Third Sunday of Easter. Year A, 2023

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

The road of life is similar to the road to Emmaus. Like the two disciples, Cleopas and his anonymous companion, we too can be kept from recognising the Lord as we walk along the highway of life. What kept the disciples from recognising the risen Lord is what prevents us also. But more of that later! Luke, gifted and inspired writer that he was, captures in a most beautiful and striking way all the events surrounding the resurrection of Jesus, compressing both the facts and the mystery into a few verses.

 We can see that these two disciples were on the road to faith themselves as they believed Jesus to be merely a prophet and not the Son of God. Perhaps this is why the Lord appears to rebuke them: ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then these disciples receive probably the most privileged Bible study ever – Jesus himself, beginning with Moses (the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament) and moving on to the Prophets (which ones we don’t know but very likely, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel), unpacked the Hebrew Scriptures so that they could see how they pointed to the Christ. Yet it would seem that, despite this incredible Bible study, they still didn’t fully recognise the Lord. It was almost as if he was playing a game of ‘cat and mouse’ or hide and seek’ with them. Road to Emmaus icon Handmade Greek Orthodox icon of Jesus image 1

When Jesus made as if he was going further than Emmaus, the two disciples urged him to stay, and it was only when he was at the table with them and broke bread that they fully recognised the risen Lord. The breaking of bread is a reference to the Eucharist, and their ‘hearts burning within’ is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the Scriptures alive. What keeps us from recognising the Lord is our failure to immerse our minds in the Scriptures. Just as Jesus led the disciples on the road to Emmaus to a deeper faith through immersing their minds and hearts in the Scriptures, so we too enter the mystery of faith through becoming ever more familiar with the power of God’s Word.

Dear Friends in Christ:                                   3rd Sunday of Easter 2023

As the Gospel informs us today, in recognising Jesus at the Breaking of Break the two disciples cannot contain their joy, and even return the seven miles back to Jerusalem to inform the Apostles that they had encountered the Risen Lord.  It is when we gather together each week for the Eucharist (the breaking of bread), that we also encounter the Risen Lord. Jesus Christ, Son of God, cannot be contained by time or space anymore. He desires that we share in his ‘New Life’; and for the Christian, this is the life of faith! Ask yourself the rhetorical question, can I live my life without Jesus Christ? Obviously, many people do, and many people walk away from Jesus; but life only makes sense in Christ. He is ‘The Way, the truth and the life’, there is no other alternative. When you know Jesus Christ everything else takes second place! During this Easter Season, try to read the Scriptures about the Resurrection; read the post-resurrection stories of the Risen Lord, how he reassures the apostles and disciples, giving them strength and courage to ‘go out into the whole world, and proclaim the Good News.’ It is still the same mission that is entrusted to every Christian, you and me.

Wishing you All a Very Blessed & Happy Week,



ELECTRONIC EASTER OFFERING: Envelopes will be available for your Easter Offering, which is your opportunity to make your Easter gift to your Parish Priest, which goes to make up his salary for the Year. This year our Easter Offering can also be made electronically. We just need to transfer the money to the parish account with the reference ‘Easter Offering’; please also quote you Gift Aid Number. 

Any questions please ask Iain McLay ( 

The details of the bank account are: 

 Sort Code: 40-13-22

Account Number: 11019651 Quote: ‘Easter Offering’ & Gift Aid No.    Account Name: Catholic Church Loughton St Edmund

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  The next session for our children will take place on Sunday 23rd April at 10.00am in the Parish Retreat. As we are rapidly coming to the end of the First Holy Communion Programme, first and foremost, I would like to express my sincere and grateful thanks to our Programme Director Kathryn Poulter, ably assisted by Elena Manara, and their young helpers. It’s no mean task to give of your time freely to help these children in their Sacramental Preparation, and the parish is very grateful.  The children are due to make their Frist Holy Communion on Saturday the 13th May at 12Noon, and Sunday 14th May at 1.00pm. The rehearsal date is Wednesday 10th May at 5.00pm for Group 1; and 6.00pm for Group 2. This will be in the Church. The following Sunday 21st May the children will celebrate their Going Forth Mass at 11.00am Please keep the children and their families in your thoughts and prayers. This is a really special time in their young lives. First Reconciliation  First Communion - The Church Of Holy Apostles

‘THE PRIESTS’ – CHARITY CONCERT: Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society is delighted to announce that the Northern Irish classical singing trio ‘The Priests’ will be performing a second charity concert on Friday 30th June 2023 at the Brentwood Cathedral at 7.30pm. All tickets can be purchased directly through Eventbrite and are £30 per person plus booking fee: We urge you to book early in order to avoid disappointment. Why not organise a minibus or a coach to bring a group from your parish to Brentwood Cathedral? It promises to be a great evening of entertainment. Full details are available on our website:


Our practice (for the 11am Mass on Sunday, 7th May) has been changed from Tuesday, 2nd May to Thursday, 4th May at the same time of 7pm to 8pm in the Choir loft. We hope you can all be there for the 4th May practice as well as for the 7th May Mass. We would like to encourage more of our young parishioners and families to join our Group, so please consider coming along to our 4th May practice – you will be made very welcome!

