News

CAFOD Lent Fast Day 26th February

CAFOD Lent-INFO SLIDES[18397]

CAFOD LENT FAST DAY
This year, Lent Fast Day is on Friday 26th February. CAFOD’s focus for this appeal is on Sudan and on providing clean water. Water is a human right. However, in many parts of the world, the poor pay a disportionate price for access to clean water. Collecting water is a time consuming and tiring process. This year, CAFOD share the story of Abdella in Sudan.
https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Family-Fast-Day

There is a Powerpoint presentation attached, shared by Irene Prentice (CAFOD contact at St John’s). It contains a wealth of information about the work of CAFOD and how our donations can help those in need. To donate, please use the CAFOD website https://cafod.org.uk/donations/picker or send a donation to CAFOD, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7JB

Dare to Dream: Lenten reflections from Clifton Diocese starting 14th February

https://cliftondiocese.com/dare-to-dream/

Bishop Declan invites each one of us to take time during this coming Lent to reflect on the life of our Diocese as we move forward out of the pandemic. Inspired by the writings of Pope Francis, ‘Dare to Dream’ encourages us to think about God’s invitation to each one of us to shape the future of the Church, particularly in this corner of the world. Each reflection is accompanied by a video which we encourage you to watch before engaging with the scripture offered. This resource can be used by individuals, by families or by already established on-line parish groups.

As we move towards Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, an introductory session will help to orientate us for the weeks ahead. Dare to Dream – introductory session  Each session has a similar framework to follow. The reflections and videos will appear on the Diocesan Website under the banner – ‘Dare to Dream’.  We are encouraged to read the accompanying resource before we set out on this journey through Lent and later onwards to Eastertide. Dare to Dream 2021 landscape Each new video and reflection will be available on the Friday before each Sunday of Lent.

Taking time during Lent will enable all of us to contribute more fully to the conversations that every deanery will be having to discern how we grow our parishes to be places of mission, serving the poor and responding out of our abundance to the needs of the local community and the wider world.

Mark Cowan RIP - UPDATED 19th February

We are deeply saddened to announce that Mark Cowan, our wonderful sacristan, died on Sunday 31st January. His death is a enormous loss to our parish not just for all the many acts of service that Mark did, fuelled by his strong faith, common sense, and kind & generous heart. Nor will he be missed simply for his practical, compassionate work as an excellent funeral director. We will also miss his dead-pan wit and wry glass-is-half empty sense of humour, his thoughtful counsel & practical solutions. Mark was a good man who did a million things for our parish without fuss or fanfare. Please pray for his family & many friends, who are heartbroken by his death, but know he is pain-free in heaven.

Many thanks to everyone who has sent such kind messages of condolence and sorrow on hearing of Mark Cowan’s untimely death.  You can send cards to Mark’s family c/o Fr Jeremy Rigden at 4 Harley Street, Bath, BA1 2SF. We can also pass on email messages via this email address.

Mark’s funeral Mass will take place in Scotland on Tuesday 23rd February at 10.00am. It will be streamed on the YouTube Channel: CatholicG73. To send flowers, the family suggest you call John on 0141 643 0085 or order from www.mitchellflowers.co.uk If you would prefer to make a donation to Macmillan in Mark’s name, go to www.macmillan.org.uk/donate
There will be a memorial Mass at St Mary’s arranged by his family once the COVID restrictions are lifted enough that many people can take part. Messages of condolence can be sent to The Cowan family c/o 4 Harley St, Bath, BA1 2SF or via the parish office email bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com 

 

JOB: Deputy Headteacher needed at St Gregory's Catholic College

Deputy Headteacher Advert

ST GREGORY’S CATHOLIC COLLEGE, BATH: We require a forward-thinking and inspirational colleague to join our Senior Leadership Team (SLT) from September 2021. The Deputy Headteacher will be instrumental in the strategic management of our school, helping to lead and develop it as a centre for excellence in Catholic secondary education, whilst ensuring the best possible outcomes for all our young people.

Saint Gregory’s is a high performing, oversubscribed, 11-18 co-educational school which has maintained its Outstanding judgement in its most recent Ofsted and Diocesan inspections. Saint Gregory’s is founded on Catholic Christian values and with a strong family and community ethos. These values are the foundation of learning for our students, providing them with an academic start to life that is supportive, nurturing and inspiring.

This is a key senior leadership post within the school supporting the Headteacher to build upon our reputation for academic excellence whilst ensuring the safety, health and happiness of every student is at the core of our purpose. The successful candidate will work across the school to create a common vision of excellence, helping to make Saint Gregory’s a truly exceptional place to learn and work in.

This position is very much about the skills and qualities of the individual and we therefore welcome applications from exceptional and aspiring senior leaders who would like to develop their professional career in a Catholic school and can demonstrate the passion and commitment to make a real, lasting and positive impact upon our school community.

The successful candidate will bring professionalism and academic credibility, balanced with warmth and sensitivity. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of leadership in schools, with the skill to lead by example and inspire others.

In return, the successful candidate can expect to join a committed and experienced senior leadership team who, together with our Governing Body, will provide you with outstanding professional support at every stage of your career. You will also discover a supportive team of teachers and support staff who take great pride in their work and celebrate one another’s success but are always seeking new opportunities to develop their expertise and enhance our educational provision. Finally, you will have the chance to work alongside our amazing, positive and inspirational student body who love learning and deserve the very best in teaching and learning opportunities.


For an open conversation about the role prior to application or to arrange a visit prior to submitting your application, please contact the Headteacher’s PA, Mrs Gormley, by email to gormleys@st-gregorys.org.uk to arrange a suitable time.

We are an equal opportunities employer and are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. We follow safer recruitment practices and appointments are subject to an enhanced DBS check prior of employment. Details of our Child Protection Policy can be found on our website at https://www.st-gregorys.org.uk/useful-information/key-documents/


Contract type: Full time, permanent
Start date: September 2021
Salary: Leadership Scale L20-L24 £67,695-£74,658
Closing date: Sunday 28 February 2021 at midnight
Interviews: Week commencing 8 March 2021

Read more here: https://www.st-gregorys.org.uk/2021/01/deputy-headteacher/ 

Links to Holocaust Memorial Day events, websites, TV programmes & acts of remembrance

Today – Holocaust Memorial Day Wed 27th Jan: Here are a variety of links to events, websites, TV programmes and acts of remembrance that are taking place today. The live events below take place from 3.00pm this afternoon. Please pass the information on.

3.00pm Auschwitz Memorial: On January 27th 1945, the German Nazi concentration and extermination Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was liberated. Today we commemorate the 76th anniversary of this event. WATCH LIVE at 3.00pm GMT: https://www.facebook.com/auschwitzmemorial/posts/10157421175526097 At around 9.00a.m. the first Soviet soldier from a reconnaissance unit of the 100th Infantry Division appeared on the grounds of the prisoners’ infirmary in Monowitz. The entire division arrived half an hour later. The same day a military doctor arrived and began to organize assistance. In the afternoon soldiers of the Red Army entered the vicinity of the Auschwitz main camp and Birkenau. Near the main camp they met resistance from retreating German units. 231 Red Army soldiers died in close combat for the liberation of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Monowitz. Two of them died in front of the gates of Auschwitz main camp. One of them was Lieutenant Gilmudin Badryjewicz Baszirow. The first Red Army troops arrived in Birkenau and Auschwitz at around 3 p.m. and were joyfully greeted by the liberated prisoners. After the removal of mines from the surrounding area, soldiers of the 60th Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front marched into the camp and brought freedom to the prisoners who were still alive. On the grounds of the main camp were 48 corpses and in Birkenau over 600 corpses of male and female prisoners who were shot or died in the last few days. At the time of the Red Army’s arrival there were 7,000 sick and exhausted prisoners in the Auschwitz, Birkenau and Monowitz camps. Online lesson about the evacuation and the liberation of Auschwitz:http://lekcja.auschwitz.org/en_11_wyzwolenie/

6.00pm BathNES Council: An online event which will hear from the son of a man who successfully escaped Nazi persecution is being held to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day next month. BathNES Council and Bath Interfaith Group will hold the webinar on Wednesday 27 January at 6.00pm to mark the international event, which takes place annually on this date to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This year’s theme is ‘be the light in the darkness’. The webinar’s special guests will include Yoav Ben-Shlomo who will talk about his father. He will read from a short account his father wrote about the desperation and help he experienced whilst hiding with his own father to escape Nazi persecution.The event will be hosted by council Leader, Councillor Dine Romero, in partnership with Bath Interfaith Group. You can sign up in advance on Zoom here or watch live on the council’s YouTube channel Read more here: https://newsroom.bathnes.gov.uk/news/how-commemorate-holocaust-memorial-day-bath-and-north-east-somerset

7.00pm St Gregory’s College: Tonight at 7.00pm we are streaming a Holocaust Memorial Prayer Service from St Gregory’s involving staff and students.  Holocaust Memorial Day is usually one of the days in school where we make a huge effort to educate our young people, but also come together in prayer.  Therefore, as an alternative we have put together this service to share the message of ‘light in the darkness’.  It can be accessed via the school website (www.st-gregorys.org.uk  ) and will be approximately 40 minutes long.  We’d like to invite our wider community of Bath to watch along and participate too.

8.00pm Holocaust Memorial Day Trust – action: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. We promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) – the international day on 27 January to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in genocides that followed in CambodiaRwandaBosnia and Darfur. We are asked to light a candle and place it in a window at 8.00pm tonight as a way to remember all those who have died through genocide. https://www.hmd.org.uk/uk-holocaust-memorial-day-2021-ceremony/

9.00pm The Windermere Children BBC4: The moving story of how the friendships formed at a pioneering rehabilitation project in Windermere became a lifeline for child survivors of the Holocaust. A dramatized story of real children, I watched this last year and found it utterly compelling and heartbreaking in equal measure. Read more here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dtcz

10.30pm The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words BBC4: This powerful documentary, which accompanies the BBC Two drama, The Windermere Children, reveals a little-known story of 300 young orphaned Jewish refugees, who began new lives in England’s Lake District in the summer of 1945. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dt7g

11.30pm The Last Survivors BBC2: A landmark documentary about the last survivors of the Holocaust living in Britain today. Read more here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0c1ngrx It is 1.5hrs long so it might be best to record it as it is, again, utterly compelling.

Message from Fr Jeremy about changes to Masses at St Mary's starting 24th January

Dear friends,

Thanks to our generous volunteers, we have so far been able to remain open for our three Sunday Masses and a morning Mass on Wednesdays and Fridays.

However, we have just received further guidance from the Diocese:  “ Volunteers over 60 or in a clinically vulnerable category are to be discouraged from roles incurring higher risk of infection.” Unfortunately, this affects a large number of our volunteers; and so it is necessary, with immediate effect, for us to reduce the Masses which parishioners can attend.

In a recent email, Bishop Declan wrote, “Communal worship is allowed at present so long as certain conditions are observed.  As you know the conditions are to do with social distancing, the wearing of a face cover, communion in the hand, the cleaning of the church between services and the presence of stewards.  In my last letter I emphasised the obligation we have to observe the regulations given by the Government.”  He has also given permission for churches to be closed altogether, where it is felt that those regulations can no longer be followed.

Therefore the church will be open for the 9am and 10.30am Masses on Sundays only. The 5pm Mass will be streamed tomorrow (January 24th) but discontinued thereafter. The Sunday and weekday Masses will be live-streamed as usual at the advertised times, and recordings will also be available afterwards.

Whether you attend Mass in person or join us online, please pray for an end to the pandemic, for all key workers and for those who are most at risk. Please make use of the many resources available online for prayer and reflection.

We will, of course, keep the situation under close review, and adapt accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Fr Jeremy

Prayer from the Mass in time of pandemic

Almighty and eternal God,

our refuge in every danger,

to whom we turn in our distress;

in faith we pray

look with compassion on the afflicted,

grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners,

healing to the sick, peace to the dying,

strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders,

and the courage to reach out to all in love,

so that together we may give glory to your holy name.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Could you be a School Governor?

Could you be a School Governor? Clifton 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. Please visit https://cliftondiocese.com/news/could-you-be-a-school-governor/ for more information and to complete an online nomination form or contact bill.mcentee@cliftondiocese.com or  07710094976 – he would be delighted to hear from you. Your support for our schools would be much appreciated

Book a seat at Mass using the Eventbrite link

Booking your seat at Mass: It is really important that you book a seat before coming to Mass. We have a lot of new people coming to St Mary’s, which is wonderful. Please do not assume that there will be a space for you just because you have been lucky in the past. Our stewards will hate to turn you away, so please use the link to ensure you get a seat. For example, 58 parishioners came to a 10.30am Mass with a possible 60 seats available. However, of that number, 13 people had not booked a seat before arriving.
Click the link and select and book each date in turn.

https://bookmassinadvent.eventbrite.co.uk

https://bookmass-27dec20-19feb21.eventbrite.co.uk 

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.

Changes to coming to Mass during a pandemic

Masses at St Mary’s 

We are very excited that we are allowed to celebrate Mass with a congregation. 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. All Masses are live-streamed via http://www.churchservices.tv/bath

“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.
  • 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 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, by standing order or via Eventbrite.
  • 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.
  • Extraordinary Ministers: We will need only one Eucharistic Minister to assist Fr Jeremy at each Mass.
  • 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/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 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 at least two stewards at each of our Masses. Could you be a steward? If we are unable to maintain enough stewards, we will not be able to have five Masses. We need people who are not in any of the vulnerable categories, live in tier 2, are smiley & welcoming, & are happy to explain all the guidelines to parishioners. Please email the Parish Office bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com asap if you are able to help.
  • All Masses are live-streamed via www.churchservices.tv/bath 

“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.
Statement on Safeguarding
Please read this statement that was issued today (Friday 20th November) by the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales in response to the IICSA report that was published earlier this week.

2020.11.20 – Statement on Safeguarding – FINAL [16475]

UPDATE Live-streamed services from St Mary's: It's here!
Live streaming of Masses from St Mary’s:

***It’s here!  Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to get this far, and to all those who will keep the streaming service up to date. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing costs, you can donate via the PayPal button on the home page of this website or send a cheque payable to “St Mary’s Catholic Church Bath” to Fr J. Rigden, 4 Harley Street, Bath BA1 2SF. ***

You can watch the services via www.churchservices.tv/bath on Sundays 9.00am, and Wednesdays and Fridays at 10.00am. Check the church bulletin for updates on times of Masses.

As the battle with Covid 19 is going to go on much longer than we anticipated, we have decided that we must start streaming our Sunday Masses. This way, parishioners who are shielding or prefer not to come back to church yet will be able to join virtually together with those actually attending. We have contracted with ChurchservicesTV who will install a camera during October.  Our Masses will appear on their website and on our parish website, and will be available to anyone with access to the web. https://www.churchservices.tv/  This company has installed streaming throughout the UK and Ireland and has huge experience; indeed our Cathedral in Clifton uses them. https://www.churchservices.tv/cliftoncathedral

In addition to Sunday Masses, we can also stream weekday Masses, baptisms, funerals and weddings.

