News

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

Suggestions from Bishop Declan for celebrating Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday at home

Suggestions from Bishop Declan for celebrating Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday at home
These suggestions are offered as a starting point for us to think about how we might celebrate at home, according to our own circumstances. It is also an encouragement to be imaginative and meaningful for the circumstances in which we find ourselves. If you are alone, and many will be, know that you are united with others doing the same. We are united in the love God has for us all as we find a new way of being Church at this time.

Holy Thursday 9 April 2020

At sunset or early evening have a simple meal together, including bread and wine, if possible.
Beforehand, maybe earlier in the day, read 1Corinthians 11:23-26 and John 13:1-15. During the course of the meal talk about what Jesus was doing when he was celebrating the Passover. Talk together on what the washing of the feet in John’s gospel means for us today, in how we show love for one another. It might be possible to choose a specific act you could engage in over the Easter period, eg contribute to a food bank or charity, write or phone someone, make it a unique gesture that suits your family, or your circumstances.
Finish with a prayer thanking God for all we have been given.

Good Friday 10 April 2020
At 3pm, if possible, gather together with a cross in the middle of the gathering. Read together,
John 18:1-19:42. (If children are present tell the story in an age appropriate way rather than reading the text.) Spend some time quietly and pray for the pain and suffering of our world. Depending on how many are there, it might be good to encourage everyone to share and pray for where they see suffering at present.
Finish with an Our Father.

Easter Sunday 12 April 2020
As early in the morning as is possible for you make and have a very special breakfast. Decorate the table, including in the decorations a symbol of new life, possibly a plant, and home baked bread.
Read, Matthew 28:1-10 either before breakfast or during it.
Finish with a prayer asking God to enable us to live “Do not be afraid…”

Monday 23rd's online resources and ideas

Message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols

https://rcdow.org.uk/cardinal/homilies/pastoral-letter-for-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-2020/?fbclid=IwAR06aufAj7jpKKhbiJLFN7Q-ucgYYYZnz8o8wgbaOQlD_Kq6BPMFAoN7www

Scripture reflections: These reflections on the scripture readings for each week are written especially for scripture prayer groups (called Prego) in North Wales as part of St Beuno’s Outreach. The groups follow Ignatian methods of prayer, but the reflections can be used by anyone, either individually, or in groups, to deepen their prayer life, consider the Liturgy of the Word, prepare for the Sunday Mass, or if they cannot get to Mass for any reason. A new reflection sheet, written and designed by the St Beuno’s Outreach group, is published each week for the following Sunday. These leaflets have been found to be of great use to many people in different pastoral situations all over the world.
https://www.pathwaystogod.org/my-prayer-life/sunday

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

Mass Online: You are invited to join Bishop Barron online for daily Mass from Bishop Barron’s chapel, celebrated either by Bishop Barron himself or by Fr. Steve Grunow, CEO of Word on Fire. The video will be posted below at 8:15am ET each day. Finally, please continue to pray for all those affected by the coronavirus. https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/

Family ideas: One family (2 parents, three children 11-15) used the www.cbcew.org.uk Spiritual Communion sheet yesterday. They printed the sheets for each of them, took turns to say the readings of the day (using our missal), and discussed what they were doing at every stage. It was very moving and the children were surprised by how much they enjoyed it. Last night they followed Pope Francis request to pray the Rosary each night, again, discussing what they were doing and why as they went along. It is not something they are all familiar with so they started small with one decade and focused on the first Sorrowful Mystery. 

Suspension of all public acts of worship UPDATED 23RD MARCH

**Unfortunately, due to the new rules put in place by the Government tonight, 23rd March, we will be unable to continue to open the church for individual prayer for at least the next three weeks. We realise this will be upsetting, but please take advantage of all the ways to pray at home for the end of the pandemic.**

A letter from the President and Vice-President on behalf of all the Bishops of the Conference

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.

Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.

However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.

Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.

We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.

You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take here:

When Mass cannot be celebrated publicly, your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.

The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.

During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.

‘The Lord is my shepherd,
There is nothing I shall want.’
May God bless us all.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols
President of the Bishops’ Conference

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference

Deaths in the parish w/b 23rd March

Parishioner Roger Coghill died last night (Tuesday 24th March). Please pray for his family for his loss, and also because of the difficulty of arranging funerals at this time.

We are saddened to announce the death of Margaret (Gig) Barker-Benfield RIP, who died on Saturday 14th March. Her funeral will take place privately at Haycombe on April 8th.

We are also sorry to announce the death of Anne Howard RIP, who died on  Monday 16th March.

