News

How the rule of 6 affects religious activities (Mass is still on!)

2020.09.11 – Update on Covid Restrictions – Revision 1[14163]

This document explains how all the latest COVID-19 restrictions affect religious activities. Masses are still taking place.

CAFOD Clifton Harvest Fast Day meetings on zoom
CAFOD Clifton Harvest Fast Day meetings on zoom. Be prepared for the alternative ways the CAFOD Appeal is happening this year; come to one of the meetings below to find out!
Monday Sep 14th at 5.00pm: Bath – Salisbury – Trowbridge – Swindon Deaneries
Join Zoom Meeting: please contact Liz Baldwin at CAFOD Clifton for the zoom link details – ebaldwin@cafod.org
Book a seat at Mass using the Eventbrite link for 26th August - 2nd October

From 5th July, Masses have taken place on Sundays 9.00am, 10.30am and 5.00pm, and on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10.00am. From Sunday 26th July the Eventbrite links will cover about a month at a time.
Click the link below, for the dates you are interested in, and select and book each date in turn.

Booking from Sunday 16th August to Saturday 29th August

Booking from Sunday 30th August to Friday 2nd October

To offer this flexibility for booking further ahead, we had to remove “last minute” booking for some Masses. Booking for all Masses closes 13 hours before Mass begins; allowing us to prepare check-in lists, for Sunday morning Masses, on Saturday evening.

Closing times for booking are as follows:

Mass On Booking Closes
Sunday 9.00 am Saturday at 8.00 pm
Sunday 10.30 am Saturday at 9.30 pm
Sunday 5.00 pm Sunday at 4.00 am
Wednesday 10.00 am Tuesday 9.00 pm
Friday 10.00 am Thursday 9.00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT
If you book several weeks ahead, please remember to cancel, if your plans change, so that someone else can have the place.

Could you be a steward at a Sunday Mass?

Volunteers: We need more stewards at the Sunday Masses. The more we have, the fewer times people will be called on. If we don’t have enough stewards, we will not be allowed to open the church for Mass. Our current volunteers are doing a great job, but need back up. If you are aged 18-70, please email bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com for information about stewarding.

First Holy Communion 2020 update

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION 2020:
Lockdown prevented many things from taking place, including our 2020 cohort from making their First Holy Communion.
Due to the continuing restrictions on the celebration of Mass, Fr Jeremy and the catechists have decided to allow the 2020 and the 2021 cohorts to receive Holy Communion for the first time next summer. At the moment, the plan is to start the programme as usual in January for the 2021 children, and for the 2020 cohort to join them later to finish their own programme. The nature of the pandemic makes it very difficult to set anything in stone.

Masses at St Mary's starting on Sunday 5th July

From 5th July, Masses have taken place on Sundays 9.00am, 10.30am and 5.00pm, and on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10.00am. Unfortunately, Fr Jeremy is unwell and needs to take time to rest and recuperate. Therefore, Masses at St Mary’s will cease until 16th August when we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Please pray for his swift recovery. If you want to send Fr Jeremy your best wishes, please put a card in the post or send an email to this address, rather than ringing him.

Masses at St Mary from 5th July

Masses at St Mary’s starting on 5th July 2020

We are very excited that we are allowed to celebrate Mass with a congregation from 4th July. This is subject to strict guidelines that have been agreed between the Bishops of England & Wales & Government. To make coming for Mass as safe as can be during a pandemic, there will be some changes. These are outlined as simply as possible below. The obligation to go to Mass each Sunday is still suspended, so you are not obliged to go to Mass on any day of the week. However, we are pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity. The new rules are outlined below. Some of them seem counterintuitive to our belief that our church is open to everyone. It still is open to all, we just need to make some different preparations before we come to Mass to ensure the safety of all our parishioners.

“How do I know when I can go to Mass?”

  • There will be five Masses per week: Sundays 9.00am, 10.30am, 5.00pm; Wed 10.00am; Friday 10.00am
  • Each Mass is as important as any other, whether on Sunday or on a weekday.
  • The number of seats in the church has been reduced (61 parishioners, 1 priest, 1 sacristan, 4 stewards). This is because we are using 1m+ social distancing measures.
  • To avoid us all turning up to Mass at the same time, & people being turned away due to lack of seats, we will be using a booking system.
  • Booking online: You will need to book seats online using Eventbrite. You will be able to get the Eventbrite link from the Parish website on Wednesdays from noon. Eventbrite Booking will CLOSE at 9.00pm Saturday evening for the SUNDAY MORNING Masses & one hour before Mass for all other Masses (Including Sunday 5.00 pm). You will be sent a ticket via email.
  • Booking by phone: We have set up an answerphone (07415000566) for those who do not use the internet. You be able to book by phone 07415000566 from Wed 12pm – Sat 12pm. Leave your name, phone number, number of seats requested, and the time and day of the Mass you wish to book. You will receive verbal or text confirmation of your booking.
  • You may book only one Mass per week, to allow as many people as possible to receive the Eucharist.
  • If you come to Mass without booking a seat, we will ask you to go home, and book into another Mass. The only time we would be able to allow you entry without a prior booking is if we have seats that have not been booked. We will not know this until just before each Mass.
  • Chairs are arranged in the church individually at 1m+ from each other. There are some directly next to each other for those in the same household. The three front rows are suitable for families with children under five years old.
  • Facemasks/coverings will be compulsory for everyone, including children so please bring you own face mask or face covering. We will be unable to allow you entry to the church without a mask or face covering

 “I have booked my seat. What do I need to do when I get the church?”

  • Please do not park in front of the church. We will be using the emergency door as an exit.
  • Doors will open 15mins before each Mass, & you may have to queue up outside 1m from the person in front & behind. Please bring an umbrella/coat/sunhat and your own missal
  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please do not enter the church even if you have booked a seat. Go home immediately.
  • Entry is through the front door, unless you are unable to manage stairs. If so, you may come in & out through the sacristy.
  • In the porch, you will be greeted by a steward who will check that you have booked a seat. They will also ask you to put on your facemask.
  • At the doors of the draught lobby, you will be greeted by a steward who will ask you to sanitise your hands & then read the safety signs on the blue boards. Please can coeliacs make themselves known to the steward.
  • In the main body of the church, a steward will help you a seat.
  • Sit down, pray & wait for Mass to begin. However tempting it is, please do not wander to talk to friends or go into the sacristy to book a Mass intention. Votive candles have been removed from the church.

 

“Will Mass be different?”

There are some changes to the pattern of the Mass to maintain our safety & 1m+ social distancing

  • Mass will be a lot shorter than usual.
  • What’s missing? We will not have any singing, musicians, altar servers, bidding prayers, offertory procession, kneelers nor holy water in the stoups. We will not share the sign of peace, nor receive the Blood of Christ from the chalice. There will be no Children’s Liturgy of the Word during 10.30am Mass nor Coffee after Mass. We are not permitted to use the Parish Centre yet. The toilets will continue to be out of bounds. Please make sure young children & vulnerable adults are aware of this.
  • Readers: Our reader will sit on one of the chairs amongst the congregation. They will use a lectern on the steps on the altar, to avoid sharing the main lectern with Fr Jeremy. They will be supplied with single use gloves.
  • Collections: There will be no collection baskets bar a donations box beside the exit. Parishioners are encouraged to make donations online via our website or by standing order.
  • The Communion Rite: After the prayer & its response “Behold the Lamb of God…Lord I am not worthy”, Fr Jeremy will hold up the host & say loudly “The Body of Christ” to which we will all respond “Amen”. In the same way, Fr Jeremy will then elevate the chalice & say, loudly “The Blood of Christ” & we will again respond “Amen”. Therefore, when we go up to receive communion, we will do so in silence & there will be no dialogue between ourselves & Fr Jeremy.
  • Eucharistic Ministers: We will need only one Eucharistic Minister to assist Fr Jeremy at each Mass, and only if our Sacristan Mark is not present.
  • Receiving Communion: Communion will be given silently in the hand only, with the communicant standing & avoiding all physical contact. Please stand behind the marker. Put out your arms at full stretch with one hand on top of the other & as flat as possible, so that there is a good distance between yourself & Fr Jeremy/Mark/the Eucharistic Minister.
  • Blessings for those unable to receive Communion: please remain seated. All are included in the blessing which ends the Mass.
  • Movement during Communion: Our stewards will ask each row of people to go up and back again, before asking the next row of people to move. Fr Jeremy will distribute communion to all those on the chairs underneath the frescos first, whilst Mark/ the Eucharistic Minister gives communion to all those in the chairs next to the stained glass windows. Once this is finished, those in the middle area will be directed to come forward by the stewards.
  • Leaving the Church: Once Mass has finished & Fr Jeremy has left the altar, the stewards will ask those in the chairs underneath the stained glass windows to leave the church first through the emergency exit in the Lady Chapel. Those in the middle area will go next, followed by those sitting underneath the frescos. You may not leave through the main entrance. Those who cannot manage stairs may leave through the sacristy accompanied by a steward. Hand sanitizer will be available at both exits.

“What else do I need to know?”

  • Cleaning the church: Our cleaner will clean the church & all the chairs after 5.00pm Mass on Sundays & after the weekday Masses. This means we will be asking for parishioners to wipe down all the chairs & door handles after both the 9.00am & 10.30am Sunday Masses.
  • Stewards: Without the fantastic work of our marvellous stewards, we could not have opened the church for individual prayer. We will now need four stewards at each of our Masses. Could you be a steward? If we are unable to maintain 20 stewards per week, we will not be able to have five Masses. We need people who are not in any of the vulnerable categories, are smiley & welcoming, & are happy to explain all the guidelines to parishioners. Please email the Parish Office stmary@cliftondiocese.com asap if you are able to help.

“When will Mass go back to normal?”

  • Your guess is as good as ours. Please pray for an end to the pandemic, & for all those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. Please thank God for all those who have worked tirelessly to care for the sick, clean our buildings, maintain our food supply chains, teach our children, collect our rubbish, complete risk assessments and create guidelines to allow us to move back into St Mary’s. Our Lady, Help of Christians: Pray for us.
Film: "A Prayer for Bath"

FILM: Fr Jeremy has been involved in a making a short film about prayer, with other churches in Bath.
28 churches in Bath have come together online and made a short film called “A Prayer for Bath”. The different members of the clergy pray the prayer of St Francis “Make me an instrument of your peace”.
You can find the film on YouTube, the parish Facebook page and the parish website. Mindful of the demonstrations happening across the world following the death of George Floyd, the call to prayer is very timely. PLEASE SHARE IT!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsGNo2CvJ7I 

Listen to Fr Jeremy's sermons online

We have been posting Fr Jeremy’s sermons on the website for some time. Now you can listen to him each Sunday from the comfort of your own home. If you go to https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/sermons and scroll to the end of the typed sermon, there is a arrow shaped play button. Click on it and listen to Fr Jeremy.

You can also listen to the sermons from the three previous Sundays.

The Compassionate Community Hub

The Compassionate Community Hub is now operational across the whole of B&NES, with large numbers of volunteers who are being asked to provide support to people in need in their local areas.

Here are some contact details…
If anyone needs support with buying food or medicines, and there is no local group that they can turn to,  then they should send an email with the subject “Support” to compassion@3sg.org.uk and the team will pick up your query within 24 hours.

Alternatively, telephone the Compassionate Community hotline  0300 247 0050.

People wanting to register as a volunteer with Compassionate Community should complete the form via this link

 http://bit.ly/communityvolunteersignup.

For people who are in need of food, and looking for an alternative to going into the shops during the pandemic, here is a list of local businesses offering food delivery:

https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/sustainable-food-partnership

Report: Dementia Friend Information afternoon and Audit

Report: Dementia Friend Information afternoon and Audit
We had a very informative session with Dementia Friends Champion Fiona Bell. We intend to run these sessions every 6 months to help parishioners understand life with dementia, and to support carers. Thank you to Roberta for providing the great cake.

Two groups took on the audit of our buildings and of our church services. This was to assess what we are doing and what we could do to make the buildings and services more welcoming to parishioners with dementia and their carers. Look out for suggestions in the bulletin of how we can help, and for facts about what dementia is and is not.
*Look out for parishioners wearing Dementia Friend forget-me-not badges at Mass.

Pandemic Resources

Tuesday 22nd September's updates and resources

Grief: “Grieving has made it more difficult to pray, but praying to loved ones in heaven has helped move me in the direction of a new prayer life. “ A reflection on ways to pray whilst grieving for loved ones by  https://bustedhalo.com/features/a-prayer-journey-through-grief

CAFOD: There will be a thanksgiving mass for all CAFOD volunteers and supporters at St John the Evangelist on September 30th at 10:00 am.  The mass will be livestreamed.    https://www.stjohnsrcbath.org.uk/index.php/mass-online

New On-Line Course: METANOIA – A journey with Christ into Conversion. Join parishioners from St Alphege’s and beyond for a new 10-part on-line course. The course will follow the same format as more recent courses, i.e. you will watch the 30 min film for free on-line at a time to suit; this will be followed by an on-line Zoom meeting on a Saturday at 11.30am where we will share our thoughts and reflections. You can find out more by going to https://wildgoose.tv/catalog  You need to join up (create a password) but there is no obligation to pay a subscription. Once you are logged in just scroll down until you see the Metanoia films. You can watch the trailer which will give you an insight into the course. We really encourage people to join up. It has proved a very powerful way to grow in faith and is particularly helpful during this time of more socially limited opportunities. Please spread the news to all your friends and family; all are welcome. The dates are below; you are welcome to attend all or some or you could even watch all the films at home and not attend the Zoom meetings (but we hope you will!) Sat 26 Sept Sat 3, 10 and17 Oct Sat 7, 14, 21 and 28 Nov. If you are interested email Parish Administrator Sara Sampson who will send you the Zoom link. If you have any questions please contact St Alphege’s office. bath.stalphege@cliftondiocese.com

Monday 21st September's updates and resources

Picture meditation: A meditation by Fr Dries van den Akker S.J on yesterday’s gospel – the workers in the vineyard Mt 20:1-16, using a beautiful illustration of events https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/picture-meditation-for-20-september-gospel-of-matthew

Season of Creation: The lead Bishop on the Environment for the Bishops Conference of England and Wales, John Arnold speaks about the Season of Creation and the work his own diocese of Salford is doing to care for our common home. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-09/uk-bishop-we-all-have-a-role-to-play-in-caring-for-our-common-h.html

St Gregory’s Catholic College: VIRTUAL OPEN EVENTS – Sixth Form Tuesday 6th October & Saint Gregory’s 2021 Y7 entry Tuesday 13th October. A new online Virtual Open Event, providing you with a flavour of what you can expect as a student at Saint Gregory’s and the many exciting experiences ahead of you. Register your interest or book a place at our live, online Q&A forums in the Autumn term. www.stgregorys.org.uk 

Mass: The new Fr Benedict Skipper is saying Mass this morning at St Francis of Assisi, Handsworth at 11am https://stfrancis.livevideostream.co.uk/

Refugees: Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, travelled to Dover on 15 September to meet with charity workers and volunteers working on behalf of refugees and advocating for their cause. Click on the link to hear Bishop McAleenan speak about refugees and give a short reflection and prayer.

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-mcaleenan-meets-charity-workers-and-volunteers-helping-refugees-in-dover/

Monday 14th September's updates and resources

The rule of 6: You can read about how the new COVID-19 restrictions affect religious worship and activities on our website. Masses have not been cancelled, but there are restrictions on how many people may take part in all sacramental celebrations.

https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/news-events

 

Vocations: Four new priests are due to be ordained by Archbishop Bernard Longley at St Chad’s Cathedral this September, with two new bishops ordained the following month. Read more about them here.  https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/news/four-priests-and-two-bishops-to-be-ordained-in-autumn Rev. Benedict Skipper is formerly of St Mary’s parish, and you may know his dad Martin. Please pray for all the men as they prepare for Sunday and their new life as ordained Catholic priests.

 

Feast day: Today if the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Read more about the feast day here https://www.franciscanmedia.org/exaltation-of-the-holy-cross/ and here https://www.learnreligions.com/feast-exaltation-of-the-holy-cross-542472

Thursday 10th September's updates and resources

Season of Creation: The Church calls us to consider our role and to question what we are each doing to protect the Earth, this starts with saving energy and recycling at home. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/environment/saving-energy-and-recycling-at-home/

CAFOD COVID-19 petition: This petition is addressed to the Prime Minister. It urges him to work with other world leaders to:

  • Make sure that any vaccine developed with UK public money is made available to everyone, regardless of their income or where in the world they live.
  • Provide urgent financial and technical support to help developing countries cope with this crisis.
  • Cancel all debt payments by developing countries due in 2020 so that countries can spend money on much needed healthcare rather than debt repayments.
  • Put plans in place to rebuild a fairer, more just society after the crisis so that the world’s most vulnerable people can live in dignity and to restore our common home for future generations.

Deadline for signing is Friday 11th “We now have 7,319 signatures. We intend to send the petition and the list of signatories to Downing Street on Friday, six months since the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Please help us to push the petition (cafod.org.uk/coronaviruscampaign) in the remaining days with family, friends, WhatsApp groups and whoever else you think would be willing to sign it and help us achieve 8,000 signatures.”

Pilgrimage: 12th September, 3:00pm – 4:00pm Westminster Cathedral, Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1P 1LT, UK. Cardinal Vincent will celebrate a Mass in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham at Westminster Cathedral in place of the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham which has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic. There is limited space available in the Cathedral for this Mass, on a first come, first served basis. Cathedral doors will open at 2.30pm. All are welcome to join via livestream at www.westminstercathedral.org.uk

Reflection: A reflection by Niklas Carlsson of the Cor et Lumen Christi community. “Who made you and what are you made of?” Niklas explores these fundamental questions and the important implications they have in our lives. The power of prayer is demonstrated at the end of the talk, where you see our parish administrator testify about her miracle healing in July 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuRRmsAmQp8

 

Wednesday 9th September's updates and resources

Coronavirus: You have probably seen the new government restrictions on social gatherings greater than 6 people, taking effect from 14th September. As soon as we (via the Bishops) have the guidance on how churches are affected, I will pass it on to you. The Diocese have no received any guidance yet (10.32am). There is a useful page of COVID-19 statistics here https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Weddings and funerals: It seems weddings and funeral remain possible under the new rules, whilst still restricted to 30 people. However, people may be unable or unwilling to go. The Bishops of England and Wales have produced a prayer sheet called “When a Funeral cannot be attended” https://www.cbcew.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/04/No-Funeral-A5.pdf

Season of Creation: Want to know how the Bishops’ Conference is responding to the ecological crisis we are facing in England and Wales and, indeed, globally? CBCEW.org have collated a page of news, projects, information, links and downloads.