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 
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.
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

Thursday 25th February's updates and resources

Coronavirus – European Bishops’ Conferences: Bishops from all over Europe, through their Bishops’ Conferences, will join together during Lent to celebrate a series of Masses and pray for the victims of Covid-19. The continent has suffered over 770,000 deaths from the virus. The initiative, promoted by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), aims to offer a sign of communion and hope for the entire continent. Each nation, or nations in our case, will come together to celebrate Holy Mass on a designated day to be part of this continental prayer network – a Eucharistic chain. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Vice President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, will celebrate a special live-streamed Mass on Tuesday 2nd March 5:30pm in Westminster Cathedral. Bishops across England and Wales will also celebrate Masses in their own dioceses. Since the start of the pandemic, bishops from across Europe have added their voices to that of Pope Francis to reiterate the Church’s closeness to all those struggling with coronavirus – the victims and their families, the sick, health and social care workers, the volunteers and all those on the front line at this challenging time. Read more here: Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

Prayer – BathCAN: PRAY FOR BATH has started !  This year, it’s on a new website, with new prayers and videos every day of Lent.  Sign up now, on www.prayforbath.org.uk This is about praying for our city and the surrounding area, and for our neighbours and our communities, as we face so many needs and as we all support each other and seek the way forwards together. Please be part of this, sign up to receive daily emails, and pray every day with many hundreds of others across our city. The prayers and videos come from people in our churches, our schools, our families, our hospitals, our universities, our projects, our Council…You can contribute your own prayers too, on the website.  Just send them in. The need is great.  Prayer is powerful.

Youth – Million Minutes: Our 10th anniversary year of silence. The world has changed this year and Generation Z will be some of the worst-affected by the impact of Covid-19. Their education, employment and future prospects are all suffering. Their future hopes are being crushed. Yet young people’s voices are not being heard. They are not in the rooms where choices about the future are made.  As a Church we can stand together and look to the future with hope and include all our voices. We can support young people to be prophets of hope and restore our world. This Lent, to mark ten years of Million Minutes, we are creating 1,000,000 minutes of silence:  

–    a deafening ‘noise’ as an act of solidarity with young people

–    reflecting on and praying for young people

–    raising money to help young people be the change they want to see in our world

A ‘Million Minutes of Silence’ is a simple idea – each minute is sponsored to raise money for social action projects supporting young people. Throughout Lent schools, parishes, and individuals will help clock up a million minutes! We want this year to be the biggest year yet, to show our collective support for young people, and to raise at least a million pennies (which is £10,000!) to help young people restore our world. Get involved as an individual, parish, community, or school today. Explore our website and resources at: millionminutes.org/silent. Alternatively, if you feel inspired by our work and feel compelled to give consider donating.  

Wednesday 24th February's updates and resources

Lent – Dare to Dream: Here is the link to this week’s Lenten reflections, video and prayers https://cliftondiocese.com/dare-to-dream/

CAFOD Lent Appeal this Friday February 26th: Abdella lives in an extremely remote and mountainous part of Ethiopia. It takes him ten hours a day to collect water. He says his life is being wasted as he has no time for anything else. Give today to reach vulnerable communities around the world with water and to provide other vital support.  Donate online at cafod.org.uk/lent  You can also give via text. Text LENT to 70460 to donate £10*.  

*Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message you’ll be opting in to hear more about CAFOD’s work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text LENTNOINFO to 70460. For more information, please see CAFOD’s Privacy Policy: cafod.org.uk/Legal-information/Privacy-notice 

Lent – Busted Halo: “A listener named Michelle calls in and asks the popular Lent question: “Do Sundays count during Lent?” Michelle explains that while growing up, her mother told her that Sundays didn’t count during Lent, and you’re allowed to break your Lenten sacrifice for the day. Father Dave asks Michelle what her mother’s reasoning was behind this. Michelle says that it was possibly about the length of Lent.” Read more here  https://bustedhalo.com/podcasts/sundays-count-lent

Podcasts – Journeying with Newman: “John Henry Newman was a pastor, scholar and priest of heroic virtue. These podcasts seek to examine the breadth of Newman’s teaching and preaching by way of reflections from those who have been inspired by and have had their lives touched by Newman”. Listen here:   https://www.cbcew.org.uk/series/journeying-with-newman/

Tuesday 23rd February's updates and resources

Parish – Our sacristan, Mark Cowan RIP: His funeral Mass will take place in Scotland today at 10.00am. It will be streamed on the YouTube Channel: CatholicG73 (St Anthony’s and St Mark’s Rutherglen https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpz_3QFuQegEegvke9UtDtw ) and goes live at 9.50am. If you would prefer to make a donation to Macmillan in Mark’s name, go to www.macmillan.org.uk/donate There will be a memorial Mass at St Mary’s arranged by Mark’s family once the COVID restrictions are lifted enough that many people can take part. Messages of condolence can be sent to The Cowan family c/o 4 Harley St, Bath, BA1 2SF or via the parish office email bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com

Lent – Bishops of England Wales:  Resources for Lent 2021

  • Listening with Love is a resource inviting people to reflect on the impact of abuse on individuals and the Church. Although we’re releasing this material for Lent 2021, it can be used at any time. Read more.
  • The National Office for Vocation (NOV) is encouraging us to listen when God Calls this Lent. God Calls us to himself in a particular way during this special season. Use NOV’s ‘Adventure’ course through the 40 days of Lent to renew your spiritual energy and live this important spiritual season in an intimate journey with Our Lord. More about GodCalls: LENT.
  • CAFOD, our overseas aid and development agency, has an online calendar for Lent 2021 providing the opportunity to reflect, pray and take justice actions. You can also take part in a 40-day Walk for Water to raise money to help end water poverty. 10,000 steps a day – done your way. Read more about CAFOD’s Lent Appeal in Lockdown.
  • Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) is encouraging parishes and groups to consider using ‘Unless the Lord Builds the House’, a study course on housing developed by the Centre for Theology and Community with support from CSAN. More about its work on the national housing emergency.
  • Pray As You Go: You can also use Lent as a heaven-sent opportunity to reflect prayerfully on our recent experience and the difficulties and the possibilities it has set before us. Growing back better – an online Lenten retreat series with Margaret Silf.
Monday 22nd February's updates and resources

CAFOD LENT FAST DAY Friday 26th February:  CAFOD’s focus for this appeal is on Sudan and on providing clean water.  Water is a human right. however, in many parts of the world, the poor pay a disportionate price for access to clean water. Collecting water is a time consuming and tiring process. This year, CAFOD share the story of Abdella in Sudan. https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Family-Fast-Day  There is a Powerpoint presentation on the parish website “News and Events” page, shared by Irene Prentice (CAFOD contact at St John’s). It contains a wealth of information about the work of CAFOD and how our donations can help those in need. To donate, please use the CAFOD website   https://cafod.org.uk/donations/picker or send a donation to CAFOD, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7JB

CAFOD WATER WALK: If you would like to support those raising money for CAFOD via the Water Walk, follow the links to  sponsor St John’s CAFOD contact Irene Prentice https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/irene-prentice11 or former St Mary’s parishioners the McNiff family (Jo, Tony, Felicity, Julian and Leo) https://walk.cafod.org.uk/fundraising/mcnfamily-walking-team

Lent – Bishops of England and Wales: Lent is a 40-day fast — a reference to the time Jesus spent being tempted in the desert. It’s a time when we can prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Christ’s death. Our observance of Lent culminates in the solemn celebrations of Holy Week when on Palm Sunday we follow Christ from his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem to the foot of the Cross as sorrowful bystanders to His Passion, before rolling back the stone of the empty tomb and the joy of the Resurrection. The six-week period, excluding Sundays, is dedicated to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in preparation for this great celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery in the Easter Triduum. Read more here: Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

Thursday 19th February's updates and resources

Stoffel the honey badger: Much in the same vein as the pandas, I present Stoffel. If you see parallels with our own situation, or see him as a metaphor for a locked down society constrained by rules, I suggest you step away from your child’s GCSE English homework and just enjoy him. Stoffel, the honey badger that can escape from anywhere! – BBC – YouTube

Youth Ministry: Are you interested in working with young people in your parish but feel you haven’t the knowledge or skills to do this. If so, then this course may be of interest to you. Equally if you would like to brush on your skills or hear how others are doing the work then this course may also be of interest to you. It’s an on-line course so no travel required! Cost £48.00 for 10 sessions with highly skilled speakers experienced in Youth Ministry. Starts Tuesday 16 March : https://www.castleriggmanor.co.uk/engage

Grief: “Sending condolence cards continues to be one of the primary ways I comfort my mourning relatives, friends, and acquaintances. While it’s never an easy task, keeping the following tips in mind helps me to compose a meaningful and heartfelt note” Read more here: https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/comfort-the-mourning-5-tips-for-writing-a-meaningful-sympathy-note

Fundraising: Saint Rose’s School in Stroud is seeking to raise £1.5 million to build Quentin House, a specially-adapted residential home-from-home for some of its children. Saint Rose’s is unique within our diocese for the help it gives children and young people with complex physical and other needs to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions. Quentin House, named after Sister Quentin, the former long-serving, dedicated and inspirational headteacher, will help Saint Rose’s continue its mission. For more information about this project and how to donate or fundraise please visit https://stroses.org.uk/quentin-house/ or contact the appeals office at the school (01453 763793 ext 225 or gail.mattocks@stroses.org.uk).

Lent – Celebrate At Home: The Celebrate website has a wealth of ideas of ways to pray and praise during Lent. “Welcome to CELEBRATE at Home! This Lent we invite you to choose from some of the ideas below to help your family go deeper with God. Key themes to the season of Lent are: Pray, Fast, Give, so our resources are chosen to help you explore these areas further. Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving are all important in the conversion of our hearts, which St Augustine calls ‘ a shift of love ’ where the heart moves from self-love to self-giving love.” Read more here: CELEBRATE@Home: Lent (squarespace.com)

Wednesday 17th February's updates and resources

Parish: The funeral of Mark Cowan RIP will take place on Tuesday 23rd October in Scotland. His funeral Mass will take place in Scotland on Tuesday 23rd Feb at 10am. It will be streamed on the YouTube Channel: CatholicG73. There will be a memorial  service at St Mary’s arranged by his family once the COVID restrictions are lifted enough that many  people can take part. Messages of condolence can be sent to his family: The Cowan family c/o 4 Harley St, Bath, BA1 2SF or via the parish office email.

Holidays: If you need a sense of calm, and ten days in Bermuda or the Maldives would do nicely, pop this on and listen to the waves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qREKP9oijWI 

Diocese – Alpha Online: “This past year has been like no other in living memory. Our parishes have faced incredible challenges from the suspension of Masses to the disconnection of our communities, priests being isolated from their parishioners, the scaling back and even complete halting of many parish ministries and financial struggles. The idea of doing anything new in this season has just felt daunting, if not impossible. Even in these challenging times, the mission of the Church remains the same – to make disciples of all nations. Jesus hasn’t changed His mind, nor has He left us alone! At Alpha, our mission is to equip the Church in its mission to help people to discover and develop a relationship with Jesus and become His disciples. That’s why over the past year we have developed Alpha Online, a resource which is free, easy to run, connects people and raises up leaders enabling parishes to get back to the mission of the Church at their own pace.

Mike Roche and Jo de Paula from Alpha – Catholic Context UK invite you to join them for a training day on Saturday 6th March 10am-1pm where you can hear more about Alpha Online, how it works, how to invite guests and how to host an online Alpha Day. The training will be on Zoom. You can register for the training day here. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Mike Roche at michael.roche@alpha.org.

BathCAN – Pray for Bath: The new website www.prayforbath.org.uk  is now live.  You can sign up  to receive daily prayers by email.  Prayers for our city, for our institutions, for our communities, focusing on the challenges and opportunities that we all face. As we go through the period of Lent, thousands of us from all our churches will again uphold our city together in prayer at this vital time.

Tuesday 16th February's updates and resources

Holidays: If you were somewhat niggled by the “holidays are on hold indefinitely” rhetoric from last week, you are not alone. Whilst we have to stay at home, order some Cornettos in your online shop and treat yourself to virtual canal boat trip around Venice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riZWEoGKyuU 

Busted Halo: Lent in 3 minutes; a new video for 2021 “What is Lent all about? Why do Christians receive ashes on Ash Wednesday? Why 40 days? If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the right place. In an updated version of our classic video (with a bonus extra minute — because there’s a lot happening here!), Busted Halo explains the significance of this season of prayer, fasting, and giving, and how you can make the most of this time of repentance and renewal. Watch the video herehttps://bustedhalo.com/video/watch-lent-3-minutes

COVID Remembrance service: People across Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire whose loved ones have died during the coronavirus pandemic are being invited to join an online community service of remembrance. The Community Remembering Together Service will be broadcast on Wednesday 24 March at 7pm via the Bath Abbey YouTube channel. RUH Lead Chaplain, the Reverend Narinder Tegally, said: “The service is intended to bring together those within the local community, who follow a professed faith or no faith, to remember all those who have died across Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire and Somerset at the RUH, at Dorothy House, in our local care homes and at home since the virus first arrived last year. Read more: https://bit.ly/2MQpF0A

Diocese – Lourdes Pilgrimage 2021: “It is with regret that we announce that there will be no Diocesan and Catholic Association Pilgrimage to Lourdes this year. The Pilgrimage, which was scheduled for 21-27 August 2021 has been cancelled in light of the on-going effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we will be announcing a schedule for special virtual events throughout 2021 and the virtual Pilgrimage programme very soon. We understand how disappointing this cancellation will be for many of our past pilgrims and those hoping to travel to Lourdes this year. Over the last number of years, we have offered an ‘online presence’ and ‘Virtual Pilgrimage’ experience whilst in Lourdes, where everyone is able to follow the Pilgrimage daily and experience the Homilies and reflections with those in Lourdes, at home. This year we are busy planning some special moments for 2021 that will enable us to still celebrate the miracle of Lourdes. We look forward to welcoming you all to our ‘virtual Pilgrimage’ once again and to our events programme throughout the year. More details will be available on www.cliftondiocese.com soon!”

Monday 15th February's updates and resources

Covid: Vaccination rollout information with a twist https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-56009311

Attached documents: I have attached two flyers. One about the Prayers for Bath event taking place tomorrow evening, and the other about a Lent retreat organized through St Alphege’s. It is called “Mary’s Mantle Consecration” and all the details of how to take part are included in the flyer.

Bishop Declan’s Pastoral letter: This letter was read or broadcast in our churches yesterday: The Pastoral Letter is also available in video and audio form on the following links:

Video: https://vimeo.com/511172534

Video download: https://vimeo.com/user19821482/download/511172534/818e740e84

Audio: https://soundcloud.com/clifton-diocese/pastoral-letter-for-the-sixth-sunday-in-ordinary-time

Also on the website: https://cliftondiocese.com/bishop/

Busted Halo – Ash Wednesday 2021 Covid style:  Father Dave first shares how Ash Wednesday typically works. “At some point during the Mass, the priest blesses the ashes… When the congregation starts coming up he’s got a little bowl, sticks his thumb in and smudges it on your forehead. Then he would either say, ‘Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return’ or ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel.’ This year, the priest will bless the ashes and then say one of those lines to the congregation as a whole, rather than each person individually. And when you come up, they’re going to sprinkle the ashes over your head.” Read more here https://bustedhalo.com/podcasts/father-dave-explains-2021-ash-wednesday-guidelines

Dare to dream – Lenten reflections: Bishop Declan invites each one of us to take time during Lent to reflect on the life of our Diocese as we move forward out of the pandemic. Inspired by the writings of Pope Francis, ‘Dare to Dream’ encourages us to think about God’s invitation to each one of us to shape the future of the Church, particularly in this corner of the world. Each  reflection is accompanied by a video which we are  encouraged to watch before engaging with the scripture offered. This resource can be used by individuals, by families or by already established on-line parish groups. As we approach Ash Wednesday & the start of Lent, an introductory session will help to orientate us for the weeks ahead. Each session has a similar framework to follow. The reflections &  videos will appear on the Diocesan Website under the banner – ‘Dare to Dream’.  We are encouraged to read the accompanying resource before we set out on this journey through Lent & later onwards to Eastertide. Each new video & reflection will be available on the Friday before each Sunday of Lent.

