11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 13th June 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Well here we are – it’s my last weekend with you before the move and an opportunity to take a little look back over the last 10 and a ½ years.
I came to the parish a few months after Fr Ken had died and people were obviously saddened by that and in mourning for a friend who had served the parish so well for 18 years. But very quickly people welcomed not only me as the new parish priest, but Helen as well and later Deacon (now Fr.) Roy. Helen was never going to be a kind of unpaid curate but her support of me over the many years of our married life and in my ministry here amongst you has been nothing short of invaluable. She has been my rock, my wisdom and support – as have many of you too. I am sorry that it is because she is suffering from cancer that we have to go but you deserve and need a full time priest and Helen needs a more full time husband.
Being a priest is always about relationships and fundamentally about helping people in their relationship with God. It is about celebration of life’s happy and great moments and, also, of trying to find a way through sadness and grief – bringing the rumour of God into these situations. A priest is there, not only to ‘say mass’ but to be a spiritual guide and teacher and to try to live out the Gospel in their own lives as an example and encouragement to others. But he does not do it alone. In fact, often it is the case that the ordinary people of the parish become teachers to the priest and I have found this to be the case. Not necessarily in terms of theology but in what we might call humanity and goodness. So many people have given of their time, money, and expertise to make Cranleigh and Bramley parish a good place to be and as a personal help to me as parish priest. So many people visit the sick and care for others quietly behind the scenes but surely, always there and present to those others in their need. So many promote friendship and social wellbeing by being in contact with others and ensuring that they are not forgotten about and are remembered, even if absent, in the Church’s prayer and worship life. And a large number of people also do the boring stuff – cleaning, gardening, maintaining, and serving on the finance committee (for examples). There are also those, who whilst ‘employees’ of the parish go above and beyond their contractual obligations – and here I am thinking of Tracy and Jane and Sandra who leave such a positive mark in what they do.
In my time here with you we have achieved many things that will hopefully bear fruit in the years to come. I’m thinking not just of the Parish Room at Cranleigh but also, and most especially, of the good beginnings of the Mission Team (sadly brought to a halt by COVID, like so many things). If there is one message I would like to leave with you, the People of God, it is the great necessity in being outward focussed towards the lost and marginalised. Not just those who have never heard the Gospel but those who are wounded by life and by the mistakes that I and others make. We need to help them find “the way, the truth, and the life.” We must not stand in the way of grace nor the Holy Spirit but be always serving the Lord and serving with joy. Joy is infectious and attractive and so one of my last words to you all is to be a people of joyfulness. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in Jesus” – and whatever happens – “all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich).
So I would like to apologise to you for any faults and mistakes during my tenure as PP – to those who through inadequacy of speech or failure of love I have caused pain and hurt to. I would most especially like to thank all those who have been so solidly supportive – you know who you are and the work and kindness you have done and without whom, and let’s not beat about the bush, life would have been so much more difficult and challenging, so much more uninteresting and so much less joyful. Thank you for all the meals you have offered, the drinks you have shared, the words of support and gratitude you have offered, the little things done generously and the big things too – the gifts that you constantly and so generously give. Helen and I are both very grateful to you all. And if, as is the case, we have not had the opportunity to thank you all in person and individually, I do hope that this somewhat general ‘thanksgiving’ can be acceptable to you all.
Finally, one note about Fr Alistair. Just as I could never be another Fr Ken – witty, smiling, kind and warm in his own, particular, unique way – so Fr Alistair cannot be another Fr David. (Thank goodness I hear you say!). He will bring his own charm, generosity, kindness, and particular gifts to serve you. So please be gentle and kind to him, patient and forbearing if he doesn’t do things quite as you have been used to or omits doing something that you have grown accustomed to or starts things he thinks would be good for you all – whatever. Be gracious towards him and welcoming and I know he will serve you for the next exciting period of the parish’s history well. Remember that he is grieving in a way for his last parish and its people and quite possibly a little bewildered by all the things that he is just expected to pick up and run with here. But, he brings a wealth of experience from his current parish and I know that you will take him to yourselves and work together for the glory of God here.