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/environment/ecological-crisis-response/

Back-to-school novena: A reflection on sending our children back to school, and a nine day prayer challenge from Jessica Gapasin Dennis of Busted Halo.

“Many would have us believe that “thoughts and prayers” are an empty sentiment, a way for people to say that they care without actually doing anything. I believe that action, inspired and informed by prayer, is what will change the world. So starting today, I’m inviting anyone who wants to join me to commit to setting aside even just five minutes each day to pray for our children and our schools, for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the specific ways in which we are being called to take action and be part of the change, and for God to give us the vision that we need to be who God is calling us to be in a broken world.”  https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/9-day-back-to-school-prayer-challenge

Tuesday 8th September's updates and resources

The God Who Speaks: A monthly series of Reflections by Fr Henry Wansbrough OSB. Fr Henry is a Monk at Ampleforth, home to the Benedictine monks in Yorkshire. Fr Henry kindly allowed The God Who Speaks team to film him talking about different aspects of the Bible, and from that he has given us six short, but rich reflections. Through them, he responds to some of the questions that many people have about the Bible.

Questions such as why do we have two accounts of creation in Genesis? What was King David really like? Why and how do we use the Psalms? Picking up a particular themes of interest, Fr Henri offers an interesting insight into some of the Scriptures which we all know and love. A new Reflection by Fr Henri will be added each month on this page. https://cliftondiocese.com/the-god-who-speaks/

Mary’s Meals: “Give: Charity And The Art Of Living Generously”, a new book by Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow. As the founder of Mary’s Meals, Magnus recognises the innate goodness of people and sees everyday the huge impact little acts of kindness can have. In Give, he draws from almost 30 years of charity work and leadership as he examines and celebrates the role of charity in our lives. https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/get-involved/books-and-films/books

Message from Bath Foodbank: With Harvest around the corner, we want to bring you a Foodbank update. We are so thankful for all the food generously donated by churches and schools during their Harvest celebrations in previous years. This year is a little different, of course, and because of COVID -19 there are lots of changes to the way Foodbank is operating, but we are still providing emergency food parcels to all those who need them. As a result WE CANNOT COLLECT ANY FOOD FROM CHURCHES OR SCHOOLS THIS HARVEST.

IN THE MEANTIME…

We continue to welcome donations via the supermarkets –people can buy something extra when they shop, leaving it in the collection crates which are just beyond the tills in all the Bath supermarkets on the way out. Up-to-date lists of what we need are on the Bath Foodbank website – https://bath.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/

Alternatively, Foodbank welcomes financial donations, which we use to help with running costs, or to buy any particular foods we may need –https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?charityId=1008610

Monday 7th September's updates and resources

Booking in for Mass: Apologies to all who booked for 9.00am and 10.30am Mass but were not on the list. There seems to have been a muddle at Eventbrite, and your bookings were not registered until 10am on Sunday. Not very helpful but we hope this will be a one off. Please keep using Eventbrite as we are now starting to reach capacity at the Sunday morning Masses, and do not want to have to turn you away because we are full. So far, there are plenty of spaces at the 10am Masses on Wednesdays and Fridays (about 8-20 of 60 seats filled).

Worldwide Marriage Encounter: new online experience for marriage enrichment! Marriage Encounter are excited to announce a new online experience for marriage enrichment. For the past 50 years Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering marriage enrichment retreats all around the world. Focused on couples who want to enrich their relationship and gain a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage, it offers a unique experience to explore your relationship at a deeper, more intimate level, regardless of how long you have been together. During the Coronavirus pandemic our residential retreats have had to be cancelled so we are reaching out to couples who want to deepen their relationship by offering a newly energised video conferenced retreat. The next Marriage Encounter Online Experience is 26 & 27 September. Why not find out more at www.wwme.org.uk or contact us on 0845 2602016.

Vocations: On Tuesday 18th August, there was a televised programme featuring the life and ministry of Canon Gregory Grant of St Patrick’s Parish, Redfield, Bristol. You can now watch this again by clicking the image below. https://www.shalomworld.org/episode/my-principal-word-as-a-priest-is-yes-canon-gregory-grant

 

Thursday 3rd August's updates and resources

Mary’s Meals: The Mary’s Meals Family Hour takes place tonight (Thursday, 27 August) at 7pm on our YouTube channel.  Join us live for an update from Zambia, inspirational stories about our supporters here in the UK, and a chat with our founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. We’re looking forward to catching up!

Safeguarding: Fr Jeremy would like to recruit two new Parish Safeguarding  Representatives. The P.S.R. is a really important role within the parish, to help safeguard the young and the vulnerable. Part of the role is making sure all those who volunteer in certain roles are checked using the Disclosure and Barring Service. If you are interested in learning more about the role, please email Fr Jeremy to discuss it bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com

Deaths: Please pray for the families of Ben Saunders RIP (a young man from St Gregory’s school) and Oscar dela Cruz RIP, who both died this week.

 

Wednesday 2nd September's updates and resources

Season of Creation: CAFOD have created these prayers of intercessions which we can use at home.https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources/Climate-intercessions

Pope Francis: Pope Francis on Wednesday, 2 September, called for Friday 4th September to be a day of prayer and fasting on Friday for Lebanon. Besides the deadly explosion of 4 August in Beirut, the nation has been going through the worst economic and political crisis in its history. “One month after the tragedy that struck the city of Beirut, my thoughts turn once again to Lebanon and its people, so sorely tried,” the Pope said during his weekly General Audience. He called a Lebanese student priest with a flag of his country to stand next to him. Read more here…https://www.cbcew.org.uk/pope-calls-for-day-of-prayer-fasting-in-solidarity-with-lebanon/

Charity: The Life Project, a Christian based charity in Bath, is looking for new volunteers. Dinah Darby says “ If you share our passion for supporting those with learning disabilities and their families and you can contribute to our work by using your skills and experience, please check out the information on our Website. We are currently looking for:  *Treasurer and trustees  *Support workers for those attending weekly activity days       *Minibus drivers  *Admin support for our central office team

To find out more email info@lifeprojectbath.org.uk See what we do at: www.lifeprojectbath.org.uk Furthermore, if you would like to find out more about the Life Project we would love to share with you about the work we do.  Please contact me on this e-mail or call me on 07708 217901”

Tuesday 1st September's updates and resources

Season of Creation: From September 1 to October 4, the Christian family celebrates the good gift of creation. This global celebration began in 1989 with the Ecumenical Patriarch’s recognition of the Day of Prayer for Creation and is now embraced by the wide ecumenical community. To begin our month of focus on the wonder of creation, here is the official prayer for us to pray together each day:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZWtlIFLmuAzUA8uI0JEFdK6M8-uHCaPX/view

 

Season of Creation: Pope Francis has established 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, encouraging the Catholic community around the world to pray for our common home. The day is inspired by Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on “every person living on this planet” to care for our shared Earth. He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

CAFOD have created a service for us to hold in our homes, today or on any day during the Season of Creation https://cafod.org.uk/News/UK-news/Celebrate-World-Day-of-Prayer

Season of Creation 1st Sept – 4th Oct : A message from Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, Secretary, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development “Last year, the Holy Father Pope Francis officially invited the faithful to participate in this annual “season of increased prayer and effort on behalf of our common home.” As the Holy Father said, “this is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew,” a season “to reflect on our lifestyles,” and a season “for undertaking prophetic actions . . . calling for courageous decisions . . .directing the planet towards life, not death.”

Pope Francis’ message, which calls us to attend to the “immense hardship for the most vulnerable among us,” is particularly relevant in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. As the world experiences deep uncertainty and suffering in the midst of a global emergency, we are called to recognize that a truly healthy recovery means seeing that “everything is connected” and repairing the bonds we have broken. We realize that we need to grow more and more in solidarity and take care of one another in fraternity.

Inspired by the apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia, we encourage the people of God to accelerate their walks towards new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology by planning activities for the Season of Creation. These might include activities such as a special mass or pilgrimage walk, sustainability practices, or advocacy initiatives to respond to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,” to take place during this special season.

This special season offers us the chance to work toward the renewal of our Earth and the precious relationships we share, and I warmly invite you to join in its commemoration. I am praying for you, and I ask that you pray for me.” https://seasonofcreation.org/

 

Thursday 27th August's updates and resources

Mary’s Meals: The Mary’s Meals Family Hour takes place tonight (Thursday, 27 August) at 7pm on our YouTube channel.  Join us live for an update from Zambia, inspirational stories about our supporters here in the UK, and a chat with our founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. We’re looking forward to catching up!

Safeguarding: Fr Jeremy would like to recruit two new Parish Safeguarding  Representatives. The P.S.R. is a really important role within the parish, to help safeguard the young and the vulnerable. Part of the role is making sure all those who volunteer in certain roles are checked using the Disclosure and Barring Service. If you are interested in learning more about the role, please email Fr Jeremy to discuss it bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com

Deaths: Please pray for the families of Ben Saunders RIP (a young man from St Gregory’s school) and Oscar dela Cruz RIP, who both died this week.

 

Wednesday 26th August's updates and resources

Volunteers: We need more stewards at the Sunday Masses. The more we have, the fewer times people will be called on. If we don’t have enough stewards, we will not be allowed to open the church for Mass. Our current volunteers are doing a great job, but need back up. If you are aged 18-70, please email bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com for information about stewarding.

School admission: STARTING SCHOOL? If you have a child born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017, then now is the time to apply for a place at a primary school for admission from September 2021 onwards. You must complete an application form that is available from the school admissions team of the Bath and North East Somerset Council. If your child has been baptised and you are applying for a Catholic school, you must also provide a copy of the baptism certificate to the school. Please ensure you apply by the closing date of 15 January 2021.

School governors: Could you be a School Governor? The Diocese is seeking to recruit people to serve on school governing bodies. If you believe in Catholic education, have enthusiasm and commitment, then you can make a valuable contribution to the governing body of a Catholic school. It also provides the opportunity to use your life/work skills and experience, for the benefit of the children in our schools. If you think you could serve as a Foundation Governor then please contact bill.mcentee@cliftondiocese.com or 07710094976 for more information – he would be delighted to hear from you.

Pilgrimage: In a similar way to the virtual pilgrimage to Lourdes undertaken by the Archdiocese of Birmingham back in May, you can access the Clifton pilgrimage to Lourdes here https://cliftondiocese.com/lourdes-2020/

Monday 24th August's updates and resources

Mary’s Meals: The second Mary’s Meals Family Hour takes place at 7pm on Thurs 27th August on the Mary’s Meals YouTube channel. They have a whole host of wonderful speakers lined up, including: 

  • Incredible 10-year-old Zac, who ran 100 miles in 50 days to raise funds for Mary’s Meals. 
  • Country director for Zambia, Panji Kajani, who will discuss how they are reaching hungry children through the pandemic. 
  • Founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, who will answer your questions about Mary’s Meals – you can submit them here
  • Supporter engagement officer Caoimhe McCann, who will share stories about what supporters are doing in Northern Ireland.

Join them for an hour of inspiration and celebration with the Mary’s Meals family!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeiTb-SmlO6oStslhA5GqSw/featured

Music: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is from Bath’s Bach Choir. https://youtu.be/uwvZNYKuzLc

“And so, out of the lockdown 2020, came a flowering of creativity and the opportunity to bring together King’s Singers ‘ancient and modern’ in a unique collaboration. Current member Chris Bruerton accepted our invitation to lead a Zoom rehearsal and record the baritone solo in the Eriskay Love Lilt, in an arrangement by Simon Carrington who sang the same solo on The King’s Singers’ recording of 1993. On this recording by Bath Bach Choir, we added a new twist – a few bars of counter-tenor magic performed by our musical director of 30 years, Nigel Perrin, also an original King’s Singer.” https://www.bathbachchoir.org.uk https://www.kingssingers.com

Season of Creation 1st Sept – 4th Oct : A message from Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, Secretary, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development “Last year, the Holy Father Pope Francis officially invited the faithful to participate in this annual “season of increased prayer and effort on behalf of our common home.” As the Holy Father said, “this is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew,” a season “to reflect on our lifestyles,” and a season “for undertaking prophetic actions . . . calling for courageous decisions . . .directing the planet towards life, not death.”

Pope Francis’ message, which calls us to attend to the “immense hardship for the most vulnerable among us,” is particularly relevant in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. As the world experiences deep uncertainty and suffering in the midst of a global emergency, we are called to recognize that a truly healthy recovery means seeing that “everything is connected” and repairing the bonds we have broken. We realize that we need to grow more and more in solidarity and take care of one another in fraternity.

Inspired by the apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia, we encourage the people of God to accelerate their walks towards new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology by planning activities for the Season of Creation. These might include activities such as a special mass or pilgrimage walk, sustainability practices, or advocacy initiatives to respond to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,” to take place during this special season.

This special season offers us the chance to work toward the renewal of our Earth and the precious relationships we share, and I warmly invite you to join in its commemoration. I am praying for you, and I ask that you pray for me.” https://seasonofcreation.org/

 

Thursday 20th August's updates and resources

Pope Francis: An article from The Tablet https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/13271/vaccinate-the-poor-before-the-rich-says-pope There is a similar article on the BBC website.

Parenting: A reflection by Katie Waite. “Growing up, the saints seemed like perfect, holy, and select people handpicked by God. I was a short-tempered little girl who got bored at church and didn’t always mind her parents. (I still am like this, sometimes.) Sainthood was for those special people. It was not for me. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that saints were (gasp!) real people too, some with sordid pasts and many with a good deal of sins under their belt. And it wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized how important it is to teach our children both the saintly and human qualities of the saints.” Read more here https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/want-to-raise-little-saints-tell-the-saints-stories

Prayer: The Rosary explained by the Busted Halo team. “It is a Catholic prayer devotion that draws us closer to Jesus and Mary by reflecting on key moments in their lives. According to Catholic tradition, Mary gave the Rosary to St. Dominic when she appeared to him in 1214. In 1520, Pope Leo X approved it for use by lay people. In those days, many were illiterate, so the Rosary allowed anyone to pray with familiar words from scripture. The word Rosary comes from the Latin rosarium, which means rose garden. In scripture, roses symbolize perfection. So, the Rosary is like a perfect garden of prayers. The Rosary involves a lot of repetition. You might be wondering, why pray the same prayers over and over again? Praying the Rosary helps slow us down, calm our hearts, and get in touch with our desires for God.

So, if you want to try praying the Rosary, where do you start? Busted Halo’s new 2-minute video has you covered. Learn about the history and tradition of the Rosary, how to pray, what it means to meditate on the Mysteries of the Rosary, and more!

https://bustedhalo.com/video/the-rosary-in-two-minutes

 

Music: Something to cheer us on a blustery Thursday morning https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=0b7xQVFYW-A&feature=emb_title

Wednesday 19th August's updates and resources

Modern Slavery: Would you be interested in volunteering for a new local project by Hidden Voices Somerset, supporting victims of Modern Slavery and exploitation? Hidden Voices Somerset are looking for a range of volunteers to help victims of modern slavery and exploitation in Somerset. Initially the main work will be supporting people in the first 7 days after referral, but HVS will also work longer term with many of the victims. Full details are available on the parish website https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/news-events

If you are interested in volunteering HVS would like to invite you to join a Zoom volunteer information session on either 25th Aug, 26th Aug or 3rd Sept. Registration essential – click on the link of the meeting you wish to attend:

When: Aug 25, 2020 07:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMuf–grTIjGdJ1l_C_ipMS9OYi72u1eh2o 

When: Aug 26, 2020 07:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpceGpqzIiGN1SrrC8oMw44lvnMAXYwOe1 

When: Sep 3, 2020 07:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUldOitpz0rHNGsJmwkwc6UvcM4z4lJ6c-n

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you are interested in these roles or other work by HVS but are unable to make any of the above dates please email: allie.white@bathwells.anglican.org or call 01749 670777

Reflection: “In Time of Darkness” This prayerful, meditative reflection comes from Fr James Hanvey SJ, former Master of Campion Hall, Oxford and currently serving in Rome at the Jesuit Curia. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/in-times-of-darkness/

Sewing machines: One of our parishioners, is looking for a recommendation for someone who could repair her sewing machine. If you know of anyone, or have a spare sewing machine that she could borrow, please email me. Our parishioner wants to make washable and reusable facemasks to be sold at church. In the spirit of Laudato Si, she wants to offer an alternative to using single-use, disposable masks.

Tuesday 18th August's updates and resources

Prayer: If you missed these ten reflections on prayer and what it means to different people, then have a look at the “Thy Kingdom Come” page on the diocesan website. The reflections are podcasts https://cliftondiocese.com/thy-kingdom-come/

Please pray for all in our parish who are sick.

Bishop Declan: Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops’ International Affairs department, is urging the UK government to collaborate with other countries to address the human rights abuses in Belarus.

“At 5pm this evening (Tues 18th Aug) we will join with Christians across Europe, to say the Lord’s Prayer for justice and peace in Belarus.

We stand in solidarity with the Belarusian people and are profoundly concerned by the arbitrary detention and torture of those calling peacefully for democratic reform.

I urge our own government to continue its important collaboration with other countries in addressing these grave human rights abuses and promoting an inclusive dialogue to end the violence, as called for by the Bishops’ Conference of Belarus.”