Taking time during Lent will enable all of us to contribute more fully to the conversations that every deanery will be having to discern how we grow our parishes to be places of mission, serving the poor & responding out of our abundance to the needs of the local community & the wider world. ***All the documents are on the parish website under “Dare to Dream: Lenten Reflections” https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/news-events

Thursday 11th February's updates and resources

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes: Fr Liam Slattery at St Peter’s in Gloucester will celebrate a Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and also mark World Day of Prayer for the Sick at 7.00pm on Thursday February 11th. This Mass will be live streamed on the homepage of the Diocesan website: www.cliftondiocese.com. The Catholic Association will follow the mass with a Rosary live streamed on their website at 7.45pm. The details of this will be available soon on the Diocesan website www.cliftondiocese.com

Today – 29th World Day of the Sick on 11 February: In his message for the 29th World Day of the Sick on 11 February, Pope Francis urges a path of healing grounded in a trusting and interpersonal relationship between the sick and those who care for them. “A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love.” Pope Francis makes the point in his message for this year’s World Day of the Sick. Read more here: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/world-day-of-the-sick-pope-urges-trust-based-relationship-in-care-for-the-sick/ 

Half-term activities for children: We cannot go to our usual haunts and the weather is somewhat Baltic. However, Baker Ross have lots of Lent, Holy Week and Easter craft kits for sale (most with up to 43% off) as well as lots of spring-based craft activities. If you have not got school aged children, you might find a good present for a bored niece, nephew or grandchild  Holy Week | Baker Ross

Radio – Covid: Today’s recommendation comes from Fr Jeremy, and is part of a Radio 3 series called “Private Passions”. Rachel Clarke is a doctor who specialises in palliative care. She’s now on the Covid frontline; in March 2020 she moved to Horton General Hospital outside Banbury to care for the most gravely unwell patients on the Covid Wards. She’s the author of three books: the first, about being a junior doctor; the second, which was read on Radio 4, “Dear Life”, about working with the dying, and most recently, “Breath-taking”, which describes in moving detail what it’s been like in hospitals during the pandemic. Read more here and access the radio programme:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000rtx3

Ash Wednesday and Climate Change: Christian Climate Action Bristol will be hosting an Ash Wednesday day of prayer and evening service. “Ash Wednesday Day of Prayer for the Earth, our Common Home” Wednesday 17th February

  1. A day of prayer – From 7.30 am to 6.30 pm we are encouraging people to pray in their homes, or wherever they are.  People can sign up for a one-hour slot on the prayer rota, if you would like to do that please email:  christianclimateactionbristol@gmail.com
  2. An evening service – 6.30-7.30 pm, on Zoom.  An opportunity to come together for an hour to share prayers, readings and silence as we reflect on the Earth, our common home.  Acknowledging the climate and ecological crisis, giving space for repentance and climate grief.  Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, is a good time to consider our failings and pray for the future.  

Register in advance for this service: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEtce6rrzktH9KAmynXhAld8ZE9MLWXodJg After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the service.

 

Wednesday 10th February's updates and resources

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes 11th Feb: Fr Liam Slattery at St Peter’s in Gloucester will celebrate a Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and also mark World Day of Prayer for the Sick at 7.00pm on Thursday February 11th. This Mass will be live streamed on the homepage of the Diocesan website: www.cliftondiocese.com. The Catholic Association will follow the mass with a Rosary live streamed on their website at 7.45pm. The details of this will be available on the Diocesan website www.cliftondiocese.com

Lent – BathCAN Prayer for Bath: For many years, thousands of Christians in Bath have used the annual Pray for Bath booklet during the period of Lent, leading up to Easter.  This year, it will all be online, and you can be part of it.  Look at   of the Pray for Bath website   www.prayforbath.org.uk The full website will go live on Sunday 14 February.  You can sign up then to receive daily prayers by email.  And from now on, send in your prayer requests to prayforbath@bathcan.com : Prayers for our city, for our institutions, for our communities, focusing on the challenges and opportunities that we all face. As we go through the period of Lent, thousands of us from all our churches will again uphold our city together in prayer at this vital time.

COVID:  “At times of great uncertainty, many people turn to faith leaders for support, but with the current social restrictions, it’s more difficult than ever for ministers to offer pastoral and spiritual care to their congregations. Photographer Louise Haywood-Schiefer set out to photograph Christian chaplains from churches and institutions around London to discover how they are facing these challenges…” Read more here Keeping the faith: Christian chaplains in the time of Covid – BBC News

Grief: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is a poem called “The Sailing Ship” on the nature of death, by Bishop Charles Henry Brent.

What is dying?
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades from the horizon,
And someone at my side says, “She is gone!” Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all;
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her,
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming,
And other voices take up a glad shout,
“There she comes”

– and that is dying.

Tuesday 9th February's updates and resources

Pandas in the snow: I think that says it all really https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj9ra-IHtxg

Music – use lockdown to learn some new skills:  “In this video tutorial Jo Boyce shares a few useful guitar tips and techniques for playing the very popular setting of Hail Mary from the Boyce & Stanley album The Promise. Jo reveals some of her jedi-level finger picking techniques, that will help you to make the most of your guitar accompaniment for this song, whether you’re hoping to record it or play it live. Watch here: https://www.cjmmusic.com/resources-ideas/hail-mary-guitar-tutorial-video/ “ If, like me, you have not got a guitar, it is calming just listening to Jo sing such a beautiful prayer. “The Promise” is a great album too.

Prayer: The Schools department have started sending out a weekly Diocesan Schools Prayer Link, which you may have noticed in the bulletin. There is an accompanying prayer to say for our schools:

Holy Spirit, be with the children of these schools we pray for this week.

Bless them, their teachers and all who work at the school.

Give strength and grace to their growth, wisdom and understanding in their search for knowledge

and  strength to continue to learn despite the difficulties.

Thank you, Lord for the gifts that they all bring to their community.

May everyone connected with the school remain safe and well. Amen

Lenten Talks 18th Feb – 25th March: The Global Catholic Movement invites you to “Global Healing.” In 2015, Pope Francis published his ground-breaking letter on the environment Laudato Si’. Since then, millions of people worldwide have joined the global movement to address the environmental crisis our world is facing. This Lent, you are invited to join a series of reflective evenings with inspiring speakers, prayer and discussion, using the film-based resource “Global Healing”. These engaging documentaries will inform and challenge people to respond to Pope Francis’ call to Care for Our Common Home. Suitable for all who are concerned about what is happening to our world and who want to take action. The series comprises six Thursday evenings 18 February – 25 March, 7.30pm – 8.30pm. To register please email: jane@catholicclimatemovement.global It is hosted by GCCM Laudato Si’ Animators in the UK. Speakers for Global Healing Lenten Series:

  • Thursday 18 February:  Global Healing Episode 1: Bishop John Arnold, Salford Diocese and Bishop for the Environment.
  • Thursday 25 February:  Global Healing Episode 2: Jane Mellett (Global Catholic Climate Movement).
  • Thursday 4 March:  Global Healing Episode 3: Dr Emma Gardner (Head of Environment, Salford Diocese)
  • Thursday 11 March:  Global Caring Episode 1.  Sr. Shirley Aeria, FMDM (Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood).
  • Thursday 18 March:  Global Caring Episode 2: Graham Gordon, Head of Public Policy, CAFOD.
  • Thursday 25 March: Global Caring Episode 3. our speaker will be from a LiveSimply Parish (tbc).

The registration link is: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcvcOuuqzsvEtMBwz2hxBzhhvwy0hcgyoEb

Monday 8th February's updates and resources

Prayer: All Christians are invited to participate in an online Prayer Marathon on Monday, 8 February, marking the 7th International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. The online Prayer Marathon will be live-streamed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb5hcjids8gt3k6qzLj6H2w Further information is available on the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking website: https://preghieracontrotratta.org/?lang=en

Right to Life – Genocide in China: Ask your MP to support an amendment to help stop forced abortion in Xinjiang, China. There is extensive evidence that many women in the Uyghur Muslim community in Xinjiang, China are being subjected to forced abortions. Lord Alton is currently championing an amendment to the Trade Bill which would give British courts a role in determining whether a country is committing genocide. This would help with putting international pressure on the Chinese Communist Party to stop the practice of forcing abortions on the Uyghur Muslim community along with the wider human rights abuses that evidence shows is being perpetuated against this community. If you would like to email your MP asking them to support the amendment, you can do this easily using a tool which has been set up on the Genocide Response campaign website which can be accessed by visiting the link below: https://genocideresponse.org/

Diocese – Lourdes Pilgrimage 2021: “It is with regret that we announce that there will be no Diocesan and Catholic Association Pilgrimage to Lourdes this year. The Pilgrimage, which was scheduled for 21-27 August 2021 has been cancelled in light of the on-going effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we will be announcing a schedule for special virtual events throughout 2021 and the virtual Pilgrimage programme very soon. We understand how disappointing this cancellation will be for many of our past pilgrims and those hoping to travel to Lourdes this year. Over the last number of years, we have offered an ‘online presence’ and ‘Virtual Pilgrimage’ experience whilst in Lourdes, where everyone is able to follow the Pilgrimage daily and experience the Homilies and reflections with those in Lourdes, at home. This year we are busy planning some special moments for 2021 that will enable us to still celebrate the miracle of Lourdes. We look forward to welcoming you all to our ‘virtual Pilgrimage’ once again and to our events programme throughout the year. More details will be available on www.cliftondiocese.com soon!”

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes: Fr Liam Slattery at St Peter’s in Gloucester will celebrate a Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and also mark World Day of Prayer for the Sick at 7.00pm on Thursday February 11th. This Mass will be live streamed on the homepage of the Diocesan website: www.cliftondiocese.com. The Catholic Association will follow the mass with a Rosary live streamed on their website at 7.45pm. The details of this will be available soon on the Diocesan website www.cliftondiocese.com

Thursday 4th February's updates and resources

Parish – Mark Cowan RIP: Many thanks to everyone who has sent messages of condolence and sorrow on hearing of Mark Cowan’s untimely death. You can send cards to Mark’s family c/o Fr Jeremy Rigden at 4 Harley Street, Bath, BA1 2SF. Mark’s body will soon be taken to Scotland for a funeral Mass with his immediate family. There will be a memorial service at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Bath, once COVID restrictions have lifted sufficiently to allow his family and friends to gather together to celebrate Mark’s life.

The 10.30am Mass at St Mary’s on Sunday 7th February will be said for Mark. You can take part via the live-stream on www.churchservices.tv/bath

History – Biblical textiles: A purple dye dating back to the purported reign of the Biblical King David has been identified on a piece of fabric by Israeli archaeologists. The dye is said to have been more valuable than gold and was associated with royalty. It is the first time textile from that period with the colour has been found in the region. Israel Antiquities Authority expert Dr Naama Sukenik called it a “very exciting and important discovery”. “In antiquity, purple attire was associated with the nobility, with priests, and of course with royalty,” said Dr Sukenik. “The gorgeous shade of the purple, the fact that it does not fade, and the difficulty in producing the dye, which is found in minute quantities in the body of molluscs, all made it the most highly valued of the dyes, which often cost more than gold.” Read more here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-55815820

Prayer – Mask wearing: Today’s parishioner recommendation is a prayer by Canadian Fr Richard Bott. Do pass this onto anyone who you know is finding wearing a mask onerous or unpleasant:

Lord, as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth –
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace” –
a tangible and visible way
of living love for my neighbours,
as I love myself.

Jesus, since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.

Holy Spirit, as the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully –
and full of care –
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth
be shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.

In your Name
and in that love,
I pray.

May it be so.
May it be so.

Wednesday 3rd February's updates and resources

Prayer – BathCAN: At this challenging time it would be wonderful if we could come together on zoom to encourage each other, give thanks and to intercede for Bath. We have been praying for Bath each Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday in the Abbey for the last 10 plus years  Please join us again on 16th February at 8 pm to Pray for Bath on zoom with others across the City.   Please join any time from 7.50pm https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86404254606?pwd=ZGFGNDVWaDZLanNXRWhobDNWUlNzdz09 Meeting ID: 864 0425 460Passcode: 321709

Lent – Ignatian spirituality: “Do you need some therapy for the soul? St Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), has inspired millions to dig deeper, connect more closely with the world, and find God in all things. It is a spirituality which appeals to people of all religions and none. In these uncertain times, Ignatius reaches across the centuries and asks: What moves you? What brings you life? What do you want to give yourself to? What do you desire most deeply? What holds you when you suffer? With his help, you can begin to answer these questions. This Lent, BBC Radio 4 will explore aspects of Ignatian spirituality and point listeners to ‘Knowing Jesus’, an online retreat being offered by the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow.   https://www.jesuit.org.uk/bbc-and-jesuits-britain-bring-you-special-lent-retreat This retreat is available to anyone in the world with access to the Internet who wants to immerse themselves in the spirituality of St Ignatius. If you are searching for more, sign-up for the retreat here. Don’t forget to sign-up for daily emails and additional material here. To find out more about Jesuits in Britain, sign up to our weekly e-newsletter here.”

Message from the Right to Life group: The evidence that babies can feel pain in the womb, and during many abortions, highlights the humanity of the unborn child and provides another important reason to introduce legislation to protect the unborn child from abortion. Carla Lockhart MP has launched a parliamentary motion (Early Day Motion 1340) which highlights the latest science and developments on fetal pain and calls on the Government to urgently review official guidance in this area. We have set up an easy-to-use tool on our website that will enable you to email your MP asking them to sign this parliamentary motion. Once you have emailed your MP, please do ask friends and family to do the same. If your MP replies to you saying that they don’t sign early day motions, it would be helpful if you asked them to instead write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, on your behalf, raising the points that are made in Early Day Motion 1340. Read more here: Ask your MP to sign a parliamentary motion (EDM 1340) calling on the Government to introduce new guidance on fetal pain – Right To Life UK

Tuesday 2nd February's updates and resources

Parish – Mark Cowan RIP: Many thanks to everyone who has sent messages of condolence and sorrow at Mark’s untimely death. If you want to send a card to his family, please send them c/o Fr Jeremy at 4 Harley Street, Bath, BA1 2SF. One parishioner mentioned that “Farewell to Stromness” by Peter Maxwell Davies was a favourite of Mark’s, so I attach a link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGwt7kGkeOo

Prayer – Walking Prayer: This was written by Iona Reid Dalglish in the hope that you will spend some time meeting with God as you get your daily exercise. For this resource they have a male and female voice option.   https://pray-as-you-go.org/retreat/walking-prayer

Diocese – St Josephine Bakhita: Welcome the Stranger – Celebrating the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita – 8th February 5.00-6.30 pm. All are invited to join Bishop Mark O’Toole and Bishop Declan Lang for an evening of prayer and reflection on the issues facing refugees, migrants and those affected by modern slavery. Guest speakers include Nick Hanrahan from the Jesuit Refugee Service and Caroline Virgo from the Clewer initiative. The event will take place via zoom and you can register to attend by following this link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx or emailing caritas@prcdtr.org.uk.

Thursday 28th January's updates and resources

Diocese – new Lectionary: A bit niche, but you might be interested in the new lectionary to be used. “For a number of years the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have been considering the publication of a new edition of the Lectionary to replace that originally published in the year 1969 (second edition 1981). After consultation with a number of English-speaking Conferences of Bishops, the Bishops of England and Wales studied the translation of the Catholic Edition of the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible produced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. From this text they have produced a Lectionary for the Church in India which has received ‘confirmatio’ by the Holy See…” Read more here https://cliftondiocese.com/news/new-lectionary-for-england-and-wales/

Prayer – Bath Lectio Divina group: A New Year and a New opportunity to ponder the Bible. Come and join us!   We are a  small, friendly Group who meet by Skype on Monday afternoons at 3.00pm to read and share the Gospel for the next Sunday. We use a method known as Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) as a way to follow our reading and sharing; there is no pressure to share and no deep learning or discussion – just sharing reflections, and developing insight.   It is just ‘good’ to do! If you would like to chat and find out more before joining us, or to try it out from your own home, phone either Patrick 07966 366731 or Graham 07889 495419.

