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Twenty-Eighth Sunday of the Year 2018

28th Sunday of the Year 2018

Dear Friends in Christ, 

‘Come follow me!’ The rich young man wanted to love God and inherit eternal life. His genuine efforts delighted Jesus. Nonetheless, Jesus saw that he was relying on his own efforts to gain salvation. By inviting him to see all his goods, Jesus opened up a choice to him. Would he acknowledge his insufficiency and turn to Jesus for the grace to move forward, or would he turn away defeated and despairing?

wisdomThe Lord wants us to come to him for salvation to arrive at the point where we discover our weakness and frailty and then turn to him for grace, strength and life. It is essential that we discover this moment in our lives at least once or, as is more likely, again and again. Do we depend on ourselves or on God? The heart of ‘being saved’ is acknowledging our need and depending on God. We cannot taste the goodness of the Lord id we rely only on ourselves.

Jesus challenged the man to a decision. Similarly, Jesus challenges us to make wise and godly choices. The choice is genuinely ours, as the young man’s choice was his. He could not make the decision to follow Jesus because the sacrifice of all his possessions seemed too great to him.

We sometimes fail to make the choices demanded of us. The sacrifices involved seem too much for us. For this reason Jesus promises us that giving up everything for his sake will be rewarded a hundredfold. The reward far outweighs the cost. He asks us to believe his promise and act upon it.

2When we are following Jesus everything else in our lives loses importance: ‘I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord’. The young man clung to the security of his possessions because he could put his trust in Jesus’ love for him. Only by experiencing Jesus’ love shall we be able to believe his promises and act upon them without counting the cost. Therefore we need to pray persistently to grow in our knowledge of his love for us. This is the key to following Jesus. Then not lacking one thing, we shall have treasure in heaven.

Pastoral Letter for the 28th Sunday of the Year

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This weekend the Holy Father will canonize Archbishop Oscar Romero and Pope Paul VI – they, and four others, will become Saints of our Church.

Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated whilst celebrating Mass in a hospital in March 1980. Despite threats he had become an outspoken voice for the poor in defence of truth and justice. He achieved much by his life and even more by his martyrdom. In the weeks before he died he spoke to a journalist about the threats to his life and told him: “You can say, if they come to kill me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully they may realise that they will be wasting their time. A bishop will die but the Church of God, which is the people, will never perish.”

Pope Paul VI can also be remembered for his courageous proclamation of the Gospel. He reminded us that faith is often caught rather than taught, and he wrote: “Above all the Gospel must be proclaimed by witness…Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way?… Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one” [Evangelii Nuntiandi n21].

The witness of Oscar Romero is a model for each of us, and in a particular way for bishops. As he visited the towns and villages of El Salvador, and saw the violence against the people, Romero said, “The ones who have a voice must speak for those who are voiceless.” How true this is for children, and vulnerable adults, yet in recent months we have been shocked and saddened by the example of bishops who have covered up the truth and therefore allowed injustice to flourish. We have heard stories of survivors of sexual abuse whose most basic rights have been violated by Catholic clergy or other members of the Church. The lives of survivors have been violated and in some cases destroyed by the crimes of the abusers. Those in authority in the Church have often failed to act.

In Brentwood Diocese, the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults has developed significantly over the last twenty years, and now involves many staff and volunteers at diocesan and parish level, and in our schools. Our Diocesan Safeguarding Commission includes representatives from the Metropolitan Police, the legal profession, and social workers, together with clergy and lay people who have extensive experience in education and youth ministry. With all my heart, I urge any survivor of abuse to speak out. I know that this can be very difficult, and so I promise, as your Bishop, that every allegation of abuse will be met with a response that is both pastoral and professional. I thank our parish Safeguarding representatives for the work that they do, and I affirm that safeguarding must be the concern of all of us who are able to give a “voice to the voiceless.” It is one of the ways in which, in the words of Pope Paul VI, we “proclaim the Gospel by our witness.”

