First Sunday of Advent, Year A Matthew, 2022

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

We stand today at the beginning of Advent and joyfully anticipate the celebration of Christmastide. Our pilgrimage invites us to revisit and partake in the events surrounding Jesus’ first coming: his birth and entry into human history when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. 

Since the beginning, Advent has been a season in which we reflect on the first coming of Christs but also prepare for his second. The deepest longing of the Holy Spirit is expressed in the cry ‘Come’, which the Spirit gives to the Church. The prayer of both the Spirit and the Church will always be ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come.’

God always has in view the end towards which the whole history of salvation is directed. Our desire to prepare for Jesus’ return is proportional to our current relationship with him. His return heralds not just the coming of a kingdom, of a new order of things, but the return of the Lord of Lords, the Servant King who loved and died for us.

The call throughout the New Testament is to be active, to prepare, be watchful and be holy as God is holy, so that we can ‘stand before the Son of man’. At Jesus’ first coming he came to save and redeem so that we would know forgiveness and liberation from our sin. At his second coming, we will know the redemption of our bodies and full deliverance for which the whole of creation longs.

Advent, then, is a time to grow in holiness through repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

‘Behold, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced to see. This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in the mystery.’ (St Charles Borromeo) 

Dear Friends in Christ,             1st Sunday of Advent 2022

As we embark upon of Advent Journey, and begin our New Liturgical Year, we pray that the Lord will be with us in these weeks ahead as we prepare for his birth once again into our lives this Christmastide. How we prepare determines how we will celebrate the Incarnation of the Lord. It’s only a year since we were all still experiencing the effects of the Pandemic, but here we are twelve months on, living with the ongoing presence of Covid throughout the whole world. Thankfully science and medicine through vaccines has assisted and helped everyone. 

We have also experienced the difficulties with the political situation in our country, three Prime Ministers within as many months. The cost of living going through the roof; the gargantuan increase of utility bills, and general uncertainty about the future. The one constant in this changing world is the presence of Jesus Christ; we have to learn how to place our trust and our hope in Christ. His birth changed the whole course of human history. 


GRAND DRAW TICKETS: If you didn’t receive any Grand Draw Tickets for the Grand Draw & Christmas Hampers there are plenty still available in the porch.  Once again I appeal to your generosity in taking as many books of Tickets as you can. As this is our only fund-raising even of the year please be generous in your response. The Grand Draw will take place on Sunday 11th December after the 11am Mass. We will be having a Coffee Morning at the same time, so we ask all of our parishioners to join us on this occasion. Cake makers we make a special appeal for home-made Cakes & Pies for sale at the Grand Draw. 

GRAND DRAW PRIZES: My grateful thanks to those who have donated Christmas food items, bottles etc. for the hampers. Could I make a special appeal to everyone for some Luxury Grand Draw Prizes, we really want to make this Draw worthwhile. 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, and Department Store Vouchers. Also Smart Tech Wearables: Fit Bits, Garmins, Air Pods, Beats, Echo & Alexa Devices, (There are still Black Friday bargains on offer) You can leave off prizes and Hamper items at the Presbytery anytime. There are boxes to receive gifts and items in the porch of the church, and at the Presbytery Front Door 

May God Bless You All, 

REQUIESCAT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the repose of the soul of Charles Westcott, father of Frank Westcott our parish seminarian studying for the priesthood for our Diocese of Brentwood. Charles passed away during the week after being in hospital for several weeks. We offer our condolences to Frank & his sister Lorraine in this time of great loss. As yet, no funeral arrangements.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continue on Sunday 27th November at 10.00am in the Parish Retreat. It is imperative that all children attend each of the Communion Classes. The next Parents’ Meeting will take place on Wednesday 30th November at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall. Sarah Barber will be our guest speaker.  If you are unable to attend for some reason please contact Fr. John directly. 

CAN YOU HELP? We are desperately in need of additional help for the Altar Society; over the past year or so, we’ve lost a number of our regular helpers who clean the church. If you are able to give half an hour or so every month to help keep our Church beautifully clean and tidy, this is all we ask. If you’re able to help please contact Sharon Fitzmaurice 07854919207 or or Fr John. 0208 508 3492 

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP: We will be singing and playing at the 11am Mass on Sunday, 4th December which is the second Sunday of Advent. Beforehand, we’ll be holding a brief practice on Thursday, 1st December from 7pm until 8pm.  We hope that many of you can make the practice and that all of you will be at the Mass. Kindly arrive 20 minutes or so before Mass starts. Thank you. New singers and musicians who may like to join us will be made very welcome!

PARISH ADVENT PENITENTIAL SERVICE: Monday 19th December at 7.30pm. I encourage all of our parishioners to avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in preparation for Christmas. There will be visiting priests to help celebrate the Sacrament, and also a Polish priest for many of our Polish parishioners. If you haven’t been to Confession for a long time this will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate.