With my love and prayers Fr David
This year, the UK will host the ‘COP26’ climate talks in Glasgow in November. Many of the world’s poorest countries are struggling to cope with the effects of climate change such as increased droughts, floods and cyclones. We need world leaders to put the poorest people at the heart of their talks and the UK has a critical role to play as host. Please sign our petition to the Prime Minister at cafod.org.uk/reclaim. Groups from parishes across our diocese are also meeting their MPs locally, to let them know how strongly we feel as Catholics about protecting our earth and helping our sisters and brothers around the world. Further details can be found here: Parliament in your Parish | CAFOD. Please consider holding a meeting with your MP too.
|Are you a Catechist? Join Bishop Richard and members of our Formation Team for a Day for Catechists at Worth Abbey. This event will provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the ministry of Catechist in light of a difficult year for Catechesis, the publication of the new Directory for Catechesis and the recent Apostolic Letter on Catechists from Pope Francis. The day begins at 10am and will finish at 4pm. Click here to book your free place. If you would like more information please contact our team.|
World Day of Prayer
Formally known as the Women World Day of Prayer. Now all are welcome to the service to be held at Holy Trinity Church Bramley on Saturday July 3rd at 10.30
This year it is the Holy Trinity Church who are organising the service for all our surrounding villages. It is an ecumenical service written by the Christian women of Vanuatu.
Usually, we share the same day over all the world but due to the COVID-19 this is not possible. We will therefore be having a local service.
Depending on the outcome of the Covid-19 arrangements we may need to be outside in which case we will use the Garden of Remembrance next to Holy Trinity Church.
FINDING STILLNESS: The Open Cloister @ Worth Abbey
Tuesday 24th-Thursday 26th August 2021
An experimental hybrid retreat where you are invited to come and stay at Worth or join the retreat online.
For further information or to book your place online go to: www.worth.co.uk/retreats/online-retreats
|Grandparents and honorary grandparents, are invited to join Bishop Richard for our annual pilgrimage to the Shrine at West Grinstead on Wednesday, 7th July, from 10.30am – 3pm. This is always a lovely event. It is a day to meet other grandparents and share the joys and excitement of this wonderful vocation. There will be opportunities for Mass, Adoration, Reconciliation, Stations of the Cross, Rosary, and a visit to the Secret Chapel (flat shoes are advised). Please bring a packed lunch, drinks will be provided. Click here to book your free place.|
Are you aged 18-30?
CAFOD offers a gap year programme called Step into the Gap. As part of the 10-month programme, you will be based in either a youth retreat centre, university chaplaincy or a secondary school chaplaincy team gaining new skills, developing as a leader and gaining work experience. Accommodation and travel expenses are included. Full time placements include stipends. Find out more information including how to apply at www.cafod.org.uk/gapyear
|Visit St Augustine’s Abbey online shop for a range of religious and non religious gifts. We now stock 80 religious items, gifts, plaques, framed pictures, candles, gifts and more – not to forget our monk-made organic beeswax lip balms, skin creams, furniture polish and Chilworth Rosary Beads, made by one of our new Benedictine monks – we also ship worldwide.|
INTER PARISH CHARITY GOLF DAY
(Organisers this year and winners in 2019 Saint Pius X Merrow). ALL PROFITS TO CAFOD. Friday 24th September 2021
Sutton Green Golf Club, New Lane, Sutton Green, Near Guildford, Surrey GU4 7QF (01483 747898)
Team competition, teams of four – 2 teams per parish allowed
Golf and dinner £70.00* per person Dinner only £30.00 per person. Golf only £40.00 per person
Coffee on arrival, 18 holes of golf, followed by three course dinner (jackets and ties optional, otherwise smart casual). Dinner guests encouraged. Raffle during dinner – please could each team bring a raffle prize.*Minimum number of diners 30.
Format will be the two best stableford scores on each hole to count. Full handicap allowance Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin competitions, Ladies Prizes.
Tee-off times from 12.00 noon, dinner will be 6.30 for 7.00 For more information contact Peter Strode, 01483 283090 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Our latest Safeguarding Newsletter is out now|
Our Safeguarding Coordinator, Angela McGrory, writes:”It is hard to believe we are 15 months on from Lockdown 1 in March last year and approaching another summer. I once again wish to express my thanks to all our Safeguarding Teams in parishes. You have worked with us to provide a service throughout this period in whatever form that has looked like in your individual parish. We have all adapted to different ways of meeting and sharing information. We have embraced online DBS checks and EduCare online training! As we move forward out of the current restrictions (hopefully) we will look to keep the best of what we have started over the last 15 months…”