Art – Top Ten Paintings Inspired by the Gospels: Here you can reflect on these works of art alongside the Scripture verses which inspired them.  By clicking on the bible reference, it takes you to the scripture verses. If you then click on the name of the gallery (in red) you go through to a short video describing the art work.https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-paintings-inspired-by-the-gospels/

Wednesday 27th January's updates and resources

Today – Holocaust Memorial Day Wed 27th Jan: Here are a variety of links to events, websites, TV programmes and acts of remembrance that are taking place today. The live events below take place from 3.00pm this afternoon. Please pass the information on.

3.00pm Auschwitz Memorial: On January 27th 1945, the German Nazi concentration and extermination Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was liberated. Today we commemorate the 76th anniversary of this event. WATCH LIVE at 3.00pm GMT: https://www.facebook.com/auschwitzmemorial/posts/10157421175526097 At around 9.00a.m. the first Soviet soldier from a reconnaissance unit of the 100th Infantry Division appeared on the grounds of the prisoners’ infirmary in Monowitz. The entire division arrived half an hour later. The same day a military doctor arrived and began to organize assistance. In the afternoon soldiers of the Red Army entered the vicinity of the Auschwitz main camp and Birkenau. Near the main camp they met resistance from retreating German units. 231 Red Army soldiers died in close combat for the liberation of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Monowitz. Two of them died in front of the gates of Auschwitz main camp. One of them was Lieutenant Gilmudin Badryjewicz Baszirow. The first Red Army troops arrived in Birkenau and Auschwitz at around 3 p.m. and were joyfully greeted by the liberated prisoners. After the removal of mines from the surrounding area, soldiers of the 60th Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front marched into the camp and brought freedom to the prisoners who were still alive. On the grounds of the main camp were 48 corpses and in Birkenau over 600 corpses of male and female prisoners who were shot or died in the last few days. At the time of the Red Army’s arrival there were 7,000 sick and exhausted prisoners in the Auschwitz, Birkenau and Monowitz camps. Online lesson about the evacuation and the liberation of Auschwitz:http://lekcja.auschwitz.org/en_11_wyzwolenie/

6.00pm BathNES Council: An online event which will hear from the son of a man who successfully escaped Nazi persecution is being held to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day next month. BathNES Council and Bath Interfaith Group will hold the webinar on Wednesday 27 January at 6.00pm to mark the international event, which takes place annually on this date to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This year’s theme is ‘be the light in the darkness’. The webinar’s special guests will include Yoav Ben-Shlomo who will talk about his father. He will read from a short account his father wrote about the desperation and help he experienced whilst hiding with his own father to escape Nazi persecution.The event will be hosted by council Leader, Councillor Dine Romero, in partnership with Bath Interfaith Group. You can sign up in advance on Zoom here or watch live on the council’s YouTube channel Read more here: https://newsroom.bathnes.gov.uk/news/how-commemorate-holocaust-memorial-day-bath-and-north-east-somerset

7.00pm St Gregory’s College: Tonight at 7.00pm we are streaming a Holocaust Memorial Prayer Service from St Gregory’s involving staff and students.  Holocaust Memorial Day is usually one of the days in school where we make a huge effort to educate our young people, but also come together in prayer.  Therefore, as an alternative we have put together this service to share the message of ‘light in the darkness’.  It can be accessed via the school website (www.st-gregorys.org.uk ) and will be approximately 40 minutes long.  We’d like to invite our wider community of Bath to watch along and participate too.  

8.00pm Holocaust Memorial Day Trust – action: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. We promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) – the international day on 27 January to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in genocides that followed in CambodiaRwandaBosnia and Darfur. We are asked to light a candle and place it in a window at 8.00pm tonight as a way to remember all those who have died through genocide. https://www.hmd.org.uk/uk-holocaust-memorial-day-2021-ceremony/

9.00pm The Windermere Children BBC4: The moving story of how the friendships formed at a pioneering rehabilitation project in Windermere became a lifeline for child survivors of the Holocaust. A dramatized story of real children, I watched this last year and found it utterly compelling and heartbreaking in equal measure. Read more here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dtcz

10.30pm The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words BBC4: This powerful documentary, which accompanies the BBC Two drama, The Windermere Children, reveals a little-known story of 300 young orphaned Jewish refugees, who began new lives in England’s Lake District in the summer of 1945. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dt7g

11.30pm The Last Survivors BBC2: A landmark documentary about the last survivors of the Holocaust living in Britain today. Read more here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0c1ngrx It is 1.5hrs long so it might be best to record it as it is, again, utterly compelling.

Tuesday 26th January's updates and resources

Diocese – Bishop Declan’s podcast on the Holy Land: Bishops from across Europe, North America and South Africa met remotely this week to reflect on and discuss the realities of life for the Christians and peoples of the Holy Land. Bishop Declan, Moderator of the Holy Land Coordination, said: “We thank all those in the Holy Land who shared their life stories with us and we stand in solidarity with them and all those who join them in the struggle for peace and justice for”. They heard time and again, particularly when discussing the current realities in Gaza, how Church-run organisations like hospitals, schools and charities, are punching well above their weight serving the wider community beyond the church walls. In Gaza, for example, the Catholic organisation Caritas facilitates 61% of all healthcare home visits in this Palestinian territory of 2m people. There are only 1,077 Christians in that number – of which 132 are Latin Catholics…” Listen to the podcast and read more here:   https://cliftondiocese.com/news/bishop-declan-talks-about-the-holy-land-podcast/

Prayer – The God Who Speaks:  An Invitation to Hope: Mission through Prayer and Lament. Book your free place for Bible Society’s online webinar on Tuesday 9th February. Bible Society invites the Church to gather online to pray and lament for our nation, as we seek God together. This ecumenical event will be held on Tuesday 9th February from 10:00– 11:30 am. Led by Christian leaders from multiple traditions and cultural spheres, we will spend time in lament, prayer and reflection, asking God what he is doing and how we can partner with him in a new wave of mission across our country. Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP will be one of the speakers. We so hope you will be able to join us. You can book your free place now. Read more here: https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/an-invitation-to-hope-mission-through-prayer-and-lament/

Racial Justice Sunday – resources from Busted Halo: As Catholics, we are called to recognize the dignity of every human life. Scripture tells us we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and our faith calls us to treat each other accordingly. As Catholics living in the United States, we recognize the times when our country has not been a place where that dignity is recognized equally for all people. We have compiled a list of resources that will help American Catholics to be actively anti-racist, cope with the complex emotions of tense times, and work and pray for peace and unity.  https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/faith-in-action-resources-for-todays-anti-racist-catholic

Monday 25th January's updates and resources

Diocese – Youth: A focus on Youth Ministry in a time of pandemic. This is a series of conversations for anyone interested in any aspect of supporting the young people of our Diocese. The Adult Education department will be running this series of evening talks on Microsoft Teams with a number of national speakers taking the lead. 28th January: David Wells National & International speaker Each talk 7.30-8.45pm. If you are interested in joining the conversation or simply to listen to what is being said, please get in touch with us at youth@cliftondiocese.com to express your interest. You will receive a Teams invitation a few days before each talk.

Bishops of England & Wales: Racial Justice Sunday 31st January: Racial Justice Sunday takes place on 31 January 2021 and it’s more important than ever we engage in the day and reflect on the need to further the cause of racial justice. Each one of us needs to ask ‘what can I do?’ The theme is ‘A Time to Act‘. Racial issues and inequalities were identified nationally and internationally in 2020 generating awareness, emotion and outrage. In the CBCEW website, the Racial Justice Sunday section includes a thought-provoking reflection on the theme as well as the full message from Bishop Paul McAleenan. It also provides a prayer to help bring this important work to the Lord, as well as a series of videos filmed by black Catholics and those promoting racial justice in their parishes. Read more here: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-its-time-to-act-on-racial-justice/

Charity – Genesis: Bath Marches 2021 – Sat 24 Apr 21. Stride out to support Genesis on a 9 or 15 mile route starting and ending at the Bath Rec. It was great fun this year and should be even better in 2021. Find out more.

Prayer – Laudato Si: Monthly Laudato Si Prayer Services. Join in these Global Prayer Services every first Friday of the month to hear creation’s song, creation’s cry, and creation’s invitation. Throughout these prayer services we will have a guest’s reflection, scripture reading and prayers of the faithful. We will be featuring one region per month: January will be hosted by Portuguese-speaking countries! We look forward to praying with you. Live interpretation available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Register her https://bit.ly/37vEtHK  You can choose to attend one or more of the following webinars: Feb 5th; Mar 5th; Apr 2nd; May 7th; Jun 4th, all at 3:00 PM

 

Thursday 21st January's updates and resources

Bishops of England & Wales:  On Friday 22nd January 2021 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons comes into force. This is an historic milestone on the path to nuclear disarmament and an opportunity to refocus on genuine peacebuilding rooted in dialogue, justice, respect for human dignity, and care for our planet. Read more here: Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

Charity – John Desmond’s 100km family virtual relay run to Oxford in aid of Marie Curie: John and members of his family are planning to run during March so that their combined runs equal the distance from Bath to Oxford (100kms). This is to raise money for Marie Curie.  Normally, he would go round his street collecting money through door-to-door collections that occur during the annual ‘Daffodil Appeal’. Of course, this was not possible last year and probably not this year either.  He would be most grateful if you could support the venture! The JustGiving link is: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-desmond10  They won’t be running together!  

Mental Health – Catholic Mental Health Project: http://www.catholicmentalhealthproject.org.uk/ This website has a range of resources to help increase spiritual and pastoral support for those with mental health challenges, their families and carers. You might find the article on coping during the COVID crisis helpful: http://www.catholicmentalhealthproject.org.uk/news/what-can-catholics-do-to-protect-their-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus 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.

Wednesday 20th January's updates and resources

Bishops of England and Wales – Holy Land Co-ordination: Bishops from across Europe, North America and South Africa will meet remotely this year to reflect on and discuss the realities of life for the Christians and peoples of the Holy Land. In 2000, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales was asked by the Vatican to organise an annual pilgrimage of Bishops and accompanying delegates with the aim of visiting and supporting the Holy Land’s local Christian communities as they experience the political and socio-economic realities of living in Israel and Palestine. The Christians represent a physical link between the modern world and the life and times of Christ – they are the ‘living stones’ of our faith. Bishop Declan Lang, Moderator of the Holy Land Coordination, said: “This year we are unable to come to the Holy Land on our annual visit. But we say clearly to the Holy Land’s Christians ‘you are not forgotten’ as we embark on our first virtual Coordination. We commit to listening attentively to people’s experiences of the pandemic under continuing occupation to understand better the current realities.” Read more here: Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

Prayer – Staying at Home: For those who happier to worship at home during this period of lockdown, the CBCEW website has a wealth of resources https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/prayer-and-worship-at-home/

Mental health – TV: Kirstie Allsopp has some good advice on “Love it or List It” Series 6 episode 3. Her simple advice on the benefits of decluttering your house as a way of improving your mental health, and avoiding the debt incurred by trying to spend your way out of unhappiness, is very helpful. You can find the episode on Channel 4.

Charity – Genesis: #GenesisTogether Virtual Challenges. Every month Genesis have a route to walk, run, cycle, row or however you like to exercise. The January Challenge is a 80 miles along the River Avon! It starts at  the source of the river at Acton Turville and ends at Avonmouth. It’s a great way to keep motivated to exercise and also to support Genesis Trust. Obviously, lockdown stops us from going out and doing this, so why not record the distance of your daily exercise walks? If you want a longer challenge there is an ongoing Cotswold Way Challenge of 102 miles which you can enter at any time. For more details visit our website. Hilary can also create a bespoke challenge for groups so please get in touch – hilary.long@genesistrust.org.uk.

Tuesday 19th January's updates and resources

Parish – Goodwill Children’s Homes South India:  In spite of the present situation the fundraising group managed to raise £3,400 last year. Thank you for your support. They still need your used greetings cards. As they cannot ask you to bring them to the church, please place a few of your best Christmas cards and all your other greetings cards in a collecting bag at home. Once lockdown is over, they would love you to place them in the collecting box at the entrance to the church

Diocese – Worldwide Marriage Encounter online program: For the past 50 years, Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering marriage enrichment programs 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. The next Marriage Encounter Online Experience is scheduled on 30 & 31 January 2021 and there are many other dates over the year – you can find out more and book your place at www.wwme.org.uk or contact us on 0845 260 2016.

Charity – Genesis: Friday Night Quick online Quiz – Every Friday at 8.00pm. The quiz takes just 20 minutes, it’s fully automated and is multiple choice with a different topic per round such as sport, music, film and plenty of general knowledge! Please look here for details and to register to play.

What’s On in Weston: The WOW group have decided with the current restrictions and the fact that nobody is planning too far in advance that they will not produce a magazine this spring. Instead, they will focus on making sure everyone’s entries are up to date on the website and promoting the website and social media more. You can subscribe to updates – www.wown.live/subscribe and to follow them on Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/WOWN.Live

Flowers: M&S and Sainsburys both sell inexpensive paper pots containing hyacinth or tete a tete daffodil bulbs for indoor flowering. These might help lift a grey day with their bright colours and delicate scent. Plus, you can plant them out after they have flowered and look forward to seeing them again next spring.

Monday 18th January's updates and resources

Parish – Sanctuary lamps: The restored Sanctuary Lamps are back in place, & the brass lamp at the Lady Chapel has also been rehung. As you know we have had no votive candles in the church since the beginning of the pandemic, but these 7 day candles are available to purchase for your intentions. Envelopes are available at the back of the church in which you can specify the lamp you wish, & the intention. Minimum offering per candle £5.00 to cover its cost. Please place the envelope with the offering in the collection box near the exit in the Lady Chapel, or hand it into the sacristy. The intention will be published in the bulletin unless you wish it to remain private. Unfortunately, with only three candles available each week, it will not be possible to ask for specific dates, & intentions will be allocated on a first come basis for each lamp. If there are no intentions for a particular week then a sanctuary lamp is still required to be lit, but it will be the only one. If you are not coming to Mass but want to have a candle lit for your intention, ring Fr Jeremy on 01225 311725 or email him at Jeremy.rigden@cliftondiocese.com and he can suggest the simplest way to arrange this.

Vocations – 100 Days of Prayer: Rather late as we are 18 days into 2021, but here is a link to “100 days of prayer” from the National Office for Vocation  UK Vocation | The Website of the National Office for Vocation “As we begin the new year, the National Office for Vocation has decided to dedicate the first 100 days to prayer, celebrating our Church. This will have a special focus on the saints of England and Wales, recognising and celebrating how their mission here on earth led to the ultimate call to Holiness. We also want to celebrate good things that have happened in our Church; please share with us any news from your parish or diocese that can be incorporated in prayer.“

Christians Against Poverty (Bath):  The Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre in Bath is now in its 5th year since partnering with Holy Trinity Church in Combe Down. Last year the debt centre office moved from St Andrews Community Church in Foxhill to Manvers Street Baptist Church in the city centre where its central position proved easier for clients to access and increased the centre’s profile. At the beginning of December 2020, The Bath Echo published a press release from our debt centre entitled, “Residents urged to get help with debt to avoid Christmas money misery”. The article is still relevant to the New Year when overspending can be worrying, take a look online, here is the link: https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/community/residents-help-debt-avoid-christmas-m oney-misery-92664

Thursday 14th January's updates and resources

The God Who Speaks: “Our focus at the beginning of this new year is on the upcoming Sunday of the Word of God on 24th January. We hope you will find these ideas and resources helpful as you prepare to celebrate this day, which was instituted by Pope Francis on 30th September 2019.” https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/focus/sunday-of-the-word-of-god/   Sarah Adams of Clifton Diocese Adult Education and Evangelisation Department recommends the 7 week online Bible course led by David McLoughlin The aim of this series is to help us get a sense of the Scriptures as a whole. To see the unfolding of God’s liberating and creative love in the history of Israel and in the Church.