Head of School – St John Fisher Catholic Primary School The Trustees of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Multi Academy Trust are seeking to appoint a Head of School for St John Fisher Catholic Primary.  This person will be an enthusiastic, inspirational leader, who is passionate about learning and who shares the schools values and lives their mission. Required: September 2023; Salary: L10 – 16 ;  Closing Date: Monday 8th May, 12 noon   Interviews: Wednesday 24th May

For further details please visit or alternatively call Mrs Irene Nelson, H.R. Manager on 01279 425383.

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!

READERS & EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS: Thank you to those who contacted Julie to resume your Eucharistic Ministry.  Julie Callender, has sent out the Ministers’ Rota, but there may need to be a few adjustments. Julie’s ‘phone numbers are 07834 088661 (mobile – preferred) and 020 8502 3854 (land line) and her email is  READERS: We are in need of some new Readers at our weekend and weekday masses. We’ve contacted our former Readers, but it would be good to have some new readers especially some young readers Please contact Julie or Fr John  

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

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 struggling during this cost of living crisis. The Foodbank have asked for support with the following items: sponge pudding desserts, custard, juice, tinned meat, noodles, snack bars, small chocolate bars, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, toilet roll and deodorant. Please place any donations in the dedicated plastic boxes in the garage. 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


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

ANNIVERSARIES: James McRory RIP, Michael Touhy RIP. 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

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 ...

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

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.

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.

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Journey of Faith. Is there anyone who may be interested in the RCIA Programme, possibly with the view of being received into full-communion with the Roman Catholic Faith? Every year we run this programme leading to reception into the Church at the Easter Vigil. It is a systematic programme of every aspect of Catholcism, including Scripture, Sacramental Life, and The Dogma’s of our Faith, Catholic Practice & traditions, Christology & Mariology, Study of the Church.   Please see Fr John who will explain the whole process to you. 

DO YOU LIKE SINGING? As you know we have a wonderful Choir and Choir Director in Sue Farrow. We are looking for new choir members who like singing with others. We learn traditional and contemporary pieces of music, and also sing Motets in four parts. If you’re interested please speak to Sue or Fr John. Choir practice on Wednesdays & Saturdays.  

SICK & HOUSEBOUND: If there are any parishioners who have become sick or housebound, please notify Fr John, who will be only too happy to make a house call and bring Holy Communion on a regular basis. It’s important that we’re able to keep in touch with all of our parishioners, and especially those who are sick.  

PARISH ALTAR SERVERS: Quite a number of Altar Servers ceased serving at Mass since the Pandemic. I’m making a special appeal to all former Altar Servers to kindly return their Albs to the Sacristy.  Albs are extremely expensive to buy these days, and I believe there a quite a few still out there not being used anymore.  If any young person wishes to become an Altar Server, please see Fr. John as soon as possible; we can help to prepare you to serve at the Altar. This is a truly wonderful ministry, and it is a special way of serving God and the whole community of faith.

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.

RETROUVAILLE: Help Your Marriage – Do you feel alone? Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue … or have you just stopped talking to each other? Does talking about it only make it worse? Retrouvaille is a programme to support couples who have difficulties in their marriage. It brings a positive focus, new hope and helps nourish and grow your marriage. Tens of thousands of couples headed for divorce have successfully saved their marriages by attending and using the tools provided. The programme helps spouses uncover or reawaken the love, trust and commitment that originally brought them together. It helps them through difficult times whether they are disillusioned or in deep misery. There is no group therapy or group work. For confidential information about ‘Retrouvaille’ or to register for the next programme. a virtual weekend on 6 – 9 July 2023, call or text 07887 296983 or 07973 380443. Alternatively, email

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 run by Mrs Sharon Chalk. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm

LEADERSHIP VACANCIES IN DIOCESAN SCHOOLS: Details of all positions can be found at the following link /vacancies/school-vacancies/

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES 2023 Join Bishop Alan in Lourdes from Monday 24th to Saturday 29th July. We can support those with medical needs. For further information, please ‘phone Tangney Tours on 01732 886 666 or book online: Brentwood Lourdes – Lourdes – Tangney Tours (

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.  