So we are now going further: during our recent visit to Rome the Bishops’ Conference decided to commission an independent and comprehensive review of safeguarding structures that currently operate within the Catholic Church of England and Wales. Our children and vulnerable adults must be safe in the Church of Christ. We need to respond to survivors as we heed the words of Pope Francis, “No effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening”.

The martyrdom of Saint Oscar Romero points to hope rather than despair, to a kingdom of truth and justice. His time as Archbishop was full of great trials – five of the priests of his Diocese were shot in just three years, and many hundreds of parishioners were tortured and killed by the military dictatorship. Through all of this, he preached peace and he preached love. He said, “Let us not tire of preaching love, even when we see waves of violence succeed in drowning the fire of Christian love. Love must win out. It is the only force that will overcome the world. Always preach love.”

We may feel overwhelmed or inadequate to this task, and we may be utterly disheartened by the news of recent months. Oscar Romero said each one of us should be “God’s microphone,” tirelessly proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ as friend of the poor, crucified Lord and risen Saviour, even in the most difficult times – especially in the most difficult times. So let us take heart from the example of Oscar Romero and Pope Paul VI, and let us be strengthened by the words of today’s Gospel: “Many things seem impossible – but not for God; for everything is possible for God”.

With an assurance of continued prayers,

Yours in Christ and Mary,

+Alan Williams, sm

Bishop of Brentwood

ANNUAL PARISH BAZAAR (Saturday 1st December, 11am – 3pm.)

ChristmasAs you know, the Annual Bazaar tends to be the only major fund-rising event that we have throughout the year. Its success is always dependent upon your generosity. So once again I appeal to your generosity for gifts and items for the Bazaar. This Weekend we will place the Bazaar Bin at the back of the Church; you can place your gifts and items in the box, or you can drop off anything at the Presbytery during the week. A BAZAAR IS NOT A JUMBLE SALE, please ensure that your gifts and items are worthy of sale! New items are preferable: e.g. Toiletries, fancy goods, bric-a-brac, cuddly toys, new toys, Jams & Preserves, Sweets, (Boxes of Chocolates, Christmas Selection boxes, Tins of Sweets, Christmas Sweets, Candy Canes

BOTTLE STALL:

Is always one of the most popular stalls at the Bazaar.bottles We are appealing for Bottles of Wine and Spirits. We are aiming for 300, in that way we can make the bottle stall much bigger this year. If you have bottles of Wine and Spirits, you can drop them off at the presbytery at any time. Please be generous!

Suggestions for Grand Draw Prizes:

If anyone could donate any of the Money Prizes this would be helpful? 1st Prize £200; 2nd Prize £100; 3rd Prize £50; Flat Screen Colour Television; I Pad; I Pod; Wii Game; Kindle, X Box games; DVD Player; CD Player; Theatre Vouchers; Crate of Wine; Tickets for Dinner at Restaurants; Theatre Tickets; Hairdressing & Beauty vouchers; Marks & Spencer Christmas Hamper, and various other hampers and many more prizes. If you can help with any of these prizes we would be most grateful.

FR. JOHN’S STALL:

presentEvery year I try to enter into the full spirit of the Parish Bazaar; I run a stall with really excellent prizes. They are all donated by your good selves! I appeal to the whole parish community for really good quality gifts for my stall. Thanking you all in anticipation of your generosity! Flat Screen Television is a must! A Christmas Hamper; I Pad or I Pod; Kindle; Crate of Wine; Theatre Tickets; CD Music Player; X Box; Restaurant Vouchers, Theatre Vouchers and any other luxury goods that you might think worthy of a special raffle. Thanking you in anticipation!

PARISH BAZAAR – SATURDAY 1st December 2018

11.00am – 3.00pm


ANNUAL PARISH BAZAAR:

Saturday 1st December 2018. There will be a Bazaar Committee Meeting on Tuesday 10th October at 8.00pm in the Parish Retreat. If you are able to help with the annual parish bazaar, please do make a very special effort to attend this important meeting, Thank you!

