This Week's Message

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When I was preparing our seminarians to undertake the formal ministry of reader, I would often take them with Sikh or Jewish scout friends of mine to an Orthodox Synagogue in London or to the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall. To see the reverence and personal attention that others give to the scriptures which they hold holy or to share in the divine can encourage us to ask – are we missing something, have we forgotten what a gift is in our midst?

This Wednesday, 30th September, marks 1,600 years since the death of St Jerome. There is a statue of him behind the altar in St Edmund’s. He is best known as the translator of the Vulgate Bible, commissioned by Pope Damasus in 382. It fed and sustained the church in the west for over a thousand years and is still (in slightly updated form) in use in the liturgy and the life of the church. One of his best-known sayings is “ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ”.

It is an appropriate moment for us to stop as a community and as individuals and to ask about the place of scripture in our lives. The fathers of the Second Vatican Council reminded us that the Word of God is one of the ways in which Christ is present in the Liturgy and in the Church. Many, in our parish and throughout the Christian world, have discovered for ourselves that not only can we know the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and receive him in Holy Communion, but that we can meet him regularly in the scriptures in lectio divina – holy reading.

I wonder, are there more people in our parish who can speak clearly, love the scriptures, would like to enter into them more deeply in prayer and might be prepared to proclaim them to us at Mass? Please do let Fr Jonathan know if you think you could do this, or if you know someone who would be good but might be too shy to come forward.

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God And Technology

I am delighted to welcome you to our new parish website. Please do have a look around.

The website is the fruit of the work of the parish Technology Review Group and they have produced a short overview which you might find helpful. It can be downloaded from the new site by going to the Contacts and Documents page and scrolling down to the Useful Parish Documents section. We have used a well-respected church website platform “Faithlife” as its base which should ensure that it continues to look fresh and work well on tablets and mobile devices.

On behalf of the parish, I would like to express our particular thanks to Ian Honeysett and Cathy Sanderson for their excellent work on the website which has supported the parish mission for many years, and to the Technology Review Group (TRG) for their preparation of the new site.

There are other features which the site offers which we hope to roll out in the future. In the meanwhile comments about the new site and suggestions for its ongoing development can be sent to the TRG through Alan (

As long ago as 2003, St John Paul II recognised that “The growth of the Internet… provides an unprecedented opportunity for expanding the Church’s missionary outreach, since it has become a primary source of information and communication for so many of our contemporaries, especially the young.” Please join with me in praying that our new website will both draw others to a deeper faith in Christ and call forth a greater commitment to the proclamation of the Gospel in our lives.

With my best wishes and prayers for you all,

Fr Jonathan

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This message comes from Bible Alive. It speaks to us all:

“How seriously do you take the call to evangelize? Do you think that evangelization is primarily the work of priests or religious? Does the idea of sharing your faith make you embarrassed or awkward? Well, the truth is that most of us feel a little embarrassed or awkward about sharing our faith. If it is any consolation, many priests and bishops probably do as well.

Why is this? Well, one reason, which can appear to be a very sensible one, is that we don’t want to impose ourselves or our beliefs on others. We comfort ourselves with the thought that others are better equipped and more able, evangelism is a kind of Christian specialism - rather like a brain surgeon is a specialist in their area of medicine and a criminal lawyer is a specialist in their area of law.

The problem with all of the above is that it is simply misguided and wrong. We are all called to evangelize. And sooner or later, whether we like it or not – and most of us don’t like it – we need to share with others the hope we have in Christ. The thing is, it’s not that difficult and people do actually want to hear it! We are the ones who wrongly conclude that people aren’t interested – but they are. If you have a joy about you, a sense of peace, a presence or an attraction, because of the way you live, think, speak and act, then you have already prepared the ground. 

We can be rather like a football team who do all the hard work to get into a goal-scoring position only to fail to score the goal when the opportunity presents itself.”

Prayer: Lord, you have commissioned me to spread the good news to the four corners of the earth. Make me a joyful, enthusiastic and confident witness.