5th Sunday of Ordinary Time – 9th February 2020
- Voluntary collection for the Catholic Association for Racial Justice this Sunday. Not Gift Aid.
- Collection next Sunday for the Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund. Gift Aid.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are blessed to have three or four people inquiring about the catholic faith right now. Please keep Julia, Virginia, Sam and Janet in your prayers. As they progress towards full communion with the Catholic Church I hope and pray that they will come to understand, above all else, that Jesus is alive and working among us right now; that we are far removed from merely remembering him, whether it be with gratitude for what he has done for us, or otherwise. For, in our Liturgy we re-present all that Jesus has done for us through His cross and resurrection and make it effective for us in the present moment of our lives. So, at every Mass, Jesus’ death and resurrection are symbolically represented so as to make them present in all their power to us today. But, more even than that, when the Church is gathered for prayer and praise the mystical Body of Christ is assembled and comes alive through the Holy Spirit in each of us – rather like the cells of our body all carry our individual DNA which makes us uniquely who we are. So it is with the Body of Christ, for we like those cells, carry within us the death and resurrection of Christ so that His life may be realised within each of us. We become living temples of the Spirit, in other words.
Well, this has a number of consequences. One it reminds us that the Church whilst present within each of us as individuals is most clearly represented when we are together – gathered with our Lord and with each other. It also means that Christ is alive and working within each one of us, and calling us to mission to “Go, and make disciples”. Furthermore, Christ is living within us as a vital source of spiritual energy that strengthens us for service and a life of witness. We call this presence the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has traditionally been given names that depict the manner in which that presence within us and around us gives life and meaning to us. He is called the Consoler – because when we are exhausted and demoralised from the hardness of heart of the world, he lifts us up with love and kindness. He is called the Advocate – the one who speaks up for us and within us when we struggle to find the right words for any given situation. He is called the Spirit of Truth who guides the Church unerringly along the pathways of holiness – reproving, encouraging, warning, strengthening, and revealing the very inner life of the Blessed Trinity.
It follows from what I have written above that to recognise all this requires a bit more than merely turning up and expecting to receive. If we are to encounter this living Christ within the Church, within the Liturgy, within others and finally within ourselves we need openness of heart. Ian Petit says that we need to do more than learn things by rote, we need to learn them by heart. In other words, we need to move beyond going through the motions towards falling in love with Jesus Christ. This love will be seen, then, in being renewed. We shall become, literally new creations with a new light burning within that becomes visible and attractive.
Perhaps we no longer have confidence in our faith. Perhaps our faith is no longer fit for purpose and has become a bit of an embarrassment. Perhaps all we can do is put our light under a tub and hope that next time we look it’s still alight – just. But Jesus asks us to bear the light proudly and confidently – to put it on a lampstand where it is both useful and visible. This forthcoming Lent may be a good time to rekindle the flame of faith.
God bless you, Fr David
Newcomers Parish Lunch invitation
Open to those who have come to the parish in the last 2 years (with their families) Buffet lunch 12.30 – 2pm on Saturday 15thFebruary in the parish meeting room, Cranleigh. Please pick up invitation at church door when leaving Mass or RSPVP to office @cpcb.org.uk – please let us know of dietary requirements.
If you know of someone recently moved to the parish, please make sure they are aware of this and extend the invitation.
The next Cameo evening for ladies of the parish to come together will take place on Tuesday 11th February from 7.30pm in the Cranleigh Lady Chapel. The focus will be Our Lady of Lourdes whose Feast Day is on 11th February. There will be a time for reflection and prayer and then we will come together for a drink and conversation in the Parish Meeting Room. This is a friendly open group for all generations, and you are welcome to bring a friend.
The next Parish Lunch will take place on Tuesday 25th February in Bramley, there are sign-up sheets in the porches, and you can also let the Parish office know if you would like to attend or know someone who may like to be invited. Mass will be at 11.30pm on this day.
This year’s World Day of Prayer service takes place on Friday March 6th at Cranleigh Methodist Church at 10.30 am with tea/coffee served from 10am. The service this year has been prepared by the Christian women of Zimbabwe and is titled “Rise! Take your mat and walk.” All are welcome.
The next Coffee Morning will take place on Tuesday 11th February from 10.30am in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. This is open to all members of our community and you are welcome to bring a friend or suggest it to someone who may benefit from meeting with this friendly group.
Parish Social Evening: We are holding another film and dinner night to give us all an opportunity to get together.
It will be on Friday 28th February in the Cranleigh parish room from 6:30pm with the film at 7:30ish. As before it is open to all and not just a men’s night.
We will probably go for curry again but if you have a particular aversion or dietary requirements then let me know and I’m sure we can accommodate.
The cost will be £15pp for the film and food but please bring your own drinks, any surplus monies will go to the hall fund.
The film options are still being considered but will probably be either Green Book or Two Popes.