Letter from the Mr Ian Kendal, Executive Headteacher of the 

Our Lady of Fatima, Catholic Multi Acadamy Trust

Recent Religious Education Ofsted Inspection

Dear Parishioners,

I am delighted to share with you a summary of the outcome of your schools’ recent Catholic School Inspection.  St John Fisher Catholic Primary school was inspected on the 23rd and 24th March 2023. The purpose of inspection was to report to on the quality of the Catholic life and mission of the school, of religious education and of collective worship. Inspectors observed learning and acts of worship, talked to staff and pupils, analyse data, and held discussions with the school’s leadership. 

In summary, the report recognises and celebrates the schools’ ambition for the children. The Inspectors said, “Pupils are wonderful ambassadors for the school; they are happy, confident and feel secure.”

The school’s mission and purpose shone throughout the report. “Pupil behaviour in class and around the school is very good.” They also noted “The spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of all is given the highest priority” and that “Teachers place Christ at the heart of the curriculum.” Fr John received a particular mention – “the parish priest is a guiding presence for the children.”

The Inspectors reflected on our curriculum stating:

“The innovative Caritas curriculum pervades all subjects as well as promoting an understanding of the unique person and supporting the spiritual and moral development of all.”

The Inspectors also highlighted the great work all our adults do for the children we serve. They noted that we

  • “strive to maintain a focus on improvement and on providing high quality experiences of learning in faith for all pupils”
  • “move learning forward through effective questioning and the use of resources, and ensure pupils make progress in lessons.”

If your child does not yet attend a Catholic Primary school, I would encourage you to come and visit St John Fisher, see the great learning that the children enjoy and see how, as a school, we inspire our children to be wonderful ambassadors who are happy, confident and feel secure.”

We would also welcome visits from our parishioners if you wish to see the school, please make an appointment with the school office. 

The full report can be read on the school website.


Sat 22nd          10.00amVera & Joseph Duffy RIP (M Duffy)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 22nd  6.00pm Patricia Carroll RIP (Michael & Gemma)
Sun 23rd          9.00amJohn & Sue Campbell’s Int’s (Ian & Rosemary Johnson)
Sun 23rd       11:00amBernie Euesden RIP (Liz Newman)
Mon 24th           10.00amRon Bryant RIP (Brenda Bryant)
Tues 25th                10.00amKenneth George Tudhope RIP (Margaret Duffy
Wed 26th        10.00am Charles & Yvonne Westcott RIP (Frank Westcott)
Thur 27th                10.00amBrian Davis’ Int’s (Steve & Veronica Short)
Fri 28th           10.00amEileen Galvin RIP (Meg Fowler)
Sat 29th                10.00amTony Ironside RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 29th                6.00pmVeronica Godsave RIP (Geraldine & Robert Taylor)
Sun 30th                                                9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 30th                11:00amRobert Taylor RIP (B’day Anni) Eileen Lee

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

3rd Sunday of Easter

First Reading : Acts 2:14,22-33

On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: ‘Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you all know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified by men outside the Law. You killed him, but God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since, as David says of him:

I saw the Lord before me always,

for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.

So my heart was glad

and my tongue cried out with joy;

my body, too, will rest in the hope

that you will not abandon my soul to Hades

nor allow your holy one to experience corruption.

You have made known the way of life to me,

you will fill me with gladness through your presence.

‘Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne, what he foresaw and spoke about was the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not experience corruption. God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. Now raised to the heights by God’s right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.’

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 15(16):1-2,5,7-11

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.

  I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;

  it is you yourself who are my prize.’

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,

  who even at night directs my heart.

I keep the Lord ever in my sight:

  since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;

  even my body shall rest in safety.

For you will not leave my soul among the dead,

  nor let your beloved know decay.

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

You will show me the path of life,

  the fullness of joy in your presence,

  at your right hand happiness for ever.

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

Second Reading : 1 Peter 1:17-21

If you are acknowledging as your Father one who has no favourites and judges everyone according to what he has done, you must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home. Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you from the useless way of life your ancestors handed down was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ; who, though known since before the world was made, has been revealed only in our time, the end of the ages, for your sake. Through him you now have faith in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory for that very reason – so that you would have faith and hope in God.

Gospel : 

Luke 24:13-35

Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.

  Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’

  Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.

  When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

  They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

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