Newsletter- 1st Week of Lent

Dear Parishioners

Communion under both Kinds: From this weekend the First Sunday of Lent, we resume offering the Precious Blood from the chalice at the Saturday evening Vigil Mass and the Sunday morning Mass. Whilst the Covid -19 pandemic may have past, covid is as we all know still very much present within our society and so I would like to stress from the outset that parishioners should feel under no obligation to “have to receive” from the chalice. Historically, receiving under both kinds at Mass or in one kind only is always left up to individual choice. During the week at Mass Holy communion will continue to be given under one kind only, namely that of the Precious Body of Christ. 

On Ash Wednesday last week we began our Lenten journey together. During these 40 days we are remembering the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert, the temptations he experienced there and his time of prayer and fasting. Lent is a time for each of us to become more deeply aware of our faith and a time to deepen our faith by practical actions. During this penitential season, as we journey with Christ, so we embrace a period of penance, prayer and works of charity, as we make our way with Christ towards Holy Week and then journey onwards towards the great joy of the Resurrection and all that Easter brings.

During Lent we try to choose ways once again to help us to walk more fully in the footsteps of Christ as we seek to recommit ourselves to living as He lived and as we seek to love God and our brothers and sisters more deeply. We do this through the three ancient remedies of Fasting, Almsgiving and Penance. Ancient remedies which can be life enhancing and that can help us to live more authentically our Christian vocation. On this First Sunday of Lent let us ask for God’s grace to help us in our Lenten disciplines, in our Christian discipleship and in our Christian witness in the world in which we live. Let us pray that our faith may be strengthened during this penitential season and that our Lenten resolutions may remain clear and firm. I pray that each of us may experience during this holy season a real awakening to the Love that is God and the place of God in our lives, and that as a community of faith we may follow together our Lord Jesus Christ more fully day by day and come to know him more completely as our brother and our friend.

Walk with Me – Lent 2024 Prayer Booklets are still available on the table as you come into church and on the ledge just inside the double doors. This handy little pocket-sized prayer booklet offers us all the chance to pause and reflect and to pray each day during Lent, following the Lent Scripture Readings. Please do consider buying a copy at just £1, if you have not already done so, for yourselves and maybe buy some extra copies to share with your family and your friend’s.

The Lent Schedule begins this week from Tuesday 20th February: This coming week there will be added to our normal liturgies:

  • Thursday 22nd February – Silent Adoration and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament (10am-10.45 am) – Confessions after Mass for half an hour
  • Friday 23rd February – Confessions 6pm -6.45 pm and at 7 pm Stations of the Cross

CAFOD – Lent 2024 – Next weekend at all our Sunday Masses, on the 2nd Sunday of Lent we shall have a retiring collection for the work of CAFOD. In addition, you will find a CAFOD poster and CAFOD Lent envelopes in the entrance of the church for you to make donations to their work throughout Lent. The poster gives information too about the Family Fast Day which will take place on Friday 23rd February. CAFOD envelopes with any donations given by you will be added to the retiring collection next Sunday and all the monies raised will be sent directly to CAFOD at the end of Lent. CAFOD envelopes can be placed in the collection plate at either the Saturday evening or Sunday morning Masses throughout Lent.

Prayer for our Confirmandi and our First Holy Communion Candidates: Please continue to pray each day in your private prayers for our parish catechists and the two large groups of young people from our parish exploring their faith more fully and preparing to make their First Holy Communion or to receive the sacrament of Confirmation from bishop Patrick later in the year. The prayerful support from all of us in the parish is an essential part of how we can accompany our young people and help them to grow in faith and in the knowledge and love of Christ of His Church.

With prayer and best wishes for you and for your families during Lent,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan


2024 18th February – Newsletter – Download