Lent Prayer Diary 2024
This year we are praying together for all those charities, groups, businesses, and other organisations that help to transform the lives of individuals and families living in the Bath area.
The first diary entry is for Tuesday 13th February (shrove Tuesday). We’re praying for the Prayer gathering at the Abbey that evening.. We hope to see you there.
We pray for a blessing on all our preparations for Lent and Easter.
The BathCAN Team
Jobs at St Michael's Without, Bath
Jobs at St Michael’s Without, Bath: We are currently seeking enthusiastic paid team members to join our dynamic staff team, specifically within our café, hospitality and events team and within the Church office. If you possess the skills, dedication, and enthusiasm that we are seeking, we would be thrilled to welcome you on board! We currently have openings for the following positions:
1. Cafe Manager
2. Cafe Staff – part-time
3. Events Team – casual
4. Assistant Book Keeper/Administrator – part-time
Click on the link to find all the information
We have lots of lost property. If you think one or more of these items are yours, you can collect from the Parish Office (check the bulletin for opening hours).
Banns: Bellacomo - Monaca
Assisted Dying - help needed today!
Next Wednesday (24th Jan) Kit Malthouse MP will table a ten-minute rule bill. The details of this are not yet known, but it is likely to say in effect that the House of Commons wishes that there should be legislation to allow assisted suicide and/or euthanasia. If you are against such a change in the law, and the Catholic Church is adamantly opposed to it, you should send an email immediately to your MP asking that they vote against Kit Malthouse’s bill. Use this link to find your MP: https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons
Unsure what to say? You could consult written evidence submitted by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to the inquiry of the Health & Social Care Select Committee:https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/116941/pdf/
Alternatively, parishioner Dr. Julian Hughes would be happy to provide you with a key facts sheet from which you could draw to make the case to your MP (please feel free to contact Julian: firstname.lastname@example.org). Julian recently wrote an article about assisted suicide which can be accessed here: https://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/23897/assisted-dying-no-laughing-matter .
Ammerdown newsletter January: Events 2024
On behalf of everyone here at Ammerdown, please permit me to say “Happy New Year!” and to share five events which may be of particular interest to your families, friends, congregations and communities. For more details (including dates and prices) please see Ammerdown email 16.1.24
Online Lenten Bible Study with Rupert Kaye – Act on Poverty
MORNING SESSIONS, 10-11am: https://www.ammerdown.org/WhatsOn/1132-/Lenten-Bible-Study-Morning-Zoom
EVENING SESSIONS, 7-8pm: https://www.ammerdown.org/WhatsOn/1404-/Lenten-Bible-Study-Evening-Zoom
Lenten Retreat @ Ammerdown with Dave Tomlinson – OMG! A Bad Christian’s Guide to Prayer
Holy Week Quiet Day @ Ammerdown with Rev Narinder Tegally
Easter Retreat @ Ammerdown with Rupert Kaye – Turn Your Life Around!
Christmas House Party @ Ammerdown with Rupert Kaye
LGBT+ news and events
Pope Francis’ Blessing Document Revolutionizes All Pastoral Care https://www.newwaysministry.org/2024/01/02/pope-francis-blessing-document-revolutionizes-all-pastoral-care/
Top Cardinal Responds to Global Bishops’ Swift Criticism of Blessings Declaration https://www.newwaysministry.org/2023/12/27/top-cardinal-responds-to-global-bishops-swift-criticism-of-blessings-declaration/
What’s Wrong With Pope Francis’ Same-Gender Blessings Support? https://www.newwaysministry.org/2023/11/07/whats-wrong-about-pope-francis-same-gender-blessings-support/
"Assisted Dying - No laughing matter" article - Julian Hughes
Julian Hughes, one of our parishioners, has written a powerful article on the topic of assisted dying for The Tablet. It is called “Assisted Dying – No laughing matter”. Please read this. Julian is very happy to talk to anyone about the issues raised, and you can contact him through the parish office.
Prayers for Bath Monday 22nd January
World Leprosy Day 28th January
WORLD LEPROSY DAY 2024
On Sunday 28th January 2024, we mark World Leprosy Day and the John Bradburne Memorial Society is asking for your kind donations. The John Bradburne Memorial Society (JBMS) endeavours to continue and uphold the legacy of John Bradburne, ‘Servant of God’ who was a Franciscan layman, who cared for the leprosy patients living at the Mutemwa Leprosy Care Centre in Zimbabwe for the last 10 years of his life until he was murdered. JBMS helps to provide essential items to the community at Mutemwa.
