Newsletter – Pentecost / 10th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners,

This Weekend we keep two very important celebrations both in the life of the Church and the life of our Nation. 

In the life of our Nation, we have been celebrating over these past four days the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This has been marked throughout the country by a special 4-day Bank Holiday which began on Thursday 2nd June, the date of the Queen’s coronation in 1953, and which continues until this Sunday, 5th June.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to gather and to celebrate together this important landmark. A time too for each of us to give thanks for Her Majesty’s long reign and loyal service to our Country and to the Commonwealth.  At St Mary’s we have honoured the Platinum Jubilee by putting up a special “Royal Bower”, close to the side door into the garden, a focus for our prayers for Her Majesty the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee. We shall offer special prayers for her too in the Bidding Prayers at Mass and after the Post Communion Collect at the end of Mass, at all our Sunday Masses celebrated in the parish. On Sunday morning we shall join in singing the National Anthem, accompanied by our regular musicians and a visiting trumpeter just before the Final Blessing at the end of Mass. 

This Sunday is a time of joyful celebration in the life of the Church, as we mark the Birthday of the Church, with the celebration of the great Solemnity of Pentecost, and the coming of the Holy Spirt upon the early Apostles and the Church. It is I believe a truly splendid feast. One of its greatest attractions for me is that nobody seems to have yet figured out how to commercialise it! As such we can in a very real way reflect upon the inner meaning of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit has often been called the “soul of the Church.” We all I suspect have pictures of our younger selves. As we age and grow older our bodies change in all kinds of ways and we may not look quite as ‘fresh faced’ and nubile as we once did in our youth! Yet our souls provide the continuity between what we may look like now and what we once looked like in our youth. We are still the same person within, however much our outward bodies may have changed over the years. The same is true of the Church as well. Many externals of the Church have changed down the years and will continue to do so in the years to come. But the continuity in the Church that makes her the identical community of Jesus and those early Apostles are preserved by the power of the Holy Spirit. At work in her and within each one of us too.

The Holy Spirit will always continue to guide us and the Church to what is in accord with Christ’s will. Friends will leave us. Allies may abandon us. Scandals may try us. But the Holy Spirit remains with us as our link to Christ and to His Church. Today on Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the fact that Christ is as close to us now as He was to those early Apostles. He is as close to us as the very beating of our own heart. A wonderful comforting thought I think to remember as we journey forward in life and face all the many challenges and difficulties of our daily lives.

Walsingham Pilgrimage – Saturday 11th June. Next Saturday many of us will travel by coach to join other pilgrims from around the diocese at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, for the Nottingham Diocesan Pilgrimage. For those who have booked a place on the coach (now full) I ask please that you arrive in good time for departure promptly from Grantham, Broad Street, at 8.10 am. I will be travelling with you this year and we shall be joined by parishioners from Our Lady of Good Counsel, Sleaford. On the return journey I will be able to bless on the coach any religious items that you may have bought during the day. Please do bring a picnic with you to enjoy after Mass in the Basilica gardens before the Rosary Procession begins. Time permitting, there will be a short stop enroute to Walsingham and on the return journey too. My thanks to Canon Michael Bell for covering the evening Mass next Saturday and to Andrew for assisting him and laying up that evening. We shall be remembering all from our parish in our prayers that day and should anyone who is not coming with us, wish me to light a candle or offer a prayer for them or a loved one, in the Slipper Chapel, please do give me names etc during this coming week. I know we shall have a wonderful pilgrimage together as we join Bishop Patrick and friends new and old from around the diocese and as we honour and seek the prayers of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Little Church – We are still looking for a few more volunteers to assist with Little Church which I hope can resume again in September. My sincere thanks to the three people who have already kindly come forward to offer to help, we need though now a few more volunteers to ensure that this can go forward after the summer. Please make contact directly with me. 

With my prayers for you and for your families during the coming week ahead,

Your friend and parish priest,

Fr Jonathan


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2022 5th June – Newsletter – Download

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