TOILETRIES: santaAre always popular at a Parish Bazaar, if you have any toiletries can you let us have them as soon as possible. Please ensure that all toiletries and unopened, and unused. Please try to make a very special effort in even providing one item for the Toiletries Stall. Thank you!

SMALL CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR SANTA’S GROTTO: If you see any small toys or gifts for children, that you might feel would be good for Santa’s Grotto, please also think of the Bazaar. Every little helps. “If everyone does a little, a lot gets done!”

HELPERS ARE NEEDED THIS YEAR: helpWe need help in sorting out the gifts that are donated on a weekly basis; also transporting the gifts and items to the presbytery or the storage room at the back of the parish hall. If you can help in the process we would be most grateful. Sadly these tasks are usually just left for the few, the more help we have the more we can get done! If you can help please speak to Fr. John. Thanking you in anticipation.

MATCHED GIVING: COULD WE MAKE A SPECIAL APPEAL THIS YEAR FOR ADDITIONAL MATCHED GIVING? Can anyone help again this year with Matched Giving from your Firm or Bank? Many companies do employ a Matched Giving facility, all you need to do is ask your place of employment; this truly would be of great benefit to us. If you work at the bazaar on a particular stall, whatever is raised is matched by the company. Please look in to it!

GRAND DRAW MONEY PRIZES: If there are any parishioners who would be able to donate this year’s Grand Draw Money Prizes, I would be most grateful, Or any other Money donations are always gratefully accepted. If you use the Parish Gift Aid Scheme, these prizes and money donations can be Gift Aided, all we need is your name orenvelope number. Thank you!giftaid

Prayers for our Parish

St Edmund of Canterbury and St Thomas More

Parish Prayer Booklet 2018(Printable PDF copy)

As we begin a new initiative “Forming Intentional Disciples’ in our parish, let us pray together that we will grow in love for God and one another.

 

stewards

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection

Do I allow the Holy Spirit to speak in my heart?

Do I ask Jesus: What do you want me to do, what do you want from my life?

This is training.  Ask Jesus, speak to Jesus, and if you make a mistake in your life,

If you should fall, if you should do something wrong, don’t be afraid.

Jesus, look at what I have done what must I do now?

Speak continually with Jesus, in the good times and the bad,

When you do it right and when you do it wrong.  Do not fear him!

This is prayer

Pope Francis


Prayer for Intentional Discipleship

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this great opportunity to grow in love and relationship with you.

I know that you are calling me to know you more deeply through your son Jesus.

I open my heart to the great power of your Holy Spirit and I invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary as I begin this new journey to find you from within, and to realise the gifts I received through my baptism.

Help me Father, to be released from any preconceived notions that stifle the creativity of the Holy Spirit, so that I am completely in your hands and compliant to all that you wish for me.

I pray also for my fellow pilgrims, that we will support, inspire and enthuse each other, fanning the spark of faith into a fire that fills us with the desire to proclaim the Good News of your Gospel.

Take from me any thought of self and give me the courage and humility I need to speak out and listen respectfully. So that together we may grow in confidence, give witness to you with joy and build your Kingdom.

I thank you Father in joyful anticipation, and offer this prayer through Jesus Christ your Son.

Amen


Prayer for Evangelisation (Proclaim 15)

Loving Father, You so loved the world that you sent us your only Son that we might believe in him and have eternal life.

May we encounter Jesus Christ anew this day
and live the Good News with joy.

Through the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to “go out to the whole world and proclaim” our faith with confidence.

Give us the courage to witness to the Joy of the Gospel by our words and actions.
Help our parish to become more welcoming and missionary, so that you may be known and loved by all people.

We make this prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever,

Amen.

 

Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelisation,

Pray for us.

Blessed John Henry Newman,

Pray for us.

St Thérèse of Lisieux,

Pray for us.


Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Glory be to the Father –

In whom we live and move

And have our being.

Glory be to the Son –

Whose name we bear

And who calls each of us

To be his disciples;

To build his Kingdom

And to go out into the world

And bear its fruit.

 

Glory be to the Holy Spirit –

Pouring out grace and guidance,

Forming us and renewing us.

