St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Twenty-Ninth Sunday of the Year, 2021

T S Eliot once said, ‘Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.’ This observation would undoubtedly be applied to James and John. Their thirst for ambition stirred up resentment and indignation among the disciples. Quite what was going on in their hearts is hard to figure out; it was not a particularly edifying kind of ambition.  We say ‘particularly edifying’ for – rather like pride – not all ambition is wrong. Parents are proud of their children; we can be proud of our work; we are proud to be associated with teams, events or organisations. Such pride is human and understandable. It’s the same with ambition, is it not?

However, the Scriptures are quick to point out that selfish ambition is sinful. Indeed, through the process of maturity and grace, James himself wrote many years later: ‘If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth…For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

St Bernard of Clairvaux also condemned the vice in no uncertain terms: ‘Ambition is the mother of hypocrisy and prefers to sulk in corners and dark places. It cannot endure the light of day. It is an unclean vice wallowing in the depths, always hidden, but ever with an eye to advancement.’

So there is no doubt that ambition of the kind displayed by the disciples was not noble or impressive. What then is the right kind of ambition? We are called to grow in holiness, and to be ambitious for the kingdom of God: for the spread of the Gospel and the growth of Christ’s kingdom on earth. 

RETURNING TO WEEKLY MASS: I would like to invite all of our parishioners to return to the weekly practice of faith, fulfilling our Sunday Obligation to keep the Sabbath Day holy. At least two thirds of the parish community have returned to regular practice of faith, but there are still a large number of parishioners whom I have not seen since the start of the Pandemic. The Church is always open, and it is so important to get back into the regular routine of Sunday Mass. Live-streaming is not a substitute for being present and receiving the Sacrament of the Body of Christ. Please come home to your Church. 

My Dear Friends in Christ,       29th Sunday of the Year

The terrible stabbing to death of Sir David Amess RIP has truly shocked the nation. Sir David was a committed Roman Catholic at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Leigh-on-Sea. He died in such tragic circumstances serving the people and constituents where he had been an MP for many decades. He was a family man married with five children. The latest news has now stated this as a terrorist incident. This senseless killing devastates not only the immediate family, but all of the people who Sir David tirelessly served for such a long time. This is the second murder in 5 years, the first being Jo Cox. In our prayers this week let us pray for the repose of the soul of Sir David Amess, and also remember his wife Julia and his children in this time of great loss. Requiescat in Pace. 

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS GRAND DRAW: Last weekend you will have received a handout about our Annual Christmas Grand Draw. Due to the ongoing Covid situation, it was decided that the traditional Parish Bazaar may cause some people a few problems with regards to social distancing. So we will repeat what we did last year with a Big Grand Draw. Can I make an appeal to the whole parish community to your incredible generosity in providing Gifts and Items for the Grand Prize Draw & Christmas Hampers! Also, if there are any parishioners who would like to make financial donations, please ensure you use your Gift Aid envelopes, as we will be able to claim the Tax back through the Scheme.  

Some ideas for the Grand Draw are Flat Screen TV, Laptop, Other New Electrical Goods, Restaurant Vouchers, Hotel Vouchers, National Trust Family Memberships, Crate of Wine, Department Store Vouchers. Also Smart Tech Wearables: Fit Bits, Garmins, Air Pods, Beats. Suggested Hamper Donations:  Luxury Brand Christmas Cakes & Christmas Puddings; Bottles of Champagne, Prosecco, Spirits, Port & Wine; Tinned Meats – Gammon Ham, Potted Duck Pates; Tinned Fish – Salmon, Dressed Crab & Lobster; Jars of Fruit in Syrup; Jars of Pickles, Chutneys & Olives; Festive Marmalades; Tea & Coffee, Hot Chocolate. Biscotti, Ginger Snaps & Shortbread. Diced Fruit & Nuts; Chocolate Nut selections. Sweetmeats – Turkish Delight. Biscuits & Crackers for Cheese. Boxes of Luxury Chocolates & truffles.

If any parishioners could provide wicker hamper style baskets, please drop them off at the Presbytery. There will be Christmas boxes to receive your gifts and items in the Porch of the Church, in Fr John’s Garage, Also at the Presbytery Front Door.

May God Bless You, 

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 21st October; Theme: Jesus Christ, Truly God, truly man. 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 17th 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. 