Diocese – Music: “Calling all Parish Musicians and Singers – please see link: https://cjmmusic.mykajabi.com/parish-music-ministry-collective  The frustration of not being able to sing at Mass is being keenly felt by many parish congregations and musicians during this pandemic.  As yet, we do not know when we will be able to sing again and when we do we will surely want to do so with great enthusiasm. With this in mind, the time may be right to consider how we can develop our music ministry skills so that we are prepared for when we are called upon once more to serve our communities. It is always good, however long we have been involved in any ministry, to take time to reflect on what we have been doing and seek ways to develop our repertoire and skills.” CJM is offering us the opportunity to do that with a six month intensive course (money back guarantee if you do not find the first month helpful). Why not take a look and then persuade someone in our parish to do the course with you. Sharing it together is likely to make it a very fruitful experience.

Redemptorist – Children’s Liturgy resource: Redemptorist Publications is pleased to introduce Celebrate; an initiative designed to help children grow in their faith. Each week we will provide a video of the week’s Gospel reading, a reflection and a final prayer. Fun, engaging and practical worksheets/ resources will also be provided to help children continue to practise their faith. We pray that this new resource will encourage families and children to think about, grow and Celebrate their faith whilst having fun. Celebrate | Following Your Faith | Children’s Liturgy  (rpbooks.co.uk)

Meditation – Jesuits in Britain: Lockdown 1 inspired our Spirituality team to create IMAGINE, an hour of online Ignatian guided meditation, in the midst of what can feel chaotic & uncertain times. Watch previous sessions of IMAGINE : http://ow.ly/F0qq50D3sL9 Come and join our next Imagine on Wednesday 20th. For more info click here – https://www.jesuit.org.uk/imagine-new-weekly-meditation-sessions-zoom

Wednesday 13th January's updates and resources

Diocese – Deaf Community: SIGNED MASS FOR THE DEAF LIVE-STREAMED FROM ST NICK’S CHURCH Due to the Covid restrictions it is not possible for the Deaf Community to come to St Nicholas of Tolentino’s for their normal monthly Signed Mass. Therefore, we are live-streaming our parish’s 10.00am Mass with Signing by Sherrie Eugene-Hart every First Sunday of the Month (live-streamed from the parish website: www.tolentino.org then click on “St Nick’s live-streamed Mass” page). Many of our Catholic deaf sisters and brothers feel very isolated at the best of times and these are not the best of times! Most are not aware of the Catholic Deaf Association or the monthly Signed Mass, so please try to contact them with this information.

TV: Today’s parishioner recommendation is BBC4’s Winter Walks series. In the style of slow TV, various famous people use 360 degree cameras as they walk around beautiful countryside in the UK. Very relaxing and uplifting. All the episodes can be downloaded or watched via BBC iPlayer. The walkers include Selina Scott, Lemn Sissay, poet Simon Armitage, Baroness Warsi and Rev Richard Coles.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18 – 25 January – the octave of St. Peter and St. Paul. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family. For 2021, the sisters are inviting churches across the world to enter into their tradition of prayer and silence that is rooted in the ancient traditions of the Church catholic. More resources are available here https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/wpcu-2021/

Pilgrimage: Feeling a bit gloomy? Need something to plan and look forward to? Look out for an article in The Guardian today by author Guy Hayward “How intention turns a walk into a pilgrimage – plus 5 British pilgrim trails”. If you cannot access it online, have a look at websites such as www.megalithic.co.uk www.explorechurches.org and www.labyrinthsinbritain.uk ExploreChurches includes a section called “Fifty Catholic Churches to see before you die” which, whilst including lots of ideas for walks and places to visit, has some bright and beautiful photographs. They might help to cheer a wet Wednesday.

Tuesday 12th January's updates and resources

Parish: Regarding Masses being cancelled as Fr Jeremy has to self-isolate – please do not worry. Fr Jeremy is not ill, he just has to isolate before having some routine tests at the RUH.  Having a COVID test and then isolating before an appointment is part of the anti-COVID procedures at the RUH.

Prayer: Please pray for all our parishioners who are ill, and especially for those who are being treated in the RUH or St Martin’s. Being unwell in hospital for whatever reason is at the very least unpleasant, but the added anxiety created due to the pandemic makes it even more so.

Film: If everything is feeling like very dull de ja vu again, watch Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. It will not matter if you have seen it before. Sky Cinema Feel Good channel noon Thursday 14th January.

Young adults: FCJ Reading Group – Weekly Online Event. Friday 4.00pm from 15th January.  Book: Let us Dream – Pope Francis. Each session stands alone so there is no need to attend every week. Register, read the chapter set and then have a chance to talk with others about it. Everyone welcome! More information: FCJCentreStHughs@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook (Faithful Companions of Jesus). You can get the book from lots of places including Blackwells https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781398502208 or on Kindle from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Let-Us-Dream-Better-Future/dp/1398502200/ref=sr_1_1

Music: Something uplifting for Tuesday “How can I keep from singing?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLPP3XmYxXg

Monday 11th January's updates and resources

Parish: Fr Jeremy is self-isolating ahead of a medical procedure at the RUH, as part of the rules for preventing the spread of COVID at the hospital. This means that Mass on Wednesday 13th will not go ahead. However, there will be Mass at 10.00am on Friday 15th Jan. All our Masses are live-streamed, so do stay at home and participate that way if you are happier doing so.

Diocese – Schools: Could you be a School Governor? Clifton 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. Please visit https://cliftondiocese.com/news/could-you-be-a-school-governor/ for more information and to complete an online nomination form or contact bill.mcentee@cliftondiocese.com or 07710094976 – he would be delighted to hear from you. Your support for our schools would be much appreciated.

Prayer – Young Adults: 4 Weeks of Guided Prayer – Online Event. Sundays at 5:30pm beginning 17th January, led by the FCJ nuns (Faithful Companions of Jesus). Aimed at young adults but open to all.

  • An opportunity to deepen your relationship with God through prayer.
  • Learn new ways of praying, enjoy some input on prayer, discernment and spirituality.
  • Speak with a prayer guide each week for the four weeks.

More information: FCJCentreStHughs@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook.

Art/ The God Who Speaks: Lo & Behold (loandbeholdbible.com) is a digital art project that uses some of the unique art pieces found in Catholic churches and cathedrals across the UK to share the stories of the Bible. It aims to bring to light the works of art that are tucked away in the corners of churches, soaring high above in stained glass or hidden in plain sight within suburban sanctuaries. The website features a growing collection of works of art that picture biblical scenes – 100 taken from the Old Testament and 100 from the New. Alongside a photo of each work of art is a bite-sized summary of the Scripture story it represents, as well as further background on the artist and where to find it. You’ll even find reflections from the three most recent popes on the story in question. More info here: https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/art-and-culture/the-art-of-stained-glass-scripture/

Thursday 17th December's updates and resources

Parish office: The parish office will be closed from Friday 18th December. After that, please contact Fr Jeremy 01225 311725 if you need anything.

Booking seats for Christmas Masses: We still have room at the Christmas Eve Masses at 9.00pm and Midnight, and Christmas Day at 9.00am and 10.30am Mass. Emails this address with the names and ages of those who need seats and a phone number for each household. You can book in until 22nd December, but don’t wait and then find others have got in ahead of you. All the Masses will be livestreamed.

Pilgrimage – The God Who Speaks: A real pilgrimage! Complete with real people and somewhere new to visit! “Whether you’re a beginner or veteran of the pilgrim trail there’s something for you to discover over the two days of pilgrimage in Winchester. Experience the Word of God in live readings of the Gospel of Matthew, music and drama performances by children from schools across Hampshire. Celebrate our heritage with choral evensong together, see the specially commissioned art, or create your own in the Seeing the Word workshop.” Read more here https://www.godwhospeaks.org/winchester

Wednesday 16th December's updates and resources

Parish – Advent: We have the last Advent Holy Hour this Sunday at 3.45pm. You do not need to book but if you intend to stay for 5.00pm Mass, please book a seat in the normal way via Eventbrite.

Parish – Help required after 10.30am Mass this Sunday: Having moved lots of chairs out of the church in the summer, we need to move some of them back in, ready for the Christmas Masses. If you are hale and hearty, and willing to help form a chain of people to move the chairs back into the church, please stay/come after 10.30am Mass (around 11.20am based on last week’s Mass). The greater the number of volunteers, the quicker it will take. Let me know if you are able to help.

The God Who Speaks – Fr Dries van der Akker SJ: This is taken from the website for the Archdiocese of Birmingham. “Last year was called ‘The Year of the Word’. The Sunday readings were taken from the Gospel of Matthew. Artist Peter Clare had made a series of almost 200 paintings following Matthew’s Gospel pericope after pericope. That was a nice opportunity to combine The Year of the Word with his paintings. This year we continue our meditations about the Sunday readings, now most of the time taken from the Gospel of Mark. Peter Clare made a painting containing the whole Gospel of Mark: a sort of labyrinth (below). It is composed as a monstrance or as a Celtic cross. … It is already a meditation to take time and to discover how the different scenes are represented and placed one after another. Read more here: https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/Pages/Category/st-marks-gospel-reflections

Blue Christmas: Not Elvis, but a service at St Michael Within, Chapel Court. “If you are hurting or in pain this Christmas, you can turn to St Michael’s Within. We are holding a gentle and contemplative Blue Christmas service on Wednesday 23rd December. The service will be at 3.00pm for all wanting to attend.” For more about St Michael’s Within look here https://stjohnsbath.org.uk/about/history/chaplaincy/

Tuesday 14th December's updates and resources

Ethics – a message from Right to Life: Act now and ask your MP to oppose introducing assisted suicide. The assisted suicide lobby have launched a large campaign to put pressure on the Government to reconsider the legalisation of assisted suicide. It is vital that it is clear to the Government that the public want them to continue to hold strong against this pressure from assisted suicide campaigners and reject their demands. Right To Life UK have set up and easy to use tool which will enable you to email your MP asking them to make it clear to the Government that it should not give into demands from the assisted suicide lobby to reconsider the legalisation of assisted suicide. It only takes 30 seconds to email your MP by visiting the link below: https://righttolife.org.uk/StopAssistedSuicide There is more information here: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/write-to-your-mp-to-prevent-the-legalisation-of-assisted-suicide/

Pope Francis: In a new Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St Joseph,” beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the same feast in 2021. Read more here: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/year-of-st-joseph/

Children – The God Who Speaks: “At the Manger – Family Celebrations for the Eight Days of Christmas” Bishop Peter Brignall invites us to use this short family service for each day of the Octave, beginning on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with a blessing of the crib. https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/focus/advent-christmastide/

Monday 14th December's updates and resources

St Gregory’s Catholic College – Carols: “We will be showing this year’s Christmas Carol Service online on Wednesday 16 December at 7.00pm. Please visit our website to join us for what is set to be a wonderful evening of festive celebration.” https://www.st-gregorys.org.uk/2020/12/a-virtual-christmas-carol-service/

Advent and Christmas – mental wellbeing: Bath Mind have a vision is of a society that promotes and protects good mental health for all and treats people with experience of mental ill health fairly, positively and with respect. “The holidays can be especially tough for those in our communities struggling with mental illness and isolation. Bath Mind does incredible work reaching out to these people within our community and this year they have gone above and beyond – providing a collection of Christmas activities, recipes, and walks, to enjoy this December”. https://www.bathmind.org.uk/advice-and-support/wellbeing-activities/christmas

Parish – Christmas Masses: If you intend to book seats, don’t delay. Email me today with the names and ages of those coming, plus a phone umber for track and trace  purposes. The Masses at 9.00pm Christmas Eve, Midnight and 9.00am Christmas Day have low numbers so far, if you are worried about being amongst the hordes. 6.00pm Mass on Christmas Eve is almost at capacity already.

Thursday 10th December's updates and resources

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School – Christingle: If you are able to make a donation towards the items needed for the school Christingle service next Friday, please drop off an envelope with cash or a cheque made out to “St Mary’s Catholic Church Bath” at 4 Harley Street, Bath, BA1 2SF. If you are unable to give anything, please pray for all the staff and pupils after a rather exhausting term. Unfortunately, they cannot invite parishioners to the service nor the carols around the tree on the last day of term.

Advent – Music: Today’s choice is from Matt Maher “Gabriel’s Message” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHWtWIcSN3U&list=PLOWDZJe5wh3iJ2J-yKz4MjIvB0yFd2akg

Parishioner recommendation: “With the lockdowns and economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this year – buying our Christmas presents and cards from charities has never been more important – and shopping online certainly makes it safer and easier. The following sites, listed in alphabetical order, have a good selection of cards, gift ideas for your loved ones – and list of more people who might appreciate a message or present from you (such as refugees or prisoners’ children).”

Abbey Shop at Farnborough Abbey www.theabbeyshop.com

Aid to the Church in Need shop https://acnuk.org/shop/

Angel Tree provides presents for prisoners’ children  www.indcatholicnews.com/news/41019

A Stitch in Tune Beautiful music-themed gifts hand made by St Mary’s University graduate www.astitchintune.com

Catholic Care www.catholic-care.org.uk/support-us/christmas-card/

Catholic Children’s Society, Westminster www.cathchild.org.uk/christmas-cards/

Friends of the Holy Land shop www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/Pages/Shop/

Knock Shrine – on-line shop www.knockshrine.ie/online-shop

L’Arche Bethlehem shop https://larchebethlehem.org/shop/

Lourdes gifts and cards www.directfromlourdes.com/catholic_christmas_cards

National Shrine of St Jude, Faversham – Shop www.stjudeshrine.co.uk

New Ways – supporting projects in Turkana, Kenya Give the gift of a year to a loved one and a month of food to a child! www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40757

Operation Elf – providing Christmas gifts for prisoner’s children www.indcatholicnews.com/news/41019

Pax Christi – cards, diaries, books http://paxchristi.org.uk/shop/

Send a message to Christians in the Holy Land email: palmessages2020@gmail.com
JRS gifts for refugees  www.jrsuk.net/refugeegifts/

Rosary Shop at Farnborough Abbey www.rosariesbymonks.com

St Paul’s online store – for cards, books and more presents https://stpauls.org.uk

SVP online Christmas shop  www.svp.org.uk/shop,
Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) shop www.stellamaris.org.uk/shop/

Walsingham gift shop https://shop.walsingham.org.uk/collections/walsingham-gifts

Wednesday 9th December's updates and resources

CAFOD: Thurs 16th Dec Join Liz Baldwin at CAFOD Clifton on zoom for a half hour Christmas Liturgy & Prayer in thanksgiving to all CAFOD Volunteers and Supporters through this past year: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84892870366?pwd=WTlwelR6TEQ1MEU0S244YXlhMkRnQT09

Vocations – priesthood: “Priest” is a beautifully shot film chronicling life in the Bradford parish of ‘Mary, Mother of God’ in non-pandemic times from the beginning of Lent to Easter Sunday. It is produced and directed by filmmaker Michael Whyte. Read more here Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

Diocese – Clifton Diocese Investment Committee – Role Specification: Clifton Diocese is looking for members for its Investment Committee, a sub-committee of the Trustee Board. The Diocese has outsourced the active investment of funds to an external investment management firm. The Committee meets bi-annually in Bristol in May and November, to review the portfolios with a representative of the investment firm who attends the meeting. Given that the portfolios are managed externally, the Committee’s role is principally one of oversight and governance. As such the Committee’s main responsibilities are to ensure that the Diocese’s investment objectives and ethical standards are adhered to, and that the correct processes are in place to monitor, evaluate and review the performance of the investment manager. While some investment or investment-related business experience would be beneficial, those with current legal, accounting or financial experience would also be appropriate.  Committee members do not need to be practicing Roman Catholics but should be sympathetic to the aims and objectives of the Church. For further information, or to submit a CV, please contact: Mgr. Canon Bernard Massey, Vicar General, on: bernard.massey@cliftondiocese.com 01823 272700

Charity – Genesis: Shopping for a good cause! Genesis Trust Christmas cards, candles, calendars and coffee cups for sale at Christmas Shop at St Michael’s Without until 24 Dec. Alternatively visit the online shop. Go to the Genesis Trust Stall @ Green Park Market – Saturday 12 and 19 Dec. We will be outside the Green Park entrance by the walnut tree on the next two Saturdays at the same time as the Farmer’s Market. Please come and see our wares and say hello.

