By In Newsletter Blog On October 8, 2021

Childrens Liturgy of the Word is back at Cranleigh Sunday 11am Mass

Cranleigh children’s liturgy is open to all children who have not yet received the Sacrament of Communion [FHC].  It takes place each Sunday during school term at the 11am Mass.  It is designed to bring the Word of God to young children at a level they can easily understand.

Harvest3.jpgWith their families the children begin the 11am Mass in the Church and are called forward for a Blessing, they then process the “Book of the Gospels” to the Parish Hall. They return to Mass at the Offertory and join in the remaining celebration of the Mass.  During children’s liturgy we light candles for special intentions chosen by the children, sing songs and listen to the gospel reading, discussing its meaning with the children afterwards. We finish with an activity which usually includes colouring in pictures from the gospel.


Children aged from 3 years can be left to enjoy children’s liturgy, leaving Mums and Dads to attend Mass. However, parents are more than welcome to stay with their children as help with supervision is always gratefully accepted.  Very young babies and toddlers [must be accompanied by Mum or Dad] are very welcome to stay and grow with children’s liturgy, so that when old enough they too can join in the liturgy.  We are always delighted to welcome our children and parents and look forward to greeting our new members in the future.  Last weekend we enjoyed the Harvest display provided by St Cuthbert Mayne school and we hope to see more families enjoying the Childrens Liturgy.

A special invitation goes out to those family about to start the First Holy Communion course in October.

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“Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him …” (Mark 10:21)

aaa1.jpg There are some paintings, the eyes in which have the reputation of seeming to follow the viewer around the room: the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is often said to be an example of this phenomenon.

Paintings, images, representations of the human face can appear to stare out at the viewer, drawing the viewer into the painting and into relationship with the image depicted.  This can be particularly true in iconography.

One icon, startling for the intensity of the gaze directed at the viewer, is the Christ Pantocrator (Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai).  This icon is well-known for another reason: look at the difference between the two eyes of the Christ.

aaa2.jpg[Aside: This difference might remind you of another image, not an icon but a painting, Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son.  In that painting the seeming difference in the father’s hands has been much debated.

The right hand appears quite feminine with longer, thinner fingers while the left hand appears more masculine, perhaps reflecting the fact that God, the source of forgiveness, has at times been described by spiritual writers as both Father and Mother.]

It is suggested that the icon is a visual representation of a truth defined at the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon – Jesus Christ is perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man – with the left-hand side of the icon from the viewer’s perspective representing Christ’s divinity, and the right-hand side the humanity.aaa3.png

Interesting images have been produced by creating a mirror line down the middle of the image and creating two new figures by reflecting the right and the left sides – mirror composites.  (The version below is created by JustinGBX and is in Wikimedia Commons.)

Two startling images: perhaps humanity informed by Old and New Testaments and the divinity with hands raised in blessing.

Consider:  What/who do you think Jesus sees when he looks steadily at you and loves you?

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The ideas and some of the wording contained in the first reading from the book of Wisdom (7:7-11) may remind us of something slightly more familiar from the Old Testament and to be found in parallel accounts often described as Solomon’s dream or as Solomon’s gift of wisdom:

At Gibeon the Lord appeared in a dream to Solomon during the night.  God said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you’.  Solomon replied … ‘Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil …’  It pleased the Lord that Solomon should have asked for this.  ‘Since you have asked for this’ the Lord said ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask.  I give you a heart wise and shrewd …’ (1 Kings 3:4-15)

 God appeared to Solomon and said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you’.

            Solomon replied to God … ‘… give me wisdom and knowledge to act as leader of this people’.

            ‘Since that is what you want,’ God said to Solomon ‘since you have asked not for riches, treasure, honour, the lives of your enemies, or even for a long life, but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people of whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge are granted you …’ (2 Chronicles 1:2-12)

Tradition – although not scholarship – holds that the Book of Wisdom (along with Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, the Song of Songs and several of the Psalms) were written by Solomon; indeed, the Book of Wisdom is also known as The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Song of Songs as The Song of Solomon.

Consider: God asks you ‘What would you like me to give you?’ What is your answer?  Why?


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Screenshot 2021-10-08 at 09.28.22.pngPrisoners’ Sunday

What is Prisoners’ Sunday?

Prisoners’ Sunday – this year on 10th October – is the National Day of Prayer and action for prisoners and their dependants as marked by the Catholic Church and across the Christian denominations. It is a day to direct our thoughts and prayers to prisoners, their families, and children. Prisoners’ Sunday is the time to reflect on how we as individuals, as a Church and as a community are serving those affected by imprisonment.

Prisoners’ families, prisoners and people with previous convictions often find themselves on the margins of society due to the social stigma associated with imprisonment. They are often forgotten or come lower down on the list of causes to ‘hold a handout to’. But the gospel of Matthew 25: 36 reminds us of our duties towards them:  I was naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.

Pact’s work embodies the Christian value of mercy and belief in the innate dignity of every human being. Through this campaign we ask you to engage with a core element of Catholic social teaching and put our faith into action.

What is Prisons Week?  Prisoners’ Sunday marks the first day of the ecumenical Prisons Week, a week of prayer which raises awareness of issues faced by those affected by the criminal justice system.

Prisons Week was founded by Bishop Victor Guazzelli in 1975. Since then, Prisons Week has prepared prayer literature to enable the Christian community to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons: prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the in the criminal justice system and the many people who are involved in caring for those affected by crime on the inside and outside of prisons.

Journeying from Despair to Hope: ‘ Building support from parishes to prisoners and their families.’

An online event on 12th October, 5 pm to 6.15 pm.  Register at

  • Please note there will be NO Mass at St Thomas More on Tuesday 12th October due to a scheduled Deanery meeting which Fr Alistair is attending.
  • Cranleigh Tea & Cake – Following Mass members of the Parish host a tea and cake event in the Parish Hall as a way to come together to meet fellow Parishioners. Everyone is welcome to come along and if you would like to volunteer to host one of the dates your efforts would be greatly appreciated, speak to whomever may be hosting at a weekend Mass.
  • If you intend to use the Bramley Parish Hall, please speak with Sandra Hyde in the first instance to avoid double booking.
  • The Cranleigh Coffee Morning will recommence on 14th October – all over 50’s are welcome each 2nd Thursday of the month from 10.30 to 12pm.


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