 

Inspire us all in our parish

To live the Gospel,

To be open to change

And to move forward together in hope.

 

‘We believe that God’s desire for our diocese is that every Catholic will be part of a viable and flourishing community in order for their own faith to grow and so that they can share it with others.  For that to happen each of us need to look urgently at how we can move forward together with hope. Bishop Alan

stewards

Twenty-Seventh Sunday of the Year 2018

27th Sunday of the Year 2018(PDF of the full Parish newsletter)

Dear Friends in Christ, 

Our Sunday Gospel readings are taken from St. Mark’s Gospel, while the weekday readings are taken from St. Luke. So today we interrupt the Lucan sequence and read about the way Jesus handled an attempt by the Pharisees to catch him out by a question on the lawfulness of divorce. Clearly, the Law of Moses permitted some form of divorce. Jesus however, referred them back to God’s original plan of creation. IN creating human beings male and female, it is evident that, in God’s purpose, man and woman are made for each other, for communion in an unbreakable bond. In a real sense, the union of man and woman in marriage reflects the ‘image of God’. God also is communion – a union of relationship between the Father and the Son. Over the centuries the Church has come to understand that the love that unites the Father and the Son is no less than the Holy Spirit. BY referring back to the Creation, and so the time before the Fall of humankind and the entrance of sin into human relationships, Jesus is also announcing the salvation the he has come to bring about and its effects within the relationship and vocation of marriage.

familyIn a profound way, we can see a link between today’s reading and the reading from Luke yesterday, which spoke of our participation in the heavenly life of the Trinity. The work of redemption brought about by Jesus, in which we are given a share through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, has the effect of restoring to humanity the full purpose of God’s creation because in Jesus the power of sin and the Fall can be overcome, and because the gift of the Spirit enables us to live again as ‘the image of God’. The love and communion which characterises the relationships within the Trinity can be reflected now within the relationship within marriage.

This profound truth does not automatically transform the marriage relationship so that is is no longer without difficulties and trials. It is, however, a revelation that married people have access to an immense resource. The power of the cross of Jesus can overcome the power of sin, which threatens to break down our relationship. The gift of the Spirit brings into every marriage open to the Spirit the very love of God himself. This givens a whole new meaning to the proclamation from the marriage service ‘what God has joined together, let no man put asunder’.

It’s upwards and onwards at St Edmund’s!

What do you do when you have a thriving, 22-strong mixed-voice choir but only 21 members can access the choir loft?

This was the dilemma facing us when one valued member of our choir, who regularly attended rehearsals in the church hall, could not join the other 21 when it came to our most important job of all – singing at mass. To the rest of us, this felt very unfair. After all, why should someone who’s done all the hard preparatory work be deprived of joining us to sing at mass simply because he is a wheelchair user and can’t climb the stairs to the choir loft?

We felt very strongly that Michael belonged with the rest of us and we were determined to make it happen. But how? Could we bring the choir downstairs, for instance? Unfortunately that was impossible – not enough spare space on a Sunday. So it was a no-brainer – we had to find a way to get him up to the loft.

As June arrived, we discussed the possibilities and realised there was actually a very simple solution. Buy a stairlift!

Our parish priest Canon John Harvey was totally supportive of our plan, but stairlifts on steep, winding staircases don’t come cheap and we soon discovered we would have to raise the daunting sum of £5,500 to make the plan a reality.

We came up with a number of fundraising possibilities. Some quiz nights, perhaps? A series of concerts? Raffles? Maybe a wine-tasting evening? These would raise some money, for sure, but it would take a long time to reach the large total we needed. Then our Director of Music came up with another idea – a twelve-hour sponsored organ marathon. She would play and people would sponsor her for each of those hours. We decided to give it a go.

For the next three weeks choir members set up stall outside the church after every mass, handing out sponsorship forms and accepting some generous and totally unexpected on-the-spot donations. Many in the congregation took forms away with them and signed up friends, family and colleagues as sponsors, as did all the choir.