Tuesday 8th December's updates and resources

LGBT+ Mass: Here is the live stream link to the LGBT+ Mass at St Nicholas of Tolentino, Bristol, on 20th December at 3.00pm https://vimeo.com/event/282657

CAFOD: CAFOD Advent Prayer – A Journey To The Manger Every Sunday from 29 November to 6 January, 6pm-6:30pm – No need for a computer camera or microphone or worrying about what to say. Just register then click the link on Sundays through Advent and on Epiphany, the 6th of January. The prayer will start at 6pm and run for less than half an hour. https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Online-talks

Parish – Christmas Masses: Thank you to all those speedy parishioners who have been quick off the mark and booked their seats. All the Christmas Masses will be live-streamed and the obligation to come to Mass is still suspended. So please stay at home, watch the live-stream and have your own pre-Mass Christmas Carols if you are shielding or feel that home is the safest place to be.

Advent – Carols: Or rather lots of calm hymns for Advent, that run one after another. Perfect for having on in the background as you make mince pies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX975125R-U

Deanery – St John’s Catholic Church, South Parade: Can you kindly help to keep Our Lord Jesus company on Christmas Day in Adoration for an hour period starting from 3 pm at St John’s and carrying on until we run out of volunteers? If you can, please contact Catherine on 0758 7596148 or adoreson85@hotmail.com

Monday 7th December's updates and resources

Charity – CAFOD World Gifts World Gifts, CAFOD’s range of virtual gifts, make a real difference to families living in poverty across the world. While we have the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown here, we can still be good neighbours to our sisters and brothers overseas by giving World Gifts as Christmas presents to family and friends. The Keep Clean Kit gift for £6 and the Vegetable Garden gift for £10 are just two gifts that will help vulnerable families affected by the pandemic to protect and feed themselves. Let’s spread joy and hope around the world this Christmas. Visit cafod.org.uk/worldgifts.

Charity – Mary’s Meals: “As we enter Advent and approach the end of a challenging year for us all, we want to thank you for your faithful support of Mary’s Meals at this time. Our founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow has recorded a special message for parishioners. We hope you will continue to spread the word about our beautiful mission by sharing this short film during your services, on your website or on social media”.  

Advent – The God who speaks: Reading Mark in Advent’ is an 18-part podcast series that sees us upload a chapter of Saint Mark’s Gospel on each weekday of the season. Read more here  Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

Hurrah! Booking is now open for all five Christmas Masses: Christmas Eve (6pm, 9pm and Midnight) and Christmas Day (9am and 10.30am). Booking closes on 22nd December.

  • Booking is via the Parish Office by email bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com 
  • We are not using Eventbrite for these Masses. Instead, there will be a seating plan to allow as many people as possible to come to Mass, whilst ensuring everyone is socially distanced.
  • Book up to six seats for those in your household or support bubble. If there are more than six in your household or bubble, add a note to that effect in your email.
  • Booking is on a first come, first served basis. Please give a first and second option for the Masses you would like to attend. We may not have the seats you need at your first choice. You will receive email confirmation of your booking within 24 hours (Mon-Fri).
  • You need to give a phone number for track and trace purposes.
  • If you need step-free access or are a coeliac, please include that information in your email.
  • All the usual pandemic rules for attending Mass apply re: masks
  • To book Mass on any other day in December, please use Eventbrite. People who normally book by phone will receive a phonecall.
Thursday 3rd December's updates and resources

Parish – Mass: You can now book seats for Masses in Advent by using this link https://bookmassinadvent.eventbrite.co.uk 

Charity – Celebrate Advent with CAFOD: After a year of uncertainty, we all need the hope, peace and true comfort and joy that the Advent season can offer. CAFOD has a range of resources and virtual events to help us come together online to pray, reflect and celebrate as we prepare for the coming of our Lord. Visit cafod.org.uk/parishes to learn more. This Advent you can help share comfort and joy with families around the world, like Saba’s. Saba and her three children fled their home in Myanmar to escape horrific violence and persecution. They were targeted because of their ethnicity. Thanks to your support last year, Saba was given essential materials to build a shelter – so finally her children have a safe place to call home. We can stretch out our hands to people living in poverty and refugees by donating to CAFOD’s Advent Appeal at cafod.org.uk/advent.

A light in the darkness: Headteacher of St Mary’s Primary School, Andrew Tarrant, would like to hold the usual Christingle service at the end of the Christmas term. However, COVID-19 restrictions mean  children are not allowed to bring in anything from home. Therefore, the school needs to provide oranges, ribbons,  candles, sweets & dried fruits for all 190+ children to make a Christingle at school. Finances are tight at the best of times so we promised to ask  parishioners to fund the Christingle  service. Could you help by donating money to pay for the items required? Please pop a donation, however large or small, into an envelope marked “Parish Office: Christingle”, & send it to 4 Harley Street, Bath, BA1 2SF. Cheques to be made out to St Mary’s  Catholic Church Bath. Never heard of christingles?  https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/christingles.shtml

POPE FRANCIS, LAUDATO SI AND OUR COMMON HOME: Facilitated by the Catholic Community in Cheltenham, an Advent series of talks, conversations and reflections is taking place via Zoom. The course is centred around Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato si”.

Monday 7 December: ‘Where is God’s first revelation –Fr Michael Healy;

Monday 14 December: ‘Applying the encyclical’ –Liz Baldwin;

Monday 21 December: ‘In quest of human flourishing’ -Sr Margaret Atkins OSA.

The gatherings take place from 7.45pm –9.00pm. Register online at stgregorys.org.uk

Wednesday 2nd December's updates and resources

Parish – Mass: Here endeth the lockdown. The first public Mass at St Mary’s will be on Friday 4th Dec at 10.00am with Barbara and Mary as the Mass stewards. 

Parish – Bath Churches Carol Trail from 5th– 31st Dec: St Mary’s Parish is proud to be part in a Carol Trail around many of the churches of Bath. Download/ print the map from www.bathcaroltrail.wordpress.com, start from our parish centre or the closest church to your house, and guess the carol from the clues in the nativity display. Use the QR code and check if you have guessed correctly! Sing along with the subtitles! Aimed at children aged 1-102. Many thanks to Kirsten Mulcahy, Hugh Osborne & Nick Boyall for their musical/  vocal/ technological/ artistic talents, and for Claire Morrish and her team at Holy Trinity Combe Down. 

LGBT+ Masses: With the end of lockdown approaching and the opportunity to gather again for communal worship, we are pleased to announce that the monthly celebration of the Eucharist for the LGBT+ community, family, friends and allies will recommence on Sunday 20th December at 3pm at St Nicholas of Tolentino Church, Bristol. The attached flier now also includes a link to the livestream. We would, as ever, be most grateful if you could publicise this widely. In his Pastoral Letter for the First Sunday of Advent, Bishop Declan refers to those who fear marginalisation due to their sexual orientation. The pastoral ministry to the LGBT+ community in Clifton diocese and elsewhere seeks to send a clear signal of inclusion and welcome to people who do indeed not infrequently experience marginalisation, and worse, in their daily lives. https://tolentino.org.uk/lgbt-mass/ Be aware that Bristol is in tier 3 and the Mass will be livestreamed.

Art – Advent:  Cardinal Vincent Nichols offers his reflections on this painting by Dutch artist Geertgen tot Sint Jans titled ‘The Nativity at Night’. Read more here https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/art-and-culture/nativity-at-night/

Advent – music: Today’s carol/Advent music is “O come, o come Emmanuel” as sung by Matt Maher. It is taken from the album “The Advent of Christmas” which you can stream or download on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0CP1IeHgWY&list=OLAK5uy_nWxKFhZgSAe9mMarExQn3hzpRfeFigdqI

Tuesday 1st December's updates and resources

Diocese: Mgr Liam Slattery has produced a handy “How the latest restrictions affect going to Church and receiving the Sacrament in tiers 2 and 3” leaflet which you can access here https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/news-events We need to pray that South Gloucestershire comes out of tier 3 on 16th December, so our parishioners can come to Mass!

Christmas gifts: Consider buying gifts from local independent shops in Bath. You can also buy online from religious communities such as that of the Cistercian monks of Caldey Island https://www.caldey-island.co.uk/ , Ampleforth https://abbeyshop.ampleforth.org.uk/ , Holy Cross Abbey, Whitland (from whom we buy our communion hosts) https://www.hcawhitland.co.uk/shop, Mount St Bernard monastic community http://www.mountsaintbernard.org/gift-shop, Pluscarden Abbey https://www.pluscardenabbey.org/shop, Downside Abbey https://www.downsideabbey.co.uk/shop/  and the Carmelite nuns of Notting Hill https://carmelitesnottinghill.org.uk/craftynunshop/ .

Charity – Compassion at Christmas by BathCAN: We all know how difficult times are for people this Christmas, and therefore we need to display our faith more than ever by filling our communities with compassion.  Here’s a campaign, initiated by Compassionate Community in BANES, that can help us all to spread compassion and reduce loneliness.  It’s called Compassion at Christmas. Here’s what you can do:-

Random Acts of Compassion Posters Display and circulate these A4 posters. The concept is that they should be available to all, for people to colour in and display in their windows once they have completed a random act of compassion.  If you complete 5 acts then you can request a hand-made star from Compassionate Community.  All the details are on this page: Compassion At Christmas

Social Media Campaign Please get involved with our social media campaign, use our facebook frame to your personal profile picture and use the hashtag. #compassionatchristmas.  Don’t forget to tag us @compassioncb.

Other Initiatives  We are running a number of other initiatives with the campaign, including offering a hand made Christmas card by a child, a phone call to the vulnerable on Christmas day, as well as wellbeing pack deliveries for those living alone without internet access. You can find out more about all of these initiatives by heading to our website here: Compassion At Christmas

Advent – music:  Today’s carol choice is sung by the choristers and the Kings Men: “It came upon a midnight clear” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtV477Cqni0&t=36s

Monday 30th November's updates and resources
Prayer – BathCAN: Invitation to Pray for Bath on Tuesday 1 December at 8pm. We would normally hold this in the Abbey but this year it will be on zoom (see link  below ) We are still meeting together in spirit as Paul wrote to the Colossians from prison. (‘For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit 2:5). We will be joined by members of the council, university, hospital, Genesis, MP. for an outpouring of the Spirit and that people will know God. Please share this link with as many people as possible and encourage them to come and pray together. Join Zoom Meeting on Tuesday 1st December at 8.00pm https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86225549314?pwd=QmgyM0F1N2dyT0VFQzhmQjQyU2ppQT09

Vocation: The monks at Buckfast have put together a video about the path to following a vocation to be a monk at Buckfast Abbey https://www.buckfast.org.uk/vocations

Diocesan publications: You can buy the very informative 2021 Clifton Diocese Liturgical diary or the 2021 Diocesan Directory here https://cliftondiocese.com/diocese/publications/

Charity – Julian House’s Christmas Appeal 2020 “Help rebuild lives this Christmas”: 2020 has made us all feel vulnerable but for the people that Julian House supports this is nothing new. Even before COVID-19, most of the people in its care felt vulnerable and isolated from society. This year, the pandemic put their lives in greater danger. For those without a home, sleeping on the streets, escaping domestic abuse, and living with addiction and depression, everyday has been one of struggle and fear. The pandemic has also had a devastating effect on Julian House’s voluntary income at a time when the demand for our services has increased. With fundraising events being cancelled and our charity shops and bike workshops having to close temporarily, we are expecting a loss of £200,000. Vital voluntary income needed to fund our life-saving services. Help Julian House provide the vital support vulnerable people so desperately need at this uncertain time. Your support will help rebuild lives. Donate today: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/JulianHouseChristmasAppeal2020

 

Thursday 26th November's updates and resources
Advent – reflection: Busted Halo have got a brand new animated video on “The meaning of Advent in 2 minutes”, which is both upbeat and poignant as usual. https://advent.bustedhalo.com/

Vocations – Religious Life: Clifton Diocese is very blessed to have many male and female religious serving our communities. Religious life is a particular way of living out the grace of one’s baptismal call to holiness. It is a life of consecration to God through publicly-made vows, usually of chastity, poverty and obedience in a specific Religious Congregation or Order. Each Order or Congregation has its own way of following Christ, the chaste, poor and obedient Son of God, who was sent by the Father to be the living example of holiness. The Church requires that the person making the vows be an adult making a free commitment, that they are not already bound by other commitments (e.g. marriage), that they have the ability to undertake the way of life lived by the Order they seek to join, and are accepted by the Order to make vows, thus becoming one of its members. If you would like more specific information about religious life, please contact Sr Maria, who is the superior at the Bernardine Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady & St Bernard, Brownshill, near Stroud. She will be only too happy to point you in the right direction. Email srmariabernardine@yahoo.co.uk or see the website http://www.bernardine.org/brownshill.html.

The God Who Speaks: Some unusual ways to approach reading the bible – Top Ten Pop Culture Playlist https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-pop-culture-playlist/

Pilgrimage (one where you actually go somewhere): Clifton Diocesan Holy Land Pilgrimage 2021 led by Bishop Declan Lang. Bishop Declan is set to lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2021 (11 – 19 October) staying three nights in Galilee, two nights in Bethlehem, and three nights in Jerusalem. Initial estimated costings indicate a figure of £1,959 per person (based on two people sharing). The cost of the Pilgrimage is currently an estimate. It is possible that the cost of flights will rise and consequently increase the cost of the total package. As soon as we know the final price we will let you know. Since this is a popular pilgrimage we are currently just looking for an expression of interest so that we have an idea of what kind of numbers we can cater for.  If you are interested in next year’s pilgrimage, then please contact Sarah Adams in the Adult Education & Evangelisation department, at adult.education@cliftondiocese.com. Get your passport renewed now whilst everyone is staying put!

Wednesday 25th November's updates and resources
Advent – reflection: Busted Halo have got a brand new animated video on “The meaning of Advent in 2 minutes”, which is both upbeat and poignant as usual. https://advent.bustedhalo.com/

Vocations – Religious Life: Clifton Diocese is very blessed to have many male and female religious serving our communities. Religious life is a particular way of living out the grace of one’s baptismal call to holiness. It is a life of consecration to God through publicly-made vows, usually of chastity, poverty and obedience in a specific Religious Congregation or Order. Each Order or Congregation has its own way of following Christ, the chaste, poor and obedient Son of God, who was sent by the Father to be the living example of holiness. The Church requires that the person making the vows be an adult making a free commitment, that they are not already bound by other commitments (e.g. marriage), that they have the ability to undertake the way of life lived by the Order they seek to join, and are accepted by the Order to make vows, thus becoming one of its members. If you would like more specific information about religious life, please contact Sr Maria, who is the superior at the Bernardine Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady & St Bernard, Brownshill, near Stroud. She will be only too happy to point you in the right direction. Email srmariabernardine@yahoo.co.uk or see the website http://www.bernardine.org/brownshill.html.

