Hello again. Greetings from me at the presbytery.
As I write it is yet another glorious May morning, with a cloudless blue sky and bright sunshine. Some of you will be coping with new return-to- work guidelines, and similar hazards to the ones the essential workers have been facing. It isn’t easy for anyone.
The financial losses for some people are catastrophic. With the Holy Father today I keep all of you in prayer, and with him also we can all keep pestering our Lady with rosaries. Thank you again for the phone calls and e-mails. I’ve been particularly favoured by those video clips, some hilarious, some very wise.
One of the latter was a graphic series of world statistics, about people, covering a range of topics from ethnicity, religious freedom, income, computer ownership (1%), education, (again only 1% of the world has a degree) to
health. In every category most of us come out in the top quarter, many in the top ten. We have so much to be thankful for.
Our bishop (who had his sixty-first birthday on Tuesday) has started writing to us again. He was amazing in the careful and assiduous way he sent detailed and helpful messages during the shutting-down process. This time he reports the unlikelihood of churches opening before July, and says how dismayed the bishops are at the way the government treats religious worship as a mere leisure activity. (Another statistic – only 4% of people in this country attend church on a
regular basis, so no wonder it isn’t seen as a priority).
I’ve been offering Mass each day, getting used to not hearing ‘And with your spirit’ etc. Intentions include Margaret Doherty, Barbara Stones, Tony Cooke, David Cairns, Fr Peter Gooden, the Clayton family, and also one requested by Julia Martin for everyone in thanksgiving for her progress in recovery and for your kindness and support.
Next Thursday is the feast of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. What happened is described in the Acts of the Apostles. Matthew’s gospel account reminds us of the last words Jesus said to the disciples:
‘Know that I am with you
always, yes, to the end of time’.
This Sunday also the readings contain similar words of encouragement, and this consciousness of the abiding presence of Jesus is something that may well have come as a surprise grace to many of us during our enforced isolation. Just praying the Lord’s Prayer slowly and consciously with Our Lord can teach us all about our sharing in
the life of the Trinity and our togetherness, sisters and brothers as baptised children of God.
Thank you for passing on this newsletter. I have some good news: we have a new parish website, which next week should be open in its embryonic state, and will contain the newsletter.
This gives me the chance to thank Mr Paul Hennessey for setting up and managing the previous one. He even used pictures of his own wedding as an illustrative backdrop.
Thanks also to Mr Chris Purslow for his awareness and his assistance in the provision of both. I hope to learn to be in control of the new one, and welcome any constructive comments about its style and its content. There are no plans as yet to run a virtual church. One step at a time!
I do again recommend the screening that Rev, Beverley Jameson of St Mary’s C of E offers on Youtube on a Sunday morning. Last weeks was excellent. She is a natural! Just search her name.
The planned giving envelopes continue to sit tantalisingly in the parish room near the piety cupboards, and unable to be collected. If money is burning a hole in any of your pockets, you can post a cheque to me, made out to St Winefride’s, Lymm, and I can forward it to the bank.
May God bless you all and keep you safe and sane as we continue to contend with the virus. Let’s try to deal with each day as it comes.
I’m not having much success at trimming my own hair!
Fr Tony Elder