Sixth Sunday of Easter. Year A, 2023

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Dear Friends in Christ,                                   Sixth Sunday of Easter  

Parental love is a fierce kind of love. Every parent wants the best for their children and will move heaven and earth for them. If a child is thirsty, a parent will get them a drink and not a toy to play with. Or if a child is hungry, a parent will get some food and not a book to read. Using the same analogy Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit: ‘Which of you fathers, if your child asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?’ God is our Father and the greatest gift we have received is the Holy Spirit.

The question is, though: are we a people of the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit feature in the way that we think and act? Do we rely on, trust and turn to the Holy Spirit during our day? Next time you face a challenge, a really difficult situation; observe who you turn to first – yourself or the Holy Spirit? And there’s as Shakespeare might say, ‘the rub’. Because the Spirit was given not simply to be with us when we are in a tight spot, struggling or in desperate need – the Spirit was given so that we would walk with God in fellowship and communion.

We are in fellowship with the Spirit in a unique way when we read or hear the word of God in the Sacred Scriptures, because the Bible is the Holy-Spirit inspired Word. We encounter the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church and especially when we celebrate the Eucharist. The Spirit is with us when we pray and when we strive to live not in our own strength but in his power. We are people of the Holy Spirit and it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we proclaim Jesus as Lord. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate, our Counsellor and our Friend.

  ‘The Holy Spirit longs to find the gates of our heart, so that he may enter in and dwell there, and sanctify it; and he goes round about to all the gates to see where he may enter.’  (Ephraim the Syrian).

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION 2023: This weekend we will celebrate the First Holy Communion of 18 children from our parish community. This is truly a very special day in their lives as they receive Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.  I extend my sincere and grateful thanks to our Programme Director Kathryn Poulter, and ably assisted by Elena Manara and their young h elpers. The children have been preparing since last September and this weekend it is the culmination of a lot of hard work. On Sunday 21st May, both groups of First Communicants will gather to celebrate the Going Forth Mass at 11.00am followed by their Communion Reception. Please pray for all these children and their families this weekend. May this be the first of many Communions in their young lives of faith!

ASCENSION THURSDAY: 18th May 2023 – Is a Holy Day of Obligation; which means it has the same status as a Sunday. Jesus promised the Apostles at the Last Supper, that he would send them the Holy Spirit as the eternal gift of his love, but this could only happen if he returns to the Father. Jesus has completed his earthly ministry, now, in going home to the Father, the work of Evangelisation will begin for the Apostles, who will ‘Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News.’

 Masses on Ascension Day will be at 9.00am, 12.15pm & 7.30pm at St Edmund’s Church. And 10,00am at St John Fisher School, to which parishioners are invited. 

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK this year will be May 14th-May 21st. There are three things happening during the week to raise money. “Billy-the-Dog”, with Iain McLay, will be sponsored walking to a Cathedral each day. For that they will be collecting sponsors after every mass this weekend.  Then, on the 20th May, there will be a sponsored walk around all churches in Loughton, starting at 10am from St John’s Church, with lunch at 12noon back at St John’s and then continuing at 1pm and finishing at 3pm, please join for all or part. Finally there is a collection at Loughton Station (3-8pm) on Thursday 16th May and volunteers to help for an hour would be much appreciated, please email Iain McLay if you can help (

May God Bless You All,     

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the repose of the soul of the late Lidia Cook RIP, who was a regular parishioner at St Edmund’s. Her Requiem Mass will be on Wednesday 17th May at 12.30pm at St Edmund’s and 2.00pm at Forest Park Crematorium.

ALSO – Mary Webber RIP, late of this parish who passed away recently. Her Requiem Mass will be on Wednesday 24th May at 12.15pm at St Edmund’s at 1.30pm at Parndon Wood Crematorium. 

ALSO – John McMorrow RIP (Brother of Maureen Perry) who passed away recently. The Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Thursday 25th May at 2.30pm followed by Cremation at 4.00pm at Forest Park Crematorium 

ALSO – Edmund Schvindling RIP, (Husband of Remy) who passed away this week. No funeral arrangement as yet.

ALSO – David Jarvis RIP (Father of Nick Jarvis). David lived in Loughton for many years, and would be known to many parishioners.

ALSO – Esther Daly (Mother of Joe Daly) who passed away recently. 

We extend our condolences to all these families in this time of great loss.

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! 

‘THE PRIESTS’ – CHARITY CONCERT: Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society announce the 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. It promises to be a great evening of entertainment. Full details are available on our website:

PARISH REPOSITORY: There are a variety of First Holy Communion gifts available in the repository – Children’s Missals, Rosaries, medals, statues, candles, Communion Cards, crosses. Teresa Wallace is always very helpful in ordering any religious item you wish. The parish repository is available all week. Please leave your money for items in the box provided. Thank you!   

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, Noel Johnson, 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: 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 (


Sat 13th            10.00am
Charles & Yvonne Westcott RIP (Frank Westcott)FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 13th    6.00pm Bridget Burrows RIP (Geraldine Taylor)
Sun 14th            9.00amMaureen Wright 80th Birthday (In Thanksgiving)
Sun 14th         11:00am1.00pmG B (E L)FIRST HOLY COMMUNION (T Okeowo)
Mon 15th  10.00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Tues 16th                  10.00amEmma & Reuben Dorn’s Int’s (John O’Rourke)
Wed 17th          12.30pm REQUIEM MASS: Lidia Cook RIP
Thur 18th                  AscensionThursday9.00am10,00am12.15pm7/30pmMartin & Maria Laffey’s Int’s (Remy)People of the ParishRemy’s B’day Int’s (Pat & Margaret)Arnold Prayer RIP (Marjorie Fairlamb)
Fri 19th             9.30amKathleen & William Walstow RIP
Sat 20th      10.00am Sandy Sandhu RIP
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 20th                  6.00pmJane & Stephen Barrett & Terry Barrett RIP  (Margaret Hopkinson)
Sun 21st                                                   9.00amRoderick McFadyen RIP (David Knott)
Sun 21st                  11:00amPeople of the ParishGOING FORTH MASS 

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.  

6th Sunday of Easter

First Reading : Acts 8:5-8,14-17

Philip went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves. There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.

  When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, and they went down there, and prayed for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 65(66):1-7,16,20

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Cry out with joy to God all the earth,

  O sing to the glory of his name.

O render him glorious praise.

  Say to God: ‘How tremendous your deeds!

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

 ‘Before you all the earth shall bow;

  shall sing to you, sing to your name!’

Come and see the works of God,

  tremendous his deeds among men.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

He turned the sea into dry land,

  they passed through the river dry-shod.

Let our joy then be in him;

  he rules for ever by his might.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Come and hear, all who fear God.

  I will tell what he did for my soul:

Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer

  nor withhold his love from me.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Second Reading : 1 Peter 3:15-18

Reverence the Lord Christ in your hearts, and always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have. But give it with courtesy and respect and with a clear conscience, so that those who slander you when you are living a good life in Christ may be proved wrong in the accusations that they bring. And if it is the will of God that you should suffer, it is better to suffer for doing right than for doing wrong.

  Why, Christ himself, innocent though he was, had died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life.

Gospel : John 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.

I shall ask the Father,

and he will give you another Advocate

to be with you for ever,

that Spirit of truth

whom the world can never receive

since it neither sees nor knows him;

but you know him,

because he is with you, he is in you.

I will not leave you orphans;

I will come back to you.

In a short time the world will no longer see me;

but you will see me,

because I live and you will live.

On that day you will understand that I am in my Father

and you in me and I in you.

Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them

will be one who loves me;

and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father,

and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

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