ADVANCED NOTICE OF CHRISTMAS MASSES: Christmas Eve there will be two Masses at 6.00pm Family Mass & 10.00pm (with carols at 9.45pm).  Christmas Day two Masses at 9.00am & 11.00am. Please note the times of all the Christmas Masses this year. 

DAILY MASS AT ST EDMUND’S: I would like to make this special appeal, especially to those who may be retired, to think seriously about attending one or more of our daily masses at 10.00am Monday – Saturday. Daily Mass is truly a wonderful gift that is offered in nearly every parish. I get saddened sometimes as to how few people attend our weekday masses. We teach that the Holy Mass is the ‘source & summit’ of our Catholic Lives of faith. There is no greater gift that Christ gave us before his Passion, Death & Resurrection. Please think seriously about attending an additional Mass during the week; the Lord will afford you many graces and blessings.

INAUGURATION OF ADVENT: Service with the lighting of the Advent Wreath, prayers, readings and music on Sunday 27th November at 4.00 p.m. in Brentwood Cathedral. The Service will be led by Bishop Alan Williams. Music from the Brentwood Cathedral choir. You can also watch the service on YouTube: 

BAPTISMS: If there are parents wishing to have their children baptised at St Edmund’s could you kindly contact Fr John as soon as possible. For first time parents there is a Baptismal Programme. Mrs Sharon Chalk runs our Baptismal Programme. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm

THIS IS AN APPEAL TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVEN’T RETURNED TO THE PRACTICE OF FAITH SINCE THE PANDEMIC: The greatest tragedy of the Pandemic is that so many of the faithful haven’t returned to the practice of their faith. It’s so easy to get out of the routine and habit of going to church, and as the passage of time passes, the conscience eases, until you reach a point when you don’t even think about it anymore. We all have so much to be grateful to Almighty God for; and being part of a Catholic Christian Community gives us all a great sense of belonging and identity. As we enter the Advent season I would like to invite all those Catholics who have not returned to the regular practice of faith to seriously think about your Catholic Vocation to be part of the life of Jesus Christ. As we prepare for his birth once again into our lives this Christmas, it would be a wonderful opportunity to return to the practice of faith. When you reflect on the shortness of our lives, you begin to realise that life is not a dress-rehearsal, every day counts, and before you know it life has passed and we stand alone before God accounting for our life. Never let there be missed opportunities!



Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Jackie Ilines, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Bridget Kinsella, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Remy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.  

ANNIVERSARIES: Pat Murphy RIP, Catherine Wright RIP & All our Holy Souls.  Please pray for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

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

SPECIAL APPEAL To all our parishioners who contribute to your parish weekly. Would you please consider to transferring your Weekly Offertory over to a Direct Debit. With the closing of the local HSBC Bank it has been quite difficult paying in the Offertory, and with many banks now only offering a machine deposit service. Please think about this request. Thank you! 

PARISH FINANCES: 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.  Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

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 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: pasta sauce, rice pudding, jam, tinned fruit, snack / breakfast bars, chocolate bars, shower gel, toilet roll and deodorant. URGENTLY NEEDED: Small jars of coffee, washing up liquid, sponge pudding desserts and instant mash. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page:

IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An Irregualr Marriage is one that has taken place outside of the Catholic Church without dispensation. For example: Marriages in hotels, and secualr venues, on beaches or Las Vegas; marriage in a non-Catholic Church without dispensation from the Bishop. These marriages are not recognised by the Catholic Church, and therefore are  non sacramental & irregular. But there is a facility in the Church to recetify these situations called a Convalidation (this is a strictly private facility that is offered by the church). As marriage and family life is what I specialised in while studying Canon Law, if anyone wishes to speak to me confidentially please don’t hesitate to contact me: Tel No: 0208 508 3492

CHILDREN’S SUNDAY LITURGY: Thank you for starting children’s Sunday Liturgy again. But we need more help. Parents, can you spare one Sunday every two months to help the children during the 11.00am Mass? We need more parents to join our lovely group. Please contact Mrs Elena Manara at Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.

FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – or text to 0775470934 with your name and gift aid number.  I would encourage all parishioners to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme. If you are a Tax Payer, it’s a really painless process, all we need is you name and address, there are Gift Aid Application Forms in the Porch of the Church, and Abbie can give you all the help you need re information. We are able to claim back 25 pence in every pound donated to the church, when you use you envelopes or pay by Standing Order.  Please think about joining, and thanks to those who already belong!

ALTAR SERVERS: Recently we had over 30 children make their First Holy Communion. A couple of them have already started Altar Serving. I would like to make an appeal to the whole parish community for some more children to volunteer to become Altar Servers. It is a wonderful way of serving God and the community. Just speak to Fr John directly and he will arrange for training and for you to receive and Alb & Cincture.

If there are children who no longer serve at St Edmund’s, would you kindly return your Alb & Cincture as soon as possible please

REGISTERING AT THE PARISH: It’s always important to have details of all of our parishioners. There are Parish Registration Forms in the Porch of the Church. Please complete and return to the Presbytery.