The response was staggering. By the time the organ marathon was completed, we knew we were close to our target. A few weeks later we discovered we had exceeded it! We were able to order the lift, pay the deposit and prepare for the installation.

As a result of people’s amazing generosity our stairlift was installed and fully operational for the last Sunday in September, just three months after we began to fundraise. All 22 choir members are now able to sing together and are profoundly thankful for the incredible team effort that made it possible.

To the best of our knowledge, we at St Edmund’s have the first fully accessible choir loft in the Diocese of Brentwood. We hope that the story of our parish-wide team effort will encourage and inspire others to create an environment that is inclusive for all – irrespective of disability or ill health.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of the Year 2018

Dear Friends in Christ, 

Possessiveness and insularity are not attractive characteristics. They are uncharitable, inward-looking and ultimately selfish; they prevent us from seeing the good in others. Eventually they can corrupt and destroy. Yet unfortunately this kind of attribute is something we’re all too familiar with. It happens wherever human beings gather and our parishes and church organisations are not immune from it – in fact, sadly they can be worse!

receiveIn today’s Gospel, Jesus reveals and exposes the dangers of exclusivity even among his followers. The disciples have come across someone performing exorcisms in Jesus’ name. Because they don’t recognise him as one of their number, they seek to prevent him. Jesus’ response mirrors that of Moses when dealing with Eldad and Medad, two ‘unregistered’ prophets: in the face of the prejudice shown against the outsider, Jesus’ attitude is of tolerance and acceptance. ‘Do not forbid him…He that is not against us is for us’. The Spirit is not the preserve of any one person or group, but ‘blows where he wills’. God is free to act as, when, where and in whom he wills – he isn’t bound to act only through ‘official channels’.

We too must be open to receive from unexpected sources. The Church must be open to receive from those outside. We may be irritated by the disciples’ narrowness of outlook, but be should stop before we become too critical. How much of them do we recognise in ourselves? All they could see was that the man was an outsider, ‘not one of us’. He was not of their tribe, their family, their little group and of they were quick to write him off.

But how do we respond to outsiders in our society? How do we react to refugees, asylum seekers? What do we think of those whose faith is different from our own? How do we relate to members of other Churches or parishes or organisations? The disciples’ failure has deep roots which we all share: it’s a failure in faith, a failure to see and acknowledge the power and the freedom of God’s Spirit. The Spirit works wherever he wills. We need to look at how we welcome those on the outside. How eager are we to open ourselves to them?

Forming Intentional Disciples

26th Sunday of the Year

Dear Friends in Christ,

Over the past several weeks I have been speaking a lot about the ‘Stewards of the Gospel’ initiative, set up by our diocese three years ago. This is an ongoing programme of addressing the issues of our age in the Church, not only in our own diocese, but throughout the country. The declining numbers of the faithful practicing their faith now probably about 17% of the Catholic population; fewer priests and, those preparing for the priesthood; the secularisation of society in general; apathy & indifference. All the contributing factors that have made the church sit up and try to plan a way forward. This weekend you are going to hear about the ‘Forming Intentional Disciples’ Programme of Evangelisation. Don’t let the word ‘Evangelisation’ put you off – all it means is the Preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Three of our parishioners involved in the programme will address all the parishioners’ at our masses this weekend, inviting you to become a part of this ongoing initiative of ‘Intentional Discipleship’.

Forming Intentional Disciples – explores the five thresholds of postmodern conversion and how local parish leaders can guide others through the process. The five steps include: how to open a conversation about faith and belief, how to ask thought-provoking questions and establish an atmosphere of trust, when to tell the Great Story of Jesus, how to help someone respond to God’s call to intentional discipleship, and much more. In Forming Intentional Disciples, readers will learn of places where conversion is active, and where the presence of many intentional disciples is beginning to change everything: spiritual tone, energy level, attendance, almsgiving, and what parishioners ask of their leaders.  Because when life at the local parish level changes, the life of the whole Church changes with it.