Leprosy is a curable disease, but unfortunately the stigma and lack of education associated with the disease, means people do not get treated early enough to prevent the development of disabilities. Together with your kind support and prayers we continue our promise to uphold John Bradburne’s legacy in supporting those living at Mutemwa with leprosy.
POST: JBMS, PO Box 32, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0YB
TEL: (+44) 07979 187498
Bishop Declan's Pastoral letter for the Feast of the Holy Family 2023
Hear and watch Bishop Declan read his Pastoral letter for the Feast of the Holy Family 2023 here https://cliftondiocese.com/bishop/
First Holy Communion 2024
St Mary’s First Holy Communion 2024
The preparation course starts on 10th Jan with a session for parents at the Parish Centre. The course is aimed at children in Y3-6 using “I Belong” materials. We also recommend reading “YOUCAT for Kids: Catholic Catechism for Children and Parents” as a family www.youcat.org/y4k There are two courses, running in parallel: one at St Mary’s school for pupils, and one on Sundays after 10.30am Mass for children at other schools. Details and application forms are available at the back of the church, on the website and through St Mary’s School.
*Introduction session for parents: Wed 10th Jan, 7.00pm, Parish Centre. You will be able to buy an “I Belong” book at the session for £8.00 (please bring cash).
LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY
LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY: Across 2024 there is an opportunity to grow in our understanding of prayer
and flourish in our ways of praying. Beginning in January and stretching out across the entire year, each month will
draw us into nearness to the Lord through opening us up to the prayer of some of the great ‘pray-ers’ of our faith.
They will share with us their wisdom and their experience of their prayerful friendship with Christ and offer us ways
of praying and insights into a deepened relationship with the Father. St Therese of Lisieux says: For me, prayer is a
surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy. Each talk may well take place in St John’s church, South Parade, Bath and will begin at 7.00pm.
Tuesday 23 January: Lord teach us to pray – how we pray (Fr Tom Dubois)
Tuesday 20 February: The prayer of Jesus (Fr Dermot Power)
Tuesday 30 April: The prayer of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (Fr John Udris)
Tuesday 28 May: The prayer of St Benedict (Fr Mark Hargreaves OSB)
Tuesday 25 June: The prayer of St Dominic (Sr Hyacinthe and the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph)
Tuesday 23 July: Windows on the Divine – praying with icons (Tamara Penwell)
Tuesday 24 September: The prayer of St Francis and St Clare (Friar Maximilian Martin, OFM Conv)
Tuesday 29 October: The prayer of Carmel (Fr Michael McAndrew)
Tuesday 26 November: The prayer of St Ignatius (Fr James Hanvey SJ). A great way to journey towards the Holy Year
Synod: Synthesis Report Rome 2023
Sarah Adams, Director for the Department of Adult Education and Evangelisation for Clifton Diocese
“As you will no doubt be aware, the Synod in Rome concluded at the end of October. Here is a copy of the synthesis that was agreed in the final session when it was read to all those participating in Rome. Synthesis Report Rome 2023 It took 3.5 hours and each paragraph had to be voted on. The vast majority received a 90-95% affirmation. The section which received the most no votes was the section on the role of women as deacons. 20% of the votes did not agree here. The whole synthesis makes for interesting reading and has 81 proposals and around 20 calls for theological, canonical, and pastoral commissions to clarify and propose solutions.
Once more we will be encouraged to continue the Conversations in the Spirit that we started having when we first engaged with the Synodal process. This is how the Synod in Rome worked. We have to discern best to do that, but we will be encouraging you to have such conversations in your parishes and with the groups you are associated with. Until we have discerned how we might do this, can I encourage you take some time to read the synthesis report and begin to reflect on a personal level with what you read.
Please do be alert to communications from our department regarding how we will progress with the report and respond to any requests we receive from the Bishops.