While neither death was unexpected, it is always sobering to lose members of our parish community.

May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God,

rest in peace.

Amen

ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION

ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
2020 is the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini, Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ & the 1,600th anniversary of St Jerome’s death. These dates inspired the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales to dedicate 2020 to focus on the Bible & ‘The God Who Speaks’.

The following can all be found on https://cliftondiocese.com/the-god-who-speaks/

*Fr Nicholas King talks about Matthew’s Infancy narratives

*Each month, a different person will give their personal reflection on a favourite passage from Matthew’s Gospel. This month the Reflection is from Sr Elizabeth Mary from the Monastery of Our Lady & St Bernard, Brownshill, Stroud

*Three Lenten Narratives from the Gospel of John: As we enter the heart of Lent, Fr Denis McBride offers us four talks based on the three key gospel stories of John, which lie at the core of the Lenten story in Year A. Fr. Denis begins with an introduction & then speaks at greater length on ‘The Woman at the Well’, ‘The Man Born Blind’ & ‘The Raising of Lazarus’.
***
Throughout the year, the website for the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales will have a different monthly focus to help explore our three themes; celebrating, living & sharing God’s word.
Focus for March: scripture & disability www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/focus/
***
Mass Online For those who may not come to church due to the coronavirus restrictions, please visit https://mass-online.org/daily-holy-mass-live-online/ This website was created for the sick, home bound & for those who, due to other important reasons, could not go to Mass; or those who, due to their locations, do not have Churches to go to.
***
The Taize community is broadcasting evening prayer live from the community in France every day at 7.30pm on www.taizefr. Also available at any time on https://www.facebook.com/taize
***
Use Universalis.com for The Liturgy of the Hours. It is a prayer resource of the Christian Church, with prayers, psalms & readings for each of the Hours, changing each day & through the seasons. The Lord has commanded us to pray without ceasing, & this is what the Hours help us do.
***
Pope Francis & the Vatican have cancelled all public masses. However the Pope’s daily Masses at Casa Santa Marta & the Sunday Angelus are being streamed live on the Vatican’s YouTube channel “Vatican News”. No need to watch live, tune in at any time.

One Good Friday Update – 16th March, 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19)

One Good Friday Update – 16th March, 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dear Friends,

The core team for One Good Friday Bath met today to discuss Coronavirus and what our response should be.

It is with a heavy heart, while at the same time convinced that we are doing the right thing, that we are announcing that One Good Friday Bath will not be taking place this year. We have instead decided to postpone it until Good Friday next year (2nd April 2021).

I know how much effort you have all put into praying and publicising this and we have been so humbled by the way that you have stepped up to give financially too. Please note the language is that this is a postponement and not a cancellation. We will be back!!

One of the purposes of the production was to bring the churches in Bath together under a shared vision and we are so thankful to God for how he has used and continues to use OGF for this.

More information will of course follow in due course but please in the meantime stay connected and continue to lift up the name of Jesus across our city and beyond.

Every blessing,

Kenny Nelson (on behalf of the One Good Friday Core Team)

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.

Events

Pondering the Gospel **SUSPENDED**

Mon 16th March Pondering the Gospel 3-4pm with coffee/tea at 2.45pm, St. John’s lower ground-floor rooms (bottom of the stairs to the lower car park). We are a small, friendly & gentle group who use a “Lectio Divina” method to ponder the Gospel for the following Sunday, just as the Bishop encouraged us to do in his recent Pastoral Letter. During Lent, we will meet on every Monday not just fortnightly. We are delighted to welcome anyone especially those who have not tried this method previously. Info. Patrick 07966 366731 or Graham 07889 495419.

**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

**SUSPENDED** Monthly Mass for LGBT+ Catholics 3rd Sunday of the month

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

PARISH VISITATION by Bishop Declan Sun 21st June

PARISH VISITATION by Bishop Declan  SUNDAY 21ST JUNE
Bishop Declan has begun a cycle of formal visits to the Bath deanery parishes. He will be here for both morning Masses. There will be a gathering with the Bishop after each Mass, giving him chance to listen to us as well as chance for us to listen to him.

Deanery Confirmation classes begin Sept 15th

Save the date! Bishop Declan will celebrate the Deanery Confirmation Mass at St Mary’s Church, Julian Road, Bath on Thurs 12th Nov at 7.00pm. The Confirmation programme for young people in Years 9-13 will start on Sept 15th at St Mary’s. Application forms will be available from our website, St Gregory’s School and all the parishes in the Deanery after Easter.
Info: Charlotte Boyall in the Parish Office or Matt Robinson, Chaplain at St Gregory’s.