2nd Sunday of Christmas – 3rd January 2021
Fr David’s Message for the Week
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
May I wish you all a happy new year: may it be both happy and blessed in our Lord, Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, Mary.
It’s natural to assess what we’ve left behind and can look forward to in this new year. We’ve left the EU, at last, and now it remains to be seen and worked out what all those promises actually mean in reality. But, being outside the EU is now the actualité, as they say, and up to us to make the best of it. We’ve also left 2020 behind, but not the coronavirus, so 2021 will be, at least until the vaccine becomes widespread in application, more of the same – but in many cases actually worse for a time. We begin the new year with increased limitations on our liberty than a few months ago, and a terrible toll in terms of daily cases and deaths due to COVID-19. My thanks and prayers are heartfelt for our hard working and dedicated NHS and care workers who all deserve some sort of medal. Interestingly enough, like soldiers before a war, NHS staff and their needs and salary awards were very low priority for our government before the pandemic. Now that they are indispensable, they are lauded to the skies. Let us therefore be always appreciative of those whose work is so essential, but which is so often invisible to most of us.
The “situation” continues to affect church and limit what we can do in terms of our worship. Events post-Christmas, where a number of infections were reported of people who had been at mass, remind us all to take the greatest of care at all times to follow the rules and heed the guidelines for the safety and well being of all. Briefly I summarise them as follows:
- Cleaning regimes – please help to sanitize after worship if you attend mass.
- Removal of communal resources – don’t leave leaflets or cards for others to pick up.
- Social distancing – 2m apart unless you are in a bubble or a family group.
- Face coverings at ALL times (unless exempt)
- Test and Trace or manual records of all attending – so please, please book in!
- Keep the services as brief as possible
- No mingling before, during or after the service – please adhere to this if at all possible.
- No congregational singing – sorry but that’s the way it is.
As we continue this struggle with COVID and its effects I thought I’d just write a few words on what it means from the perspective of the gospel.
This season, after the octave of Christmas has ended is also Christmas time – right up to the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple on the 2nd of February. But now we shift perspective from the stable to the wider world. It is the season of Epiphany – the “shining forth”, or revealing, of Christ. Over the next days and weeks we hear of the wise men following a new star leading to Jesus; we attend Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan where john tells the world that “There is the Lamb of God”, and we attend, also, the wedding feast at Cana where Jesus reveals not only his true identity, but the nature of the coming Kingdom of Heaven – a time of celebration and feasting on a new, unheard of, scale.
The question then is this: how can we as Church reveal this Christ in our world? Where does He wish us to go, in His name? What does He wish us to do in His name? How can Christ ‘shine forth’ in our world through us? The answer is both simple and complex – simple because, quite simply, we just have to be “Christlike” to reveal Christ in the world, and complex because there are myriad ways in which this can be done – and some of them are unique to us and our personal vocation. I am being called to be like Jesus in this way, at this moment, in this concrete situation, and for this purpose. One of the purposes is my own sanctification and another is to sanctify the world.
Let us take new heart then for the same task lies before us as before and we have all the tools we need through the Holy Spirit for the task that lies ahead. God bless you. Fr David
PS: I and Helen would like to express our grateful thanks for the many messages, cards, gifts and kindnesses we have received from so many of you over the Christmas period. Your generosity and kindness to us is appreciated very much indeed. Thank you very much – and if I don’t personally write to thank you it is only because of the scale of the task, not indifference! With my love and prayers. Fr David
Is there anyone in the parish who collects stamps for AID to the CHURCH in NEED? I used to collect for Young Dementia but they no longer need them so I’m looking for someone to whom I can give them. Win Bracking 275573.
Mass for Deaneries: January 2021
Bishop Richard will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Deanery Intentions during the following weeks:
Week Beginning: January
4th Epsom & Redhill Deanery
11th Guildford Deanery
18th Lewes Deanery
25th Mayfield Deanery
Booking into Mass
Now we are out of second lockdown we ask that you book online to attend Mass via the Parish website www.cpcb.org.uk
There is also a video showing how to do it here
Go to the Parish Calendar (Front page of website) and click on the date you would like to attend [it will have a tick next to it]. The option to sign up will then be presented [one booking per group] until a maximum capacity of 40 seats/pews have been allocated(JCROM) and 34 (STM). In order to best accommodate everyone, we ask that you please book your seats by Friday 10am at the latest. Last minute bookings may not be seen and the risk is that you will be turned away at the door which no-one wants.
In it to Win It – The 300 club for 2020 is nearing its end with 2 draws in December – one for the month and an extra one for Christmas. Entries for 2021 are now available on the parish website for you to download. Join in this year – there’s always a chance for a bit of excitement if you are stuck at home! As always, please complete the entry form and put it in an envelope with a cheque payable to “Catholic parish of Cranleigh and Bramley” and leave the envelope in the offertory or at the parish office.
Or for those who aren’t going out much, you can apply online from our website – www.cpcb.org.uk.
If you are not attending church in person or going out, you can transfer the money direct to the parish bank account using the following details:
Bank account Name: RCD A&B Cranleigh and Bramley Parish
Bank account number: 41077465
Bank sort code: 40-05-20
As a reference for the transfer please put your name and 300 after it, eg Smith300.
After paying, please send a copy of your entry form to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (No need to do this if you applied online)
If you have problems with either method, please call the office and I will get back to you to sort something out.
Are you living alone, isolating or shielding? If you would like a parishioner (who has volunteered) to give you a telephone call to support, chat or talk, please contact Jane Harding at the parish office (01483 272075). Jane will liaise with you and a member of the parish.
If you wish to make your confession, please email Fr David or call to arrange a convenient time. We can do it while walking around the garden. Or sitting – suitably distanced within the church, perhaps.
I will be saying the Divine Office every day. You can join me spiritually if you like by using Universalis which is available for Mac and PC and for Android or Apple phones. I will say evening prayer at 6pm and Morning prayer at 9.45am.
If you become ill and would like to see a priest (me!) please don’t hesitate to ask and I will visit observing the precautions required to keep us both safe. However, if you are COVID +ve, or are exhibiting symptoms, please follow the NHS guidelines, but keep me informed. Also, if you are a carer or a partner of someone who goes into hospital, or falls gravely ill, please do call me to tell me. The very least I can do is add you to my daily intercession list – and I may be able to visit too.