The sub-title of Sherry Weddell’s book of ‘Forming Intentional Disciples’ is, the ‘Path to Knowing and following Jesus’. This is fundamentally at the heart of the Catholic Christian faith. Our lives as Catholics is always about Jesus Christ, and anything that can assist and help us to get close to the Lord Jesus can only be a good thing! This is our way forward in the Church. If we are truly sincere in our desire for Christ, then we will most definitely want to hear about this programme of Evangelisation.

I would like to invite at least one member from each family to attend the Meeting on Monday 8th October at 8.00pm in the Parish Hall. The meeting will last one hour. This initiative is going to affect the whole of the parish in the future. Please come along to the meeting! God bless you all

Fr John Sig

Forming Intentional Disciples: After all Masses this weekend there will be a chance to sign up for our exciting new programme which begins on Monday 8th October (8pm). Also, after the 11am Mass on Sunday 30th September (this weekend), there will be coffee, refreshments and a chance to socialise with fellow parishioners and find out more. Refreshments will be served in the parish hall immediately after Mass. All welcome

WHAT DOES EVANGELISATION MEAN?

Zealous proclamation of the Gospel in order to bring others to Christ and his Church. In the words of Pope Paul VI, “Evangelizing means to bring the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new, ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ (Revelation 21:5). But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by baptism, and by lives lived according to the Gospel” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 18). Evangelization, therefore, includes three distinctive elements: 1. interior conversion to Christ and his Church; 2. affecting not only the individual person but the whole culture; and 3. as a result, changing this culture and its institutions to make them Christian and Catholic. (Etym. Latin evangelium; from Greek euangelion, good news, reward for bringing good news, from euangelos, bringing good news: eu-, good, + angelos, messenger.)

The ‘New Evangelisation’ initiated by Pope St. John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI recognise the Church’s mission to proclaim Jesus Christ in the Twenty-First Century, and the various challenges involved in that process.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2018/2019:

firstcommunionThe next session will take place on Sunday 30th September at 10.00am in the Parish hall. The next Parents’ Meeting will take place on Wednesday 10th October at 8.00pm Please keep all the children and the families in your prayers as they prepare for the Sacramental Programme. The next Parents’ Meeting will take place on Wednesday 10th October 2018.

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING:

parishcouncilMonday 1st October at 8.00pm in the Parish Retreat. The Parish Council is a made up of various parishioners who represent the whole community. Each member has volunteered their time and commitment for a three year period. As we are about to embark upon this new evangelisation programme of Forming Intentional Disciples, it’s important that all of our Parish Council are up to speed on everything that will be taking place over the next months. Would all the various committees and organisations please kindly submit their reports Sunday 23rd September 2018. Thank you!

ANNUAL PARISH BAZAAR COMMITTEE MEETING:

Tuesday 2nd October at 8.00pm in the Parish Retreat. I would like to invite all those who are interested in helping with our Annual Parish Bazaar to this important meeting. This is a planning meeting for the Bazaar which will take place on Saturday 1st December 2018 at St. Edmund’s Parish Hall 11.00am – 3.00pm.

If any parishioners’ have gifts and items for the Bazaar they can be dropped off at the Church Porch or the Presbytery. Obviously, we need everything; Bottles of Wines & Spirits; Toiletries; Cuddly Toys; Children’s Toys; Fancy Goods; we need GRAND DRAW prizes and Prizes for Fr John’s Stall. You are a wonderfully generous community, and I trust your generosity will be matched again this year. With very grateful thanks & gratitude!

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC FAITH?

journeyIf so, please see Fr. John as soon as possible. It’s still not too late! Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The RCIA Programme will continue next Thursday at 8.00pm in the Parish Retreat. Session 4 – Restoration of Friendship with God.

NOTE TO EVERYONE IN THE CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP:

Our next practice takes place on Monday, 1st October (6.30pm musicians / 7pm singers) to go over the hymns and music for the 11am Mass on Sunday, 7th October. We know it’s difficult for some of you to come to our Monday practices, but please do make every effort to come on the 1st October, even if it’s for a short time. We’d particularly like to practice the two new hymns we spoke about after our last Mass.

