Third Sunday of Advent – 15th December 2019
There will be a second collection this weekend for Number Five Homeless Charity in Guildford – CHRISTMAS Collection for Number Five. On 14th and the 15th December we will be holding our annual collection for Number Five homeless project in Guildford. The collection which will be taken at all masses provide us with the means to buy each resident in the project over Christmas a cinema voucher and a gift voucher for the Friary Centre and depending on the amount we collect possibly a coffee or mobile phone top up voucher. The remainder of the collection is given in cash to the project to be used for emergencies such as bus or rail fares in times of personal crises, or for a taxi to A&E etc, as Number Five have no funds for use in such circumstances. You can be really sure that these gifts from our parish are very much appreciated by the residents when they know that someone is thinking of them at this time of year. Many thanks again, Pat.
Dear Brothers and Sisters
I want to pick up on a line from the Gospel this week – Jesus says “Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor; and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.”
This is because John had sent some of his disciples to see Jesus and ask him what was going on – was he indeed, as John had been proclaiming, the long hoped for and expected Messiah, or another prophet, or even, after all that, none of those things. Jesus tells the disciples of John to “Go back and tell John what you see and hear.”
Over the last few years we had heard more and more from our politicians, and the language used has been increasingly divisive, and noisy. At the last election of 2017 Mrs May told us that a vote for her was for strong and stable government – widely derided at that time and in the end the complete inverse of what, actually, we got. This time we have had various politicians and party leaders promising to either ‘Get Brexit done!’ with an oven ready solution, or to effect ‘real change’ in the completely opposite direction. One of the big issues to arise in all recent democratic exercises has been the issue of truthfulness – whether a statement was merely a general indication of a general principle in general terms, or wildly exaggerated, or simple false. This is, and will become even more, of an issue.
Jesus, on the other hand, unlike our politicians is not asking you to vote for him or, even, for a manifesto. Indeed, he has no manifesto at all but only one solitary purpose – to reveal the Kingdom of God. He does this by making known a message – a message of reconciliation and of compassion and by authentically revealing that message in his own person. In this case the media really is the message. Jesus contains, or sums up in his own person all the hopes of the voiceless and powerless; he holds within himself, absorbs, the violence and manipulation of those who wield power. In effect Jesus offers hope and sets about putting that hope into practice. He embodies in himself all the longing that God’s people held within themselves – that their lives had meaning, that they were valued members of God’s family, that even if Kings, princes and politicians were unreliable He, God in Christ, was trustworthy. In effect Jesus is saying: “Go back and tell what you see and hear. Be my witnesses to others of the realisation of all their hopes and longed for desires.”
Part of our trouble is that we believe that our vote will bring in a government that can actually effect the change we wish for. Somehow, we overcome our scepticism to believe that ‘this time’ they really mean what they say and will do what they promise. But they never seem to. Always we get into the blame game and into disappointment no matter who has the next 5 years.
Jesus does not offer that response. Jesus offers real change – but here is the thing – he tells us that it is we who need to change. Weneed to do the repenting – the turning away from damaging ideas and habits that diminish us, or our society, through greed and injustice. We need to break habits that are so ingrained that we have forgotten how we existed without them. And so the first thing Jesus does is demonstrate how out of tune we are with the symphony that is God. We insist on our solo’s whilst he wants us to be part of an orchestra playing together in harmony, sometimes soaring, sometimes playing quietly in support of others, sometimes in the forefront, sometimes in the background but all the time the melody and harmony is of God’s great work – his magnum opus of creation rising in a great act of praise. Jesus reveals this and asks us to go and tell people what we see and hear. Are you listening? Do you see?
God bless you all. Fr David
Cranleigh Village Carol Service will take place in St Nicolas Church on Sunday 22nd December from 6.30pm. Christians from throughout the village and from all churches will be taking part in this beautiful and uplifting traditional service of lessons and carols. Please bring your kids to this and give them a traditional Christmas! See you there. Fr David
Parish Mission Statement. Through our worship, in prayer and liturgy, we seek always to become a community of faith, hope and love, building inclusive relationships with people of faith and none, reaching out to those in need.