PARISH UTILITIES: Thankfully, the weather has been pretty mild up to now. May I make an appeal to the whole parish community to kindly remember in your weekly offertory, and especially during this autumn and winter, the use of the utilities in our very big buildings. We are now all on the receiving end of larger Utility Bills. I’m sure we’re all being very careful with the usage of heating and lighting. I don’t think this is something that is going to go away!

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD? At present we only have five seminarians training for the Priesthood in the Diocese of Brentwood. The period of formation for each is several years. If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the priesthood, or who feels they may have a vocation to the Priesthood   please contact Fr Mark Swires

ESCORTED PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK SHRINE, IRELAND on 29th May 2023, led by Bishop Alan Williams. £699.00 per person, sharing; single supplement £150.00. Price includes flight, all transfers, 4 nights in Knock House Hotel with full board. All entertainment and excursions included. Day trips to Westport, Ballintubber Abbey, Croagh Patrick, Fr. Peyton Centre & National Museum. Contact Patricia on 01268 762278 or 07740 175557 or email

PARISH REPOSITORY: There is a lot of new stock in the repository. Christmas Greetings Cards, Cribs, Advent Calendars, Christmas Candles. Mass Cards for deceased. Children’s books. There are also a number of CTS little books in a special stand on all sorts of different issues, the saints etc. There are Statues, rosaries, medals, bracelets. Teresa Wallace is happy to order anything your request; it usually takes about a week to arrive.


Sat 26th               10.00amMargaret & Pat Int’s  (Frank Westcott)   Holy Souls
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 26th                                              6.00pm Lucy McLay RIP (Gormley Family) 
Sun 27th                      9.00amCarmen Antaki RIP (Pat Hodgeson)   Holy Souls
Sun 27th                     11:00amLynette MacDonald Int’s for successful cancer treatment.  Kathleen Pampellonne
Mon 28th                                                 10.00amMaree Kavanagh B’day Int’s. (Pat & Margaret)
Tues 29th    10.00amFr Kieran Dodd RIP (Ann Petch)
Wed 30th                                                          10.00amNorah Rynne RIP (9John McKernan & Family)
Thur 1st December                                                       10.00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Fri 2nd                            10.00amPaul Marianyagam Int’s (Steve & Veronica Short)
Sat 3rd                  10.00amRemy’s Int’s (Frank Westcott)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 3rd                                                                          6.00pmJacqueline Bonaventure Sheehy RIP (Mike Sheehy)
Sun 4th                                                                    9.00amDennis Randall RIP (The Randall Family)
Sun 4th                                            11:00amMaria Trillana (Get Well) (Sarah Ruiz)

Please kindly put your Mass requests in early for anniversaries etc., this is to avoid any disappointment if a particular date has already been booked,

Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492      Email:

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

IN CASES OF EMERGENCY: Tuesday is usually Fr. John’s Day Off. In Cases of emergency please call one of the local parishes, either in Epping – Tel: 01992 572516, or the St. Thomas of Canterbury Friary at Woodford Green – Tel: 020 8504 1688.  This would also apply if Fr. John is away for a few days break or on Retreat. All the local funeral directors have a contact number for Fr. John if a funeral needs to be arranged in his absence.

1st Sunday of Advent

First Reading : Isaiah 2:1-5

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In the days to come

the mountain of the Temple of the Lord

shall tower above the mountains

and be lifted higher than the hills.

All the nations will stream to it,

peoples without number will come to it; and they will say:

  ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

  to the Temple of the God of Jacob

  that he may teach us his ways

  so that we may walk in his paths;

  since the Law will go out from Zion,

  and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’

He will wield authority over the nations

and adjudicate between many peoples;

these will hammer their swords into ploughshares,

their spears into sickles.

Nation will not lift sword against nation,

there will be no more training for war.

O House of Jacob, come,

let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 121(122):1-2,4-5,6-9

I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’

I rejoiced when I heard them say:

  ‘Let us go to God’s house.’

And now our feet are standing

  within your gates, O Jerusalem.

I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’

It is there that the tribes go up,

  the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is,

  there to praise the Lord’s name.

There were set the thrones of judgement

  of the house of David.

I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’

For the peace of Jerusalem pray:

  ‘Peace be to your homes!

May peace reign in your walls,

  in your palaces, peace!’

I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’

For love of my brethren and friends

  I say: ‘Peace upon you!’

For love of the house of the Lord

  I will ask for your good.

I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’

Second Reading : Romans 13:11-14

You know ‘the time’ has come: you must wake up now: our salvation is even nearer than it was when we were converted. The night is almost over, it will be daylight soon – let us give up all the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark; let us arm ourselves and appear in the light. Let us live decently as people do in the daytime: no drunken orgies, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel : Matthew 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away. It will be like this when the Son of Man comes. Then of two men in the fields one is taken, one left; of two women at the millstone grinding, one is taken, one left.

  ‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.


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