Projectors and Screens
Over this Christmas period I have introduced you to the idea of projecting the words of the hymns and mass onto a large screen in the Church at Cranleigh. We needed to prove the concept worked and was helpful before we committed any funds to the project. We began by using our little office projector seated on a stool for the Christmas Vigil Mass and then borrowed a more powerful one for a weekend to ensure that we could use the system from a better vantage point. In both cases the system proved its worth. For example, we did not have to print 350 booklets for Christmas mass and then throw them all away the following day. Everyone in the church was on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet! I noted that the singing was much better at the masses over the weekend we had the big system too. Many people found the projector an advantage. A couple complained. Some weren’t able to see the words as well as others. Most things we can perfect as we work with a full installation as time goes by.
However, none of this would be possible without money to pay for it. As we are coming towards the end of paying the hall debt down, we aren’t flush with cash. But we have received four very generous donations specifically towards the projector installation which will cover the costs fully. I am very grateful to those generous people for their kindness and thoughtfulness.
With the funding in place, and with the concept proved, we now need to find an acceptable quotation. The Parish Finance Committee agreed to ask for tenders and commit the funds for the project. This we are now doing.
Also, as part of our ongoing drive to find ways of communicating information to parishioners and newcomers I have installed an old computer monitor in the porch at Cranleigh connected up via our network to one of the office computers to display welcome info and news as people come into the porch. This is an experiment designed to find out whether this sort of system is useful – perhaps not to you who are already part of the community here, but to people who pop in who are new, or trying to find a bit of peace and quiet. This little experiment did not require any parish money apart from a bracket to fit it all on the wall! Let me know what you think.
Evening Prayer for Divorced, Remarried & Separated: Sun. 23rd February, at 3 pm: All those in our parish communities who may be divorced, remarried or simply separated, are warmly invited to come together with Bishop Richard at St. John the Evangelist Church in Horsham for afternoon tea, conversation and the celebration of Evening Prayer, which will conclude the afternoon. It would be useful to know approximate numbers simply to allow us to cater appropriately. If you be kind enough to send through the name(s) of those who are coming along, that would be useful. You can send the information to Katherine.Bergin@abdiocese.org.uk Thank you.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday the 26th of February.
COMING SOON – 2020 LENT COURSE: Our Lent Discussion Course this year will again be run jointly with the other churches in the Village. We are proposing to use a book called ‘This? How Christians Respond to Climate Change’ by Susan Sayers. As last year, there will be an opportunity to attend the course on either a Thursday Evening or a Friday afternoon, or to interchange. There will be 6 sessions starting on 27th/28th February and running through to the week before Holy Week.
We shall be hosting the sessions on a Friday afternoon from 2pm in our Parish Room at Cranleigh, but there will also be sessions held at Cranleigh Methodist Church on Thursday evenings.
The course begins on the Thursday and Friday immediately after Ash Wednesday and runs through up to the Thursday and Friday before Palm Sunday. Please do make a note in your diaries.
“Cranleigh Village Care is a local organisation run for the past 21 years by volunteers in the village. The organisation offers transport to those in need particularly for medical appointments. As Cranleigh grows, more people require help with transport. There is an URGENT need for both volunteer Drivers and Duty Officers. Duty Officers man the phone line on allocated days and times and arrange for the drivers to transport the clients. You can offer as much or as little time as you like, and a driver’s mileage costs can be reimbursed. Without some additional help this very valuable service is at risk. Please do consider if you can help. Interested? Please contact Dorothy on 273508, Peter on 204045, Rosy on 273376 or Joan on 272083 or Trish on 271314.
This weekend Sunday 9th February 2020 the Catholic Church in England and Wales will celebrate Racial Justice – The theme is: “You are at the heart of the church”. It will celebrate the contribution travelling communities make to the church in England and Wales. It is an opportunity for all Catholics to pray for, reflect on and respond to racial justice matters within the church and wider society. Racial justice Sunday should encourage proactive discussions on overt and covert forms of racism experienced by fellow Catholics from the travelling communities. To sup[port he churches in its work with travellers, a second collection will be taken this weekend. Your contributions, however great or small will help to make a difference.
Last week we celebrated the feast of St Agatha. Here is part of the Office of Readings for St Agatha.
|A homily on Saint Agatha by Saint Methodius of Sicily, bishop|
The gift of God, the source of all goodness
My fellow Christians, our annual celebration of a martyr’s feast has brought us together. She achieved renown in the early Church for her noble victory; she is well known now as well, for she continues to triumph through her divine miracles, which occur daily and continue to bring glory to her name.
She is indeed a virgin, for she was born of the divine Word, God’s only Son, who also experienced death for our sake. John, a master of God’s word, speaks of this: He gave the power to become children of God to everyone who received him.
The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics. Again, and again she meditated on the death of her eager lover. For her, Christ’s death was recent, his blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. It bears the indelible marks of his crimson blood and the shining threads of her eloquence. She offers to all who come after her these treasures of her eloquent confession.
Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. She was also given as the gift of God, the source of all goodness to her bridegroom, Christ, and to us. For she grants us a share in her goodness. What can give greater good than the Sovereign Good? Whom could anyone find more worthy of celebration with hymns of praise than Agatha?
Agatha, her goodness coincides with her name and way of life. She won a good name by her noble deeds, and by her name she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her mere name wins all men over to her company. She teaches them by her example to hasten with her to the true Good, God alone.