instead, apply directly to the Catholic School of your choice.

c) If you plan to send your daughter or son to the Trinity Catholic High School, please note that you will require a Certificate of Catholic Practice.

d) If you are applying for a Non-Catholic School that requires evidence of religious practice and you have been practising your faith, Please submit a copy of your SIF form for reference purposes to Fr. John at the interview. (Fr John has copies at the Presbytery). If you state that you have been practicing weekly and you only practice fortnightly or monthly, this form will not be signed. 

e) If you are applying for a Non-Catholic School that requires evidence of religious practice and you have not been practising your faith, please do not approach Fr John. Instead, apply directly to the non-Catholic school of your choice.

f) There will only be a virtual talk and tour of Trinity Catholic High School again this year for Prospective Year 7 pupils & parents, which will take place on 29th September, you can tune in at any time from that date until the closing date of the 31st October. 

Davenant Foundation School Open Evening 7th October; 4.30pm, 6.00pm, 7.30pm. Please consult Davenant Website (Admissiions) for more details

g) Complete and totally honesty in the signing of application forms is required. Fr John will not be able to put his signature to anything that is untrue. 

h) Fr John will be signing Certificates of Catholic Practice and SIF forms from the week of Monday 18th – Friday 22nd October. Please book your appointment. Thank you! 

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank. They 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 have asked for support with the following items: tinned soup, tinned spaghetti, tinned tomatoes, savoury crackers, sponge puddings, chocolate bars, small and medium bags of rice, snack bars and razors. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their Facebook page:


1. One of the new projects to help adult lay men and women deepen their understanding of the Catholic Faith is a series of online talks given by priests of our diocese. This is not a systematic course that one needs to commit to in order to benefit from but rather online talks that people can dip in and out of as they wish. I wonder if you would be kind enough to include this brief notice in your newsletter or bring these talks to the attention of your parish as you see fit:

THE THRESHOLDS OF HOPE QUESTIONS: are a series of talks for adults who want to grow in understanding and confidence when questioned or speaking about their Catholic Faith. The talks and discussion take place on Zoom from 4.00 – 5.00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.  

The next talks will be on the 3rd and 10th October and the question being explored is “What does it mean to talk about God?” Fr Mark Reilly, parish priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Wickford, will consider this question. If you would like to join this discussion, please forward a contact email to  For more information about The Thresholds of Hope Questions go to 

2. I would also like to draw your attention to another online project developed by Mauro Iannicelli that provides an accessible guide to the Bible for adults. Mauro is a committed Catholic layman in our diocese and has provided input for the Newham Deanery in the past. He is also willing to send to your parish 200+ course invitation A6 flyers, completely free of charge. Just drop him an email request for the flyers at, or to ask him any questions about the course. I recommend this initiative to you and if you feel able to do so, to promote his course in your newsletter or elsewhere:

The YouTube Bible Timeline Course Do you feel the Bible is too big and too difficult to understand? Do you get lost with all the characters and stories? If so, this course aims to help you better understand the riches of the Bible in a simple and straightforward way. The course begins on Wednesday 29 Sept, 2021 at 7pm. For more information and to register go to

THE CRY OF THE POOR – STUDY DAY FOR THE SEASON OF CREATION: A study day on Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti on ‘fraternity and social friendship’ will be live-streamed from 11.00 to 12.30 BST on Saturday 2nd October. The study day, entitled ‘The Cry of the Poor’, is organised from Gidea Park parish, and the speaker is Fr Ashley Beck, expert on Catholic Social Teaching. The event is free of charge and no registration is necessary. The encyclical is a challenge to see the implications of faith in Christ in the face of the widespread xenophobia and discrimination prevalent in our society and in so many parts of the world. To access the livestream go to where the previous study day ‘The Cry of Creation’ (exploring Laudato si’) is also available.

A REAL MOMENT OF SADNESS: It’s heart-breaking and makes me really sad, that many of our Confirmandi who received the Sacrament of Confirmation in June have not returned to Holy Mass since that day of celebration. It’s not only an insult to Almighty God, but makes a farce of attending the programme in the first place, and all the hard work that was put in by our Confirmation Catechists. If it meant so little, why on earth did you do it?  Of all the things that I have to contend with in Pastoral Ministry, this is the thing that makes me really sad!  I know many people are walking away from the practice of the faith, and many have not returned after Covid. But to be a Roman Catholic is not just about fulfilling our Sunday Obligation, but about the whole of our lives lived in the light of Christ Jesus. What has happened to personal integrity & honesty? SAD! SAD! SAD! 