OCTOBER – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY:

roasary.pngAs we enter into the month of the Rosary, I would like to encourage all of our parishioners to say at least a decade of the rosary every day. Parents’ I ask you to teach your children the rosary throughout this month. At the end of our Weekday Masses a decade of the Rosary will be prayed for the intentions of the parish. This beautiful devotion to Our Bless Lady was given to the Church by St. Dominic (AD 1214) back in the 11th century, and has certainly been the source of great faith in the Church for nearly nine hundred years.

CERTITIFCATE OF CATHOLIC PRACTICE’ DEFINITION:

Means a certificate by the family’s parish priest (or the priest in charge of the Church where the family attend Mass) in the form laid down by the Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales. It will be issued if the priest is satisfied that at least one Catholic parent or carer (along with the child, if he or she is seven years or over) have (except when it was impossible to do so) attended Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation for at least 5 years (or, in the case of a child, since the age of seven, if shorter). It will be issued when the practice has been continuous since being received into the Church if that occurred less than five years ago. It is expected that most Certificates will be issued on the basis of attendance. A Certificate may also be issued by the priest when attendance is interrupted by exceptional circumstance which excuse from the obligation to attend on that occasion or occasions. A strict interpretation will be used by all priests.

SCHOOL ADMISSIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 2019

Once again it is that time of year when parents of Year 6 children are looking at schools for their children to begin their secondary Education in 2019. Please remember that if you are preparing to make an application to either Trinity Catholic High School or Davenant Foundation School, there are very strict Admissions Criteria. Trinity requires a Certificate of Catholic Practice (CCP) & Davenant a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which has to be signed by your priest, stating that you are a practicing Roman Catholic (which means weekly practice of your faith by participating in the Eucharistic Celebration at Mass). This year you have to make your personal application to Essex County on line; these applications have to be lodged by 31st October 2018

My Pastoral recommendation is that you do not complete the County Form making your choices, until you have attended the various Open Evenings. As Roman Catholics we do have a moral obligation to support our Catholic Education system, but all choices are respected!

The Open Evening for prospective year 7 pupils for Trinity Catholic High School will take place on Wednesday 3rd October there are two visits 4.00pm and 5.30pm in the Lower Site (Sydney Road. Dr. Paul Doherty OBE, (Head teacher), will give presentations at both talks. CCP Forms can be obtained directly from Fr. John at the Presbytery.

The Open Evening for the Davenant Foundation School will take place on Thursday 4th October 2018. The school will open between 6.00pm – 9.00pm. There will be two presentations by the Head at 6.30pm & 7.30pm. SIF form to be obtained either from the website or directly from the school.

I will not be meeting with parents until the week commencing Monday 8th October – concluding Friday 12th October; by this time School visits should be completed. You will need completed CCP & SIF forms, plus a copy of your child’s Baptismal Certificate.

If you would like to book an appointment with Fr. John please contact him the week commencing 1st October 2018. If there are any problems or queries please contact all the respective schools directly. Thank you!

TRINITY CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL: “An Open Evening for prospective entrants to Trinity Catholic High School (Science & Sports College) will be held on Wednesday 3rd October 2018 at the Lower Site, Sydney Road, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 0TB. Parents are invited to look around the School, at their convenience in accordance with the following timetable: the School will be organising two opportunities for parents to visit at 4pm and 5.30pm.  Both visits will commence with an address from Dr P C Doherty OBE (Headmaster) and will be followed by organised tours of the School. This is to allow parents to select the most convenient time for their attendance. The closing date for applications is 31st October 2018.  Please note that applicants will need to complete a common application form which will be provided by their own Local Authority. This application will then need to be returned to the applicants own Local Authority.  For applicants wishing to submit a Certificate of Catholic Practice, this Diocesan document can be obtained through your parish priest, on the Diocesan website or the priest who will be signing your form.”

DAVENANT: Open evening for prospective candidates will take place on Thursday 4th October between 6.30pm & 7.30pm.

ST. ALBAN’S CATHOLIC ACADAMY: in conjunction with other initial teacher training providers, are hosting  a “Train to Teach” event  for  Epping Forest and Harlow district.