Synod Experience Day 11th November
LAST REMAINING PLACES
SYNOD EXPERIENCE DAY Sat 11th Nov 10.00am-4.00pm
Join us for this life-affirming day! To see what this is about, watch Timothy Radcliffe OP’s brilliant, inspirational, wise talk given to the global synod delegates in Rome: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2023-10/synod-retreat-meditation-conversation-on-the-way-to-emmaus.html
The day will enable you to:
· Find out what the word ‘synod’ means and why it is so important for our church’s future
· Hear from a key participant at the global synod, what has been revealed by it
· Experience the synodal approach for yourself and feel the difference it makes
· Speak your own truth on church topics that matter, and feel you’ve really been heard
· Get to know other church members in surprising depth, remarkably swiftly
The day will be led by AUSTEN IVEREIGH, biographer and friend of Pope Francis, freshly returned from the Rome Synod.
Check out his website: www.austeni.org/home
Email email@example.com to reserve. NOW!
Don't forget the Holy Spirit!
Fr Matt Anscombe of our diocese has written a book called ‘Don’t Forget the Holy Spirit’. He shares personal testimony and considers the difference the Holy Spirit makes in our lives of faith. Further details, recommendations and a link to buy the book can be found on his website www.dftholyspirit.com It is also available on Amazon. Cost £10 (+P&P). Fr Matt Anscombe’s book is also on sale after Mass (£10) or from the Parish Office.
*Fri 24th Nov “Don’t Forget the Holy Spirit” evening at St Mary’s with Fr Matt Anscombe, 7.00-9.00pm: Mass, testimony, teaching, discussion and prayer based on Fr Matt’s experiences with the Holy Spirit, detailed in his book.
*St Mary’s “Don’t Forget the Holy Spirit” Zoom Book Club Thursdays 7.30-9.00pm 3 chapters per meeting ending just before Fr. Matt’s visit on Fri 24th Nov. We spend the time sharing on the Reflections & Discussions from the 3 chapters. Next meeting 19th Oct Ch.10-12 To join, click here
Meeting ID: 864 5062 1958 Passcode: 222222
*Arising out of the Book Club is a “Come Holy Spirit” section on the parish website under “Prayer and Spirituality” in Parish Life . We discussed how Catholics are not always confident in talking about their own religious experiences, unlike some other Christian denominations. Thus, we have created a online way to start. Parishioners can add testimony of experiences of the Holy Spirit moving in their life, in whatever form (for example prayers answered, guidance given, miracle healing, a sense of belonging). The purpose is to give witness to the power of the Holy Spirit in everyday life, and that it is not confined to the Bible. Talk to Fr Jeremy and consider what you might add.
SVP Cheese and wine evening with art exhibition Sunday 8th October
Our Synod Journey - St Mary's Parish
OUR SYNOD JOURNEY
Led by Pope Francis, the global synod in Rome is fast-approaching: 400 or so ordained and lay, men and women, are gathering to experience how deep listening to one another enables profound discernment, and wise consequent action. Here’s a quote:
…we have experienced the joy expressed in the sincere and respectful encounter between brothers and sisters in the faith: to meet each other is to encounter the Lord who is in our midst!
This is true for every part of the Catholic Church – including Clifton diocese, including St Mary’s! Our local synod-based explorations continue apace. Here’s what’s happening:
ST MARY’S SYNOD GROUP Wednesday 6th September 7.15 for 7.30 – 9.00 (then fortnightly)
Join us for this first gathering where we will refresh what it means to hold “Conversations in the Spirit”. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you hope to be with us.
HARVEST SUPPER Saturday 30th September 7pm
Gathering us together to celebrate Creation and the feast day of St Francis
BRING AND SHARE SIMPLE SUPPER
SYNOD EXPERIENCE DAY Saturday 11th November 10-4 (precise timing tbc)
- Bath welcomes AUSTEN IVEREIGH, freshly returned from the Rome Synod
- Check out his website: https://www.austeni.org/home
- A day experiencing synodal “Conversation in the Spirit”
- COME AND BE PART OF THIS GLOBAL SHIFT IN THE CHURCH
- Explore key elements of our parish life
- PLACES ARE LIMITED – RESERVE NOW
- Email email@example.com
We are the People of God - Journeying Together from Vision into Action
Season of Creation: 1st September Care of Creation Rosary
The Season of Creation begins on Friday 1st September, and Pope Francis has called for it to be a World Day of Prayer for Creation. Therefore, after 10.00am Mass at St Mary’s (10.30am) Fr Jeremy asks that we pray the Rosary in the church, using the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary for the care of creation. Parishioners will read special reflections from CAFOD on creation in between each decade of the Rosary. Everyone is welcome to join us.
