This Week's Message

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Precautions 13th March 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Some further precautions have been introduced in the parish this week.

  • The most vulnerable people (the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and long term conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease) are not obliged to participate in Sunday Mass. They are advised to refrain from large parish gatherings and to keep the Lord's day by following Mass online, by praying with the readings of the day, or praying the Rosary or Stations of the Cross. 
  • It may still be appropriate to participate in smaller gatherings (such as weekday mass) or to visit the church when it is open, and such decisions should take account of medical advice and the latest advice from the public health authorities.
  • As always, those who are unable to attend Mass because they are sick (or by extension self-isolating) are not obliged to do so.
  • Members of the public and parish are not able to attend Mass at Ladywell Covent.
  • Holy Communion should be received in the hand. Those who find it especially difficult to not to receive on the tongue are asked to receive Holy Communion after those who receive on the hand, and to do so from the priest who is usually more experienced.
  • The Holy Water stoups have been emptied, and we will not be sharing hymn books, missals and other such books. We may use printed sheets from time to time to support the liturgy.
  • Coffee after mass and the use of the KYN badges are also suspended for the time being.

The extra care is taken for the benefit of the most vulnerable. Any inconvenience or curtailing of personal preference at this time is something for us all to shoulder as an act of charity and love.

We all need to take individual responsibility for personal hygiene and cleanliness when we come to Mass. Please wash you hands before and after coming to church – and if you have access to alcohol-based hand gel please make use of this too. Our order of sanitising gel is now due at the warehouse.

Please pray for those who are sick or worried and all who seek to take care of them.

The text of Bishop Richard's letter is provided below.

Be assured of my prayers.

Fr Jonathan


LETTER FROM BISHOP RICHARD

Dear Father,

Following the recent guidance issued via the Deans in the response to the Covid-19 virus, in order to reduce possible transmission, every parish must now move from Stage 1 measures to Stage 2 measures. Accordingly, I hereby direct that the following special pastoral measures are to be implemented across the Diocese until further notice.

  1. The sign of peace is to be suspended at Mass. In order not to create confusion in the minds of the lay faithful, I request that all priests simply omit any reference to the offering of the sign of peace, prior to the Agnus Dei.
  2. Holy Communion from the chalice shall cease to be offered to the lay faithful. The practice of intinction is not to be introduced as an alternative. Similarly, Holy Communion from the chalice should not to be given to Deacons. 
  3. Those who choose to receive Holy Communion on the tongue should be encouraged to receive on the hand instead. Those who find it especially difficult to not to receive on the tongue should be asked to receive Holy Communion after those who receive on the hand. You may judge it helpful to remind people of the value of a Spiritual Communion, mindful that the Sunday Obligation is to join in the celebration of Mass. 
  4. Holy water stoups in churches and chapels are to be emptied.
  5. Churches and chapels that are open daily for private prayer should continue to remain open. Care should be given to ensuring that surfaces of high contact (e.g. light switches, door handles and areas around the door) are regularly sanitised throughout the day.
  6. Ministers should wash and also sanitise their hands before and after distributing Holy Communion. Shared towels should not be used in toilet areas or the sacristy.
  7. Shared hymnbooks and Mass books should cease to be used. Single-use Mass sheets may be used; though these should be disposed of immediately after use.
  8. All catering in parish halls is to cease. This includes such gatherings as refreshments after Mass and any catering for groups that may be hiring parish halls.

It will be important to provide frequent reminders about thorough hand washing for all who attend Mass and other events in parishes.

These measures will be reviewed in response to the advice of Public Health England and parishes advised accordingly.

Finally, I would ask you to include an intention in the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass for all those who are affected by the virus, either as patients, family members or those involved in healthcare. 

With prayers and good wishes,

Bishop Richard

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS

Lent offers us a wonderful opportunity to sit down with God our Father and ask for the guidance to recalibrate the spirituality of our humanity in a way that allows him to cleanse the many aspects of our life that prevent him filling us with the essential needs that will ensure our eternal future. The following extract from a book by Wanda Nash called: ‘Turning the Downside Up – Growing in Unexpected Places’, may help.

‘Only what is emptied can then be filled. When of my own will and choice I am emptied, by handing back my own will, my gifts, my thinking to God, it gives him space which he can re-fill. It is hard, really hard to become convinced of this because our general experience of loss is pain, and we are taught at all costs to avoid pain. On the cross, Jesus deliberately gave back, emptied himself of everything he had. He lost control over his own actions, his few possessions, his body, his reputation, his friends, his God and his life. That space was refilled by God, his Father, with the redemption of the whole world. Just for a few moments each day I take on that degree of powerlessness of which I am capable. Journeying to that still pool where it is okay to be still; it’s okay to be me; okay to give over control; okay to contact the child and the clown in me. It is important to clear the channel for God our Father, to flow in the way only he knows. That means clearing away for a few minutes the very things we prize. Even our gifts, the very things we have worked at, which can, at times, be rocks in the path of the smooth flow of the living water.’

God And Technology


God And TechnologyI 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. We will keep the old site running and current into the new year to make sure that those already familiar with it can access information over the Christmas period.

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 existing site 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 (alion@btinternet.com).

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

WHO ARE YOU ABLE TO HELP TODAY?

This message comes from this week's 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. 

WHO ARE YOU ABLE TO HELP TODAY?