NOVEMBER DECEASED LIST: As we rapidly approach the Month of November, the Month of Holy Souls, may I encourage the whole parish community to remember in a very special way all of your deceased loved ones through the November Deceased List. There are special envelopes available. Please kindly complete your list and enclose your mass offering in the envelope and return to the Presbytery before the 2nd November All Souls Day. Mass will be celebrated Daily throughout November for all of our Deceased. Also a decade of the Holy Rosary will be prayed daily after each of the Weekday Masses. Perhaps you could make an extra special effort to attend an additional weekday mass during November.


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. Please bring your completed Certificate to the meeting at the Presbytery so Fr John can countersign it. Certificates can be downloaded from the School Website under Admissions. 

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) 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. 

g) 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! 


FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH: COMMUNION, PARTICIPATION & MISSION: Pope Francis wants us to be more synodal at every level of the Church which is why he has convokeda synod about synodlaity itself. Communion, participation, and mission looked very dofferent in our country during the Reformation; and manifested itself, again, in different ways, for example, after the restoration of the hierarchy in the 19th Century. Missions preceded parishes. Communities came together to build churches and schools. 

What is the Holy Sp[irit saying to us now as Church? What are the opportunities that are opening up? How might the Church look tomorrow? Pope Francis is inviting us all to pray, listen and discern together what the Holy Spiriti saying to us in our own community, to our diocese and the whole Universal Church. 

At the Sunday evening Mass at Brentwood Cathedral, Bishop Alan will launch the ‘Synodal Process’; this will be the first phase of a process which will conclude in Rome in 2023. The Pope is asking us to be more Synodal, calling each and everyone of us to have a say in how the Church could change by discerning together the signs of the times and dreaming where we would like to be. This is a chance to all to have a voice, and see where we would like to be. 

WHY SUNDAY IS IMPORTANT TO CATHOLICS: Sunday is a day of life and glory. On that day, Christ, the life of the faithful, rose from the dead. We remember and celebrate this saving event in a special way on a Sunday. But more than that, the Crucified and Risen Christ comes to us in the celebration of the Mass. He speaks to us through the living word of the Sacred Scriptures. He feeds us, body and soul, with his own divine life in Holy Communion. He calls us out of our individual activities and isolation and gathers us together as His Church, a people set apart to give thanks and praise to Him. Sunday is the Day of the Lord, when we meet the Risen Christ and formed into a community of faith, hope and love by Holy Spirit.

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 17th and 24th October and the question being explored is “What is the universal call to holiness?” Fr Adrian Lowe, assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead, 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. For more information and to register go to



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 16th           10.00amAgnes & Colin Lamb RIP
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 16th             6.00pm Kelly Cottam  (Stephanie Hemsworth)
Sun 17th                    9.00amPeople of the Parish 
Sun 17th                           11:00amKitty Mulvaney RIP (Eileen Lee)
Mon 18th                10.00am10.30am Rachel Frances Murrary RIP (M Diffy)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 19th                                                                                                 10.00amJosephine Colebrook RIP (Catherine Mills)
Wed 20th                              10.00amTeresa Weight RIP (Veronica, Pat & Margaret)
Thurs 21st          10.00am

Margaret & John Kane RIP (M Duffy)

Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament 
Fri 22nd                                 10.00am  

Noreen Cahill RIP (Noreen Smith)

Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament 
Sat 23rd                    10.00amMichael & Breege Kerrane (Mary)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 23rd                         6.00pmNeil Milward RIP (Carole Milward)
Sun 24th                    9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 24th                       11:00amGuilermo Remo Jnr RIP (Jane Bacuetes)

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:

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Isaiah 53:10-11

The Lord has been pleased to crush his servant with suffering.

If he offers his life in atonement,

he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life

and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.

His soul’s anguish over,

he shall see the light and be content.

By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,

taking their faults on himself.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 32(33):4-5,18-20,22

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

The word of the Lord is faithful

  and all his works to be trusted.

The Lord loves justice and right

  and fills the earth with his love.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,

  on those who hope in his love,

to rescue their souls from death,

  to keep them alive in famine.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.

  The Lord is our help and our shield.

May your love be upon us, O Lord,

  as we place all our hope in you.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Second Reading : Hebrews 4:14-16

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

Gospel : Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’

  When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

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