If you are unable to leave the house, you can take part via our livestream. You can follow the reflections using the link to the CAFOD website or if you are work during the day, you can use CAFOD’s Rosary podcast to pray in the evening:
St Mary’s Synod experience day 11th November
SYNOD EXPERIENCE DAY, St Mary’s Church, Bath
Saturday 11th November 10am-4.00pm (timings tbc)
*Bath welcomes AUSTEN IVEREIGH, freshly returned from the Rome Synod.
*Check out his website: https://www.austeni.org/home
*A day experiencing synodal “Conversation in the Spirit”
*COME AND BE PART OF THIS GLOBAL SHIFT IN THE CHURCH
*Explore key elements of our parish life
*PLACES ARE LIMITED – RESERVE NOW
Gift Aid – Changes
Gift Aid – Changes
A big thank you to all who gift aid their donations here at St Marys. This is a very important income stream for the Parish and at no additional cost to the Donor.
The gift aid process is transferring from the Diocese to the Parish. The Parish will administer the gift aid process.
Here is what we need to do;
EXISTING gift aid donors will receive a letter from the Diocese with the instructions on how to transfer their donation from the Diocese to St Marys Parish.
NEW gift aid donations. There are forms at the back of the Church to complete and hand it to one of the Ushers. It only takes a few minutes, but if you do have the time please take a form with you and send it into the Parish Office.
One Off Donations with gift aid. There are envelopes for your donation at the back of the Church. Complete the information on the front of the envelope and hand it to Fr Jeremy or one of the Ushers.
Contactless Giving Terminal. No change as the system will process all the data required. If you have any queries please contact the Parish Office, GA.firstname.lastname@example.org or Treasurer.email@example.com
ST MARY'S ECO GROUP - Next Meeting 14th June
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. Our current volunteers are doing a great job, but need back up. If you are aged 18-70, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about stewarding.
Migration statement from the Bishops of England and Wales
Summary of the Synod Listening Conversations
Film: "A Prayer for 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!
PARISH PANDEMIC PHOTO PROJECT
PARISH PANDEMIC PHOTO PROJECT
We would like to take some photographs as a record of the Pandemic at St Mary’s. Tony McAteer (who has taken many photographs for our parish events, Facebook page, website) will take photographs of parishioners who wish to participate in this after 10.30am Masses for a period, starting 22nd August.
The photographs will be of individuals, or friends, or families wearing their masks in St Mary’s Church. We are keen for as many people as possible to participate as it would be a record and celebration of the continuation of Parish life & community during the Pandemic. Each photograph will only take around 5 minutes.
To meet national safeguarding requirements, you will need to fill in a Consent Form to give permission for you/your family’s photo to be taken, and also for how it may be used. PHOTO-1-Consent-to-the-Safe-Use-of-Images-Form-24.10.18 (1) Please print a form for each person taking part, complete it and bring it with you to church. For those who do not have internet access (or a printer), copies will be available at the back of the church from Sunday 15th August onwards.
St Mary's Synod listening conversations: when and where?
In preparation for the international Synod of Bishops in 2023, Pope Francis wants your input on the topic of “For a Synodal Church, Communion, Participation, and Mission.” Please join Fr. Jeremy for a parish listening session. We want to hear from you on how our parish community can better support you. Invite family, friends, neighbours – we want everyone to participate in these listening sessions.
Statement on Safeguarding
Synod 2021-2023: What is a listening conversation?
SYNOD 2021-2023: Pope Francis invites us all to participate in a world-wide Synod where all are listened to & their thoughts sent to Rome. We invite everyone to speak & to listen in a respectful atmosphere. Participant ground rules are laid out be the Diocese:
“The Synod is a participative and inclusive process of listening and discerning that offers everyone the opportunity to contribute to how the People of God can better “journey together”. Our synodal conversation depends on courage both in speaking and listening. It is not about debate, but about discerning what the Spirit of God may be saying. We believe that God is always present and active in the details of our lives and and that he will reveal his plans and purposes to us if we make the effort to be attentive. It begins with listening.”
Our listening session facilitators will guide our conversations:
*While each person is speaking, the others listen.
*No one may interrupt the speaker or jump in to speak until invited by the facilitator.