Carmen Antaki, Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

ANNIVERSARIES: And for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

MASS INTENTIONS: It has always been a custom within the Roman Catholic Faith to have an Intention offered when celebrating Holy Mass. Intentions can be for all occasions: e.g. For a deceased member of a family; deceased anniversary mass; Birthday intention; Special Occasions; Get Well Mass; Success in exams; Special milestone anniversaries, Wedding, Ordination, Confirmation. In fact, you can offer a Mass for almost every occasion!  There are Mass Intention envelopes and Special Mass Cards for all occasions in the Repository at the back of the Church. (Please complete Mass envelope and enclose your Mass Offering and drop off at the Presbytery); I will always try to accommodate the date you have requested, or the nearest date to it.  It’s always beautiful to receive a Mass card from someone! 

BAPTISMS: It is now permissible once again to have Baptisms with larger groups of family & guests. Manifestly, there are many people who haven’t been able to have baptisms over the past 18 months. Kindly contact Fr. John to arrange your child’s baptism as soon as possible please. There is a Baptism Programme for first time parents.

ALTAR SOCIETY: If anyone else would like to join the Altar Society please contact Sharon Fitzmaurice on 07854919207 or It probably works out to about an hour a month, and you can do as much or as little as you wish; the more help we have the easier it is to keep the church really clean. Thanking you in anticipation!  


Sat 2nd OCTOBER           10.00amNO MORNING MASS
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 2nd            6.00pm Mary Gilligan RIP (John Connolly)
Sun 3rd                   9.00amLudwina Yazon Alfonso RIP (Bacuetes Family)
Sun 3rd                          11:00amPeople of the Parish
Mon 4th               10.00amNO MORNING MASS
Tues 5th                                                                                                10.00amNO MORNING MASS
Wed 6th                             10.00amInt’s of Mrs Margaret Duffy (The Leith Family)
Thurs 7th        10.00am

Edna Bourne RIP (The Chalk Family)

Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament 
Fri 8th                               9.00am  

Rose McMorrow Ints (Maureen Perry)

Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament 
Sat 9th                  10.00amJo Colebrook RIP (Veronica, Margaret & Pat)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 9th                       6.00pmPeter & Michael Holly RIP (Rooney Family)
Sun 10th                  9.00amOlympia Panong RIP (Bacani Family)
Sun 10th                     11:00amPeople of the Parish

Please kindly be patient with your mass requests. I will try to accommodate your requested dates, but there have been a large number of requests recently and we celebrate masses in the order in which we receive them. 

Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492  Email:

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Genesis 2:18-24

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.’ So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed:

‘This at last is bone from my bones,

and flesh from my flesh!

This is to be called woman,

for this was taken from man.’

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 127(128)

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

O blessed are those who fear the Lord

  and walk in his ways!

By the labour of your hands you shall eat.

  You will be happy and prosper.

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

Your wife like a fruitful vine

  in the heart of your house;

your children like shoots of the olive,

  around your table.

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

Indeed thus shall be blessed

  the man who fears the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion

  in a happy Jerusalem

  all the days of your life!

May you see your children’s children.

  On Israel, peace!

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

Second Reading : Hebrews 2:9-11

We see in Jesus one who was for a short while made lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and splendour because he submitted to death; by God’s grace he had to experience death for all mankind.

  As it was his purpose to bring a great many of his sons into glory, it was appropriate that God, for whom everything exists and through whom everything exists, should make perfect, through suffering, the leader who would take them to their salvation. For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why he openly calls them brothers.

Gospel : Mark 10:2-16

Some Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’ Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

  People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.


Pastoral Letter for The launch of Brentwood Diocesan Laudato Si’

Invitations, Commitments and Actions

Please read out and/or make available in the weekend of 2nd/3rd October 2021 27th Sunday of Year B (conclusion of the Season of Creation)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In today’s first reading, from the Book of Genesis, we heard about the creation of Eve, from the rib of Adam. In the Gospel Jesus tells us, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.” 

