Newsletter for Epiphany Sunday 2017
PARISH OF CRANLEIGH AND BRAMLEY
Epiphany of the Lord – 8th January 2017
The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ
It is a telling fact that in the Western world, or in Cranleigh at least, Christmas is now over – in fact has been over since about Boxing Day (The Feast of Stephen). It is also a telling fact that, for many Christians throughout the world, today’s feast is far more important than the Nativity of Jesus, which we call Christmas in the Western Church. But Christmas is a feast that runs for 40 days – from Christmas Day until the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple on February 2nd.
We should try to celebrate this by keeping our crib scenes up until the 2nd February and keeping the festive cheer going too.
Epiphany is about the revealing of the Son of God – and in this we can begin to see why it is such an important feast. If Jesus had been born and stayed unknown, unrevealed for who he is, then you and I would not be celebrating Christmas, or indeed anything much at all. It is the fact that His birth marked the beginning of a new age – made known by the shining star and observed by the Magi – and this somehow revealed that God’s plan of salvation was in motion definitively that makes all the difference. Today we celebrate the revealing of the Son of God and the star, like a spot light, picks him out as someone special. The Magi’s visit confirms him as someone we should pay attention to and, in turn, follow. The biblical story also shows us that God’s plans are often met with opposition from the powers of this world and we should expect nothing different.
Next week the 2nd collection will be for Pax Christi Peach Sunday is on 15 January, the international Catholic Movement for Peace, has been promoting the World Peace Day message in England and Wales for the past fifty years. Pax Christi itself was born out of the experience of war. Today Pax Christi is present in 50 countries: a network of Christians inspired by faith to work for peace, reconciliation and nonviolent change. In England and Wales Pax Christi, through its small team of 4 staff members, its volunteers and its members, works to create opportunities to support the Catholic community to become involved in peace-making.
Last 300 Club Chance
Entries for the 2017 300 Club draw will close next weekend (16 January). Please ensure you have completed your forms by this date so that you can participate in this year’s draw. Forms and entry fees can be left in the offertory baskets or at the presbytery office.
Parish Accounts Bookkeeper After invaluable service to the Committee Spencer Adams is retiring as the Parish bookkeeper. If there is anyone who has bookkeeping skills and a modest amount of time each month to look after the Parish accounts I would be very grateful if you would volunteer. The successful candidate will receive complete training and induction. Father David.
Vacancy for parish social team: After four years the current team are standing down and we’re looking for some new talent. No experience necessary. It’s a great chance to gain skills in organising events, people management and to share happy experiences that will help continue to make ours a fun, vibrant community. Please talk to Georgie Nel (our outgoing social team chair) for more details. 01483 276221 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Advance notice : Marmalade Sale in February
I’ll shortly be making marmalade to sell in aid of the new Parish Room. Perhaps you would like to make some to add to the sale. If you would like to order any in advance, please let me know how many jars. Contact Bridget Eacott (Tel: 892406 or email email@example.com). Also I’d be glad of any jars you can spare. Please leave them in the porch in Bramley.
Recent Works Done
Just to keep you up to date with some of the maintenance works being undertaken the following items were sanctioned by the Parish Finance Committee and have been undertaken recently. Other maintenance items are prioritised throughout the year as budget allows.
The Sacristy door at Bramley has been replaced with a like for like new one. The leaking roof is being investigated for repair and once this is done the internal decoration will be undertaken.
The lighting at Cranleigh has been upgraded with new LED light fittings that has vastly improved the lighting inside the church and reduced considerably the power usage of the lighting from over 5kW to around 1kW. The LED lamps also have a very long lifespan which means we will save on lamp replacement costs. The fittings are, however, expensive but it has solved the atrocious lighting situation well.
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2017:
Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an annual ecumenical celebration traditionally held from January 18 to 25. By coming together during this week, we join with the people around the world to pray for Christian unity – in worship, reflection, study, and fellowship.
On Wednesday 25th January there will be 8am Morning Prayer at Jesus Christ Redeemer of Mankind.
Missio: Thank you for helping to heal the broken-hearted. The gift of £260.25 from the Parish of Cranleigh and Bramley will help with the crucial work of priests in Rwanda like Fr Emmanuel in bringing peace where there was once conflict and love where there was once hate.
THANK YOU, AND THE STORY SO FAR.
Firstly, I would like to thank you all very much for your kind wishes over Christmas and for the many tokens of friendship given me. You have all been so kind. It has been so good to be able to spend some of my Christmas break from Seminary with you doing my “old job” assisting Fr David.
As you know, it was on 4th January 2016 that I commenced my further studies at Wonersh for the priesthood on a part time basis with my own room there. (I was there before between 1999 – 2002 for the Diaconate) By this March I had studied two years Canon Law and Faculties and took the exams.
In September, I commenced full time studies living in the Seminary on a permanent basis. This time studying Moral Theology plus several other Theologies which I have elected to do and am enjoying it immensely.
Living so closely alongside many different people makes for special relationships and I have found this a fascinating experience and very rewarding. The professors (lecturers/formators) are excellent and the lectures of a high standard; I am so fortunate to be in such a place.
The whole process has helped me discern my way forward in the Lord’s service much more clearly, and I now cannot wait to get “back in the vineyard”. For this particular labourer, I feel it’s even later than the eleventh hour, more like a quarter to midnight!
I expect the bishop to soon allow me to announce the place and time of my ordination. In the meantime, please keep me in your prayers as I do you each day, and I very much look forward to seeing you all at my priestly ordination (God willing), when that great day comes.
God bless you all.
Deacon Roy. St John’s Seminary Wonersh
Christmas in Pokot
I received this report from Fr Sean McGovern at the Rotu Mission and circulated it to members of the Pound a Week Group whose email addresses I have. However, I think it deserves a wider Parish readership.
“Good morning Eugene on this warm St. Stephen’s day. I write to inform you that we had a wonderful Christmas day. And I trust you had the same.
We had a very nice morning Mass followed by a distribution of shoes to the young children who were in the church. 29 in all received shoes courtesy of the Pound a Week Group’s year of mercy kindness. I have my niece Cliona visiting from Dublin and she took some pictures of the occasion which she will forward to you later today.
After that excitement we had dinner for well over 100 people. While there was no turkey, all expressed their great satisfaction with the cuisine. It was ‘organized chaos’ at times but that’s par for the course here.
Then there were games for the children and a football match in which Queensberry rather then FA rules prevailed and red cards would definitely have been distributed liberally if we were in Old Trafford. But the excitement was wonderful and fresh air swipes frequent.
It was a great day but quite an exhausting one too.
God bless for now. Fr Sean “
I have the photos of the children in Fr Sean’s very humble church at Rotu and am very happy to send them to anyone who has not already seen them.
Wishing you all a very Happy 2017.
Eugene McGivern at firstname.lastname@example.org
ADORE (Alton Day Of Renewal) – Saturday 28th January 2017 11.00-4.00
You are warmly welcome to a mini-retreat day (or morning/afternoon) of spiritual refreshment and renewal, focussing on the Charisms or gifts of the Holy Spirit. Please note new venue: at Alton Convent, Anstey Lane, Alton GU34 2NG. 11.00am Rosary; 11.30am Mass; 12.15 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; 1.00pm Shared lunch; 2.00pm Praise & Worship; 2.30
For more information and directions, see poster or website: www.altonrenewal.com
Or telephone Deacon John Foley on 07769 251747.
Next meeting – Saturday 25th February. 11.00-4.00. Guest speaker Peter Hobbs: The Gift of Wisdom.
at Alton Convent, Anstey Lane, Alton