2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time – 17th January 2021
Fr David’s Message for the Week
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
There is no doubt that we are living in very difficult and trying times and that this effects people in different ways. Families with young children are pulling their hair out trying to educate them at home and no doubt could do with a little space in time and place to call their own. People are trying to work from home whilst others are furloughed or have been made redundant. Some people’s houses are well equipped in terms of tech and space to allow a comfortable working environment with clear separation between the domestic and the workplace whilst others struggle to work and look after their children in a space that is barely big enough. On the other hand people who live alone are struck by loneliness with long days and evenings with only the TV for company, or the radio.
So, there are any number of reasons why someone might like to actually attend mass rather than watch it online. But as we know, there are also a lot of reasons to stay at home and ‘safe’. You must weigh up the pros and cons of attending in person from your side whilst we must also make our church spaces not only ‘sacred space’ but ‘safe space’ too. If you wish to attend in person a ‘live’ mass please adhere to the things we have asked you to do so as not to endanger yourself, or others.
But, what about actually doing something whilst ‘not able to go out’? If you have a tablet or a computer you are in a good place to join others in interesting ways.
In this edition you will find information about several opportunities to grow your faith and understanding. Fr Jonathan How and I are running jointly the “Sycamore” programme. All you need is to make some time available (initially for 5 Tuesday evenings before Lent) and have a Zoom connection online. And a certain inquisitiveness and a desire to share and learn. See info below for what is happening and how to sign up.
But as well as and in addition, once Lent has started we are joining with the whole diocese in a Diocesan wide mission called Invited! Again, this is online and this year – the first of five years – the programme is running through Lent with a video to watch on a Monday – or should I say available from Monday evening but watchable at any time – to enable a discussion group to meet on Thursdays. The video is being professionally produced and will contain a mix of what is called testimony – a personal account of faith in other words, prayer and teaching around a topic. The sharing groups enable us to listen to others and share our own “faith journeys”. Again, more info below. Also see the rich offerings from the Faithful Companions of Jesus – not only that which is detailed below but also all the good things available from their website.
The psalm today inspired me to write all the things I have done. There is a line in it which goes:
You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Instead, here am I.
For the Jew, the heights of worship was the making of sacrifices and money to support the temple. But David writes to tell us as from God himself that what He really wants is us – our open ears and ourselves, in person. In the Christian life the sacrifices of the temple have been replaced with the Mass and with our donations to various good causes and for the upkeep of the church and its work. All good and marvellous things – and necessary. But, if our giving is on Standing Order and forgotten about largely and if our worship too is on some kind of Sunday “standing order” but our relationship with the “living” God has been neglected then our faith will have become a bit of a dry and dusty thing – without life. Like any plant without water it will die but first it will shrink and wither and become brittle and dry – and so will our lives.
Last week I gave you some wisdom from the Night Office and I will do the same this week. Try reading this psalm (No. 4) every night before sleep. It might re-awaken your faith and trust in God.
When I cáll, ánswer me, O Gód of jústice; *
from ánguish you reléased me, have mércy and héar me!
O mén, how lóng will your héarts be clósed, *
will you lóve what is fútile and séek what is fálse?
It is the Lórd who grants fávours to thóse whom he lóves; *
the Lórd héars me whenéver I cáll him.
Fear him; do not sín: pónder on your béd and be stíll *
Make jústice your sácrifice, and trúst in the Lórd.
‘What can bríng us háppiness?’ mány sáy. *
Let the líght of your fáce shíne on us, O Lórd.
You have pút into my héart a gréater jóy *
than théy have from abúndance of córn and new wíne.
I will líe down in péace and sléep comes at ónce *
for yóu alone, Lórd, make me dwéll in sáfety.
God bless you. Fr David
PEACE SUNDAY is on 17 JANUARY
and this year Pope Francis asks us to think about ‘A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace’.
“How many resources,” he says, “are spent on weaponry, especially nuclear weapons, that could be used for more significant priorities such as ensuring the safety of individuals, the promotion of peace and integral human development, the fight against poverty, and the provision of health care.”
Pope Francis calls on us to “strive daily, in concrete and practical ways, to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another.”
In this country we have an active Catholic peace movement in Pax Christi. Their website suggests many ways we can all promote peace in our daily lives. There are activities for families to do at home, including a 15-minute peace liturgy for young children. https://paxchristi.org.uk/peace-sunday-2021/
Pax Christi needs our support to keep going. If you’d like to make a donation, small or large, here is the link: https://tinyurl.com/yxfcw67x
If you’d like your personal donation to be counted towards your parish contribution please give your parish name and town in the ‘Additional Information – Order Notes’ box on the checkout page. Cheques payable to: Pax Christi
Pax Christi, St Joseph’s, Watford Way, Hendon, London NW4 4TY
Tel: 0208 203 4884
Coming soon – Invited
God loves you. He has great plans for you. He wants to accompany you through all the highs and lows of your life.
There will soon be an opportunity for you to explore all this and more as we journey together as a Diocese through a season of mission. Visit www.abdiocese.org.uk/invited to find out more.
You, are Invited.