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-prays-for-belarusian-people-peacefully-calling-for-democratic-reform/

Mental health: The Catholic Mental Health Project aims to gather a range of resources to help increase spiritual and pastoral support for those with mental health challenges, their families and carers. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales established a Mental Health Project in response to concerns raised during “Listening 2004: My Family My Church”. The aims of the Bishops’ Mental Health Project are to:

Offer support and resources to local Catholic communities as they respond to those facing mental health challenges

Identify and highlight good practice in pastoral care for those with mental health needs, their families and carers

Develop a network of those within the Catholic community in England and Wales with a special interest in locally based mental health support

To find out more, click here http://www.catholicmentalhealthproject.org.uk/

Monday 17th August's updates and resources

Fr Jeremy: He has returned from his annual leave and celebrated Mass at St Mary’s yesterday. Fr Jeremy explained that he is recovering from an emergency operation, and is much improved. He also thanked everyone for their prayers, kind messages and edible gifts.

The God who Speaks: Top Ten…heroes and villains in the Bible! https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-heroes-villains/

Domestic violence: In order to raise awareness within the Catholic community of domestic abuse and the impact upon victims and their children, the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) has released a booklet that offers pastoral care and guidance. For more info or to download the booklet, go to https://www.cbcew.org.uk/nbcw-publishes-practical-booklet-on-domestic-abuse/

Year of Communion: Sadako was a Japanese girl who was two years old during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Sasaki, who survived, became one of the most widely known hibakusha – a Japanese term meaning “bomb-affected person”. She is remembered through the story of the one thousand origami cranes she folded before her death, and is to this day a symbol of the innocent victims of nuclear warfare. Use the presentation to learn more about Sadako and pray for peace in our world using the Cranes in a symbolic act of worship (scroll down to the section on “The story of Sadako” https://cliftondiocese.com/communion/

Bishop Declan: Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the International Affairs department of the Bishops’ Conference, alongside the Cardinal Archbishops of Yangon (Myanmar) and Jakarta (Indonesia) have joined religious leaders and leaders of belief-based communities in calling for action to stop “one of the most egregious human tragedies since the Holocaust: the potential genocide of the Uyghurs and other Muslims in China.” The persecution and mass atrocities are taking place in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which the Uyghurs refer to as East Turkestan. For the full text of their statement, go to: https://cliftondiocese.com/news/catholic-leaders-join-the-call-for-action-to-stop-atrocity-crimes-against-the-uyghurs-in-china/

Thursday 6th August's updates and resources

COVID-19: “What impact is the COVID-19 pandemic having on religious communities outside the UK? How are different faith groups coping across the globe? COVID-19 Chronicles: Beyond the UK is the second part of our COVID-19 Chronicles series. In these videos, Dr Ed Kessler speaks with religious leaders and scholars from around the world about how they and their communities are adapting to the crisis and what this means for the future of religious practice and belief. In this episode, Dr Ed Kessler speaks with His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC9V8cgU5ZU

Being Black and Catholic: The Diocese of Westminster asked four people from London, from different walks of life, to share with us their stories of being black and Catholic. In this one, Fr Joseph shares his story.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTnJg9-NJNk

Volunteers needed – to transport vegetables from allotments/gardens to charitable food projects that need them. Initially a 3-month project, August – October, that aims to get surplus crops from local growers to people in need of fresh food. Transition Bath are looking for a small number of volunteers all across B&NES to collect surplus crops from designated collection points and deliver them to identified community projects who are supporting people who will benefit most.  Most collection points will need a weekly pick-up, including at weekends, and the drop-off points will be as local as possible, but may be a few miles away.

The courgettes are ripening fast and, despite the challenges of lockdown restrictions, we are keen to make a start putting surplus crops to good use. Lyn Barham from Transition Bath is working with a volunteer co-ordinator, Sam Rudd (experience incl Bath Foodcycle project and Riverford Organic Veg), to see what we can achieve together. We intend linking with Transition Keynsham, Transition Larkhall and allotment groups and gardeners across Bath & NE Somerset. Please email food@transitionbath.org for more information.

Today’s recommendation by a parishioner: “A Chance for Change? Pope Francis’s vision for humanity in the wake of the pandemic.”8th August 10.15am to 4.00pm. Dr Ivereigh, a Fellow in Contemporary Church History at Campion Hall, Oxford, has been described as “the most astute historian of the pontificate of Pope Francis” and his recent book Wounded Shepherd charts the Pope’s seven year struggle to bring about reform in the Church.

At the beginning of this Coronavirus crisis, Austen Ivereigh was in the unique position to interview Pope Francis and learn from him directly how he understood it as a potential moment of creativity and conversion for the Church. He will look at Pope Francis’s vision for humanity in the wake of the pandemic: his spiritual leadership during the crisis (we can think of the striking image of the Pope alone in St Peter’s Square) and the proposals that are likely to come out of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission that the Pope has set up.

Zoom Link:   Click Here

Meeting ID: 846 8289 4537
Password: Francis20

Any problems go to the retreat page on the Belmont Abbey website where there will be a link, but you will need the password to join.

TIMETABLE

From 9.45 connect to Zoom
10.15am Opening Prayer, Welcome and Introduction
10.30am SESSION 1 – with Austen Ivereigh
12.00 noon Mass. Via Zoom, a quiet celebration (not in the Church).
3.00pm SESSION 2 – with Austen Ivereigh
4.00pm (approximately) Closing Prayer

There is no charge for this day. It is to help in these difficult times.You are, of course welcome to leave a donation to support us in our monastic life and mission.

 

Wednesday 5th August's updates and resources

Families: Catholic evangelisation group Celebrate have created a “Staycation pack” for all those at home with children during the summer holidays. “This resource is compiled to encourage and support you. We think that this is an opportunity to draw close to Jesus, and also build community together online. This edition is all about the power of storytelling as an integral part of our faith.” https://www.celebrateconference.org/family

Children: S.V.P. Seeds of Hope Competition. “We have a competition for your young people – “Seeds of Hope” which involves an empty garden at one of our support centres, the St. Vincent’s Community Garden in Bradford that badly needs renovating. We are opening this garden up to all of you. If you would like to help design a Calm Zone for this garden or design an item to put in the garden then please do enter this and help us in our fundraising efforts  for this .The winning design will be incorporated in to the community garden. More details can be found here on our website https://www.svp.org.uk/b-attitude/about

Bishop Declan:  A statement by Bishop Declan, Bishop William Noland and Bishop William Kenney on nuclear weapons “During his historic visit to Japan last year, Pope Francis declared that “the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possession of atomic weapons is immoral”. Seventy-five years on from the unprecedented and horrific destruction of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are called to reflect prayerfully upon the UK’s own possession of nuclear weapons.” Read more here  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/statement-on-nuclear-weapons/

Season of Creation: Ahead of September’s celebration of Creation, here are some links to Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation and reflections upon it. “ The beloved Amazon region stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery. God granted us the grace of focusing on that region during the Synod held in Rome from 6-27 October last, which concluded by issuing its Final Document, The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.”  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/the-church/the-pope/pope-francis/querida-amazonia/

Christian Responses to the Climate Emergency: Six sessions on Zoom. Mondays: 7.30pm – 9.00pm, starting on Monday 3rd August with social time afterwards for those who wish. Each session will open up a theme relating to the Climate Emergency. We encourage you to continue your thinking and discussion beyond this conversation. Next session:

10 Aug: Biblical Perspectives
17 Aug: Emotional Responses
24 Aug: Divestment
31 Aug: Taking Non-Violent Direct Action
7 Sept: Sustainable living
[the order of these sessions might change] Sign up now at FaithJustice https://faithjustice.org.uk/climate-emergency

Tuesday 4th August's updates and resources

Fr Jeremy: He is recovering well and is extremely thankful for all the prayers, edible gifts and messages to “get well soon”. He will return to duty in time for the Feast of the Assumption on 16th August.  

Mass: Masses at St Mary’s will resume on Sunday 16th August. You can book in via the Eventbrite now for all Masses up to 29th August. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-registration-114365690860

Reflection: ‘Ignatius was clearly of the view that the biblical stories were potentially a source of life’, says Nicholas King SJ as he explores the way in which the founder of the Jesuits invites those who follow his spirituality to engage with the Bible. How do St Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises help us to use our imaginations as we contemplate biblical narratives and thereby hear the God Who Speaks? https://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/ignatius-and-bible (You will recognise Fr Nicholas from him celebrating Mass at St Mary’s.)

Refugees: The 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on 27 September 2020. As the title for his annual message, the Holy Father has chosen “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee”. The message will focus on the pastoral care of internally displaced people (IDPs), who currently number over 41 million worldwide. More info here: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/world-day-of-migrants-refugees-2020/

The God who Speaks:

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world.
Amen

Monday 3rd August's updates and resources

Prayer through Art: “In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius gives us the idea of meeting sacred scripture with one’s own life, mediated through Imaginative Contemplation. The aim of these reflections is to do this in tandem with pieces of art. Each month therefore, we will offer a painting in the hope that it will enable you to reflect more deeply on a particular passage of scripture. The idea is that you can return to the painting and scripture and discover more depth throughout the month.”https://www.pathwaystogod.org/resources/praying-art

Mass at St Mary’s: Here is the link for tomorrow’s Mass https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-registration-112748026382

Prayer: Prayer to St. Corona in a Time of Epidemic Lord Jesus Christ, You came into this world for our salvation. Look kindly on us now, we pray, that we, and all those who serve You, might be kept safe from this epidemic. Heal those who are sick, comfort the suffering, bring back those who have gone astray, and above all, increase our faith, O Lord. Give us the grace to follow You and, like the martyr St. Corona, who gave her life for love of You, to take up our crosses daily without fear or hesitation. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. St. Corona, patroness of epidemic victims, pray for us.

Virtual pilgrimage: A Day with Mary – A day of instruction, devotion and intercession, based on the message given at Fatima in 1917. https://www.walsingham.org.uk/event/a-day-with-mary-pilgrimage/

Saint of the Day: St Camillus of Lellis, priest – patron saint of hospitals, nurses and the sick. Find out more about this unusual saint here https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-camillus-de-lellis/

Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email the parish office to let us know which Masses you can steward and when you are available in August.

Thursday 30th July's updates and resources

Healing Mass: Friday 31 July at 7.00pm, Healing Mass at St Alphege’s Church, Bath

Summer Camp Online, for 12-18yr olds: This year, the Summer Camp at Alton Castle is going online. Join us online from July 31st – August 2nd, from wherever you are, for times of prayer, Holy Mass, talks from our amazing speakers, praise and worship, and so much more. If you’ve been before, you’ll still have a chance to be part of small group sessions, silly games and praise with Sarah. There is no cost or sign-up fee, all you need to do is fill out a registration form and make sure you follow our social media accounts so that you can join us when we release content and go live! Summer Camp is free.  http://www.kenelmyouthtrust.org.uk/summer-camp-online.html

Conference: New Dawn in the Church is a Catholic Family Pilgrimage Conference that takes place at the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, attracting up to 2,500 pilgrims each year. We invite you to join us this year for a virtual conference, Friday 31st July to Sunday 2nd August. In a special way, this year’s conference is dedicated to the Eternal Father and will be streamed live from Walsingham in collaboration with the Shrine. We have an inspirational line-up of speakers who will unpack the theme using the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Watch the conference/full programme no registration or fee required).  

Christian Responses to the Climate Emergency: Six sessions on Zoom. Mondays: 7.30pm – 9.00pm, starting on Monday 3rd August with social time afterwards for those who wish. Each session will open up a theme relating to the Climate Emergency. We encourage you to continue your thinking and discussion beyond this conversation.

3 Aug: The Science
10 Aug: Biblical Perspectives
17 Aug: Emotional Responses
24 Aug: Divestment
31 Aug: Taking Non-Violent Direct Action
7 Sept: Sustainable living
[the order of these sessions might change] Sign up now at FaithJustice https://faithjustice.org.uk/climate-emergency

Wednesday 29th July's updates and resources

Fr Jeremy: He continues to improve, and loves receiving all your kind messages and promises of prayers.

Mass: There will be no public Masses at St Mary’s until Sunday 16th August. If you are able to go to Mass, you can book into Masses at St John’s using Eventbrite. There are Masses on: Sat 5.45pm, Sunday 9.30am, 11.00am and 6.30pm.  Follow this link to book a seat https://www.stjohnsrcbath.org.uk/index.php/attend-mass There is also Mass at 8.00am and 10.00am on weekdays for which you do not need to book a seat.

CAFOD: Coronavirus Appeal: Millions of lives are at stake as coronavirus hits refugee camps and places suffering conflict. Every step we take now will prevent deaths and reduce suffering. CAFOD has joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help millions of vulnerable people whose lives are at risk as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across refugee camps and countries suffering conflict. Families who have been forced to flee their homes in places including Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, now face another deadly threat as coronavirus takes hold in new areas. There are not enough hospital beds or supplies to treat those who fall ill, and families face hunger as a result of lockdowns, price rises and job losses. We need to reach and protect the most vulnerable who have already lost everything. Click here to donate:

Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email the parish office to let us know: which Masses you can steward, and when you are available in September.

Wednesday 15th July's updates and resources

Meditation Jesuits in Britain: “Whether you are new to Ignatian meditation or a past-master, come and join us online every Wednesday at 8.00pm for IMAGINE. Watch previous sessions on the IMAGINE YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtujH5WTJ-dMrSd5TM4M5QA/ Sign up to our Imagine mailing list:http://eepurl.com/g7h-DH

Fun, fitness, friendship: Genesis Together Virtual Cotswold Way Challenge. From 20th Jul to 31st Aug people of all ages can do their own exercise, indoors or outdoors (walking, rowing, running, cycling, daily step count, Zumba etc) and track their distance along the map. It is all done via a webpage and an app and we can see how everyone is getting on and cheer each other along. The idea is for fun, fitness and fellowship. It is an interactive way to encourage each other over the Summer and to keep motivated to reach our fitness goals. It can cater for all levels of fitness and exercise preferences and is an activity that can carry on even if there is a second lockdown or people are self-isolating. Registration is £10 and fundraising is optional. The full details are here http://genesistrust.org.uk/support-us/fundraising/genesistogether-virtual-challenges/.

Radio: As the ‘God Who Speaks‘ Scripture initiative is extended through 2021 to take into account the cancellation of many non-digital events planned for this year, BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship programme comes from Yorkshire and focuses on a special Bible-focused service “A Word for All Seasons”. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bbc-radio-4-to-broadcast-a-word-for-all-seasons-from-yorkshire/

Vocations: From http://www.carmelitevocation.ie/formation-process/ “A vocation, is a calling from God, and demands a free response and total dedication from those who receive it.  Every effort must be made to help one to become aware of their calling, and to follow it with enthusiasm. In order to best discern one’s calling it is best to be truthful about all aspects of one’s life that are called into question. This openness goes both ways and will aid the discernment process. It is good to spend periods of time within the communities, getting to know the way of life. This is also a way for the community to get to know the searcher too.”

A Prayer For Guidance

The first step for guidance is prayer, trusting that God will lead you wherever is best for you. God wants your happiness and will lead you into a way of life that will make you happy.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
I praise you. Purify my soul,
Live in me, and love through me.
Show me how to serve you peacefully today
And lead me along the path in my life
That will give most glory to you. Amen.

 

Tuesday 14th July's updates and resources

Prayer through Art: “In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius gives us the idea of meeting sacred scripture with one’s own life, mediated through Imaginative Contemplation. The aim of these reflections is to do this in tandem with pieces of art. Each month therefore, we will offer a painting in the hope that it will enable you to reflect more deeply on a particular passage of scripture. The idea is that you can return to the painting and scripture and discover more depth throughout the month.”https://www.pathwaystogod.org/resources/praying-art

Mass at St Mary’s: Here is the link for tomorrow’s Mass https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-registration-112748026382

Prayer: Prayer to St. Corona in a Time of Epidemic Lord Jesus Christ, You came into this world for our salvation. Look kindly on us now, we pray, that we, and all those who serve You, might be kept safe from this epidemic. Heal those who are sick, comfort the suffering, bring back those who have gone astray, and above all, increase our faith, O Lord. Give us the grace to follow You and, like the martyr St. Corona, who gave her life for love of You, to take up our crosses daily without fear or hesitation. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. St. Corona, patroness of epidemic victims, pray for us.

Virtual pilgrimage: A Day with Mary – A day of instruction, devotion and intercession, based on the message given at Fatima in 1917. https://www.walsingham.org.uk/event/a-day-with-mary-pilgrimage/

Saint of the Day: St Camillus of Lellis, priest – patron saint of hospitals, nurses and the sick. Find out more about this unusual saint here https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-camillus-de-lellis/

Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email the parish office to let us know which Masses you can steward and when you are available in August.

Monday 13th July's updates and resources

Mass at St Mary’s: Fr Jeremy will be away for part of August so there will be no Masses or services of any kind between Wed 5th – Fri 14th August. He will be back for the Feast of the Assumption.

 

Parish Office: It will be closed from Thurs 18th – Mon 27th July. Please Fr Jeremy on 01225 311725 if you need anything. There will be no Mon-Thurs updates during this time.

 

Lectio Divina: There is a short reflection on yesterday’s readings on the Jesuits in Britain website. There is a link so you can download and print off, along with copies of the readings.  https://www.pathwaystogod.org/my-prayer-life/sunday/15th-sunday-ordinary-time-year2020

 

Dial a Mass: This may be of us to those without the internet The Diocese of Middlesbrough has launched what it believes is the country’s first Catholic Mass available to listen to directly by phone. The number to call is 01642 130120. Calls are charged at local rate and free if in your included minutes.

 

Schools: Please continue to pray for all staff and pupils at our schools. The challenges are huge and do not greatly diminish over the summer holidays as staff attempt to prepare for various pandemic scenarios in September. The Year 6 Leavers’ Mass took place in an unusual way last Friday. https://cliftondiocese.com/news/primary-schools-leavers-service-video/ Look out for the tree climbing activities taking place at St Mary’s Primary School today, as Year 6 enjoy some adventure time (almost all together) in place of their week in Newquay.

Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email me to let me know: which Masses you can steward; when you are available in July.

Thursday 9th July's updates and resources

Mary’s Meals: Whilst we cannot support the Backpack Project at this time, we can listen to Radio 4 on Sunday.