Bridget Eacotts funeral will take place on Friday 20th December at 1.30pm in Bramley. Bridget passed away after a brave battle with cancer on last Thursday morning.
Christmas Offerings The Finance Committee would like to remind you that all Christmas monetary gifts for Father David should be placed in an envelope clearly marked with “Father David”. This includes cash or cheques made payable to “David Osborne”. Pre-addressed envelopes will be available at the back of both Bramley and Cranleigh churches. Any loose cash or unmarked envelopes placed in the collection plate will be assumed to be a gift to the Parish funds.
With the shortage of priests, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gather a large number together all in one place – especially at busy times of the year. And yet, certain things should have a priority – and some of those things are the sacraments. This year I am offering you a:
Day of Reconciliation on Saturday the 14th December.
We shall begin with a Mass of Reconciliation at 10am in the morning at Cranleigh and then there will be several (many) opportunities during the day to come and make your confession, or to come for a spiritual chat. It will be with me, but I hope that by now you understand that I am, like you, a sinner. I do not judge you but am there for you to unburden yourself to the Lord and speak on His behalf the words of compassion, mercy and forgiveness that he wants to say to you. I am also excellent at forgetting!
I will be in the church on the hour every hour throughout the day after mass until the Vigil in the evening. I will stay in the confessional for 10 minutes if no one is around but return the next hour. I will leave several copies of a little examination of conscience and a small penitential liturgy for you to pray through before you come to confession and reconciliation. You might, for instance come at ½ past the hour and spend half an hour in prayer preparing for the sacrament.
I do hope many of you will use this opportunity to “make a straight way for the Lord.” May God bless you all. Fr David
The Cranleigh Church is due to be decorated and tidied on Saturday 21st December at 11am by Phil Davies and his team. If you are willing and able Phil would be grateful of your help. Please let us know you will be attending email@example.com
6pm JCROM First Mass
11.30pm STM Midnight Mass
9am STM Mass at Cockcrow
11am JCROM Mass of Christmas Day
Christmas Lunch – this month’s lunch will be a Christmas Dinner on Tuesday 17th December after the 11.30 Mass at Bramley. £7.00 for a 3-course traditional dinner in the Bramley Parish Room! Please sign up on the sheet in the Bramley porch or call Dinah (tel: 271 241) or Bev (tel: 892 712) to book a seat. We look forward to seeing you there!
300 Club Applications are Open
Over the years, the 300 club has been here to help raise funds for the church. Over the past 10 years, over £11,000 has been raised. The draws start in January with a New Year draw and end in December with a Christmas draw, with 12 monthly draws during the year.
Entry forms are available at the back of each church in the parish and should be returned no later than 19 January 2020 to be included in all the draws for the year. Return entries by putting them in an envelope in the collection at a Sunday mass or direct to the parish office in Cranleigh.
In the current year, there are 104 entries, each one costing £12. After taking away the prize money this had left £468 as a contribution to the church’s funds. In 2019, we used these funds to buy a new set of vestments for Fr David. Let’s see if we can make 2020 a bumper year and raise over £1000 for the church. Good luck!
Following Miriam’s talk about EducAid at the recent Masses she sent this message: “A note to say that we have received the cheque for £835.35 and wanted to pass on our thanks and appreciation to the parish. This sort of contribution to costs makes a big difference to the youngsters in our care as it represents costs for 14 day students for a whole year!! Big big thanks! Wishing you all the best for Advent and for a very happy Christmas. With love from us all at EducAid. Miriam Please support our work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans: http://www.educaid.org.uk/get-involved/donate/
Thank you to all the supporters of the Parish Christmas Party which took place last weekend. It was a joyous occasion with plentiful food and laughter. The Raffle raised around £300 which has been donated to POKOT.
