Seventh Sunday of Easter. Year A, 2023

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

John 17 contains the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in any of the Gospels. Jesus prays this after He finishes His final instructions to the disciples and before He is betrayed, arrested, and crucified. First, Jesus prays for Himself, then He prays for His disciples, and He closes the prayer by praying for all believers. This intercessory prayer is commonly called Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer.

The office of high priest was instituted at Mount Sinai when God gave the Law to the Israelites through Moses. Aaron and, subsequently, his descendants were chosen to be priests who were responsible for interceding for Israel before God (Exodus 28 – 29). One priest was selected as the high priest who would enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement to offer the sacrifice that would temporarily cover the sins of the people (Hebrews 9:7). When Jesus came, He offered His life as the ultimate sacrifice that would not only cover the sins of the people but completely cleanse His people and save them. Jesus is the ultimate High Priest, and His intercession for us in John 17 is a wonderful, multi-layered example of His love.

As Jesus begins His High Priestly Prayer, He reveals that His purpose in coming to earth was to glorify the Father by giving eternal life to those who believe in Him. Although Jesus is God and was with the Father before the world began (John 17:5), He humbled Himself and came to earth as a man so people would know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ” whom He sent (John 17:3). Now, the hour had come when Jesus’ work on earth would be finished (John 17:1), and Jesus asks the Father to glorify Him as He prepared to finish the work that would “give eternal life” to those who believe in Him (John 17:2).

Jesus continues His High Priestly Prayer by praying for His disciples. The eleven who remained with Him had accepted Jesus’ words, knew that He is God, and believed that the Father sent Him (John 17:8). Jesus talks about the Father giving the disciples to Him and the disciples belonging to the Father; Jesus and the Father have everything in common (John 17:69–10). Jesus mentions that glory has come to Him through the disciples John 17:10

Dear Friends in Christ,                 7th Sunday of Easter

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION 2023: On Sunday 21st May all 18 of our First Holy Communicant will come together for their final celebration, their Going Forth Mass. It is always a great joy and honour to help in the preparations of the children for the Sacraments. I would like to congratulate all the children and their families on this wonderful occasion. Of course, none of this could happen without the dedicated service of our Catechists Kathryn Poulter & Elena Manara, ably assisted by our young Catechists Sophia Burrowes & Julia Fabian. On behalf of the whole parish I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for their dedicated service to God and the Parish Community. It’s also been wonderful to have the assistance of many of the parents throughout the programme. After the 11.00am Mass today the children will have their special Communion Reception in the Parish Hall. 

ALTAR SERVERS: If any of our First Communicants would like to become Altar Servers please see Fr. John as soon as possible. We would arrange for you to have some training. To be an Altar Server is a great honour, in not only assisting and helping the priest at Holy Mass, but serving God in this special ministry.

PARISH READERS: We are always looking for some new Parish Lectors; parishioners who would be willing to read on a regular basis at one of the Sunday Masses. We have a few already, but it would be wonderful if there could be a few more volunteers. ALSO: If any of our regular weekday Mass attendees would be willing to read at the weekday masses we could organise a rota. Since Covid there haven’t been any regular readers. You may feel called to this ministry, and once again, it is doing something for God and the Community. Please speak to Fr. John.

SACRISTANS: Fr John could really do with some additional help in the Sacristy especially during the week. I have been very dependent upon Veronica Short over the past few years. But it would be good if another couple of people could volunteer during the week to help in setting up for Mass each day, and clearing up afterwards. It really doesn’t take that long to do. We could organise a rota of days. Once again this is service of God and the Community. 

THANK YOU: To the 4 parishioners who kindly volunteered to assist with some parish administration. I’m truly grateful for your generosity of spirit; hopefully there will be ehough to keep us going for a few weeks.

May God Bless You, 

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK Congratulations to Iain McLay and Billy-the-Dog for completing his sponsored walk to the various Cathedrals this week on behalf of Christian Aid. You may have been following their travels on our WhatsApp Parish site. If you sponsored Iain and Billy he will be available after all of the Masses next weekend to collect sponsorship monies. Also if there any parishioners who would like to make donations to Christian Aid please just give them to Iain personally.  (

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: 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 – Bridget Kinsella our oldest parishioner at 100, who passed away recently. Funeral arrangements to be confirmed. 

FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – or text to 07754700934 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!

ST ANTONY’S WOODFORD VACANCY: The Governing Body of St. Antony’s Catholic Primary School wishes to appoint an experienced KS1/KS2 Class Teacher to start in September 2023. The closing date is Tuesday 23rd May at noon. For more information, please visit the website: or email

‘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:

NOTE FOR OUR CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP At our 11am Mass on Sunday, 7th May, we had 15 singers – an excellent turnout. It would be really good if we can have the same number (and more!) at our next 11am Mass which in on Sunday, 4th June (Trinity Sunday).

We will be practising for this Mass on Thursday, 1st June, 7pm to 8pm and we’d love to see you all there as well. At our last practice, we only had 5 singers turn up and they get the gold stars. We have another 10 or more gold stars to give out, so please do come to the practice as well!

Please pass the word around and also encourage more young parishioners and their families to join our happy group! 

Holy Virgin Godmother Vector Stock Vector.

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  

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


Edgar Azzopardi, 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, Les Langan,  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: Jim Kavangh 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.  


Sat 20th            10.00amSandy Sandhu RIP
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 20th    6.00pm Jane & Stephen Barrett & Terry Barrett RIP  (Margaret Hopkinson)
Sun 21st             9.00amRoderick McFadyen RIP (David Knott)
Sun 21st          11:00amPeople of the Parish
Mon 22nd   10.00amIan Campbell (B’day Anni). Brenda Bryant
Tues 23rd                   10.00amMary and Ernie Walsh RIP (Helen & Bill Walsh)
Wed 24th           12.15pm REQUIEM MASS  Mary Webber RIP
Thur 25th                  10.00am2.30pmMalcolm Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)REQUIEM MASS John McMorrow RIP
Fri 26th             9.00amEdward Martin Duffy RIP ((Margaret Duffy)
Sat 27th      10.00am Frederick & Nancy Burgess RIP (M Abbs)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 27th                  6.00pmDavid Jarvis RIP (Michael & Sarah Ruiz)
Sun 28th                                                    9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 28th                   11:00amCarmelita Bacani RIP (Rey & Ingrid Bacani)

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

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