“When Lette from Malawi became an orphan at the age of 11, she dropped out of school, struggled to find food and often went to bed hungry. The promise of Mary’s Meals porridge encouraged her back into education, paving the way towards a brighter future. This weekend, the amazing Judy Murray is on BBC Radio 4, talking more about Lette, as well as her love for our life-changing work. Tune in on Sunday at 7.55am, or 9.25pm to hear what the British tennis coach, Masterchef contestant and super mum makes of Mary’s Meals: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000kww4

 

Mass at St Mary’s: We have lots of availability for 10.00am Mass tomorrow (Friday), so if you are anxious to avoid the hordes, do come. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-registration-111892577712

 

Facemasks: Everyone needs to have a mask for Mass at St Mary’s. We have two sizes of washable, reusable facemasks on sale. Currently, we have adult sized masks in beige or grey and white spotted 3-layer cotton costing £5. We also have brightly patterned 3-layer cotton masks in children’s sizes for £5 each. If you want to reserve a mask and pay on Sunday, just email me by noon on Friday 10th. Please bring exact cash as change cannot be given.

Tuesday 7th July's updates and resources

Mass at St Mary’s: There are 35 seats available for Mass tomorrow at St Mary’s via Eventbrite (we reserve another 20 for those who book by phone). If you are at all anxious about not coming due to fighting off the hordes, rest assured.

Wednesday https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-registration-111891059170

 

CAFOD: CAFOD Clifton is inviting you to one of the zoom meetings (dates below) to hear about the CAFOD update for our poorest brothers and sisters around the world.  If you can’t make one meeting, its easy to join another at a different time and day as the content is the same for each. If you have not used Zoom before, it is very easy as you just click where it tells you to click.

 

Stroud-Cheltenham-Gloucester: Today-Tuesday July 7th at 3.30pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84993785325?pwd=TUcvaDMrZ0s1VE8ySHI4SzU1SlEwZz09

Meeting ID: 849 9378 5325

Password: 705202

 

Swindon-Bath-Salisbury-Trowbridge: Wednesday July 8th at 6.30pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89681091506?pwd=VDVnanViV2tHRVVvejZ2MzA0UmE4Zz09

Meeting ID: 896 8109 1506

Password: 886820

 

Bristol North West-Bristol East-Bristol South: Monday July 13th at 6.30pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86783194742?pwd=OEtXMnNSQnZVUytMZVk2QktHOFZzdz09

Meeting ID: 867 8319 4742

Password: 272789

 

Taunton-Weston-Glastonbury: Thursday July 16th at 2.30pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84348284762?pwd=anZ4T3JIVVdqZTRiYTBaZ0xPbk9Tdz09

Meeting ID: 843 4828 4762

Password: 286574

 

Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email me to let me know: which Masses you can steward; when you are available in July.

Monday 6th July's updates and resources

Mass at St Mary’s: Fr Jeremy celebrated the first three Masses with a congregation yesterday. The copious, prayer-fuelled preparations combined with the goodwill of the parishioners meant that all three Masses went off smoothly. Our stewards were all excellent and extremely helpful. The church can accommodate 61 parishioners, plus 4 stewards, priest and a reader. Numbers for Sunday:

9.00am 22 parishioners plus 4 stewards, a reader and Fr Jeremy

10.30am 30 parishioners plus 4 stewards, a reader and Fr Jeremy

5.00pm 21 parishioners plus 4 stewards, a reader and Fr Jeremy

You can still book for Mass on Wed 8th and Fri 10th, both at 10.00am

Wednesday https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-registration-111891059170

Friday https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-registration-111892577712 

Mass: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7.00pm.

Next Mass: 9th July                Celebrant: Bishop Tom Williams Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool
YouTube Channel Facebook

FAMILY ACTION Volunteers wanted to support new FOOD CLUBS within Children’s Centres Family Food Clubs in Bath, Radstock and Keynsham areas are to open once Covid-19 restrictions are eased. The food clubs will provide local families with children under 11 years, a range of affordable food. The clubs are aimed at families on a low income, who live within 15 minutes of the club and may have a professional working with them. At the moment, volunteers (mainly for the Radstock and Keynsham areas) are needed who may be interested in helping the running of the clubs, so they can be launched during July and August 2020.  This could involve sorting the weekly delivery of food from Fareshare (2-3 hours approximately) and/or supporting the running of the food club once a week (3 hours approximately. Please note, anyone interested in volunteering for the Food Clubs should contact Pete Godden at Family Action  pete.godden@family-action.org.uk

 

Wednesday 1st July's updates and resources

Mass at St Mary’s: Please click on the link to reserve a place at Mass on:

Sunday 5th July at 9.00 am

Sunday 5th July at 10.30 am

Sunday 5th July at 5.00 pm

Wednesday 8th July at 10.00am

Friday 10th July at 10am

Bereavement:  Redemptorist Publications have put together a page of resources on bereavement and death. Many of use will have been affected by death over the past months, and been unable to mourn our loved ones in the usual way. They also have some practical resources to help us plan for our own funerals. There is also a link to a requiem Mass Fr Denis https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/remembering-those-weve-lost

Talk: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is “Ten thousand reasons to build a wall – 10,000 reasons to Hope.” This talk addresses young people on their difficulties with the concept of God and Church and the barriers they experience with organised religion, but I think it has general appeal. Written and spoken by Catholic speaker, teacher and catechist David Wells. He has written several books including “The Reluctant Disciple”, most of them obtainable from the repository in St Mary’s Church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NwtHN-oA8A

Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email me to let me know: which Masses you can steward; when you are available in July.

Tuesday 30th June's updates and resources

Celebration of Mass with a congregation: Yesterday I sent out the good news at that we are permitted to celebrate Masses with a congregation from next Sunday. This news went to all on the parish census who gave an email address. It has been no mean feat to get this far. Now, we need parishioners to volunteer as stewards in order for the Masses to go ahead in their new form. We need four at each of the five weekly Masses. We have lots of spaces at 9.00am and 10.30am Sunday Masses, and some on Fridays. Please email me asap if you are able to help and I can send you the “how to be a steward” guidelines.

Facemasks: They will be mandatory at all Masses, for all age groups. Penny Restorick at St Joseph’s Church, Peasedown St John is making washable facemasks to order for £5. You can contact her via Face Book (just type her name into the search box). If you are able to make washable facemasks that can be used multiple times, please let me know.

Mass: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 2nd July                Celebrant: Archbishop John Wilson  St George’s Cathedral, Southwark YouTube Channel

St Beuno’s Mens’ retreat: “Given that men are less likely to sign up for a retreat than women we think it’s worth having a ‘men only’ gathering, this year online, to explore together how Jesus is wanting to relate to us as men in our times. The commitment for the weekend is as follows: Friday 3rd July 8pm – 9pm; Saturday 10am – 12noon; and 8pm – 9pm; Sunday 3pm.  We’ll also give you something to do on your own on the Saturday so you would need some space that day too.  It is most helpful to the coherence of the group that everyone attends every session. To register interest and receive the zoom link for the weekend, email St Beuno’s at info@beunos.com  explaining that you wish to join the men’s online retreat.  We hope to see you on the 3rd.” 

https://www.pathwaystogod.org/courses-events-retreats/gone-fishing-mens-online-retreat

Thursday 25th June's updates and resources

Church opening times: Good news! Thanks to our lovely volunteer stewards, St Mary’s Church will be open for individual prayer 10.00-11.00am on Friday 26th June and Friday 3rd July. This is in addition to our current opening times of Wednesdays 10-11am and Sundays 10am-12pm.

Reflection:  An interesting reflection on how our lives can change when we trust more deeply. How Saint Anthony Helped Me Find My Way to the Saints by Christina Antus https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/how-saint-anthony-helped-me-find-my-way-to-the-saints

Radio: The Music for Dementia campaign, with the help of BBC radio DJ Lauren Laverne, has launched M4D Radio, a dedicated station  for people with dementia to keep you company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you wish. Music can bring huge benefits to people with dementia, helping them to reconnect with forgotten memories. M4D Radio plays music from 1930s-1970s, including shows on music to move to, numbers from the musicals, soothing tracks for evening and night-time, and featured artist specials.

The Rosary: Today’s recommendation comes from Fr Jeremy. Some people find it hard to focus on the particular Mystery of the Rosary they are trying to pray. It may help them to have, as a visual aid, a representation of the Mystery by one of the great painters of the past. Try doing a Google search such as “the Annunciation in art”; “the Agony in the Garden in art”; “the Ascension in art” etc., and choose one which appeals to you.

Online retreats for individuals: Come closer to God and sort out life’s priorities. The Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow, invite you to enjoy a time of prayer, reflection and sharing with a trained spiritual director. This retreat is offered anytime during July and August 2020. Open to all:  This retreat is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 100, men or women, Christian, other religion or of no particular faith. Time Commitment: We suggest retreats of 4 to 6 days duration. Each day we suggest that you find the time to spend a number of periods, maybe four or five, each of between 20 minutes to an hour, to settle down to quiet meditation, prayer and reflection. The guide will give you suggestions as to ways to meditate and ideas of things to pray about.

https://www.pathwaystogod.org/courses-events-retreats/summer-individually-guided-retreats

Job vacancy: St Gregory’s Catholic College are recruiting for Learning Support Assistants to join our supportive and friendly team. This is a highly rewarding and valued role that sits at the heart of our provision for pastoral and academic care.  https://www.st-gregorys.org.uk/2020/06/learning-support-assistants-3/

Tuesday 23rd June's updates and resources

Dementia help: One of the biggest effects of lockdown and social distancing has been the extreme isolation and loneliness we can feel from being cut off from family and loved ones. However dementia affects you, Alzheimer’s Society is there for you – and they can help you seven days a week through their support line (0333 150 3456), online community Talking Point and their website.  

Online conference: CELEBRATE Online Conference – 27th + 28th June 2020 “We feel, in the midst of uncertain circumstances, God is giving us an opportunity to connect in different ways. This is why we are delighted to announce our first ever, free, ONLINE CONFERENCE! Hear from inspiring speakers, take time to prayerfully retreat, get creative, join with live worship and celebrate Mass together. All the content over the weekend will be hosted on our CELEBRATE Facebook page so make sure you ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ us to not miss anything. CELEBRATE ON FACEBOOK

Not a Facebook user? Not a problem! You don’t need to have an account to access our page. You can join the conference by simply copying + pasting this URL into your search bar: https://www.facebook.com/Celebratecommunity/  If you have friends, family or members of your parish who might like to take part then why not invite them along and send them the details – all are welcome! Over the weekend we’ll be releasing everything at specific times but you can replay all our content at any point if you missed it or want to watch again. Full schedule:

Saturday

10AM Listen: A talk from our first keynote speaker  – Deacon Liam Lynch

12PM Pray: A Guided Prayer session

3PM Do: Children’s ‘Messy Church’ + various workshops

5PM Live Worship

6PM An Evening In with David Wells followed by CELEBRATE 9PM Night Prayer

Sunday

10AM Listen: Our second keynote speaker – Christy Wimber

12PM Pray: Mass with Bishop David Oakley

3PM Do: Interactive Family Prayer

4PM Final session: Speaker – Pippa Baker

Monday 22nd June's updates and resources

Church opening times: The church will be open for individual prayer on Wednesday 10-11am. Thank you to Mary, Martin and Kevina who will be our stewards. At the moment, we have 14 chairs for people to sit upon plus a row of six chairs together for a individual household. There are also photos on the parish Facebook page which show the changes in the layout of the church. If you are able to join our group of volunteers, please let me know by email.

Reflection: Jonathan Bryan is an unusual boy in that he uses his eyes to talk and write. You can read more about him here. https://eyecantalk.net/about/ This is a piece called “The Daily Walk” by Jonathan, where he considers his need for silence in order to be with Jesus. He has incorporated this desire into his daily walk and offers these ideas to the rest of us, along with a video of woodland for those who may not or are not able to leave the house.  https://eyecantalk.net/2020/06/18/the-daily-walk/

Radio: For your friends who are not on the internet or for times when the radio is your medium of choice, try Premier Praise, Premier Christian radio or Premier Gospel. They are Christian radio stations with a mix of music, prayer, news and reflection. They are all available on DAB radio.

Refugee Week: Bishop Paul McAleenan write about the plight of refugees today, with a focus on Refugee Week. There are links in the article to other information and ways you can help. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/refugee-week-2020/

Mass: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 25th June             Celebrant: Bishop Alan Hopes Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich  YouTube Channel

Thursday 18th June's updates and resources

Reflection: One for everyone with a glass half empty feeling – A Resurrection From Cynicism: Learning to See Myself With God’s Eyes by Elena Verigo https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/a-resurrection-from-cynicism-learning-to-see-myself-with-gods-eyes

Activities for the over 55’s: St John’s Foundation Activities go digital! A new and varied weekly timetable of live video classes that can be enjoyed from home. To give you a flavour of what is in store, they are offering the first week absolutely free of charge. To find out more about the classes, the benefits and the tutors, visit the website below.

https://stjohnsbath.org.uk/what-we-do/activities/ Don’t delay as I hear that they are booking up fast!

Individual prayer: Some thoughts on reopening churches and the nature of private prayer https://www.cbcew.org.uk/how-to-pray-and-re-connect-with-the-church-as-places-of-worship-re-open-for-private-prayer/

Diocesan Liturgy Office: “While many of our churches are now open for times of private prayer, some people may be grateful to have resources available to aid that prayer using their smartphones or tablets (we cannot make books, reflection sheets etc available). There are a number of useful sites online, such as Universalis and pray-as-you-go, but some people might like to access the resources that were made available for the National Eucharistic Congress Adoremus.  Some of these, for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, are now collated under the ‘Further Resources’ tab on our Liturgy Office section of the website and may be accessed here:  https://cliftondiocese.com/departments/adult-education/liturgy-office/

Music: For all those who ever wondered, Catholic musician Dan Schutte pronounces his name “Shoo-tee”. I heard him do it on a YouTube video yesterday.

Stewarding: If you are willing and eligible to volunteer as a steward in the church, please email me and I can send you the “How to…” sheet. If we have more stewards, we could open the church more often.

Wednesday 17th June's updates and resources

Prayers: Please pray today, both for the successful reopening of our church, and for all the parishioners who are unable to come into the church at this time. Thank you to John, Kevina and Martin who were our stewards today.

Bishops: Leaders of the Catholic and Anglican Churches in Britain write to the Israeli Ambassador and to the British Prime Minister expressing their opposition to Israel’s Unilateral Annexations Plans for the West Bank. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-06/cardinal-nichols-justin-welby-israel-west-bank-annexation-plans.html

Talk: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is a talk by Fr Richard Rohr on “the Universal Christ” which is a radical re-interpretation of Christianity. It focuses on the difference between Jesus and the Christ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD7B3wr3xeY “It took me longer to write this than any book before. I want people to recognize something that is thoroughly biblical, but never the mainline tradition. What I’m trying to say for most of you will sound very new and very different.”  —Richard Rohr. This hour-long video provides a deeper exploration into the Universal Christ. Fr Richard delivers a framework for reading Scripture and understanding church history that demonstrates how these ideas have been a part of the Christian tradition since the beginning.

Talk: If an hour-long talk is too much to commit to, then try another recommendation by the same parishioner. Before looking at “The Universal Christ” above; start with a short piece here  to start with (3mins 39 secs). This short talk is about one of his books The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your Transformation. It explores the mystery of the Trinity, demonstrating how a deeper conception of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will transform our relationship with God and renew our lives.

There is a longer presentation here, which is one of the “Talks at Google” series, given when he was invited to Google to speak about The Divine Dance”.

 

Refugee Week: Borderlands is a Christian charity based in Bristol that exists to work with refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants to help them from exclusion to belonging. To find out more about Borderlands, go to https://www.borderlands.uk.com/

Music: In Christ Alone, performed by Celtic Worship (Written by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kvFtXphmMU

Tuesday 16th June's updates and resources

Reopening of the church: Many thanks to Pat and Joy who cleaned the church yesterday, ahead of reopening tomorrow. Many thanks to Mark, our sacristan, who rearranged all the chairs in the church last Saturday to ensure they comply with the 2m rule, all face the tabernacle and we retain a sense of community in the church (no mean feat).

Liturgy during Lockdown: This is podcast of a conversation between musician Jo Boyce and Catholic speaker, author and catechist David Wells, about the nature of prayer and liturgy during lockdown.

  • Pros and cons of 24-7 access to faith resources online
  • Challenges of engaging people in virtual liturgies and maintaining reverence when wearing pyjamas.
  • What social distancing will mean for our personal interaction with one another.
  • Rediscovering gratefulness and what we are learning in isolation
  • Things that we’ve learned about our communities and the people in them during this time of online interaction.
  • Potential for innovation and a more profound faith experience in the future.

It is interspersed with liturgical music performed by CJM music.  https://www.cjmmusic.com/podcast/008-life-as-a-socially-distanced-disciple-in-conversation-with-david-wells-podcast/

Refugee Week: Talk – The Pope, the pandemic & the people we leave behind. Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 18:30 BST Join Sarah Teather, Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service UK and Pope Francis biographer and journalist, Austen Ivereigh, for a special refugee week conversation, reflecting on the issues COVID has thrown up for the Church and its care for the most marginalised. What can we learn from Francis’ leadership about how the Church should respond? How is the Church responding on the ground to the issues facing refugees and migrants during the pandemic? What lessons can we learn from both as we re-imagine the future? https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sarah-teather-and-austen-ivereigh-in-conversation-for-refugee-week-registration-108725749644

Refugee Week (15- 21 June) is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. Through a programme of arts, cultural and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week brings about positive encounters between communities, helping them to connect and learn from each other, and promoting a culture of welcome. This year’s Refugee Week is the first to be held virtually, and we are invited to explore the theme of ‘Imagine’.

Monday 15th June's updates and resources

Re-opening the church: We will be open for private prayer on Wednesday morning, 10-11am. Our volunteer stewards were trained by myself, Fr Jeremy and sacristan Mark Cowan on Saturday. The chairs in the church have been rearranged to you can sit safely, and I think it looks surprisingly cosy. All the details are on the parish website in the news section. If you would like to know more about becoming a steward at St Mary’s and helping us open more often, let me know and I will email you our helpsheet. Shifts are for one hour only.