We are seeking to encourage Catholic graduates into the wonderful vocation of teaching.  

Please join us at Harlow Study Centre, Netteswellbury Farm, Harlow CM18 6BW  October 13th 2018,   1pm – 6pm

You will find out everything you need to know about training to be a teacher

You’ll get the chance to:

• meet representatives from schools that deliver teacher training in Epping Forest and Harlow 

• speak to teaching experts to receive one-to-one advice on your training options 

• receive personalised advice on your UCAS application – and advice on your personal statement (please bring it with you)

• receive advice about funding

• attend presentations on primary and secondary teacher training 

This event will operate on a drop-in basis so you can arrive and leave at any time.

For further information, 

Please contact Anne-Marie Black

Email:  black@ourladyoffatimatrust.essex.sch.uk Phone:    01279 423499

PARISH GIFT AID:

giftaid“Dear fellow parishioners, I have taken over running the Parish Gift Aid Scheme following Brian Carter’s retirement after 40 years’ service – wow! I’m writing to introduce myself and to let you know that I’m available for any enquiries relating to the Gift Aid Scheme. In a nutshell, the scheme increases the value of offertory donations made by basic rate tax payers by 25p per £1 donated, i.e. a £2 donation would become £2.50. All I need from you is 30 seconds to complete a form with your name and address and I will provide you with envelopes which you’ll then use to submit your donations in the usual way during weekly mass. It’s really as simple as that! Gift Aid Forms are available in the porch of the church in a green box on one of the hymn trolleys. Please, please do consider joining the scheme. With the ever increasing financial burden placed upon the parish, every penny really does count and even the smallest donations can make a big difference. I am contactable on 07799 475970 or mjm70@hotmail.com Thank you!” / Maria Mosquera.

BAPTISMS IN THE PARISH:

If you have a child due for
Baptism please let me know as soon as possible. To avoid any
disappointment with dates contact the Presbytery to book
your date. If you are first-time parents, you need to contact
Sharon Chalk, who will organise a Baptismal Preparation of
two sessions, and then I will come and visit you in your
homes. Please don’t forget to collect your Baptismal Information Form.

PARISH WEEKLY OFFERTORY: At present the Weekly income is not
meeting the weekly outgoing! Please do consider your weekly offering to God
and the Church, if you’re in a position to increase it, this would be gratefully
received. Also during the summer holidays there is always a noticeable drop
in the offertory; please try to keep your Weekly Offertory Envelopes up to
date. As you all know utilities are set to rise over the summer. If it wasn’t for
the Gift Aid returned tax, we would certainly be running at a deficit! We are
currently looking at the budget to see where we can save on our funds!
September Outgoing: Monthly Diocesan Quota £2,200.00. Monthly Salaries
for Staff – £1,200.00. Roof Repairs – £1,020.00. Recent Organ Repairs and
Tuning £830.00. 2 Caskets of Altar Wine £384.40. Donation to St. John Fisher
School to help with Stationery, Office Supplies, etc. £3,000.00. Cleaning
Materials for Hall & Church £110.00. The annual Insurance will be in at the
end of the month costing approximately £2,500.00 A heavy layout this month!

ANNUAL PARISH BAZAAR COMMITTEE MEETING:

Tuesday 2’nd October at 8.00pm in the Parish Retreat. I woul’ like to invite all those who
are interested in helping with our Annual Parish Bazaar to this important
meeting. This is a planning meeting for the Bazaar which will take place on
Saturday 1 st December 2018 at St. Edmund’s Parish Hall 11.00am – 3.00pm.
If any parishioners’ have gifts and items for the Bazaar they can be dropped
off at the Church Porch or the Presbytery. Obviously, we need everything;
Bottles of Wines & Spirits; Toiletries; Cuddly Toys; Children’s Toys; Fancy
Goods; we need GRAND DRAW prizes and Prizes for Fr John’s Stall. You
are a wonderfully generous community, and I trust your generosity will be
matched again this year. With very grateful thanks & gratitude!
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.