16th Sunday in Ordinary Time 18th July 2021
A note from Fr Alistair Simmons to the Parish of Cranleigh & Bramley
I believe that over recent weeks, some of the parish Masses have been celebrated by Fr Kevin Dring, currently based at St John’s Seminary in Wonersh. Some twenty-three years ago, I succeeded Fr Kevin as the assistant priest / curate in the parish of Christ the Prince of Peace, Weybridge. One of the very first things I did in Weybridge was to visit a long-standing, older parishioner who was in hospital and who subsequently wrote me a thank-you note for my visit and offered me some advice about moving to a new parish. I’ve kept the note; indeed, I came across it again recently when packing things up to move to Cranleigh.
What was the advice? “Give them time, don’t be hard on them, they won’t be hard on you. They loved their previous assistant priest very much and were sorry to see him go. Accept that you will hear him spoken about all the time. Carry on and be your own man, they’ll grow to accept you in time.”
She was right. It was good advice and I spent eight very happy and fulfilled years there before moving to Southwick and Portslade where I again tried to follow the same advice. I’m sure that what applies to assistant priests and curates applies equally to parish priests and I look forward to getting to know you all in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
I begin, perhaps, with something of an advantage knowing both Cranleigh and Bramley very well. I worked in Cranleigh, on and off, before, during and after university. I knew Jesus Christ the Redeemer of Mankind parish when Fr Victor Cook was parish priest and Fr Edward Holloway was also resident. (When in Weybridge I was intrigued to discover that Fr Victor had been in the nursery at St Maur’s Convent School. When in Southwick, Fr Holloway was interred in his family plot in Portslade cemetery.)
Early on the way to priesthood, two families from Cranleigh parish were hugely influential in shaping my sense of vocation and subsequently very supportive of my journey to ordination. There are always past links and connections to be discovered and new connections and relationships to be made. Please pray for me, as I will pray for all of you. Fr Alistair
- I hope to move to Cranleigh in the early part of the week beginning 19 July so there will be no timetabled celebration of weekday Masses that week.
- My first Masses will be the weekend Masses of 24/25 July at the usual times and venues as indicated above.
- I’m coming from a parish where it was decided not to resume the regular celebration of public weekday Masses until after all the lockdown restrictions had been lifted, so it will be a “new” experience starting things up again.
- Weekday Masses will resume on Monday 26 July but will follow a slightly revised timetable – I have a longstanding and ongoing family commitment in terms of parental care which means I generally take Wednesday as my day off.
- The churches of St Theresa of Lisieux and St George’s, for which I am currently responsible, are not blessed with the facility for the live-streaming of Masses so this is not something with which I am familiar. I’m sure you will not begrudge me a little time to feel settled into new surroundings and comfortable behind an unfamiliar altar with different sight lines, before the live-streaming of Masses is resumed. There will be no live-streaming of Masses between Saturday 24 July and Friday 30 July. If this inconveniences anyone in the interim, you have my apologies, but there are other churches both within the deanery, nationally and internationally that are regularly streaming daily and weekend Masses.
- With effect from 19th July the pews will have their numbers removed. We ask that you still book into Mass using the website booking in system – please book before Friday midday each week to ensure you are included on the register. You will be checked into Mass and then asked to seat yourself sensibly keeping respectable social distance from your fellow parishioner.
- The revised weekly timetable of Masses will be:
and I am sure that things will develop going forward.
- Please check the parish newsletter to stay informed of the changes to dates and times of celebrations. Thank you.
From Fr Alistair Simmons
Sacramental Programmes – If you are interested in joining the upcoming Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and/or RCIA courses please visit our website events page which has registration details.
Baptism Programme – deadline for registration is 31st August 2021
First Holy Communion – deadline for registration is 30th September 2021
Confirmation – deadline for registration is 30th September 2021
RCIA – deadline for registration is 1st November 2021
BBC Songs of Praise: This week’s Songs of Praise comes from Arundel Cathedral. It will be airing on Sunday 18 July at 1.15pm on BBC One and will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer afterwards. We hope you enjoy the episode; we welcome feedback so please get in touch after the broadcast and let us know what you thought; E: email@example.com
Redundant iPads and Laptops are desperately needed by the Gatwick Detainees’ Welfare Group. An IT company has agreed to ‘clean’ devices to remove any data. These devices can enable a person whether in detention or after release, to help themselves; to access classes for speakers of other languages, to communicate with friends, family, our staff, their volunteer visitor and to access resources such as Food Banks and to join our post detention services. Contact Josie at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Diocesan Youth Service – 40th Anniversary Celebration – 4 September 2021 – Arundel Cathedral – We are delighted to be able to celebrate our Youth Service, which has impacted many people in the last four decades and we want to invite anyone who has ever attended an event hosted by the service to come along and join the festivities. Whether it was a Maryvale Retreat, a World Youth Day Pilgrimage, Youthgather, Lourdes Redshirts, or you are a member of our new online community BeCome, or one of our other virtual networks, everyone will be welcome to give thanks for all that has been done and to pray for the success of the Youth Service in the future. Reminisce with old friends, and meet new friends in person (not just on a screen!). A thanksgiving Mass will be said by Bishop Richard, followed by a chance to chat over refreshments. Please click here for more information and to register.
Beginning Experience Weekend – If you are single again following divorce, separation or the death of your partner, a residential weekend to help you to heal will be held from 8th to 10th October 2021 at the Sion Community, Brentwood, Essex. If you would like more details, please ring Freda 01322-838415 or Maura 07795-498445 or email@example.com.
On 7th June Priti Patel stated in the House of Commons that she would meet Sir Edward Leigh MP and representatives of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to discuss granting asylum to Maira Shahbaz. Maira, 15, is a Christian girl in Pakistan receiving death threats because of a false apostasy accusation. Over a month on, Priti Patel has not offered a date yet.
We would like you to write to the Home Secretary directly and ask that she agrees a date by copying the message below and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org :
Dear Home Secretary,
In the House of Commons on 7 June 2021 you committed to meet with Sir Edward Leigh MP and Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to discuss the case of Maira Shahbaz in Pakistan.
Maira is living under a constant death threat and extremists are calling for her to be killed. She and her family do not dare to venture outside the one room in which they are hiding.
The situation is urgent. Will you honour your commitment and meet with Sir Edward Leigh MP and ACN without delay?
With best wishes, [your name here]