Mass: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 18th June   Celebrant: Archbishop Bernard Longley St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham     St Chad’s on MCN Media

Youth: The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation invites you to our Youth Day Webinar, June 16th, 12pm-1:30pm GMT+2 Webinar Registration: https://bit.ly/30qm4uI COVID-19, Collins Khosa, Black Lives Matter. What has changed since 1976. Join us for an inter-generational discussion about the agency of youth today, Panelists: Frank Chikane. Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Pieter Bezuidenhout, Inga Mfundisi. Facilitators: Katleho Mohono & Thobeka Dodo

Vocations: The Jesuit website has a large section on vocations, with many and varied links and reflections. https://www.jesuit.org.uk/vocations

Reflection: The Dalai Lama, leader of Tibetan Buddhism, sees reasons for optimism even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. People are helping one another, he tells the BBC’s Justin Rowlatt, and if seven billion people on Earth develop “a sense of oneness” they may yet unite to solve the problem of climate change. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-53028343

Thursday 11th June's updates and resources

Mary’s Meals: The charity has created a new video message about the work of Mary’s Meals for parish congregations. The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek0x5FbAypk

Mass: RADIO BROADCAST OF MASS – BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship will broadcast Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols from Westminster Cathedral on Sunday 14 June at 8.10 am. This will be especially good news for Catholics who do not have access to the internet but do have a radio.  It would be great if you could get this message out to anyone who would welcome this news, perhaps a parishioner, a member of your family or among your friends. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000k1bj

Black Lives Matter: Edinburgh Jesuit community add their prayers and a public gesture of solidarity to the “Black Lives Matter” movement taking place around the world. https://www.jesuit.org.uk/jesuits-edinburgh-take-knee-solidarity-black-lives-matter

Counselling: Helping people cope with bereavement and grief in the wake of the pandemic – Dr Lynn Bassett, a retired healthcare chaplain, looks at some of the challenges to be faced in dealing with grief and bereavement as we slowly begin to emerge from lockdown following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.artofdyingwell.org/how-to-be-with-grieving-friends-as-we-come-out-of-lockdown/

Education: Feminism and Catholic identity – an online diploma in Social Doctrine of the Church. An online Diploma will see 25 Catholic leaders gathering to discuss women in the Church and establish a “new feminism” for this era between 11-25 June. For more info click here If you want to apply for the course, be aware that it is conducted in Spanish. To apply go to: http://www.liderescatolicos.net/diplomado2020/. Deadline for applications: Monday 29th June. 

 

Wednesday 10th June's updates and resources

The Sign of the Cross: This comes as a recommendation from Fr Jeremy. On the short video, Fr Richard Rohr talks to Mike Morrell about the meaning of the Sign of the Cross, and an explanation of it in terms of the Trinity and our relationship with God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWWaiVZA8EI

Mary: We will celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday 20th June. There is an interesting article here which explains more about the feast day, and why it occurs on this date. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/mary/popular-marian-devotions/the-immaculate-heart-of-mary

Divine Renovation:  “Divine Renovation is the answer to a question that parishes across the world have grappled with for decades. How do we continue to bring people to Jesus Christ in a society and culture are constantly moving away from that relationship. From declining numbers to passive experiences of church, the obstacles for parishes are real. What would it look like if a parish was full of missionary disciples on fire for mission? What could a pastor accomplish if they had the energy and capacity to lead? These are the questions that our books, podcasts, resources, and coaching help parishes wrestle with.”  https://divinerenovation.org/

Top Ten Novels: Fleur Dorrell reviews her favourite novels with sacred themes.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-sacred-novels/

Mass: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 11th June             Celebrant: Bishop Patrick McKinney St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham
Bishop Patrick McKinney’s YouTube channel

***Remember to let us know if you are either shielding/vulnerable, willing to volunteer as a steward or unable to help due to other commitments. This will help us create the risk assessments and allow us to get permission from the Diocese to open the church.

Tuesday 9th June's updates and resources

Re-opening of churches: Thank you so much to everyone who has responded already to the request to say if you are able to volunteer as a steward in the church or if you are someone who is vulnerable. If you are a parishioner and have not yet replied with “yes I can help” or “no I cannot”, please do so. We are going to try to work with other churches in Bath with our opening times.

Day for Life: Ahead of the “Day for Life” on Sunday, please ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 521. It supports a law change to clarify that cleft palate, cleft lip, and club foot are not grounds for abortion in the UK. You can do it in 30 seconds here: https://righttolife.org.uk/standupandsmile/

Mass: If you are in need of a familiar face and voice, Fr Nicholas King is one of the celebrants at the online Masses for Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy. Masses – Mon-Sat: 6pm, Sun: 11am. Adoration – Tue and Thur: 9pm

https://www.catholic-chaplaincy.org.uk/live-stream-of-masses/

https://www.facebook.com/oxfordchaplaincy/

Retreat: A Retreat for You at Home – an individually guided retreat of 4-7 days at home.  www.iscglasgow.co.uk/homeretreat.html

Novena: On Friday 19th June we will celebrate the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Maryvale Institute is providing several ways to prepare – Join Us Online for Our Annual Novena to the Sacred Heart at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Live stream Mass, Sermon & Novena each evening at 8.00 pm, Thursday 11 June – Friday 19 June and for Mass at 11.00 am on Sunday 21 June. For updates visit https://bit.ly/2ACX8Fu  https://www.maryvale.ac.uk/novena-2020.html

Monday 8th June's updates and resources

Re-opening of churches: We are allowed to open the church for individual prayer from Monday 15th June. This is wholly dependent on having enough volunteers to do so safely. We have to work within the guidelines agreed by the Bishops’ Conference and the Government. This includes:

  • Private prayer = not for organised prayer or prayer that is led in anyway either by priest or layperson; no matter how far apart people are from one another eg we will not be saying the Rosary together
  • We will need a team of volunteers to ensure hands are sanitised on entry and exit, that people observe social distancing inside the church, and to clean the church after every opening.
  • It is important that volunteers should not be drawn from those instructed to shield themselves, nor, as a general rule, from groups considered more vulnerable to coronavirus. 
  • Toilet facilities have to remain closed, so there will be no access to the parish centre
  • It is so important that we think not just about ourselves and the fact that we might want to come to church but to also consider the wellbeing and health of others.

If you are willing to be a volunteer for up to an hour at a time, please call Fr Jeremy 311725 or email the parish office via this email address. Equally, if you have been instructed to shield yourself or are in a group considered more vulnerable to coronavirus, also let us know. 

More info: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/places-of-worship-to-re-open-for-individual-prayer

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/catholic-churches-to-re-open-for-private-individual-prayer-on-15-june/

Jesuits: The Jesuits have created a one-stop shop of resources to use during the pandemic. There are oodles of ideas and links from which to choose. https://www.jesuit.org.uk/corona-one-stop-shop

Music The Bath Bach Choir has been determined to meet and stay together during the lockdown, but rehearsal of 50/60 people on ZOOM can be difficult!  However, here is a recent recording of the Choir, in lockdown, performing Gabriel Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp_kGPhk7Ms

Children: Mary’s Meals have created an activity pack for children based on excerpts from the bestselling book ‘The Shed That Fed A Million Children’, written by founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow.  Through these stories, children can travel with Magnus from the Highlands of Scotland to the heart of Africa, where they will meet some of the people who inspired the work of Mary’s Meals to feed hungry children in schools. There are questions alongside each passage, encouraging children to think about the lives of others their age around the world. 

Why not tag Mary’s Meals on social media, using @marysmeals, to let them know how they get on? Thy can also send you films of Magnus reading these excerpts to share — please get in touch to request these. 

Thursday 4th June's updates and resources

Reflection: This prayerful, meditative reflection comes from Fr James Hanvey SJ, former Master of Campion Hall, Oxford and currently serving in Rome at the Jesuit Curia. It’s a thought-provoking piece for these times of uncertainty and anxiety as we look to arrest the global spread of COVID-19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=9CMOKXvk5CU&feature=emb_logo

Music: James Gilchrist presents a half-hour musical tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, recorded in April 2020 while social distancing measures were in place. Musical examples are taken from performances at King’s College, Cambridge, April 2019, recorded live for King’s College Recordings. For the eagle eyed, ex-parishioner Leo McNiff is in the boys’ choir. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=591fCQvRjmo

Shopping: Need to buy an online birthday present for someone that you care about? Thinking of stocking up on bargain Christmas presents? How about an Oscar Romero “More Justice, More Love” t-shirt or mug from St Nicholas of Tolentino Church? https://tolentino.org.uk/shop/

Prayers for the Pandemic: for those who miss going to church

God of the last supper,

who knew real presence: a beloved one

reclining into you, holding dusty feet as you poured water

over them, the tug at the hem of your garment,

touch us now, unable to receive

your risen body in church, unable

to gather as your body; 

touch us with your word,

handed on from your mouth, from memory,

written down, broken and shared over centuries

from the pulpit, the kitchen table; touch us

with the glimpses we can see of spring,

of our vulnerable brothers and sisters,

of your presence within. Amen 

Raymond Friel

 

Wednesday 3rd June's updates and resources

Pentecost: You can read and listen to the message of His Holiness Pope Francis for “Thy Kingdom Come” 2020 here. A service was held with Pope Francis and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. To watch the whole (BSL signed) ecumenical service, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncN_RJM7pqA

Online daily retreats: Loyola Press 3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage. https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer/about-3minute-retreats/ This might be something to try now and keep using once life gets more hectic again.

Reflection: “In response to this difficult time of lockdown and isolation, Redemptorist Publications is delighted to offer another free spiritual resource. Here you can find a 46 minute presentation in which Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R. reflects on the Passion of Christ, in front of a live audience. This lecture, number 12 out of 36 available, was inspired by Fr Denis’ own book, Jesus & the Gospels: a reflection on the key moments of the Jesus story as the four evangelists present them. It is an excellent workbook for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of the person of Jesus and the writing of the Gospels. The audio resource was extracted from the CD collection Jesus & the Gospels 36 CDs and book. “

 

Church re-opening: We are thinking about all the ways the church can open to parishioners once we get permission to do so. If you are in the shielding group and unable to leave the house to come to church for the foreseeable future, please email the parish office. We would like to get an idea of who and how many people will be able/happy to come to church, and who will be unable to do so.

 

Music: In the mood for something uplifting? Try watching and listening to “The Lord Bless You and Keep You (John Rutter) – Virtual Choir by Batavia Madrigal Singers here.

Tuesday 2nd June's updates and resources

Reflection: This is a talk by David Wells, giving a Catholic perspective on enlightenment. Don’t be put off because it was set up for teachers he is talking to them as individuals. He discusses what people do and believe in a post-modern society, and how to live as a Catholic in such a society. David is humorous, prayerful, incisive, thought-provoking and marvellous.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXUQ5cELMw8

Pentecost: Bishop Declan has recorded a message for Pentecost, which you can read and listen to here https://cliftondiocese.com/

Pentecost for children: Here’s one for your children to learn, and will gladden the heart of any teacher when they return to school. Listen and watch the song “Joy of the Holy Spirit” by Mike Stanley, then watch Claire Wilson teach a British Sign Language version of it. A joyful celebration of the Fruit and Gifts of the Holy Spirit – perfect for Pentecost, Confirmation and Sacramental preparation.  From the album “Dewfall” available at: http://www.cjmmusic.com/dewfall

Our bishop: Bishop Declan Lang has called on the UK government to fulfil its responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-calls-government-to-stand-in-solidarity-with-people-of-hong-kong/

Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, wrote to the Prime Minister this week expressing his understanding of “a growing sense of dissatisfaction” particularly as our churches are not yet permitted to open where a growing number of retail outlet will soon open their doors.https://www.cbcew.org.uk/letter-to-prime-minister-from-archbishop-john-wilson-regarding-the-opening-of-churches/

Monday 1st June's updates and resources

Marjorie Lovett RIP: We are sorry to announce the death of parishioner Marjorie Lovett. Her burial will take place privately soon. Please pray for her family at this difficult time.

Mary’s Meals: “Join us at 7.00pm on Thursday, 4 June for the Mary’s Meals Family Hour! This virtual event is a first for Mary’s Meals and a new way for our family to stay in touch during this unprecedented time. We will share information on how we are reaching children through the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as an update direct from Kenya, inspirational stories from supporters here in the UK, and an exclusive preview of our new film featuring Hollywood star Gerard Butler! Our Executive Director Daniel Adams will host the event and also answer your questions about our mission – please submit them in advance here.
📅 Thursday 4th June 🕕 7:00pm – 8:00pm (UK time) 📍 Mary’s Meals UK YouTube channel

Meditation for children: This is a recommendation from a parishioner, to help children during the lockdown period and onwards. “Recently the World Community for Christian Meditation (UK) has funded a 3 year partnership with the Catholic Children’s Society to share Christian Meditation with children. To reduce stress and loneliness when Young People are isolated at home or in schools only open to the children of key workers, meditation offers an inclusive and immediate solace and inspiration. From our work worldwide we know for certain that children can meditate, that they love it and ask for it. In collaboration with The Catholic Children’s Society in the UK, the World Community of Christian Meditation is introducing meditation into primary and secondary schools – with very diverse student backgrounds.”

This link will take you to a set of guided meditations for both primary and secondary school age people. I think the secondary school videos would be suitable to adults new to meditation.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Cb5LrAlU7_MPTRDMUBcvQ

Cardinal Vincent: In his homily for Pentecost Sunday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols questions why churches have not been allowed to open for private prayer, especially when car showrooms and outdoor markets can open on Monday 1 June and non-essential shops from 15 June.  He specifically asks why churches have been “excluded from this decision?”https://www.cbcew.org.uk/cardinal-nichols-now-is-the-time-for-the-phased-reopening-of-churches/

Prayers for the Pandemic: For keyworkers
God of a day’s work,
who knew the early start,
the long shift, the thankless task,
help us to ‘see’ keyworkers in the pandemic
in a new and lasting way –
the ones who leave home to mingle
with the virus
to keep us fed,
keep us safe, keep us clean,
to care for us: in school, in care, in intensive care;
help us to help them by being careful ourselves
and remembering, on the other side of this,
who deserves our esteem, our national applause,
our lasting care. Amen

By Raymond Friel

Thursday 28th May's updates and resources

David Courtney RIP: Please pray for the family of Dave, who sadly died. His funeral took place this morning at Haycombe, privately.

Gerardina Flammia RIP: Please pray for the family of Gerardina, who died recently. Her funeral will take place privately on Thursday 4th June.

The God Who Speaks website: This website has a great page of short podcasts on a variety of themes. I found the section of short bible testimonies by parishioners in the Portsmouth Diocese both moving and thought provoking. https://www.godwhospeaks.org/media

Reflection: In response to this difficult time of lockdown and isolation, Redemptorist Publications is delighted to offer yet another free spiritual resource. Here you can find a 35 minute presentation in which Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R. reflects on the Significance of Pentecost, in front of a live audience.  https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/pentecost-frdenis

Laudato Si: After praying the Regina Coeli on Sunday, Pope Francis recalled the fifth anniversary of his encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ On the Care for our Common Home.’ He said the document sought to “call attention to the cry of the Earth and of the poor.” The Pope then invited everyone to take part in the Laudato Si’ Year, which is promoted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and runs from 24 May 2020 until 24 May 2021. “I invite all people of goodwill to take part, to care for our common home and our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.” Pope Francis also announced a special prayer dedicated to the Laudato Si’ Year, and encouraged everyone to pray it.

Loving God,
Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained.
Open our minds and touch our hearts,
so that we can be part of Creation, your gift.

Be present to those in need in these difficult times,
especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Help us to show creative solidarity
as we confront the consequences of the global pandemic.
Make us courageous in embracing
the changes required to seek the common good.
Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent.

Enable us to succeed in listening and responding
to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.
May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs
of a more fraternal and sustainable world.

We pray through Christ our Lord,
under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians,

Amen.

Wednesday 27th May's updates and resources

Children of all ages: The feast of Pentecost approaches on Sunday 31st May. Here is a link to Pentecost-themed dove colouring sheet to put in your front window. Together with the CLOW team, I have created an additional resource and activities sheet for parents. This is to help children celebrate Pentecost at home. All the activities are tried and tested including the Pentecost party ideas. You can find the sheet on our website https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/news-events

Lectio Divina: Join the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph online every day at 4.00pm (except on Sundays) for 45 minutes of prayerful reflection on the Gospel of the Day. Every day, one of the sisters will host the time of Lectio Divina, starting with prayer and the reading of the Gospel. Everyone will be invited to share their thoughts and inspirations during this time of teaching, fellowship and prayer. Come and join the sisters, each day during this period of confinement, so that together we may listen to God who speaks to us in the Scripture, and shares with us his truth, love and very life. Participants will be able to interact and share their own thoughts and prayers.

​After the time of Lectio, join the sisters in prayer for the Rosary and Vespers, which you can follow live here

Reflection: A short piece on discerning what God is calling us to do during lockdown and beyond, using the example of St Ignatius. https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/taking-the-ignatius-challenge

Reflection: Bishop Tom Williams offers a thought-provoking Easter reflection looking at his own journey of faith, recovering from challenging times and looking to a positive future despite the devastation of COVID-19. The constant is the Lord and the Lord is good. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/bishop-trauma-can-knock-us-or-give-us-a-real-purpose-in-life/

A message from Life Matters: “The COVID-19 situation is serious for Life. Our key workers are out there providing support, and demand for our services providing positive alternatives to abortion has increased dramatically. Even during the hardships of the COVID crisis, we cannot restrict our service to abortion-minded women to when it is safe, convenient, or easy. We are committed to the Gospel of Life during these troubled times, which is why I am asking for your prayers for our staff, volunteers, and the people we help.” https://lifecharity.org.uk/

Tuesday 26th May's updates and resources

The God Who Speaks: Augustine of Hippo said, “If the psalm prays, you pray. If the psalm laments, you lament. If the psalm exalts, you rejoice. If it hopes, you hope. If it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.” We are grateful to Fr.Tristan of Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Parish in Eastbourne for his permission to share this with you. “I am a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. ‘With the Harp I Will Solve My Problem’ is a daily series that I am running during the coronavirus lockdown here in Eastbourne, England. While our churches are closed, I hope these reflections may help parishioners to pray at home with the psalms: the songbook of the Church – God’s own Word in which God praises Himself. Here, in the Word, each day, we will praise, lament, give thanks, and ask for mercy.” https://cliftondiocese.com/the-god-who-speaks/

Event: Wednesday 27 May 8-9pm “Hope beyond uncertainty”. Author Roger Carswell will interview Neil Todman (a pastor in Bristol whose wife died of cancer while their children were young and has had to rebuild their life as a family). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftp0zbteIsk It will be a live broadcast on the St Bart’s (Oldfield Park) YouTube channel with the opportunity to text questions. It will stay on the channel so can also be watched and shared later.