These two images chime deeply with this pivotal moment in the life of our planet. God’s creation was gifted to us in that same Book of Genesis. Adam and Eve are asked to “till” and “keep” the earth – to steward it, care for it, and cherish it. Yet as we consider the children in the Gospel, so precious in Jesus’ sight, we have to ask ourselves what kind of world we are handing on to our children, and children yet unborn? This summer has seen wild fires raging in Southern Europe, traumatic flooding in India, Pakistan and America, and a devastating earthquake in Haiti. There can be no doubt that weather patterns are shifting, and it is the poorest people in the world who are often the ones that are suffering the most. 

So how can we respond? Our faith roots us in a Biblical landscape full of natural images – lakes and mountains, fish and sheep, fig trees and olive groves, wheat and lambs. Pope Francis says, “The Lord was … in constant touch with nature, lending it an attention full of fondness and wonder.” The Pope wrote those words in 2015, in a letter addressed to the whole world. It is called Laudato Si’ and these are the first words of a prayer of St Francis of Assisi – they translate as, Praise Be.

 “Praise Be to brother sun and sister moon,” writes St Francis as he continues referring to all creation as brother and sister. In those simple words he reminds us that we are all interconnected. St Thomas Aquinas, the great Philosopher and Theologian, said “In every living creature there is a trace of the Trinity.” In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis draws together these centuries of prayer and wisdom, and asks us urgently to “Listen to the Cry of the Earth, and the Cry of the Poor.” Now, in the autumn of 2021, we find ourselves at a moment which will define how human beings respond to the challenges of Climate Change. In less than a month world leaders gather in Glasgow, and the decisions they make will affect us all. So today you are receiving information about what the Diocese is doing, and what you are invited to do, as individuals and as a parish. As part of this, each of us are asked to make three personal pledges, three ways in which we will act differently. This is not just another environmental campaign; it is an integral part of our faith. In making your personal pledges – in working to heal the planet, and in striving for justice for the poorest people in the world – you are a living witness to Jesus Christ: do not be afraid to tell people why you are doing whatever you choose to do. 

Let me now offer some very personal words. I have been deeply blessed in my life to explore mountains, often in Scotland. Mountains are part of the Biblical landscape, where they are places of encounter with God. For me, they are places where I see the immense scale, detail, force and wonder of God’s creation. There are moments when I have savoured the stillness and peace of an unparalleled view from a mountain peak. I sense God, and such moments inspire me to pray. So as I see the destruction of God’s creation due to the effects of climate change, I take the pledges that I make today very seriously. I will be eating less meat; I will be walking more often; I will be praying much more regularly on the challenges to God’s Creation and the urgent issues around climate change. 

Today, I am also mindful of my role as Shepherd of the Diocese. It is a feature of our Church that much good work can remain hidden. This weekend, unusually, we are shining a light on what we do, so that you know about it and can share it. For over thirty years Brentwood Diocese has firmly refused to invest in tobacco or weapons manufacturers, into addition to those who produce pornography, or those who make chemical products that go against our teaching that all life is sacred. Now we have added to this; in the last three months we have divested completely from companies that produce or trade fossil fuel. In 2018 we became an employer that pays the real living wage, lifting families from poverty. The electricity and gas used in almost all our Diocesan buildings now comes from renewable sources. 

To reinforce these Diocesan actions, and our personal pledges, today I urgently encourage every school and parish to work towards the Cafod LiveSimply award; this will have a great effect across East London and Essex. The Diocese is full of natural beauty, and we can help to enhance that, creating new havens for wildlife, volunteering with local charities, and growing fruit and vegetables on our land. Personally, I am very pleased to be helping to lead work which will seriously examine our use of energy in the Diocese, most especially in our buildings, and you will hear more about that in your own parish during 2022. 

In an interview, Mother Teresa, now a Saint of our Church, was once asked about how her work with the poorest people in Calcutta could possibly make a difference, as there were so many of them. She replied, “Is what I am doing to serve the poor just a drop in the ocean? Yes. It is. But many drops make a different ocean.” Our personal pledges are drops in the ocean – but there are, at least, over 45,000 committed Catholics in our Diocese. That’s 135,000 pledges! Making sacrifices; listening to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. In this way, in the name of Jesus Christ, we can help to make a different ocean. 

I ask you, with me, to offer it all in prayer: “Teach us afresh, Lord, to care for our common home in the way that you care for us Teach us afresh, Lord, to see ‘a trace of the Trinity’ in every part of creation Teach us afresh, Lord, the precious truth that each person we meet is a sister or brother of your Son, Jesus Christ.” 

Yours in Christ and Mary Bishop Alan Williams, sm

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