Thirtieth Sunday of the Year, 2021

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Two significant themes in the Bible are light/darkness and being blind/able to see. Baptism has always been understood as a journey from the darkness of sin into the light of grace. We all need moments of revelation, in which we who once were blind now come to see. However, there are none so blind as those who cannot see, wonderfully illustrated by the following story.

One bleak winter’s day, a man stood on a soapbox at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London, intent on pouring scorn on Christianity and not hiding his contempt: ‘People tell me the God exists, but I can’t see him. People tell me that there is life after death, but I can’t see it. People tell me that there is a judgement to come, but I can’t see it. People tell me that there is a heaven and a hell, but I can’t see them.’ He descended the soapbox to cheap applause.  Another man approached the soapbox, but needed help getting up onto it. He was nervous and unused to this kind of platform but was intent on speaking nevertheless. He began: People tell me that there is green grass all around, but I can’t see it. People tell me that there is a blue sky above, but I can’t see it. People tell me that there are trees nearby, but I can’t see them. You see, I am blind.

Bartemaeus was blind, but even in the darkness of blindness he had the light of faith, and was the only person in Mark’s Gospel to call Jesus ‘Master’. The only other occurrence in the whole of the New Testament was when Mary Magdalene encountered the Risen Lord near the empty tomb. (see Jn 20:16).  So Bartemaeus was not so blind after all! We all have shadows and blind spots in our lives, which we need the light of Christ to illuminate. We have no reason to fear the darkness, for – like Bartemaeus – we just need to turn to the Lord and request the gift of sight.  

PERSONAL NOTE: Unfortunately, during lockdown last November 2020 I had to go into hospital to have a small tumour removed from my bladder. On a recent check-up they discovered two more back in the bladder. I had surgery earlier in the month, and my consultant is very happy with the biopsy results. The reason I share this with you is to avoid speculation and rumour, as a few people have already spoken to me about being unwell.  All I ask are your prayers; I have great faith in Almighty God and also my wonderful consultant.   Thank you!  Fr John x

My Dear Friends in Christ,       30th Sunday of the Year

Once again this week we have seen an incredible number of people contracting Coronavirus. This terrible disease is still raging throughout the world, and a couple of days this week we topped 50 thousand daily cases. Obviously this is worrying as we enter into the winter months. If you haven’t had a vaccination yet I appeal to you to make every effort to get the jab, you’re not only protecting yourselves, but your protecting everyone else as well. I pleaded with an elderly parishioner earlier on in the year to get the vaccine; sadly that parishioner passed away some weeks ago without the vaccine. A lot of the information on social media is not correct, and conspiracy theories abound. People don’t think twice about vaccination for all the childhood diseases; we have alleviated polio, TB. The fact that we have a vaccination that can save people’s lives is a real wonder and blessing. Having it produced so quickly during this pandemic was an incredible feat in itself. God gifts scientists to create medicine that will enrich and enhance and protect our lives. Please think about these sentiments.

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS GRAND DRAW: As yet, we’ve only received two bottles of red wine in our appeal for gifts and items for the Grand Draw & Christmas Hampers.  May I ppeal to your incredible generosity once again this year, as we’ve decided not to have a formal traditional Bazaar. Last year we had a successful Grand Draw with Hampers, which proved to be very popular. There are Boxes to receive your gifts and food items and bottles, in the Porch of the Church, in Fr John’s Garage, and at the front do fo the Presbytery. These will be emptied on a daily basis. Money gifts are also welcomed – if you use the Gift Aid Scheme, please one of your spare envelopes to gift aid your money donation.

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 & truffle

Wishing you all a Blessed Week, 

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 28th October; Theme: The beginnings of the Church. 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 resume again on Sunday 17th October at 10.00am. (NO CLASS THIS WEEK OR NEXT WEEK – HALF TERM)  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. There will be three Masses on All Souls Day 2nd November 10.00am, 12.15pm & 7.30pm  


My sincere & grateful thanks to all of the parents who came to see me this week with the signing of CCP & SIF forms for schools’ application process. It was good to be able to speak with you all.  Please ensure that you submit your online Essex County Form by 31st October. 

CATECHISTS TRAINING & RESOURCES DAY: Saturday 6th November, Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School, Upminster. 10am (arrivals for 10.30am start) – 3pm.  The school is a short walk from Upminster Station, on the District & C2C Lines. 

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  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

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 Spirit 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. 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. 

PROSPECTIVE MARRIAGES FOR 2022/23: If anyone is planning on getting married wihin the next 18 months, could you kindly make contact with the Church. As the Pandemic has delayed many marriages over the past 16 months, there is now a catch-up taking place, and many people have had to rescedule their weddings and receptions accordingly. For marriages abroad, we need at least nine months notice, as all the documentation has to be completed at least two months in advance of the wedding and sent abroad. There is also an Engaged Couple’s Marriage Prepraration Programme to complete; which is a requirement for Catholic Marriage. For those couples getting married in your own parish church, a six month notification is needed. There is now a new format for the Civil Registration of Marriage. There is no more signing of registers, this is now abrogated for a simpler form of signatures; but all of these procedures take time. So please notify the church in plenty of time for weddings. Thank you!



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: Joyce Gregory RIP, Mary Fox RIP, Maura Highland RIP. And for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace. 

REQUIESCAT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Irene Olivelle RIP, who passed away this week. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. The Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Friday 12th November at St Edmund’s Church. The time to be confirmed this week. 

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 20 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 23rd            10.00amMichael & Breege Kerrane (Mary)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 23rd              6.00pm Neil Milward RIP (Carole Milward)
Sun 24th                     9.00amLorcan Canavan RIP (John & Sue Campbell)
Sun 24th                            11:00amGuilermo Remo Jnr RIP (Jane Bacuetes)
Mon 25th                 10.00amJohn Lawless (recovery) (Maura Ryan)
Tues 26th                                                                                                  10.00amFr Barto Blaj (B’day Int’s) (Mary Burton)
Wed 27th                               10.00amVi Clarke RIP (Pat & Margaret)
Thurs 28th           10.00amJo Colebrook RIP (Tess, Veronica & Eileen)
Fri 29th                                  10.00am  

Pat & Margaret’s Int’s (Remy)

Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament 
Sat 30th                     10.00amPina & Albert Martinelli (M Duffy)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 30th                           6.00pmMaree Kavanagh Int’s (Remy)
Sun 31st                     9.00amDec’d Member of Lawless Family (The Ryan Family)
Sun 31st                        11:00amAlan Edward Quaife RIP (Ann Cocklin)

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:

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Jeremiah 31:7-9

The Lord says this:

Shout with joy for Jacob!

Hail the chief of nations!

Proclaim! Praise! Shout:

‘The Lord has saved his people,

the remnant of Israel!’

See, I will bring them back

from the land of the North

and gather them from the far ends of earth;

all of them: the blind and the lame,

women with child, women in labour:

a great company returning here.

They had left in tears,

I will comfort them as I lead them back;

I will guide them to streams of water,

by a smooth path where they will not stumble.

For I am a father to Israel,

and Ephraim is my first-born son.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 125(126)

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,

  it seemed like a dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter,

  on our lips there were songs.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels

  the Lord worked for them!’

What marvels the Lord worked for us!

  Indeed we were glad.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage

  as streams in dry land.

Those who are sowing in tears

  will sing when they reap.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

They go out, they go out, full of tears,

  carrying seed for the sowing:

they come back, they come back, full of song,

  carrying their sheaves.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

Second Reading : Hebrews 5:1-6

Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.

Gospel : Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’ And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man. ‘Courage,’ they said ‘get up; he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,’ the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’ And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

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