Virtual pilgrimage: The Archdiocese of Birmingham is having a virtual pilgrimage to Lourdes this week as they are unable to travel this year. You can take part in a daily programme of Masses, Liturgy and Prayer for the week that would have been spent in Lourdes so, like Bernadette, we will make a spiritual pilgrimage: “Every day I go in spirit to the Grotto. I make a pilgrimage there.” Each day there are live services at 9.30/10.00am, 5.00pm and 8.00pm, but you can watch them at any time via the Birmingham Diocese Facebook page or Youtube channel. We have been joining the virtual torchlight procession each night, saying the Rosary together.
Download liturgy booklet
Follow us on Facebook for special extra content #Lourdes2Brum

Prayer: Prayer for the Pandemic for a household in lockdown by Raymond Friel (former headteacher at St Gregory’s).
God of the indoors,
who knew the confines of domestic space
at a time of little comfort,
help us in this time of confinement,
help us to see it as an act of love, in solidarity
with those who care for us and put their own lives
on the line for the sake of others.
Help us to ‘make room’ for each other, even if room is scarce,
help us to find reserves of patience we never knew we had,
to take offence less easily, to find in our hearts
an easy apology when we’re petulant.
Help us to be attentive, careful, and thoughtful.
May we draw deeply from the well
of our most loving times. Amen

Thursday 21st May's updates and resources

Tradition dies hard https://www.facebook.com/TheIrishPost/videos/1668795983296352

Pentecost novena and retreat 22nd-30th May: I have attached a novena to the Holy Spirit recommended by Fr Jeremy.  An online pre-Pentecost retreat has been recommended by a parishioner https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/waiting-for-the-spirit-an-online-retreat

Charitable giving: The Christians in the Holy Land and particularly in Bethlehem are on the brink of starvation due to lockdown. There is no work for them as they work mainly in the hotels and tourism industries. The Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) are raising money with a target of £100,000 to be met at Pentecost, which will be match funded. See www.friendsoftheholyland.org for full information on the plight in Bethlehem, Gaza and Jordan, and how to donate.

Laudato Si Week The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development that is promoting the week has also announced the celebration of a Special “Laudato Si” Anniversary Year, which runs from May 24, 2020 to May 24, 2021. Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam is the Coordinator of the Sector on Ecology and Creation, which functions under the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.  

Crises of “Our Common Home”. Presenting the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year, the Salesian priest said that the context of this year is “the precarious state of ‘Our Common Home’”, which Pope Francis speaks about in ‘Laudato Si’.” The Holy Father asks, “What kind of world do we want to leave those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”  https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-05/laudato-si-5-years-week-year-celebration-interview-kureethadam.html

Music: More movement, education and prayer today with Mike Stanley’s “Hail Mary”, with signing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PglEF7mTf2E

Wednesday 20th May's updates and resources

Fanning the flame: Each week during Eastertide, seminarian Stephen Corrigan has been posting a weekly, three minute max audio reflection, based on some inspiration from the Sunday readings and pondering on daily life. He was due to start a placement at St Mary’s Church and the RUH this week, but is unable to do so due to the pandemic. You can find all the reflections here https://soundcloud.com/user-25434191 These reflections by Stephen and by Caroline Sadd (Parish Outreach Worker) are “an opportunity for us to be built up by Spirit-filled words of hope in these difficult times”.

Thursday 21 May 8-9pm: Hope beyond fear. Author Roger Carswell will interview Robbie Hall (ex army Colonel and bomb disposal expert who came to faith through one particular frightening experience). Please note that the actual interview with Robbie will begin after the Clap for Carers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKHhDEXzTXY It will be a live broadcast on the St Bart’s (Oldfield Park) YouTube channel with the opportunity to text questions. It will stay on the channel so can also be watched and shared later.

Lourdes: This short video (6mins 41secs) is a lovely mix of music (Immaculate Mary; Salve Regina) and film of pilgrims moving around Lourdes. It is not as good as being there, but gives a good sense of the space of the Domain and the daily services that usually take place. I always went to Lourdes during May half-term, so the lovely weather we are having now is called “Lourdes weather” in our house. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qsC8uEUUSM

Charitable giving and prayer: The Mary’s Meals Prayer “One way you can support our work is by saying the following Mary’s Meals prayer:

“Our Father, give us this day our daily bread and forgive us for the times when we take more than our share of the bread that belongs to all.

Let us help You fill the starving with good things, not with scraps from our table. Teach us how to share what is not ours to keep.

Clothe us with Your love that we may complete each good work You created us to do.

Place in our hearts Your compassion for each starving child and use our little acts of love so that they starve no more. Amen.”

Please feel free to download our prayer card.”

Reflection: Rabbi Brad Hirschfield talks about where we encounter God, and how caring for others takes away our fears. You will find the podcast at the bottom of the article. https://bustedhalo.com/podcasts/rabbi-brad-on-finding-god-in-the-midst-of-fear

Tuesday 19th May's updates and resources

Bible Study: LETTERS FROM LOCKDOWN Two short films on St Paul’s letter to the Phillipians by Seminarians Joseph Meigh and Stuart Ford. “Philippians is very short – only 4 pages long – but is known as one of St Paul’s most joy-filled letters. Perhaps especially it might help us find joy in our current situation of lockdown, because Paul was writing it from his prison cell – so it shows us how that deepest kind of joy wells up from our relationship with Christ which is within us, whatever our external circumstances. https://cliftondiocese.com/the-god-who-speaks/

The Art of Dying Well: Palliative care physician Dr Kathryn Mannix on caring for someone with COVID-19

https://www.artofdyingwell.org/caring-for-the-dying/caring-during-covid-19/caring-for-a-loved-one-at-home-during-covid-19/ 

Mass on Sky TV and radio Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is dedicated to the advancement of truth as defined by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. EWTN is available on both Sky (subscription) and Sky Freesat (no subscription) on channel 589 under the Religion category. EWTN Radio is available to all Sky viewers on EPG Channel 0147 under the “Radio” category.

BIG NATIONAL PRAYER EVENT Sunday 24 May 8.00 to 9.30pm Live broadcast: Many cities and towns in the UK have held united prayer events during this crisis.   Now is the time for all the cities and towns to join together for a huge prayer event covering the UK.   It is time for our cities to stand together, in unity, and ask God to move across our nation.   Many thousands of Christians from all traditions will be joining in from their homes across the UK to seek a move of God for the transformation of our towns and cities. We will also be joined by some special guests who will be leading us in prayer. Please share the invitation far and wide, across all your friends and networks so as many people as possible can join the event and be part of something truly special. 

Join us live on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/movementdayuk/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZy2R9x1R9E1HKrjpO93Ylg

World Communication Day 24th May:  The Pope’s World Communications Day message focuses on storytelling, truth and who we are in God’s eyes. He looks to the Bible as “the great love story between God and humanity” with Jesus at its centre.

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/wcd20/

Monday 18th May's updates and resources

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, Thurs 21st May: I asked the catechists for our Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) group for some ideas of how children can understand and celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. They came up with a great variety of resources and activities, which I have attached to this email.

Laudato Si week (16-24 May): Laudato si is Pope Francis’s Encyclical Letter on “The Care of Our Common Home”, released on Thurs 18th November 2015. To celebrate its’ 5th anniversary, Pope Francis is asking us to reflect on our relationship with our Creator and creation. Clifton Diocese has created a page with links to a wealth of information, activities, podcasts and prayers.  There is also a link to the encyclical itself. https://cliftondiocese.com/news/pope-francis-invites-you-to-celebrate-laudato-si-week/You can also find information and more links on the CBCEW website https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/laudato-si-week/

Clifton Diocese Liturgy Office: Another site which may be helpful during the month of May is “Novenas to Mary, Un-doer of knots” https://www.praymorenovenas.com/mary-undoer-knots-novena

Music: Today’s Marian hymn incorporates British sign language and movement, so that covers a) exercise b) prayer and c) learning a new skill all in the same video. It is Boyce and Stanley’s “Hail Mary” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZQjVI-P55w

The Joy of the Gospel: This video is of David Wells, renowned Catholic speaker, explaining the joy of the Gospel, and the love and joy to be found in the papal documents of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II. He gave the same talk at St Brendan’s College, Brislington, recently and it was AMAZING. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5-uoQmbyiQ

The Acts of the Apostles: Throughout the Easter season we read from the Acts of the Apostles, seeing how the Easter gospel is preached in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Fr Adrian Graffy, Scripture scholar and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, has recorded a talk on the opening eight chapters of Acts.https://www.whatgoodnews.org/faith-talks-1/2020/4/27/acts-of-the-apostles

Thursday 14th May updates and resources

Music: Today’s Marian hymn is Boyce and Stanley’s “Magnificat” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs8QVxw9eBI If you have any guitar skills, you can learn how to play it using Jo Boyce’s guitar tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vFhF4MBRN8 An excellent way to use lockdown!

Congratulations to Gabriele Green, on her 100th birthday!

For the young person in your life: Listen to 0.40-2.01mins for “Four Things God Thinks About You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U12thMZTLTc

Covid 19: Dying, Recovering and Caring during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A podcast exploring what it’s like for NHS staff, patients and loved ones at this unusual and difficult time. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/dying-recovering-and-caring-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Radio: Heaven’s Road Catholic Online Radio broadcasts 24/7 prayers, reflections, features and music, plus live Masses from more than 15 churches in England and Ireland. If you missed anything, you can listen again to more than 200 programmes.

Counselling: Marriage Care has moved all its face-to-face services to online alternatives using secure webcam and video conferencing technology – just like having face-to-face support, except you talk to a trained counsellor or marriage preparation facilitator online using a secure video link, similar to Skype or FaceTime.

Fr Matt Anscombe: Please pray for Fr Matt (priest at St Bernadette’s Whitchurch and St Dunstan’s Keynsham) as he is expecting an imminent operation after breaking his thumb badly in a cycle accident. St Bernadette’s parish website is chocabloc with podcasts so do visit https://stbernadettewhitchurch.org/ to listen to some of them. There is a series called Ten Minute Church by Fr Matt; a set of talks on the Holy Spirit by Fr Matt, and a series called “Fanning the Flame” with parish outreach worker Caroline Sadd and seminarian Stephen Corrigan.

 

Wednesday 13th May's updates and resources

Mass: Use the online directory of churches in England and Wales streaming Catholic Mass live online. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/online-mass-directory/

Bishops: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has responded to the government’s document released today, 11 May, titled ‘Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’. Read their statement here https://www.cbcew.org.uk/catholic-bishops-respond-to-governments-lockdown-easing-plans/

Vocations: Two short stories on discernment to Religious Life https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/vocations-sunday-2020/vocation-stories-2020/

Charitable giving: This film is a short message of thanks from Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals. https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/message As you may know, St Mary’s Parish has been supporting the Mary’s Meals Backpack Project for at least three years. Whilst we cannot collect items for the backpacks at the moment, you may be able to donate £15.90 to feed one child for a whole year. Alternatively, you might want to put an empty jar aside for Mary’s Meals and put aside £15.90 more gradually. To donate, go to https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/?pl=GB If you want to know more, you can buy Magnus’ book “The Shed That Fed A Million Children” https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/get-involved/bookandfilms/the-shed-that-fed-a-million-children

Pope Francis: Pope Francis is inviting people of all faiths to join an initiative to pray, fast, and perform works of charity on Thursday 14th May, to implore God for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/day-of-prayer-fasting-and-works-of-charity/ and https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-05/covid-19-faithful-respond-to-popes-invitation-to-pray-may-14.html

Music: Today’s Marian hymn is Caccini’s Ave Maria, sung by Lesley Garrett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-uy-mGRF40

Tues 12th May updates and resources

The God Who Speaks: Every Christian has a different story about how God has spoken to them through the words of the bible. Fr Stephen Wang tells us how the bible changed his life.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/bible-basics/how-the-bible-changed-my-life/

Mass: A ‘dial-a-Mass’ service is now available from one diocese. The new service has been provided specifically by the Middlesbrough diocese for Catholics without internet access, following on from the success of online services, introduced after the suspension of public mass earlier this year.https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12885/catholic-diocese-launches-uk-s-first-dial-a-mass-

Prayer: Redemptorist Publications have created a website called Novena at Home.  www.novena-at-home.redemptorists.co.uk

Music: Our Marian hymn today is the “Salve Regina” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqL3GxSkuDg Very calming.

Prayer and reflection: A recommendation from Redemptorist Publications

We encourage you to sit in stillness for ten to fifteen minutes and open your heart to receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.
 This spiritual exercise will deepen your awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart and give you confidence that the Spirit will be with you in everything you do to make Christ known.

Centre yourself; sit upright, two feet firmly on the floor; breathe rhythmically with deep breaths, in and out, from the abdomen; clear your mind of all preoccupations.

Bring yourself to bodily stillness.

Now welcome in your heart this gift that Jesus has for you: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

Quietly repeat those words of Jesus and hand over to him all worries or trouble.

You may find it helpful if you name to God a specific area where you need healing or forgiveness.

Now be still for some time in the presence of God as you welcome the Holy Spirit into your heart.

As you are about to finish your time of prayer, focus again on your breathing while you relax in God’s presence.

Bring yourself gently back to your daily concerns.

May you receive that peace of Christ each day.
(Exercise excerpt taken from Talking about Jesus £4.95)

Prayers for new mothers and fathers: Please remember all those new families, whose joy at the birth of their child is tempered by fear and loneliness.

Mon 11th May Updates and resources

Faith: “Love chooses you” An uplifting, animated video written and narrated by David Wells, renowned Catholic speaker (7mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-sKNhQvWzE

Outside inspiration: If you have forgotten what Bath city centre looks and sounds like in more normal times, watch this walking tour around Bath. You could even walk on the spot or on a treadmill to get some exercise at the same time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZcpTjLo3Qc

Poetry and Art: This poem, “The Servant Girl at Emmaus”, is a recommendation from Fr Jeremy. https://www.journeywithjesus.net/poemsandprayers/631-denise-levertov-servant-girl   It is inspired by the painting “The Emmaus Supper” by Velaquez, which can be found in the National Gallery of Art in Dublin https://www.nationalgallery.ie/art-and-artists/highlights-collection/kitchen-maid-supper-emmaus-diego-velazquez-1599-1660 There is a lovely commentary on the painting here https://www.weaverland.org/breezes/the-emmaus-kitchen/  I also found a sermon on who sees Jesus today and where we find him, based upon the painting and the story of Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35  https://sermonsgslc.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/the-kitchen-maid/

Charitable giving: Today, we received an article about the works of SPICMA (Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas) which I will forward to you. Please pray for their volunteers and the people whom they look after. If, after reading the article you wish to donate some money, here are the details: There are a number of ways in which you can make donations to SPICMA

  • by Debit or Credit Card through the safe & secure web site\\\.   SPICMA.org Click the “donate” button on the right hand side of the front page of the our website–through Your Employer by Give As You Earn. Please quote our Ref No GYE 413255.
  • by setting up a standing order direct to our account at CAF BANK LTD A/c. No 00095877   Sort Code: 40-52-40 You can set this up through your online banking facility or you can download a Standing Order Mandate form, complete it and post it to your bank.
  • by sending a cheque to the address below (please indicate if you wish to Gift Aid your donation) SPICMA ORG, P.O. Box 299, CIRENCESTER
    GL7 9FP
  • You can also donate to Spicma by leaving a Legacy. Go to our Legacy page to find out more.

