15th April 2021
I hope many of you have been able to take advantage of the relaxation of some COVID19 restrictions. I’m leaving my first visit to the pub till Friday evening after our requiem mass.
It was sad to hear news of the death of HRH Prince Philip. I suppose at 99 years of age, the prospect of your death cannot be very far away, however, it seems unlucky that the Duke did not reach his 100th birthday. It is easy to talk about tragedy, or pain, when there is an unexpected, or untimely death. A serene ending when you very nearly reach the age of 100, seems more like the completion of something – a life well lived. So of course we mourn with Her Majesty the Queen for she has lost the love of her life. We mourn with the Royal Family for they have lost a beloved Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. Chiefly we give thanks for a life – a very long life of dedication, duty and service, to The Queen, the Royal Family and to this Nation. The words duty and service are perhaps not very popular these days, denying oneself in order that the other may flourish, might be something I talk quite a lot about in a Christian context, perhaps they have lost something of their value in a social context. Yet, if the world, society, or indeed individuals are to truly flourish, duty and service are important contributions to the economy of relationships and society. So yes, let us give thanks for a life well lived – not without its bumps and hiccups – but what life is free of them, for a life of dedication and service, for a life of leadership and hospitality. Above all for a life of legacy, which as individuals and collectively as a society we can draw on. Perhaps that will be the Duke of Edinburgh’s greatest gift to all of us.
There will be a Requiem Mass in church on Friday 16th April at 6pm to pray for the repose of the soul of the Duke of Edinburgh and to pray for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal family. This service will also be broadcast on our parish Facebook page (which you can access via our website).
I will be taking a post Easter break next week and so will be off work until Sunday 25 April.
P.S Please note that from 2nd May the Parish Mass will revert back to the original time of 10.30am which will be an all age Family Mass and Children’s Church will resume back at church (St Denys) the following week.
31st March 2021
What a difference a warm day and the ability to meet with friends outside makes to our sense of wellbeing. Walking round the parish it is so good to see people gathering once again and so pleasing to know that our children are again back in school. It still feels a little strange to be celebrating Holy Week and Easter under present conditions, it is however better than where we were last year. I remember celebrating the whole feast in the parish hall with only Ian and a camera as company. This year we can meet together in church and we will continue to meet in church thereafter.
To remind you…
Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday and we will be meeting in church for a said service at 7.00pm
On Good Friday there will be Stations of the Cross on zoom at 12.00 noon. We will be meeting in church in person at 2.00pm for a shortened liturgy of the passion.
On Easter Day we will be in church as usual at 8.00am. We will meet in church again at 9.30am where we can enjoy some Easter music (tickets must be booked here) and at 11.00am we will be in church with children and families to celebrate, this service will be led by Mother Sarah Lenton.
I do hope I will have the joy of meeting you in church personally over the Easter period.
With my prayers and blessing
25th March 2021
I thought the first anniversary of our National Lockdown this week was a moment for sober reflection. There will be time in these pages to reflect on the past year, perhaps today all we can do is give thanks for those who have given so freely of their time, energy and talents to support us during this wretched year. Although I volunteered to help the local community, I have felt deeply moved to see so many, volunteering to help with the roll out of the vaccine, especially at our local health centre. To pray for those who have died, and who continue to be affected by Long-Covid and for all of those in hospital. There does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel and for that we give thanks.
Next week is Holy Week where once again we enter into the drama at the very heart of the mystery of our salvation. There is no triumph, there is just love, utter self-giving love. Whatever private passions we have endured over the past twelve months, however vulnerable, isolated, or afraid we have felt. God has been there too and we can draw strength from that suffering. For God so loved the world…. For God so loves you and me!
From Sunday we will be welcoming you back into church. Here is a list of service times for Holy Week. I look forward to seeing you again in person.
8am in church
9.30 am in church and online (Facebook)
11am Fr Simon’s children’s talk online.
6pm Stations of the Cross via Zoom
Monday 7pm Mass and address online (Facebook)
Tuesday 7pm Mass and address online
Wednesday 7pm Mass and address online
7pm Mass online
+ Watch before the Blessed Sacrament till 10pm online.
12 noon Stations of the Cross on Zoom
2pm Liturgy in church and online
8am Mass in church
9.30am Parish Mass. In church (ticket only) and online. Click here to book tickets.
11am Children’s and family Mass in church
There will be no 6pm evening service – the vicar will be putting his feet up with a glass of something!
I expect that we will now continue to remain open for worship on Sunday mornings and we look forward to welcoming you back to church in person over the next few months.