Newsletter 26th September 2021
It has been another very busy week of getting accustomed to life in the parish and all the many practicalities involved, making sick calls to the dying and the housebound and meeting many people from within the wider community of Grantham. This week has also given me the chance to get to know our Catechists and our large group of Confirmandi a little better. They joined us for Mass on Tuesday evening and afterwards I was able to spend time with them in their evening class. I am now enjoying reading their letters of what Confirmation means to them, some imaginative and really good information here! I intend to share some of the information anonymously with Bishop Patrick, to help him prepare for his visit to us next month. I know he will be as fascinated as I have been by the thought that has been put into these letters. Our Confirmandi are all now preparing hard for the Mass at which the Bishop will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation, on Friday 8th October, at 7 pm here at St. Mary’s. I feel sure that this will be a very joyful evening of celebration for all concerned. Thank you to those who have already volunteered to help with refreshments and to bake for the party in the Parish Hall after Mass. We are still looking for volunteers both to help serve refreshments and to bake some simple cakes, cookies or whatever may be your speciality! if you would like to assist in this way do get in touch with me on my mobile or drop me an email (see the top of the bulletin) or catch me after Mass. Items should be dropped off please at the Rectory during the day, on Friday 8th October.October also sees Andrew Wakley receive candidacy, an important step in his journey towards being ordained a Deacon, hopefully in a couple of years’ time. Candidacy is like an engagement before marriage. It is the official moment (from the Churches perspective) when she accepts an individual as an official candidate for Holy Orders. Andrew will receive his candidacy in a simple ceremony (more details will follow). After candidacy you will see Andrew gradually starting to take on more formal duties within the Liturgies at St. Mary’s and in his pastoral work with me in the parish, as he moves through the Ministries of Lector and Acolyte, towards his ordination for the
Permanent Diaconate. To mark Andrew’s admission to candidacy, I have chosen two gifts from our parish community for him, a portable aspergillum (holy water sprinkler) and a leather Liturgical Folder to hold notes and reflections, these will be useful in his on-going ministry in our parish. After candidacy Andrew will also start to wear clerical dress for all formal liturgies and when working and ministering alongside me in the parish. The wearing of clerical dress at this stage in his formation reflects the sign of Andrews commitment, as he receives candidacy, to journey forwards towards ordination. I am immensely grateful for all that Andrew has already done within the parish community before I came here as your new parish priest, and now that I am here, for his loving support of me personally, and for our growing friendship which is fast developing into a close and very happy working relationship, marked by a lot of good humour and joy. Please do keep Andrew and his family in your prayers during the next few weeks as he prepares to receive candidacy. Let us pray each day that he may remain open to God’s love, and open to Gods call to him as he continues to explore his own particular vocation and calling in life.
There has been an amazing response to the request last weekend from Churches Together in Grantham, for donations for the Afghan Refugees, staying at the Urban Hotel. However, the response has been so generous from local people that the Urban Hotel has been inundated with your kind donations. For the present time Churches Together in Grantham are asking please that no more donations are taken to the Urban Hotel until all the generous donations have been sorted and distributed. I will keep you informed once donations can resume. What a wonderful situation to be in!
Lastly a reminder that this week on Thursday 30th September and on Friday 1st as both Andrew and I will be conducting funeral liturgies elsewhere, on these two days there will be the Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion on Thursday at 11 am and on Friday at 9.30 am. I am immensely grateful to our team of Eucharistic Ministers for covering these two days and so that you may be able to come to church to pray together and to receive Holy Communion.
With my prayers for you and for your families during the coming week,
Your friend and Parish Priest,
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