Music: The Marian hymn today is “Holy Mary – Gentle Woman”. The accompanying video is a little odd  but don’t let that put you off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4olGuMBiag&list=RDN3Br9-0iWgU&index=2

 

Thursday 7th May updates and resources

Film: If you are unfamiliar with the story of Sr Clare Crockett, and are in need of something uplifting, then take some time to watch “All or Nothing: Sr Clare Crockett”. I came across her story on Tuesday and have been inspired to pass on her example as a potential modern day saint. The film is available via https://www.sisterclare.com/en/

Blog: Parishioner Julian Hughes recently had a blog published by the ‘Journal of Medical Ethics’, on the importance of virtues during the pandemic. A consultant for over 20 years and professor in old age psychiatry, he remains an honorary professor at the University of Bristol and visiting professor at Newcastle University, UK.  https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/04/19/what-the-virtues-have-to-offer-in-the-midst-of-covid-19/

Music: For all those who have sung this whilst walking in the torchlight procession around the Domain in Lourdes “Holy Virgin, by God’s decree” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuGABqp_pJE

Art: This link came via the Bishops Conference of Scotland. It is a video exploring Fra Angelico’s Noli Me Tangere, the latest in the short series examining Eastertide art. https://www.youtube.com/watchv=KVbtsuBbR8Q&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR32KyGEDmvQz3gkm9wIYnnGWwNWjFV0AeQscCl9An_raPQLH8GWtB-W1Pk

Vocations: This is an interesting video which raises questions about the meaning of vocation, how answering God’s call is not necessarily straight-forward https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-northern-ireland-52419863/coronavirus-putting-priesthood-on-hold-to-return-to-medicine

Prayer: There has never been a greater need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Join with us to Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST+ Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by clicking here bit.ly/50DOP BathCAN have managed to set up a page for specific things to pray for concerning Bath (Eg praying for Claverton ward at the Bath Clinic for staff as they are self-isolating due to being in contact with covid19 and for the reopening of the ward). So if you have any Bath intentions, please email to jawykes@yahoo.co.uk

A message from Genesis Trust: As Spring blossoms outside, we continue to serve our client community whilst keeping them, our staff and our volunteers safe at this difficult time. Staff at Bath Foodbank have worked at breakneck speed to take our referral system online, centralise our storage and distribution processes, and to deliver much-needed food parcels direct to people’s homes, with the help of British Gas. Our Life Skills groups have gone online and it is a fantastic combination of technology and adaptability which has enabled many clients to stay connected, alleviating the struggles of social isolation, bringing joy and a sense of community. Whilst the vast majority of people sleeping rough in our city have been temporarily housed, we are providing individual support to some who remain outside. Administrative support and help with benefits is being given to clients who are struggling or need access to a computer.
We are constantly assessing how we’ll meet the needs of our clients going forward in the medium and long term. It may be that we will need to initiate further new ways of working, to enable the Furniture Project and our other services to resume safely, and within guidelines. We anticipate that more people will be vulnerably housed and dealing with complex mental health or addiction issues as a result of COVID-19, and that our work will be more in demand than ever. This article from the BBC give some food for thought as to the challenges ahead: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52295894

Wed 6th May updates and resources

Reflection: Shemaiah Gonzalez reflects on the highs and low of lockdown, and where she finds God https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/god-shows-up-in-the-sunrise

Clifton Diocese Liturgy Office: You may have already seen that Pope Francis has sent out an official letter encouraging all Catholics to come together and pray the rosary throughout May and ‘to rediscover the beauty of praying the rosary at home.’ He has also given us two new prayers that implore the help of the Virgin Mary during the coronavirus pandemic. The full details are here: http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2020/documents/papa-francesco_20200425_lettera-mesedimaggio.html There is guidance, too, for those who may be new, or have forgotten how, to pray the rosary. It explains the mysteries of the Rosary, and how to pray them. http://www.vatican.va/special/rosary/documents/misteri_en.html#How_to_pray_the_Rosary

Prayer: A story of how that IT can sometimes be helpful in our spiritual lives, when transport lets us down https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12858/the-priest-his-podcast-and-the-exploding-bike-tyre You can tune into Fr Sean Connelly’s podcasts at 6.00pm every day on the St George’s parish website, or listen to them later here. 

Reflections: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is for the daily Gospel reflections on the Facebook page for Pauline Books and Media Glasgow https://www.facebook.com/pbmglasgow. Pauline Books is run by the Daughters of St Paul.

Pauline Books/ Daughters of St Paul: If you are not on Facebook, try their main website www.paulineuk.org It is full of information about the order of nuns and their work, and has links to blogs on St Paul https://www.paulineuk.org/blog/st-paul-the-apostle, Discernment https://www.paulineuk.org/blog/discernment plus a link to Fr Sean Hall’s Gospel reflections https://www.paulineuk.org/blog/liturgical-reflections

Outside inspiration: Have a look at the Visit Bristol page on YouTube for their Great Views of Bristol 360 degrees video. You can use you mouse or your mobile to adjust the view to your taste. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQDbgwMULtk&feature=youtu.be

Music: Our Marian hymn for today is “As I kneel before you” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaDeqSotwoc

Tues 5th May updates and resources

Refugees: Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for migration and asylum, has joined over 20 front-line facing organisations working with asylum seekers, refugees, and those with irregular immigration status in calling for a grant of a period of ‘leave to remain’ to those with insecure immigration status.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/human-dignity-of-refugees-must-be-respected-during-the-pandemic/

Today’s charities: If you want to help those who are helping asylum seekers or refugees in Britain, you can donate to Borderlands Refugee Centre, Bristol via https://localgiving.org/charity/borderlands/ or to St Chad’s Sanctuary, Birmingham via http://www.stchadssanctuary.com/index.php/donations Prayers for the morale of staff and the refugees are equally welcome, particularly at a time when many usual sources of aid have dried up and volunteer numbers are low due to lockdown and illness.

Prayer through music: Go to YouTube and listen and watch The UK Blessing. “At this unique and challenging time in the United Kingdom over 65 churches and movements, representing hundreds of others, have come together online to sing a blessing over our land. Standing together as one, our desire is that this song will fill you with hope and encourage you.” IMHO, it is quite wonderful.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U&fbclid=IwAR3SQBmo5ui2wXLByPrmdsyOgU_YD9RoKt8pJI2BhtgEPG_QPS-4B_gB9RQ

Home retreat for the seriously ill: When you become ill, seriously ill, you might feel hopeless or angry or full of despair. One of life’s most terrifying realizations is that we are not in control — God is. This virtual retreat provides guidance for prayer and reflection during the times when we need to trust God and to feel God’s presence, even when the future seems unclear. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/a-retreat-for-those-facing-serious-illness

Mary, Mother of God: It is May, one of the months where we dedicate prayers to Mary. Busted Halo have a film about the Church teaching of Mary https://bustedhalo.com/video/mary-in-two-minutes Have a look at the new photo on the front page of the parish website: our statue of Our Lady, Help of Christians.

Music: For everyone who ever took part in a May Procession “Bring flowers of the rarest” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFCg2zEToVU

Mon 4th May updates and resources

Sheila Parkinson RIP: We are sorry to announce the death of Sheila, who died on 28th April. Her funeral will take place, privately, on Wednesday 13th May. Please pray for her family and friends, especially as funeral arrangements are more difficult as the moment.

Bishops: Writing on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, the five Metropolitan Archbishops have addressed the COVID-19 pandemic and, specifically, the measures taken and restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishops-recognise-pain-of-catholics-who-cannot-pray-in-church-or-receive-the-sacraments/

Accessible Communication: We know that going to church is both a spiritual and social space for people with intellectual disabilities to share their lives and faith. In this time of uncertainty, with our churches closed to the public, things are particularly difficult. The Kairos Forum is providing valuable resources. Visit the Kairos site or CBCEW page highlighting its Sacred Place for Accessible Communication and Empathy (SPACE).

Charitable giving: Each day, I am going to give the details of a different charity which is in need of help. This does not mean you have to give any money, but you may wish to pass on the details to someone who is able to do so. Prayers are equally important, both for those in need and for the morale of those working with them in challenging circumstances.

Today’s charity is CCS Adoption If you are currently working from home why not donate the money you would have spent on travel (fuel, parking, or even your morning coffee) to CCS?  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?campaignId=12656&charityId=1002409

Prayer for Vocations Sunday:

Loving Father, you call us by name.
As we journey through life
help us to be confident in our own unique identity
and to find opportunities to develop our own gifts and passions.

We pray that the Holy Spirit
will pour on us wisdom and guidance
to help us realise and follow our dreams,
discerning your plan for our lives.

Bless your Church by raising up dedicated and generous people
from our families and friends
who will serve as Priests, Deacons, Sisters and Brothers.

May we support one another in response to God’s call.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Thurs 30th April Updates and resources

Spiritual communion:  “Sisters launch Spiritual Adoption program in response to Covid-19”. The Daughters of St. Paul in the United States begin a Spiritual Adoption program, matching Covid-19 patients and frontliners with people who pray for them. Just like many others in the U.S., the Daughters of St Paul are on lock down. That has not stopped the sisters from performing their communications ministry. They have launched a digital Spiritual Adoption program for Covid-19 patients and frontliners. Read more at https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-04/daughters-paul-spiritual-communion-adoption-program.html  

Find out more about the nuns at http://pauline.org/Portals/0/spiritual-communion.html

Vocations: More proof that nuns have the most fun https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/sunderland-nuns-sing-dance-outside-18150148

Music: The Prayer | Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir (A song of hope from self-isolation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-vDUpp3XSQ&feature=youtu.be

Meditation: The World Community for Christian Meditation is a global and inclusive contemplative family. The roots of the World Community lie in the desert tradition of early Christianity dating back to the 4th century. In 1975 John Main, an Irish Benedictine monk (1926-1982), started the first Christian Meditation Centre in London. Find out more www.wccm.org

Charitable giving: Update on Vicky, the young Ugandan woman we raised funds for with the Raffle. The project to re-house Vicky has ground to a halt during the pandemic. The Doctor who is looking after her, Dr Anne Merriman, who runs Hospice Africa, has had nearly all her funding cut. To try to reverse this, Dr Anne is fund-raising herself. If you could contribute to this appeal it would make a huge difference. Please see https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/walkingwithawalker or www.annemerrimanfoundation.org  

Prayer and the Mass:  The Veil Removed is a short film that reveals the coming together of heaven and earth at Mass, as seen by saints and mystics revealed by scripture and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Very moving! https://theveilremoved.com/our-inspiration/ Here is a link to an endorsement of the video https://archedinburgh.org/video-archbishop-encourages-catholics-to-watch-the-veil-removed/

Migrants’ Mass 2020 Each year, near to the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the migrant communities of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster gathers for a Mass that is full of song, vibrant energy and great joy. This year, as we can’t gather in church, we will be celebrating the Migrants’ Mass using Instagram Live and YouTube on Saturday 2 May, at 10.30am. The theme for 2020 is: ‘You are clapping for us, now pray with us’. We value the incredible contribution of migrants to so many services that are now being recognised and honoured as essential. Many Migrant workers are amongst those on the ‘frontline’ – in the NHS and care homes; working as delivery drivers, cleaners and caterers. This is a moment to honour them in prayer – especially considering so many are financially vulnerable, working on zero-hours contracts or pay that is below the Real Living Wage. We also remember of the wonderful Catholic Social Teaching that recognises everyone as “our brothers and sisters”, calls us to tear down borders that divide and exclude any group of people, and has mandated us to pay a Real Living Wage ever since Pope Leo XIII wrote about it in 1891. 

 

Wed 29th April updates and resources

Marian Diplock RIP: WE have received the sad news that Marian has died. Her funeral will take place, privately, on Tuesday 12th May. Please pray for her family; funerals are so much harder due to social distancing rules.

 

Food: Compassionate Community partners 3SG & the Sustainable Food Partnership have produced a list of local providers offering food to people across Bath and north east Somerset https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/sustainable-food-partnership?fbclid=IwAR06w4hq5EnfoRgcDDcdvTfWCnpHrO2oguRwUr3hPQfztEWFWhEc4bYa8Gg

 

After lockdown: The Ammerdown Centre is a well-established Retreat and Conference Centre open to people of all faiths and none, with a special emphasis on hospitality, peace and reconciliation. It offers a beautiful and peaceful meeting place conducive to refreshment of mind, body and spirit as well as mutual learning and shared encounters. It provides this facility within a welcoming, accepting and prayerful atmosphere which promotes mutual respect regardless of backgrounds and beliefs. Find out more here http://www.ammerdown.org/about-ammerdown

Charitable giving: Julian House –  Coronavirus Support Fund. “The Coronavirus outbreak is having a real impact on the life saving services we provide. We urgently need your help to continue to support vulnerable people on the streets. Make your donation even more valuable by clicking the Gift Aid box Charity Registration No: 1183751 Donate here

TV – Priest School: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is” Priest School”. It is a documentary featuring rare, unique and exceptional access to the inner workings, personnel, seminarians and history of the oldest Scottish institution abroad – Il Pontificio College Scozzese (the Scots College in Rome.)  Over the course of a year, this programme documents inspiration, celebration and ordination. Narrated by Scottish-Italian actress Daniela Nardini. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000hmvf/priest-school

Prayer: Mothers Prayers was formed to help those mothers who wished to pray together for their children and grandchildren and to find the support they needed. http://www.mothersprayers.org/index.php/en/

Lord Jesus, we come before you as mothers, wanting you to bless our children, and all children throughout the world. We thank you for our children – they are a precious gift to us. Help us, always to remember this, especially when they are in difficulties. Lord, they live in a troubled world – a world that does not always acknowledge you, – a world that may sometimes cause them to be laughed at if they admit to belief in you. Help them to be strong, Lord. Helps us to know that you are always with us – sharing in the joys and in the sorrows, joining us in the laughter and weeping with us in the pain. Please give us all the graces we need, to fulfil your plans for our lives and for our duties in our families. You are Almighty God. You can change things. So we turn to you in faith and love knowing that you will answer our prayers. Lord let us always remember how much you love us and our children and how you urge us to come to you with our problems. Amen” 

Updates and resources Tues 28th April

Message from BathCAN (Christian Action Network): From an RUH Doctor who worships at All Saints – share widely. A.M. Friday 24 April “Morning all! Just wanted to share some encouraging news from the RUH. The local modelling they have done suggests that we may have already passed our Covid-19 peak, due to people practicing good social distancing and complying with lockdown. BUT…it is vital that we continue to adhere to it, otherwise we could still have a bigger peak in the next few weeks. Lockdown is hard, especially with kids, but it IS working, so be encouraged and spread the word to the community. All the RUH staff really appreciate the applause every Thurs, but also want to send it back to you! Thank you for sticking with lockdown, YOU are saving lives in the process and making our job more manageable.”

 

Homily: If you would like to read Cardinal Vincent’s homily from last week’s Mass for the sick, go to https://www.cbcew.org.uk/pray-for-health-care-workers/

 

Prayer: This May, during the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis has invited the faithful to renew their love for the Most Holy Rosary, a prayer fully immersed in the Gospel. In this article, Vatican News looks at the dedication of various Popes throughout the centuries to this ancient devotion.https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/the-popes-and-the-rosary.html

 

News from CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development): Coronavirus (Covid-19) has now spread worldwide, with confirmed cases in many countries where CAFOD works. The spread of this virus to countries with poor health systems will be devastating. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water, possibly living with HIV or other underlying health conditions will be particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.  Our programmes around the world are run by local experts and we are in constant touch with them as they plan for how to deal with this crisis. In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever…read more https://cafod.org.uk/News/International-news/Coronavirus-response

 

Catechesis: Fr Chris has made a short video about last Sunday’s Gospel on the road to Emmaus, which you might enjoy https://stjohnsrcbath.org.uk/index.php/mass-online

 

After lockdown: There are retreat centres around the country. There are monasteries when we can partake in the prayer life and the liturgy of the community. In our own diocese these vary from monasteries to small houses, and retreat and days of reflection are available with or without spiritual accompaniment. Some are organised (or can be by these centres), others are for individuals to take time and space as is needed. Today’s link is to the Alabare House of Prayer in Salisbury http://www.alabare.org/retreats/

 

Vocations: Proof that nuns have the most fun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mw9AXeNMjc

 

Mon 27th April updates and resources

Pope Francis reflects on yesterday’s gospel: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/regina-coeli-there-is-no-night-that-cannot-be-faced-with-jesus.html

Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in the ways described above, each week from next Thursday, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral which will be live-streamed for people to join. This week’s Mass: 30th April Celebrant: Bishop Richard Moth Our Lady and St Philip Howard, Arundel YouTube Channel You can also visit our page for further links.

BATH CHRISTIAN ACTION NETWORK: B&NES Council urgently needs to borrow chest freezers to store freshly prepared meals for distribution to vulnerable families and older people across B&NES. If you can help, please contact Peter Heywood via peter@heywood.co.uk or 07976 241 545.

Prayer:  There has never been a need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST+ Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by clicking on bit.ly/50DOP I know I have put this in before, but here it is again, in case you have not had a chance to sign up or forgot.

Vocations: St John’s Seminary, Wonersh is where the majority of our seminarians for the Diocese of Clifton go for formation to the priesthood. They produced a video on a day in the seminary.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHHgn0bp0D0&fbclid=IwAR2sMwEuvCkY-3JDIwws6w0MDMcBcyd2ypYinJu63iBWqtitaRcmCI53Y70

Updates and resources Thurs 23rd April

Alone (Together):  It is a resource created by those who live in isolation through choice (nuns, Monks) and those who were forced to do so (hostages). It is supported by Abbott Chris Jamison and has some really interesting ideas and videos. https://www.alonetogether.org.uk/

Young people: Ten resources for surviving isolation at home from the Kenelm Youth Trust http://www.kenelmyouthtrust.org.uk/news/surviving-self-isolation

DAILY READINGS AT MASS: You can make use of the daily Mass readings from universalis.com to feed and nourish your prayer life during this strange and isolating time. Don’t forget that Fr Chris says Mass each day at 10.00am at St John’s https://stjohnsrcbath.org.uk/

Film: If you did not get your fill over Easter, then have a look at these. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-biblical-blockbusters/

Music: Andrea Bocelli: Amazing Grace – Music For Hope (Live From Duomo di Milano)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpXwOSHTwsY

Art: “What is Christian Art? Our mission is simple: Art and Christianity no longer resonate as an inherent, magnificent pairing. Actually it is a feeling that goes both ways: most Christians no longer see Art as being important or even as a relevant way of promoting the faith; and non believers don’t value Christianity as having been at the forefront of the arts throughout the centuries, responsible for creating some of the most magnificent artworks out there. Our offering is simple: one newsletter a day where we simply send you the Gospel reading of the day, alongside a work of art that we believe is poignant, reflective and appropriate to that reading. We offer a short reflection on the artwork and the reading. We simply give you the tools for you to meditate on the daily Gospel alongside a work of art. We are an apostolate within the Roman Catholic Church, based in London.” https://www.christianart.today/index.php

Families: Praying together as a family is not always easy. Here are some tips.  https://www.thykingdomcome.global/stories/growing-faith-together-family

Pope Francis: Downloadable publication of Pope’s prayers and homilies now available. The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See is making available a downloadable book entitled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation”, containing prayers, supplications and the Pope’s homilies as “a sure support in time of trial”. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-04/downloadable-publication-popes-prayers-homilies-now-available.html?fbclid=IwAR3tYgiUxR4r3b4n2LbfxAC-75oyfmsaSzPNIt8ShtewBIJ7ZLXnkGInQ0Y

Updates, ideas and resources Wed 22nd April

Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in the ways described above, each week from next Thursday, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral which will be live-streamed for people to join. For a list of Masses: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/masses-for-sick-and-nhs-covid19/

Art and The God Who Speaks: This film was put together for the start of Lent, but you may enjoy it in light of last Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19-31). Cardinal Vincent Nichols offers his reflections on this very theme in front of a huge painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano called ‘The Incredulity of Saint Thomas’. It was commissioned in 1497 for the altar in the Church of San Francesco in northern Venice. It is installed in the National Gallery in London – a place where the Cardinal filmed three reflections for our scripture initiative ‘The God Who Speaks’ – a year-long celebration of the Bible to deepen our understanding of God’s Word.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=wAvwDITOsA8&feature=emb_title

Music:  https://cliftondiocese.com/news/free-music-at-home-from-the-clifton-diocese/ With the closure of the Cathedral for the moment, our music ministers are unable to provide their services. To soften this blow Hoxa has produced music, at no cost to you, from vintage and unheard Clifton recordings. This, along with some new material, is for Holy Week and the Easter Vigil and has been very well received. Organ recitals by decade from Clifton are soon to be featured, along with other Cliftonabilia. The Hoxa channels are here: https://www.youtube.com/user/HoxaSound 

Exercise for those indoors: If you are not allowed out, but want to see something new, why not try this virtual walk around St Peter’s Basilica? St. Peter’s Basilica Walking Tour in 4K https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B54PR2kvWE If you are lucky enough to have an exercise bike or treadmill at home, then download this onto the TV or laptop and start exercising “in Rome”. Alternatively, you can walk on the spot as you watch it. 