I am delighted to report that on Friday we sent the magnificent sum of £9,500 from the Pound a Week Group to the Pokot Missions. Of this, £2,500 was for Fr Sean McGovern at the Rotu Mission. £1,860 was for school fees. The balance of £640 was for use at his discretion. He tells me that he has given the money to a young woman to help her start a business. She is a teacher at the Rotu Mission school and is proposing to start what Fr Sean called a “Fuel sale outlet” at Koloa. He said a “petrol station” would be too grand a description for the venture. Koloa has just become the government’s administrative centre for the area and there has been an influx of government and NGO personnel with cars and motorcycles. Fr Sean said that a woman initiative of this kind is virtually unheard of in East Pokot and he was pleased to use our £640 to help the lady with her start-up costs. But she has still a long way to go.
Sponsors are still needed for three of Fr Sean’s young primary students from poor families who passed the qualifying exam to go on to secondary education, the first children to do so from the Rotu parish. The fees are £465 each and the boys will be starting school in January. I already have a sponsor for the young girl who also passed the exam. You may recall from earlier reports that when Fr Sean opened his Mission at Rotu, no one in that remote area had ever been to school. Barpello School £7,000 of the transferred funds were for Fr Paul Kamau, Director of the Barpello Mission School. £400 of that was the Fr Ken Freeman Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded to a young girl, Joywin J Samoei, who progressed through the Mission school and is now at university. £3,800 was to pay for all the setting up costs of Fr Paul’s Tailoring Project which will get underway in January. The balance of £2,800 was to meet the running costs of the project for the first seven months. It should be possible to meet the balance of £2,060 from next year’s donations.
The fees for the students we are already sponsoring at the Barpello school are due in January and I will contact the sponsors after Christmas. If anyone would like to sponsor a child at the secondary school, or contribute to part of their fees, do please let me know.
Thanks to everyone for your great support over the years for the Pokot projects. And a happy and blessed Christmas. Eugene McGivern 01483-893379 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wintershall are offering 7 free tickets to the Nativity performance on the 19th of December at 7pm at Wintershall. The performance lasts for 90 minutes. The closing date for this offer of free tickets is 3pm on Monday the 16th of December. Please send your requests to email@example.com if you would like to be put on the list for the tickets.
Via Giovanni please see a request for accommodation in the area: I am a mature student at Surrey University (Psychology). I have 20 years’ experience in mental health having worked as an educator-health care assistant with elderly people suffering from different conditions i.e., Alzheimer, dementia. I am from Italy and been here for almost 3 years. Due to my intensive course I cannot have a full-time job and therefore I am looking to do assistance during the night and I’ll be very happy to find a family that needs this kind of help. Please phone 07513661411or 274744
Thank you to Joan Morris for organising the CAMEO quiz night last week. It was a fab evening and our small group raised £50 which is matched by the Government and donated to Mercy Ships. Thank you to everyone involved. Please join us for the next Cameo evening which will be on Tuesday 4th February. Helen Rollo will host an evening surrounding Our Lady of Lourdes. Everyone is invited to this reflection session. Mercy hospital ships are the most efficient way to bring a state-of-the-art hospital to regions where clean water, electricity, and medical facilities and personnel are limited or non-existent. Instead of trying to build the facilities we bring life-changing surgeries to ports around the world, we can provide a safe, stable, fully outfitted hospital ship to help change the odds for thousands of people in need. We also train local healthcare providers and improve medical infrastructure. And we even stock our ships with a supply of vehicles so we can reach remote areas!
A Week of Guided Prayer – who’s it for? Everyone! And someone who’s been there said, “I think I expected something more ‘holy’! As it was, I was able to be me and think and pray about life as I’m experiencing it now…….“ Want to hear more? The week starts on Sunday, 9th February 2020, in the afternoon, at St Joan of Arc, Farnham, GU9 8DJ. Further details are in the booking forms at the back of the church, or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for applications will be on 6th January 2020, but no one will be turned away, including those who are housebound Please tell us if this applies to you or someone you know.
Dear All. The Allan Family would like to thank everybody who kindly donated to the Ugandan Charity KiSS the weekend before last. Your generosity raised just over a thousand pounds which is absolutely amazing. We look forward to sharing our stories with you on our return and showing you where your generous donations were spent! Thank you very, very, much. With love from the Allans.