Sycamore is an informal course about the Catholic faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to meet other people, share ideas, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. It has been produced by the very talented Fr Stephen Wang in London, who has a real gift for sharing the depth and richness of the Catholic tradition and its compassionate and life-giving vision. He helps us to see how these truths can be recognised in our lives and in the longings of our hearts. Each session includes a short film and opportunities for discussion.We will be running the first five sessions on Zoom on Tuesday evenings starting on 19th January 2021 (Join at 7.30pm for 7.45pm prompt start).
To register your interest please click here, by the end of Sunday 17th January.
At the start of this new year, and in the difficult circumstances of lockdown, this would be a good opportunity to explore some of the basics of the Christian faith from a Catholic perspective.
I would like to extend a particular invitation to anyone who reads this email who is not Catholic and would like to know more about how we see the world and God at work in it and in us. Maybe this last year has made you more curious. Maybe no one has ever invited you to learn more. Maybe it’s been on the cards for 40 years but the time has never seemed right. Whatever the reason, you will find a warm welcome and an opportunity to explore the Catholic faith in the company of others on the same journey, and sympathetic guides. You are very welcome to speak with me before registering, should you wish.
I believe that many in our parish will find Sycamore helpful for their journey in faith. I do look forward to the time when we can run the sessions over a meal together, but in the meanwhile I’d like to encourage everyone in the parish to have a think about giving it a go as some spiritual food during this lockdown.
With best wishes for this New Year of Grace
Fr Jonathan How and Fr David Osborne
Faithful Companions of Jesus:
An International Congregation of Catholic Sisters founded by Marie Madeleine d’Houët in France in 1820
We, FCJs, are in an international Society of Roman Catholic Sisters living in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Organised into provinces we are one body committed to living our charism of faithful companionship with Jesus. We are enriched by our cultural diversity and internationality, Easter people celebrating the life of the Risen Christ. Ignatian women, we seek to find God in all things and we find joy in being sent on mission
4 Weeks of Guided Prayer – Online Event
Sundays at 5:30pm beginning 17th January
- An opportunity to deepen your relationship with God through prayer.
- Learn new ways of praying, enjoy some input on prayer, discernment and spirituality.
- Speak with a prayer guide each week for the four weeks.
More information: FCJCentreStHughs@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook
Vocations Weekend – Online Event
26th – 28th February
For women exploring the vocation to religious life. There will be times of prayer, reflection, input and discussion as well as a Q&A session with FCJ Sisters (Faithful Companions of Jesus)
More information: FCJCentreStHughs@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook
Reading Group – Online Event
Friday 4pm from 15th January
Book: Let us Dream – Pope Francis
Each session stands alone so there is no need to attend every week. Register, read the chapter set and then have a chance to talk with others about it. Everyone welcome!
More information: FCJCentreStHughs@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook
Are you a Confirmation Catechist?
Would you like to talk to other Catechists and the Diocesan Youth Ministry Adviser about all things Confirmation?
If so, please sign up to join your Deanery Confirmation Network. These networks were launched towards the end of last year and the conversations were really helpful, particularly in this time of change and adaptation. If you have not already joined your network please contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will make sure that you are involved with the next round of conversations that she is holding at the end of January.
Booking into Mass with effect from 5th January 2021
The first thing is that places of worship are allowed to stay open if they choose to do so. But I would like to add that the focus of our public worship will move online. If you are in a vulnerable group I would strongly advise taking part in our livestream masses only until you have received at least your first dose of the vaccine. If you would like to attend mass in person then please book in. Go to our parish website. Find the Calendar. Click on the mass you wish to attend (with a checkbox next to it) and fill in the form making sure to give your email address correctly. The calendar looks like this:
By clicking on one of the dates for mass a window that looks like this will show:
Click on the Sign Up button and complete the form. That’s it! You should get a confirmation email. If you need to cancel that email will tell you what to do.
We will ONLY be able to remain open for services if we have stewards. Stewards should NOT be people from a vulnerable group (shielding, over 70, underlying conditions etc). Stewards will have certain important, but not too arduous responsibilities such as welcoming people to church, checking them in, showing them where their seat is, sanitizing the church afterwards and making it ready before. I cannot stress enough that if we do not get enough willing stewards then we will have to go to online only worship. If you are prepared to help in this way please contact Sue Knowles for Cranleigh (email@example.com) and Sandra Hyde at Bramley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Although both churches will be open for private prayer each day, I will only celebrate mass on Tuesday’s at St Thomas More (10am) and on Wednesday at Jesus Christ Redeemer of Mankind (6pm). The Wednesday mass will be preceded by an hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. On Thursday and Friday mass will be online only.
As is now our norm – all services celebrated at JCROM will be livestreamed from our YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/CatholicParishofCranleighandBramley
Weekend (Saturday and Sunday Masses)
I will celebrate mass at the usual times and in the usual places.
Booking in and Checking in
It is IMPERATIVE that you book into mass.
Please do so from our website: https://www.cpcb.org.uk/
On arrival at the Church (either one) you will be assigned a seat – please only sit at this seat even if a seemingly better seat seems to be available. People are often late!
Every year 40 people get the small thrill of winning – a small bit of sunshine in our everyday lives. It is part of the fabric of our parish life which knits us all together. This may be as important than the pounds which are raised to support the parish.
So far, fewer than 25% of the usual total have signed up; the Covid restrictions have made it especially hard for people to join this year.
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 email@example.com. (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.