The God Who Speaks: Some unusual ways to approach reading the bible – Top Ten Pop Culture Playlist https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-pop-culture-playlist/

Pilgrimage (one where you actually go somewhere): Clifton Diocesan Holy Land Pilgrimage 2021 led by Bishop Declan Lang. Bishop Declan is set to lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2021 (11 – 19 October) staying three nights in Galilee, two nights in Bethlehem, and three nights in Jerusalem. Initial estimated costings indicate a figure of £1,959 per person (based on two people sharing). The cost of the Pilgrimage is currently an estimate. It is possible that the cost of flights will rise and consequently increase the cost of the total package. As soon as we know the final price we will let you know. Since this is a popular pilgrimage we are currently just looking for an expression of interest so that we have an idea of what kind of numbers we can cater for.  If you are interested in next year’s pilgrimage, then please contact Sarah Adams in the Adult Education & Evangelisation department, at adult.education@cliftondiocese.com. Get your passport renewed now whilst everyone is staying put!

 

Tuesday 24th November's updates and resources
Parish: We had an email this morning from Lyn Murray, CEO of Clifton Diocese. We will be allowed to hold Masses and weddings again after lockdown finishes on Wed 2nd Dec. The only variation in the tier system is not to socialise beyond 6 people inside the church in tier 1, and not to socialise at all with anyone outside your household or support bubble inside the church if in tiers 2 or 3. Lyn is seeking guidance on whether we are allowed to hold baptisms and visit to people’s homes (by clergy or Extraordinary Ministers). Remember, the obligation to attend Mass is still suspended so you may wish to stay at home and take part in the Masses via www.churchservices.tv/bath

Environment – Prayer: Thurs 26th November 1.00pm Join the Care for our Common Home circle, a fortnightly half hour Zoom meeting of Meditative Prayer for the climate. We will be live from 12.55pm, to greet one another before starting our prayer together. At 1.30pm we join in the Lord’s Prayer. Contact Martin Davis for the Zoom link m@freerangephotography.co.uk

Vocations – Permanent Diaconate: “Men, might God be calling you to serve as a permanent deacon within the Clifton Diocese?

  • Do you have a deep commitment to your Catholic Faith and your prayer life?
  • Are you committed to your family and work – faithful to your responsibilities and generous with your time?
  • Do you have a strong desire to serve others, in the Church and in the wider community?
  • Have others suggested that you might consider the permanent diaconate to be a vocation for you?

Perhaps God is calling you. We would always recommend that you have a chat first of all with your parish priest. He will be able to help you to understand what the permanent diaconate is about. Next, talk with Deacon Steve Boughton who can help you with the initial discernment and whether or not you might consider applying to be accepted onto the formation programme for the permanent diaconate. https://cliftondiocese.com/vocations/

Advent – children: A suggestion from www.BeAHeart.com This year, instead of Elf on the Shelf, why not use “Mary on the Mantle”. Definitely something to consider for anyone with young children, or who is separated from nieces, nephews or grandchildren and wants something meaningful to send to them. The Mary dolls and ideas packs are sent from America and demand has been fierce, so you may want to re-purpose an existing doll this year or save the idea for 2021 https://beaheart.com/blogs/blog/mary-on-the-mantle Alternatively, ask your American relatives/friends to send one over, along with My Little Church Magnetic Play Set (that’s on my Christmas list). https://weebelievers.com/products/my-little-church-magnet-play-set

Monday 23rd November's updates and resources
Advent – prayer: Fr Jeremy will be leading a Holy Hour at St Mary’s Church at 3.45pm, on all Sundays in Advent starting from Sun 29th November. Next Sunday’s Holy Hour will only be accessible via the live-stream www.churchservices.tv/bath but we hope to open to the public on the next three Sundays.

Advent – children: It is nearly upon us! We will celebrate the first Sunday in Advent this Sunday (29th November). Pax Christi have put together reflections on the people living in Palestine and the city of Bethlehem https://paxchristi.org.uk/remember-palestine-at-christmas They also have a page of resources for children to tell the Christmas story, using photos of those living in Bethlehem now https://paxchristi.org.uk/peace-education/primary-schools/advent-christmas/

Advent – reflections: Missio have reflections on their website designed for schools but are relevant to us all https://missio.org.uk/advent-and-christmastide/

Advent – Children: FREE Bible Society resources! Order their new Jesse Tree resource and journey together through the events and prophecies leading to Jesus’ birth. The Early Church adopted the idea of Jesse Trees to help people link decorating Christmas trees with the events and prophecies leading to Jesus’ birth. A Jesse Tree depicts the relationship of Jesus with Jesse and other Biblical figures who were the ancestors of Jesus. Our Jesse Tree resource features press out baubles which you can tie to your Christmas Tree with some thread. There’s a Scripture passage to look up and read each day and a quiz question on the reverse of the baubles. To order your Jesse Tree resource please contact Katy via email: katy.dorrer@biblesociety.org.uk They have made their Jesse Tree resource freely available, and hope and pray that it will be a blessing to many people this Advent. However, please consider supporting their work with a donation https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/education/advent-jesse-tree/

Environment and Faith Leaders: Bishop John Arnold, Environment Lead for the Bishops’ Conference, has joined over 60 UK faith leaders in writing to the Prime Minister to call on the government to deliver new, ambitious plans to tackle climate change. The UK has the presidency for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference that will be held in Glasgow in November 2021. The faith leaders stress that, as COP26 President, the UK’s single most important job is to rally all countries to raise ambition and put forward enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that limit a global temperature rise this century to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement, reached in the French capital at the COP21 climate conference in 2015, requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs, to set a course towards sustainable development to achieve this global warming commitment. In their letter, the representatives of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities, emphasise that the UK government can lead by example. Read more here https://cliftondiocese.com/news/bishop-joins-uk-faith-leaders-in-calling-on-prime-minister-to-deliver-a-world-leading-plan-on-climate-change/

Thursday 19th November's updates and resources
Justice and Peace: Saturday, 21 November 11.00am – 3.00pm National Justice and Peace Network AGM and Networking Day following on the ideas of our Post Pandemic Church Mini Conference. NJPN facilitates networking among those concerned for justice, peace and the care of creation from a faith perspective, and with all who share our aims and values.  Register via Eventbrite here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/njpn-agm-networking-day-tickets-121751701617

Vocations and the environment: Tuesday, 24 November 7.00pm “Monasticism – a model for sustainable living?” With Sister Jessica of Mucknell Abbey Another in the series of talks organised by Worcester Green Christian.  In this talk we will explore what a small monastic community nestled in the Worcestershire countryside can teach us about living closer to God by being closer to and living in harmony with the natural environment. Sister Jessica will introduce Mucknell Abbey which is an Anglican Benedictine community of monks and nuns based in Worcestershire. For information and to book click here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/monasticism-a-model-for-sustainable-living-tickets-126466985157 For more information about the Mucknell Abbey please visit their website https://mucknellabbey.org.uk/  If you would like to find out the latest about the Green Christian please visit our website

The God Who Speaks: Some unusual ways to approach reading the Bible – Top Ten instruments in the Bible https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-musical-instruments-in-the-bible/

 

 

Wednesday 18th November's updates and resources
Prayer service – CAFOD: Sunday 22 November, 2pm-3pm Pray Without Ceasing Prayer Service for Climate Justice Join us for a short service of prayer, reflection and action on climate justice with friends from around the world. As world leaders should have been gathering in Glasgow for COP26, the crucial UN climate conference that has now been postponed until November 2021. To mark the original date, and to reflect on our role in pushing for more ambitious climate action in the coming year, we will gather from all over the world for a short service of prayer and reflection. Register to join us https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/prayer-service-for-climate-justice-tickets-126525259457

Justice and Peace: Wednesday, 25 November 3.30pm – 5.pm Cultural Awareness and the Evolving language of Racism and Racial Justice. One of CARJ workshops on Diversity, Inequality and Racism in the UK. Participants will reflect on their experience of how cultural awareness or its absence can affect the atmosphere in a school. Are Black children more likely to be excluded? Have they been targeted for hair styles and other cultural practices? We will go on to discuss emerging terminology – eg ‘micro aggressions’, ‘unconscious bias’, ‘white privilege etc. Some of the terminology relates to fundamental issues like ‘institutional racism’ which will be explored in some depth. Ffi and to register ring 020 8802 8080 or info@carj.org.uk . Your registration will be acknowledged and you’ll be sent a link a few days prior to the event. Participation is free of charge.

Clifton Diocese – November remembrance of the dead: “Praying our Goodbyes….An invitation to remember those who have died.” The month of November is the traditional month in the Catholic Church for praying for those who have died. We remember each and every one and in particular this year, we remember those who have died as a consequence of COVID-19. Throughout November we are inviting anyone who wishes to post a prayer on our prayer wall to do so. In this way we can all join in one prayer, not only for those who have died, but also for those who mourn their loss. You can add your prayer by clicking on the + button. Please can we ask you NOT to post photographs of people. Go to https://cliftondiocese.com/ and scroll down the home page to find the article on prayers for the dead.

Tuesday 17th November's updates and resources
Charity/Mental Health – Genesis Together Virtual Challenges: Every month we have a route to walk, run, cycle, row or however you like to exercise.  The November Challenge is Bristol Cathedral to Winchester Cathedral. It’s a great way to keep motivated to exercise and also to support Genesis Trust. If you want a longer challenge there is an ongoing Cotswold Way Challenge of 102 miles which you can enter at any time. For more details visit our website .  Hilary can also create a bespoke challenge for groups so please get in touch – hilary.long@genesistrust.org.uk

Environment – Britain Talks Climate: Wednesday, 18 November 10.30am – 12noon Britain Talks Climate: A toolkit for engaging the British public. ‘Against a backdrop of growing concern about polarisation, our Britain Talks Climate project will support the climate community by providing an evidence-based, shared and strategic understanding of the British public and how to engage across the whole of society. Going beyond ‘left vs right’ or ‘leave vs remain’ to uncover seven nuanced and complex segments of the British public, Britain Talks Climate captures their differences but also their commonalities. In this webinar, we’ll walk participants through key insights and recommendations, as well as our fully interactive online toolkit and a range of downloadable materials. These tools are designed to equip campaigners and communicators with the insights they need to shape the national debate in a way that draws on shared values and avoids division. Britain Talks Climate is a collaboration between Climate Outreach and the European Climate Foundation (ECF), based on an extensive research process led by More in Common, ECF and YouGov. Register https://records.climateoutreach.org.uk/civicrm/event/register?id=137&reset=1

Catholic social teaching:  Thursday 19 November, 11am-12pm Fratelli Tutti and the work of CSAN & CAFOD Pope Francis launched his new encyclical Fratelli Tutti (Brothers and Sisters All) in October in which he writes, “We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead. How important it is to dream together…”  CAFOD and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) invite you to an online event to share some early thoughts on how this important encyclical will affect the way we work. Register to join us https://www.bigmarker.com/cafod/CSAN-Fratelli-Tutti

The God Who Speaks: Some unusual ways to approach reading the bible – Top Ten plants in the Bible! https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-plants-in-the-bible/

Monday 16th November's updates and resources
Dementia: Today’s parishioner recommendation is the Dementia Newsletter. Here is a snippet: A BBC World Service Music Memories project has been launched with the aim of starting a ‘global conversation’ to help trigger the memories of people with dementia. https://canvas-story.bbcrewind.co.uk/musicanddementiaatthebbc

The Dementia Newletter is produced twice yearly by the Dementia Network of Christians on Ageing. It is available free by email attachment or hard copy at £5 per annum. If you wish to receive a copy please contact info@ccoa.org.uk or Christians on Ageing at ‘Stoneway’, Hornby Road, Appleton Wiske, Northallerton DL6 2AF Website: www.christiansonageing.org.uk

Music in church: HOW TO SUSTAIN PARISH MUSIC MINISTRY IN A PANDEMIC In this free online workshop, Jo Boyce shares five ways to keep the ministry of music and song alive in our parishes. Live-streamed on Tuesday 17 November, 7:00pm (GMT)  “After more than 25 years of full time music ministry, I am convinced that song and music play a vital role not only in our life of liturgy and worship, but also in the renewal of our parishes. I look forward to sharing some of my experience and insight with you, and finding a way to keep the song alive together.” – Jo Boyce    Register here: https://bit.ly/36yTVCW

Environment – Christian Climate Action Saturday Sessions: An exciting programme of weekly talks and discussions to help inform our climate activism. Next talk 21st November 11.00am Rachie Ross “The Emmaus Story: walking with Jesus in the disappointment”. Click on the link to join the meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArcuCqrTwpHdffq_aLH6Wq8iCv_l7ZP7L8 During the Advent period, the CCSA Saturday Reflections will focus on climate and colour looking at the interrelationship between the climate and ecological crisis and race.

Parish: Don’t forget to send back your census form, plus your car park application form if you would like a permit. All the details about both the census and the car park permit are in the Sunday bulletin https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/newsletters

Thursday 12th November's updates and resources
Charity – Genesis: The Bath charity has put together a useful guide for how to continue to help the homeless this winter during the lockdown and beyond. It details how you can give, whether it is your time, money, food or donations of sleeping bags, blankets or warm mens’ clothing.  https://genesistrust.org.uk/news/christmas-care/

Charity – caveat: There are many calls for our money at this time. Please do not feel pressured to give if you are unable to do so. No one person can support every needy cause. However, every cause needs our prayers, which are completely free and with which we can be so generous. So please pray for the employees and volunteers at all charities and all those whom they support.

Job: St Gregory’s Catholic College are looking for Learning Support Assistants to start immediately. “We have a number of flexible posts to fill and would welcome applications from candidates looking to join a forward-thinking and innovative team for their next career move.”

https://www.st-gregorys.org.uk/2020/11/learning-support-assistants-4/

Youth – National Youth Sunday 22nd November: This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the role and significance of young people in the Catholic Church in England and Wales today. Celebrated on the Feast of Christ the King, National Youth Sunday is an opportunity to recognise young people as a gift in the Church, enable the youth ministry and parish community to celebrate young people and affirm the contribution of young people in the Church and those who work with them. For more information look at https://cliftondiocese.com/departments/adult-education/youth-ministry/national-youth-sunday/

Wednesday 11th November's updates and resources
School and Christmas – a light in the darkness: Headteacher of St Mary’s Primary School, Mr Andrew Tarrant, would like to hold the usual Christingle service at the end of the Christmas term. However, the COVID-19 restrictions mean that children are not allowed to bring anything from home into school. Therefore, the school needs to provide enough oranges, ribbons, candles, sweets, dried fruits and cocktail sticks for all 190+ children to make a Christingle in school. School finances are tight at the best of times so we promised to ask parishioners to fund this Christingle service. Could you help by donating money to pay for the items required? Please pop a donation, however large or small, into an envelope marked “Parish Office re Christingle”, and send it to 4 Harley Street, Bath, BA1 2SF. Cheques can be made out to St Mary’s Catholic Church Bath. If you have never heard of christingles, you can find out more here https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/christingles.shtml

Reflection: A meditation by Fr Richard Rohr OFM on the need for love, and the commandment to “love one another as I have loved you”.  If this speaks to you, you may want to sign up for Daily Meditations from Fr Richard and the Centre for Action and Contemplation https://cac.org/a-commandment-to-love-2020-11-08/

Dementia: Today’s parishioner recommendation is the Dementia Newsletter. Here is a snippet: “The importance of music for persons with dementia: Care homes have been invited to nominate their Top 10 Favourite Songs for a dementia-friendly radio station. M4d Radio is a new venture by the charity Music for Dementia. It wants to play a Top of the Pops-style playlist drawn from nominations made by its care home listeners. It is for M4d’s ‘Mix’ station, which plays music from the 1930s to the 1970s. https://musicfordementia.org.uk/2020/07/23/care-homes-top-tunes-nomination” Do you have a relative or friend in a care home? What music do they enjoy? If you have dementia, what music would you like to listen to?