Some one will take notes, and these will be anonymous. The notes from all the listening sessions will be summarised into one feedback report. This is to be sent to the Diocesan Synod Team by 28th Feb, who will summarise all the notes and then send them to Rome. Could you volunteer to be a note taker at one of the sessions? Please talk to Fr Jeremy.
If you would like to be part of this and want to know more, look at the resources available on the Diocesan webpage www.clifttondiocese.com
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.
**UPDATE** Refresh, Renew, Re-engage: Six (eleven!) meetings for our Parish
Refresh, Renew, Re-engage: Re-building our parishes after lockdown A collaborative project with the Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation of Clifton Diocese and the Pastoral Ministry Office of Northampton Diocese.
This is a new world we are moving into, full of uncertainties. We don’t know what resources we will have, who will come back to church, or how things will unfold over the next year. It’s looking as if a return to church will be a trickle-back rather than a flood, and we need to make the most of opportunities along the way.
We have two different needs facing us:
- to re-establish our existing communities and ministry groups;
- to reach out to those who have not yet returned and to new people
What we are going to do at St Mary’s: We have been provided with Renew Refresh, Re-engage resource sheets for a variety of different ministries, and webinars to support these started on 6th September. Fr Jeremy is going to use the Renew, Refresh, Re-engage resource sheets as the structure for 6 sessions in the church, open to all parishioners for reflection and an exchange of hopes, concerns and offers of help for the future. This can then help guide the parish over the next year.
When? Thursday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm Where? At the back of the church
**UPDATE:** Due to popular demand, we will be running five parallel meetings on Fridays at 10.45-11.45am at the back of the church, after morning Mass. These will start NEXT Friday 24th Sept for anyone who cannot get to the Thursday meetings.
You can find the resource sheets to accompany each session on the parish website https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/parish-life Everyone is welcome!
Dates for your diary:
- Thurs 16th Sept Parish ministry – What do we want to celebrate? Where are the gaps? Three main priorities moving forward? Parish Ministry overview resource sheet
- Thurs 23rd Sept Invitation – How can we inspire and encourage people to come to church? Invitation sheet
- Thurs 30th Sept Music Ministry – Review, renew, encourage participation by all Music Ministry Resource Sheet
- Thurs 7th October Children’s Liturgy of the Word – Purpose, preparation, catechists, resources and scripture Children’s liturgy resource sheet
- Thurs 14th October Hospitality – Communication, information, welcome, encouraging people to return Hospitality resource sheet
- Thurs 21st October Ministry of the Word – Formation and preparation Readers’ resource sheet
- Friday 24th Sept Parish ministry Parish Ministry overview resource sheet and Invitation Invitation sheet
- Friday 1st Oct: Music Ministry Music Ministry Resource Sheet
- Friday 8th October: Children’s Liturgy of the Word Children’s liturgy resource sheet
- Fri 15th October: Hospitality – Hospitality resource sheet
- Wednesday 20th October: Ministry of the Word Readers’ resource sheet
Please email the parish office Bath.email@example.com if you intend to come to any or all of the Renew Refresh, Re-engage sessions. You are still welcome if you just come along on the day.
Could you be a School Governor?
School Governors: 62 maintained schools in Clifton Diocese educate 21,673 pupils, supported by a ‘volunteer army’ of school governors, including 350 Foundation Governors appointed by Bishop Declan. The Bishop wishes to recruit new candidates to join the governing bodies, to help grow & sustain Catholic education in the Diocese for current & future generations. He has produced a new promotional video where he & current governors & Headteachers, talk about the importance & value of school governors. https://schools.cliftondiocese.com/governance Click on the Recruitment tab to watch the video to discover some of what being a school governor is about. If you could support Catholic education by applying to be a governor, please complete the online application form https://schools.cliftondiocese.com/form-2 or contact Bill McEntee, Governance Officer via firstname.lastname@example.org or call him 07710094976 for more information.
Prayers for Vocations booklet
WHAT IS VOCATION?
Pope St John Paul II reminded us that ‘Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.’ This innate vocation grows in the life of the Christian who ‘walks in the path of a living faith which arouses hope and works through charity.’ As they walk in this path, people hear God calling them into discipleship, a living relationship with the person of Christ, a call that has three dimensions:
The universal call to holiness: God the Father calls people to listen to his Son, to be baptised in the Holy Spirit and to live as disciples of Christ.
This booklet on Vocations contains information about Vocation direction in the Diocese of Clifton and prayers for Vocations.