Bishop Declan: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-welcomes-figures-showing-a-continued-decrease-in-executions-around-the-world/

Meditation: This is a slow-TV recommendation from Fr Jeremy – The Great Mountain Sheep Gather, filmed in Eskdale in the Lake District https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVGdfn_-gI He suggests that it would be a wonderful, uplifting film to watch as part of a mediation on the role of Jesus as the good shepherd. It is also available on BBC i Player.

Updates and resources Tues 21st April

BATHCAN – CHURCHES TOGETHER IN BATH: There has never been a need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST. Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by signing up through this link: bit.ly/50DOP

 

Animal lovers: What are your favourite animals? Top ten animals in the Bible https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-animals-in-the-bible/

 

Music: Today’s parishioner recommendation is Matthew Butler in the Belfry of Bath Abbey on Easter Sunday playing Jesus Christ is risen today. https://www.facebook.com/matthew.butler.35/videos/10101058723797866/

NEED SOME HELP IN TIME OF ISOLATION?

www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safetyadvice-for-survivors/

For sexual violence rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus/  

For free legal advice through specialist service, ‘FLOWS’ www.rcjadvice.org.uk/family/flows-finding-legal-optionsfor-women-survivors/  www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/Event/coronavirus-crisiswhy-we-need-to-make-women-visible

 

Radio: If you missed the repeat of The Reunion last Friday, here is the link to the very moving “Beirut Hostages” with Terry Waite, John McCarthy, Jill Morrow and Brian Keenan https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00k2q8s

 

Message from the Genesis Charity: With our usual programme of fundraising events cancelled and every indication that the needs of our homeless and vulnerable clients will increase as a result of COVID-19, we are facing huge challenges, just like many charities. In the light of this, we are delighted to be able to join in a national fundraising event called the 2.6 Challenge. The event is based on the fact that this Sunday, 26 April, would have been the 40th London Marathon. Instead, we are able to join the 2.6 Challenge, which is a really inclusive chance for anyone to take part and raise much-needed funds for Genesis Trust.

Any kind of physical challenge is acceptable, to suit any level of fitness or ability. It can be done indoors by anyone shielding, or as part of the allowed exercise outside the home. This could be 2.6 miles around your garden, or 260 times up your stairs – it could be 26 burpees, 260 times. Anything goes! We already have a 5-year old called Henry signed up to do a 26-stage obstacle course around his house and garden, and our own Community and Events Manager Hilary Long, who has happily discovered that she has 26 stairs in her house, is going to climb them 100 times!

Here is the link enabling people to sign up to the challenge on behalf of Genesis:

https://twopointsixchallenge.justgiving.com/get-involved?charityId=100732&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkdZMU9ETm1PRFF5WXpKaiIsInQiOiJKTHFaR3Fnc1pHWUlPNXhUOW5HSlliMU5qTXlRbjJBN1BhNHR0elQzelU5K25IQm1YOWxDbkN5R2MxZTNaa3ZValZoSm1RMXBGUmxTUDlPbkZQZTJIZzBzMEpUV3E3RHRmdDFhNGw4dmtIXC8zOVFaUWFnTENOc2sxWjV5dGszQmUifQ%3D%3D

Updates, ideas and resources Mon 20th April

Film: Run out of ideas of what film to watch? Try this list of ten uplifting spiritually films https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-spiritually-uplifting-films/ Fr Jeremy is a fan of “The Way” with Martin Sheen (as am I), so you might like to try that.

The God Who Speaks: The God Who Speaks National Planning Team welcomes your feedback on how God is speaking to us through this global pandemic. Coronavirus has become the most significant challenge our world is facing right now. So we want to reflect on how God is speaking to us through this crisis. To help shape our God Who Speaks Campaign, in the light of this crisis, we invite you to respond to any of these questions: How is God speaking to us at this time? How does Scriptural reflection help us discern God’s will? How can we build stronger relationships across all dioceses? How can we renew our Church communities through Scripture engagement? More info on how to respond: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/receiving-from-the-god-who-speaks/

Flour: If, like me, you have a family that like to bake then you might be interested to know that you can order flour from Twerton’s Bakers of Bath. You can order by text (07940352714), phone or using their Facebook site. They are open Monday and Thursday mornings, and you need to pick the order up from the bakery. You can order other things as well (milk, bread, cakes).

YESTERDAY’S GOSPEL WITH POPE FRANCIS – His sermon from Divine Mercy Sunday 2019:

Today’s Gospel passage (cf. Jn 20:19-31) recounts that on the day of Easter, Jesus appears to his disciples in the Upper Room, in the evening, bearing three gifts: peace, joy, the apostolic mission. The first words he says are: “Peace be with you” (v. 21). The Risen One brings authentic peace, because through his sacrifice on the Cross he achieved reconciliation between God and humanity, and he conquered sin and death. This is peace. His disciples needed this peace first and foremost, because, after the Master was arrested and condemned to death, they fell into dismay and fear. Jesus appears among them alive and, in showing the wounds — Jesus wanted to preserve his wounds — in his glorious body, gives peace as the fruit of his victory. But that evening the Apostle Thomas was not present. Apprised of this extraordinary event, incredulous at the testimony of the other Apostles, he demands to personally verify the truth of what they assert. Eight days later, just as today, the apparition is repeated: Jesus confronts Thomas’ incredulity, inviting him to touch His wounds. They are the sources of peace, because they are the sign of the immense love of Jesus who defeated the forces hostile to man: sin, death. He invites him to touch the wounds. It is a lesson for us, as if Jesus were to tell all of us: “If you are not at peace, touch my wounds”.

Touch Jesus’ wounds, which are the many problems, difficulties, persecutions, illnesses of so many suffering people. Are you not at peace? Go. Go to visit someone who is the symbol of Jesus’ wounds. Touch Jesus’ wounds. Mercy flows from those wounds. That is why today is the Sunday of Mercy. A saint used to say that Jesus’ crucified body is like a bundle of mercy, which reaches each of us through his wounds. All of us need mercy, as we know. Let us draw near to Jesus and touch his wounds in our suffering brothers and sisters. Jesus’ wounds are a treasure: mercy issues from them. Let us be courageous and touch Jesus’ wounds. With these wounds he stands before the Father; he reveals them to the Father, as if to say: “Father, this is the price; these wounds are what I paid for my brothers and sisters”. With his wounds Jesus intercedes before the Father. He gives us mercy if we draw near, and he intercedes for us. Do not forget Jesus’ wounds.

The second gift that the Risen Jesus brings to his disciples is joy. The evangelist recounts that “the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord” (v. 20). And there is also a verse, in Luke’s version, that says that they disbelieved for joy. We too, perhaps when something incredible, beautiful has happened, might say: “I cannot believe it; this is not true!”. This is how the disciples were. They disbelieved for joy. This is the joy that Jesus brings us. If you are sad, if you are not at peace, look to Jesus Crucified; look to the Risen Jesus; look at his wounds and receive that joy.

And then, in addition to peace and joy, Jesus also brings the gift of mission to the disciples. He says to them: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (v. 21). Jesus’ Resurrection is the beginning of a new dynamism of love, capable of transforming the world with the presence of the Holy Spirit. This second Sunday of Easter, we are invited to approach Christ with faith, opening our heart to peace, joy and the mission. But let us not forget Jesus’ wounds because from them come peace, joy and the strength for the mission. Let us entrust this prayer to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.” Pope Francis – Angelus, Divine Mercy Sunday – 28 April 2019

Updates, resources and ideas Thurs 16th April

Music: A recommendation from Fr Jeremy this morning. On Easter Sunday, Andrea Bocelli sang “Music for Hope” in the empty cathedral of Milan. The pieces include Panis Angelicus and Bach’s Ave Maria.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huTUOek4LgU&feature=youtu.be It is the biggest ever classical live stream, with more than 28 million views from across the globe in its first 24 hours. 

Children: Our new Easter story resource is designed for children who prefer the Bible in plain English words and pictures; with a character code to help bring the stories to life.https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/easter-focus/the-easter-story-in-plain-english/

Art: In case you missed it, more discussion and reflection with Lynne Handley and Fr Chris Whitehead on the cbcew website. The selection for Easter Sunday was a painting by the famous Venetian artist Titian from around 1514. It’s called “Noli me tangere” – a translation that literally means “touch me not”. It’s the Latin translation of the words spoken, according to St John’s Gospel, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognised him after his resurrection despite first mistaking him for a gardener.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/holy-week-at-home/easter-sunday/noli-me-tangere/

Art: You can catch Lynne Handley’s “Elevenses” at 11.00am, live on Instagram. Find her via https://arttoursbeyondthepalette.co.uk/

Schools: https://cliftondiocese.com/news/prior-park-college-have-made-500-single-use-face-visors-with-cardboard-head-bands-for-the-ruh/

Updates, idea and resources Wed 15th April

Fr Richard Rohr on YouTube: What is Contemplative Prayer and Why is it so Needed? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0o5J0-8OA0: Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and self-emptying, expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.If you have not come across Fr Richard before, then you are in for a treat. The link takes you to yesterday’s sermon “Why suffering?” https://cac.org/why-suffering-2020-04-14/

Pope Francis: As he began Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Easter Tuesday, Pope Francis prayed that God might give us the grace of unity. “In these difficult times, may He allow us to discover the communion that binds us and the unity which is always greater than any division.” https://www.cbcew.org.uk/pope-may-difficulties-lead-to-unity/

Message from SPUC: Please pray for an end to abortion on the anniversary of the implementation of the Abortion Act, which took place on 27 April 1968. This has resulted in the deaths of 9 million unborn babies in the UK.  SPUC usually marks this tragic date with a roadside witness; our Pro-Life Chains. This year we cannot go outside, so instead of a Pro-Life Chain outdoors at the roadside, please join in SPUC’s indoor Pro-Life Prayer Chain. Stay indoors to pray for an end to abortion. Please commit to praying for an end to abortion on Monday 27 April 2020. We want to cover the country in prayer for unborn babies and their mothers. To achieve this, we are asking people to make a commitment to pray by going to our website here: https://www.spuc.org.uk/Get-Involved/Campaigns/Pro-Life-Prayer-Chain-2020 and filling out the form to let us know that they will take part in the Pro-Life Prayer Chain.

Updates, idea and resources Tues 14th April

Photos: I uploaded some photos of the church and the parish onto the parish website at the weekend, with varying degrees of success. Have a look on the news and events page for the new gallery, to which more will be added.

Stations of the Cross: Lent and Holy Week may be over but we are still in a state of lockdown. Praying the Stations of the Cross with Cardinal Vincent may be of some comfort, knowing that resurrection comes at the end. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/holy-week-at-home/good-friday/stations-of-cross/

Bath Foodbank: The Foodbank centres have closed as the volunteers have moved to a delivery service instead. They need: Cereal, Baked Beans, Tomatoes, Tinned Vegetables, Tinned Meat, Tinned Fish, Tinned/Packet Soup, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, UHT Milk, Long life Juice, Chocolate, Biscuits, Tinned Fruit, Rice pudding, Instant mash, Coffee, handwash/soap, Shower gel. Supermarkets are the only place where food donations can be made, and they continue to collect and distribute food kindly given in this way. They are not able to accept donations at any of our sites at this time.  If you have a large donation of physical items they may be able to arrange collection so please get in touch to discuss. Financial donations are welcomed and may be an easier way for you to support them at this time.  You can make a financial donation by clicking here. https://bath.foodbank.org.uk/coronavirus/

Animal fun: If you, or someone small, need something to make you smile this morning, check out the Wintershall donkeys. They are used in all their plays, from the Passion of Jesus to the Nativity at Christmas time. https://youtu.be/GmBvxo7O8dk

Music: I know Palm Sunday was last week but if you still need something to make you smile then look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_qifyAll7U

Art: Have a look at the wonderful “Supper at Emmaus” courtesy of the National Gallery. There is also a videoed talk about Caravaggio in relation to the art work https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/michelangelo-merisi-da-caravaggio-the-supper-at-emmaus

Updates, resources and ideas Thurs 9th April

Maundy Thursday: You can pray along with the Mass of the Last Supper. Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrates the Mass of the Last Supper – live stream from St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham at 7.30pm. After the Mass of the Lord’s Supper this evening the Blessed Sacrament will be reserved in the Tabernacle at St Chad’s Cathedral for Watching and this will be the live stream focus for Catholics throughout England and Wales.   https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/Event/mass-of-the-last-supper?fbclid=IwAR1hK2ys5YEh1OaDDoXJt1MH0wdcQlaD5fhmgau2HzZwiJk-cihzdjmhUp4

Bishop Declan’s Easter Message: Bishop Declan has recorded his Easter message in which he reminds us that although not able to go to church, we need to remind ourselves that we are Church.  In our homes Christ is always present even if we are not always present to him.  Jesus promised never to leave us.  We may not be able to gather as a parish family or the diocesan one, but we can gather in our homes as the domestic Church.  Our homes are varied and so is the Church because in the Church all people should find a home.  No one should feel excluded because Christ came to reconcile us to the Father and to one another.  At the beginning of Lent we were reminded that we are ambassadors for Christ and our message is:  be reconciled to God. https://vimeo.com/405153806

Message from Alessia Dini: I am writing with the sad news that Father John Murphy OMI, former Parish Priest of Kingswood, died yesterday morning in Dublin aged 94. Please remember Father Murphy in your prayers.

Message from Bishop Declan: I have been asked by Bishop Richard Moth and Bishop Paul Mason to circulate the link below which is a letter from Ruth May (Chief Nursing Officer) and Professor Stephen Powis (National Medical Director) regarding the equality of the basis of treatment for people approaching the NHS at this time. https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/maintaining-standards-pressurised-circumstances/

Fr Jeremy:  Fr Jeremy has kindly prepared a short reflection on Holy Thursday for children. Please do share this with the children and take time to discuss some of the key points, especially if your child has started the Holy Communion preparation programme. https://www.facebook.com/stmarysbath/videos/2497595343811909

BathCAN: There has never been a need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST+ Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by clicking below there will be bit.ly/50DOP

Updates, resources and ideas Wed 8th April

One Good Friday/ Wintershall Livestream 10 April 2020 The Passion of Jesus and One Good Friday story will be available online on Good Friday 10th April 2020 at 12pm and 3pm. Due to being unable to perform live in Trafalgar Square (or in Bath) Wintershall will livestream, through their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Wintershallplay  Filmed without an audience, the recording will also include interviews with cast members and testimonies from One Good Friday organisers about their Passion 2020 journey. Once the livestreams are completed the footage will then be loaded onto YouTube and will be available on the Passion London page: https://www.wintershall.org.uk/passion-jesus-london  under ‘Media Gallery’.

A message from the Safeguarding office: You will, no doubt, have heard on the news concerns about an increase in Domestic Violence due to the current situation. This is due to people being  indoors with each other far longer than normal. People living in enforced close proximity can lead to increased tension. Please share these numbers so someone in need can find them.

WomansAid National  Domestic Violence Helpline  0808 2000 247

The mix Advice  for the under 25yrs. 0808 808 4994

Advice for Male Victims of  Domestic   Violence  0808 8801 0327

Childline Deals with a vast variety of children concerns including Domestic Violence. 0800 1111

https://www.csas.uk.net/wpcontent/uploads/2018/05/Guidance-Supporting-people-who-may-be-experiencing-domestic-violence.pdf

CHRISTIANS UNITE AGAINST COVID-19 Let’s cover our city and nation and world in prayer with Virtual 24-7 Prayer. Do it from your home and cover Bath in prayer constantly http://bit.ly/BathprayCovid19 Go to the website and sign in for a slot.

Liturgy: The Clifton Diocese website has put all their Holy Week information onto one page https://cliftondiocese.com/holy-week/ as has the website of the Bishops of England and Wales https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/holy-week-at-home/

Margaret “Gig” Barker Benson RIP Her committal takes place at Haycombe today. Please pray for her nieces at this difficult time.

Chrism Mass Thinking ahead to next Easter, consider going to Clifton Cathedral for the Chrism Mass on the Wednesday of Holy Week. The deanery puts on a coach for parishioners to travel together from St John’s Church. It is one of the few opportunities to see the majority of the priests of our diocese all together for Mass, and many of the parishioners from around the diocese. My children love it, and are finding it odd that we are not going this year.

Events

Monthly Mass for LGBT+ Catholics 3rd Sunday of the month - restarted 16th Aug

A monthly Mass for LGBT+ Catholics, families & friends.

All welcome. A Clifton Diocese Initiative 3.00pm followed by refreshments & social.

St Nicholas of Tolentino Church, Lawford’s Gate, Easton, Bristol, BS5 ORE http://www.tolentino.org.uk

**SUSPENDED** Signed Mass with the Catholic Deaf Association 2nd Sunday of the month
SIGNED MASS WITH THE CATHOLIC DEAF ASSOCIATION

Every Second Sunday of the Month at 3pm followed by refreshments
At St. Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church, Lawford’s Gate, Bristol, BS5 0RE

https://tolentino.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Signed-mass.pdf