Hello again and welcome to our newsletter.
There is nothing to report as yet about our being able to open the church for praying or more importantly for Mass. We are still waiting for clearance from the Diocesan authorities. I can report happily that we have had a dozen parishioners who have volunteered to help in the technicalities of opening, so that is one obstacle removed. Hopefully there will be more to report next week. I would urgently appreciate advice from people with experience in the medical or commercial worlds on what protection and sanitizing equipment is best to buy.
Thank you to those of you who have sent in donations/collection money. I have received a further £810 since the last notice. The standing orders continue to keep our account in the black, for which we are much obliged.
This readings from this coming Sunday, the Sixteenth in ordinary time, offer words of encouragement from the book of Wisdom:
God is so powerful and strong, but uses this power restrainedly, inviting us to be similarly lenient and kindly to other people.
We hear Saint Paul, in that marvellous chapter 8 of his letter to the Romans, revealing to us, bit by bit, the bountiful assistance provided for us by the Holy Spirit, even helping us to pray. At this awkward time we need to take extra care not to abandon our prayers. The gospel again is about seeds growing. Why doesn’t the farmer tear up the weeds and let the plants grow properly, someone asks. You have to wait for the harvest, comes the answer. We won’t see for definite which are weeds until then. So we are being warned not to ask God to destroy the ‘weeds’ among us – we might be living our own lives in a way that doesn’t show we are part of the wholesome crop.
I have offered Mass for Tom and Ann Weighill, for the intentions of Marie and Harold White, for Rita Birch, for Doris Turner on her birthday, and for the deceased relatives and friends of the Loughton and Dodd families. Over the weekend Mass will be offered for Marie McAllister for Eileen McAllister, and for all of you, the parishioners. I do look forward to again hearing the responses, from even a tiny congregation, but I’m sure God accepts the sacrifice of the mass at my hands even now, on behalf of all of you.
I hope our younger parishioners are getting the chance to ‘play out’ as well as having to do lessons at home. Ask them please to pray for me and for the families of their friends. I did see a cartoon, showing a goalkeeper with the ball from a free kick nestling angrily in the top right hand corner of his net. The defensive wall in front of him just has four obviously ineffective players, with huge gaps between them. “What sort of a ‘wall’ was that?” he says. And comes the reply “We’re socially distancing!”
Have fun, everyone, and God bless you all.
Fr Tony Elder