The Dementia Newletter is produced twice yearly by the Dementia Network of Christians on Ageing. It is available free by email attachment or hard copy at £5 per annum. If you wish to receive a copy please contact info@ccoa.org.uk or Christians on Ageing at ‘Stoneway’, Hornby Road, Appleton Wiske, Northallerton DL6 2AF Website: www.christiansonageing.org.uk

Job: St Gregory’s Catholic College are recruiting for School Meals Supervisory  Assistants (SMSAs) to join our team supervising students during the lunchtime  period and helping to ensure the smooth  running of our catering facilities during this busy period of the school day. For all the info, go to https://www.st-gregorys.org.uk/2020/11/school-meals-supervisory-assistant-smsa-2/

Tuesday 10th November's updates and resources
Youth – A focus on Youth Ministry in a time of pandemic: This is a series of conversations for anyone interested in any aspect of supporting the young people of our Diocese. The Adult Education department will be running this series of evening talks on Microsoft Teams with a number of national speakers taking the lead. The dates and speakers are:

17 November  Lizzie Wakeling      Youth Adviser for Arundel & Brighton

28 January      David Wells      National & International speaker 😍

23 February     Daisy Srblin      Director of Million Minutes

23 March         Fr. David King         Priest Adviser for Youth Ministry for Arundel & Brighton

20 April           Hannah Vaughan-Spruce     Divine Renovation

25 May           James Trewby         Justice and Peace Education worker for Columban Ministries

Each talk begins at 7.30pm and will finish around 8.45pm. We start on 17th November with Lizzie Wakeling, Youth Advisor for the Catholic Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. Prior to this she spent many years working for the NHS whilst doing voluntary youth work and theological studies. If you are interested in joining the conversation or simply to listen to what is being said, please get in touch with youth@cliftondiocese.com to express your interest. They will then send out a Teams invitation to you a few days before each talk.

Charity – Mary’s Meals: Mary’s Meals have incredible news! From now until 31 January 2021, public donations made to our Double The Love appeal will be doubled by the UK government, up to £2 million.  This generosity will bring new hope to families in Liberia where hunger prevents children from going to school, and more than half of children drop out before they finish primary education. Massa wakes at the crack of dawn to help with chores. The eight-year-old then walks 40 minutes each day to Vorkor Public School in Liberia, where she can look forward to receiving Mary’s Meals, which fills her empty stomach. She tells us: “Sometimes there is nothing for me to eat at home before I go to school, and I feel so hungry. The food I eat at school makes me feel good and happy, and helps me to concentrate in class. It also helps my mother as she finds it hard to find food for us all to eat.”  Together, through this Double The Love campaign, we can help transform the lives of more than 43,000 hungry children, just like Massa, across 167 primary schools in Liberia.

Monday 9th November's updates and resources
  • Prayer – Aid to the Church in Need: Please join us in prayer for the suffering and persecuted Church in the nine days leading up to #RedWednesday 2020 on 25th November.  https://acnuk.org/resource/redwednesday-novena-for-parishes/

    Parish – Lockdown activity: Wondering how to fill the time now we are back in lockdown? We have the perfect solution – fill in a census form! We last took a census in 2016, so it is time to ask for everyone’s details again as people’s circumstances and phone numbers change. Find the form online by clicking on “I am new to the parish. Help!” on https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/parish-life  You can either fill it in online and send it back to me at this address as a pdf document, or print it off, fill it in and send it back to: Parish Administrator, 4 Harley Street, Bath BA1 2SF. We would welcome everyone to fill in a form, even if you have done so in the past or have lived in the parish your whole life.

    Charity – Genesis Trust: Give as You shop – online shopping that benefits Genesis Trust http://genesistrust.org.uk/support-us/donate-today/give-while-you-shop/

    Youth – Youth award: Do you know a young person who deserves to be celebrated? Nominate them for the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Award. Supported by Cardinal Nichols, Million Minutes have created the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Award to give schools, parishes and communities a means to recognise the amazing actions of young people in their communities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications are open on a rolling basis and all who are nominated will be considered for a small grant (£50 – £300), to enable the continuation of their common good efforts across their local community. Successful recipients of the grant (on condition that they meet our grant criteria) will be presented with the award from within their local community. All recipients of the award will also receive a certificate of achievement from Cardinal Nichols. Award recipients will also have the opportunity to benefit from the Young Leaders’ programme, to be launched in 2021. Find out about young people who have already been recognised as award recipients: https://millionminutes.org/2020-blessed-pier-recipients. For any questions on the application process, please contact us at awards@millionminutes.org  and to apply visit https://millionminutes.org/nomination-form-local-awards

    Live-streaming: 10.00am Mass on Wednesday will be live-streamed as will the Funeral Mass of Mike Kelly RIP on Friday at noon. Just click on the link to watch the Mass www.churchservices.tv/bath We have had some lovely comments from those who took part in yesterday’s Mass from their homes.

Thursday 5th November's updates and resources
Bishops statement on the second lockdown: Do read last night’s statement from Cardinal Vincent Nichols regarding the suspension of Masses.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/statement-on-the-four-week-national-lockdown-and-a-call-to-prayer/ He calls for us to “sustain each other in our patterns of prayer, joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm, and observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21 November) as a day of prayer for the ending of this pandemic.” Today’s suggestions for prayer are from Christian Aid, on the theme of prayers for those suffering in a myriad of ways from the effects of coronavirus, including this prayer for times of isolation:

‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come…will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:38-39).

God of heaven and earth, in these times of isolation, apart from loved ones distant from friends away from neighbours, thank you that there is nothing in all of creation, not even coronavirus, that is able to separate us from your love. And may your love that never fails continue to be shared through the kindness of strangers looking out for each other, for neighbours near and far all recognising our shared vulnerability, each of us grateful for every breath, and willing everyone to know the gift of a full and healthy life. Keep us all in your care. Amen.

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/churches/coronavirus-prayers

Children – Bonfire Night tips: One for the small/mischievous people in your life – tips on how to stay safe on Bonfire Night from Guys Fawkes himself, courtesy of the Horrible Histories team https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX1yfqLRIrg&feature=youtu.be

Live streaming: This morning, the equipment to enable us to live stream services from St Mary’s is being installed by the engineers from ChurchServices.TV. As soon as all the different elements are in place and permissions are granted, you will then be able to participate via the ChurchServices.TV website or via a link on the parish website. Live streamed Masses should follow the timetable of Masses as they have taken place since 5th July (Sundays 9.00am, 10.30am, 5.00pm, Wednesday and Fridays 10.00am).

Charity: Genesis Trust and Bath Half 2021 5th Sept The Bath Half has been moved to later in the year so more time to train over the summer months! If you would like to run for Genesis or know someone who is interested please register. The registration link is here  http://genesistrust.org.uk/support-us/fundraising/challenge-events/. There will also be a Virtual Bath Half on 14th March 2021 (the original date) and more details of this will be available on the Genesis Challenge Events page.

Wednesday 4th November's updates and resources
Persecution: Aid to the Church in Need – Red Wednesday 25th November: Over the last five years our #RedWednesday campaign has been hugely successful in drawing attention to the human rights tragedy of Christian and other religious persecution. Now a global initiative, endorsed by the UK government, it is time to make #RedWednesday a campaign with teeth that can really change lives. Will you help? https://acnuk.org/our-campaigns/redwednesday/

Charity – A message from the Life Project: We are a Bath based charity supporting people with learning disabilities and their parents and carers.   We want to tell you about our next fundraising campaign Bath to Bethlehem to raise £5,000 because we would value your help.  We are asking people to raise money for us whilst clocking up miles (2886 virtual miles to Bethlehem) as you run, walk, jog, cycle, row!  To take part you can do this by adding up the miles you run every day or challenge yourself to do something out of your comfort zone!   As a Christian based charity, the birthplace of Jesus is very important to us.  We feel that Bethlehem is a really fitting place for us to travel to virtually this Christmas.  Do keep an eye on our social media @lifeprojectbath where we will be up-dating regularly on the progress we are making.   You can watch our intro video by following this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HTOHh_Dhxc All ideas are welcome… small or large!   For more details on how you can get involved please have a look at our website https://www.lifeprojectbath.org.uk/bath-to-bethlehem/ and contact Dinah on info@lifeprojectbath.org.uk or 07708 217 901.

Youth – Grants available for young people: Million Minutes funds projects in England and Wales undertaken by groups and individuals who work to enable young people to change the world, inspired by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Many of our recipients are young people and young adults themselves, working to make the world a better place. We are now accepting grant applications for small grants (£200-£2000) to support young people (aged up to 25) to change the world – and we accept applications from groups representing young people, and from young people themselves. You can read about some of the projects Million Minutes have already supported here.

Eloise (Ella) RIP: As a parish, we have been praying for Ella, a little girl from Odd Down who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Very sadly, she died last week. Please pray for her parents and brothers, who are heartbroken.

Tuesday 3rd November's updates and resources
Monday 2nd November's updates and resources
Mike Kelly RIP: We are very sorry to announce the death of parishioner Mike Kelly RIP, who died last week. Many of you will know Mike (brother to Pat and Eddie) through his (life?) long association with St Mary’s, including his work with the Soup Run, taking the collection at Mass and his kindness to others. His funeral Mass will have to be private; the details of when and where are not certain yet due to the new lockdown restrictions. If you have a card for Eddie or Pat, please pop them into 4 Harley Street and Fr Jeremy will pass them on.

Holy Hour Wed 4th Nov – Aid to the Church in Need: Join them (via live stream) to pray before the Blessed Sacrament each first Wednesday at 3pm.These Holy Hours will focus on prayer for the suffering and persecuted Church, for clergy and religious (especially those who work in dangerous and challenging environments) and for all those who support the work of ACN in our world today. https://acnuk.org/event/acn-holy-hours/ You can print the service sheet too https://acnuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ACN-Holy-Hours-service-sheet-Oct-2020-2.pdf You can listen to a recording of the Tantum Ergo here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swns4Kjzc9E

Youth – Million Minutes: Online conversations for youth workers, catechists and all those supporting young people. Following on from their popular online conversations during lockdown, Million Minutes are hosting at least another two slots, scheduled for Tuesday 3 November at 7pm – 8:30pm and Wednesday 4 November at 10:30am – 12pm, facilitated by Danny Curtin. Visit millionminutes.org/conversations to register, or email sophie@millionminutes.org with any questions. To know more about this relatively new charity, go to https://millionminutes.org/about

New lockdown restrictions: The new government guidance tells places of worship to close from Thursday. We have cancelled all Masses at St Mary’s until Fri 4th Dec at 10.00am, and hope to start live streaming Masses from mid November. Cardinal Vincent Nichols does not believe churches should have to close due to COVID prevention measures that have been put in place, and has issued a document 2020.10.31 – Statement – PMs Statement – FINAL[15871]. The Church of England has issued a similar document.

Music: Something calming to listen to amongst the uncertainty: Passion – Grace Of God With Us (Audio) ft. Chidima

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojcHbfINX40&feature=push-sd&attr_tag=Wfvo_34lmeTbJxu6%3A6

Thursday 22nd October's updates and resources
Clocks: The clocks go back this Sunday (“Spring forward, Fall back”) so be careful if you have booked yourself into a morning Mass at St Mary’s.

Booking your seat at Mass: It is really important that you book a seat before coming to Mass. For example, 58 parishioners came to a 10.30am Mass with a possible 60 seats available. However, of that number, 13 people had not booked a seat before arriving. We have a lot of new people coming to St Mary’s, which is wonderful. Please do not assume that there will be a space for you just because you have been lucky in the past. Our stewards will hate to turn you away, so please use the link to ensure you get a seat. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebration-of-mass-4th-october-to-27th-november-registration-123111827791

Funeral Mass: The Funeral Mass for Ray Rodgers RIP will take place next Wednesday morning at St Mary’s. As numbers are restricted to 30, it will be a private funeral. Any condolence cards can be passed to Ray’s wife Phil via Fr Jeremy.

Parish Census: We last took a census in 2016, so it is time to ask for everyone’s details again as people’s circumstances change. Find the form online by clicking on “I am new to the parish. Help!” on https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/parish-life 
You can either fill it in online and send it back to bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com as a pdf document, or print it off, fill it in and send it back to: Parish Administrator, 4 Harley Street, Bath BA1 2SF. We would welcome everyone to fill in a form, even if you have done so in the past.

St Michael’s Without: “It’s Christmas!! Well…it isn’t of course, but we are in something of a festive mood here at St. Mike’s.  Our brand new Christmas ‘Pop-up’ is now open!  This is a joint venture with Bath Abbey selling charity cards as well as a range of small gifts, nativity sets and decorations etc.  If you don’t yet have a tree decoration depicting Bath Abbey, now is your chance to rectify that situation!…” read more: https://www.stmichaelsbath.org.uk/blog/its-chriiiiiistmaaaaas If you have never been, St Michael’s Without is the church opposite Waitrose. There is a lovely café inside the church. If you need further cheering, pop to Rossiters as they have their Christmas shop up and running.

Wednesday 21st October's updates and resources
Tuesday 20th October's updates and resources
Mass via live stream: Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) have an interesting website, packed full of information and ideas. This includes ways to participate in live streamed Masses “As you will no doubt agree, lockdown has been a challenge in many ways. One of these being how we, as Catholics, celebrate Mass, the Eucharist and indeed any form of prayer. At ACN, we have found that many of our friends have enjoyed being able to live stream Masses and so we have created a schedule of Masses that will be offered for the work of ACN, for our benefactors and friends, and for all persecuted Christians. These Masses will stream live from all around the UK. Check out our schedule and let’s celebrate Mass together.”  https://acnuk.org/event/acn-masses/

CCS Adoption Christmas Cards: Send a Christmas greeting and support CCS Adoption at the same time. This year, to help everyone stay safe and well, we have simplified our Christmas card offer.

Exercise – Genesis Trust charity: Bath Hilly Half –  Sun 15 Nov. Would anyone like to take up this challenge for Genesis Trust? https://www.trionium.com/bathhillyhalf/

Art: Join the bunting parade in Bath! 🚩 This festive season, Bath BID, in conjunction with @minutemanbath, want to fill the city streets with beautiful pictures created by local people, inspiring everyone to rediscover the magic of Bath at Christmas. 🎄 Winning pictures and designs entered into the Bath at Christmas Art Competition will be reproduced as two-metre-long giant ‘bunting’ and displayed on lamppost pennants around the city centre, creating a rainbow of festive artwork designed by our community. Entrants will be split into four categories – Under Tens, Under 21s, Over 21s and Businesses. Businesses are encouraged to submit a piece of artwork that represents their festive offering – a great teambuilding activity! The pennants will be displayed from Monday 16th November until the end of December, with entries being accepted up to 9am on Monday 2nd November. https://www.bathbid.co.uk/christmas-art-competition/

 

Monday 19th October's updates and resources
Prayers for peace: CBCEW have got two articles on the need for prayers in two difficult situations https://www.cbcew.org.uk/cardinal-prays-for-peace-in-nagorno-karabakh/ and https://www.cbcew.org.uk/european-affairs-bishop-prays-for-people-of-belarus/ . The latter includes a podcast “Banned during Communism, thriving now”, recorded in 2014 with Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev talking about the Catholic Church and his ministry in Belarus.

The God Who Speaks: Throughout the Year of the Word, Catholics have been showcasing various artefacts from churches and institutions in the Diocese of Leeds in a series of podcasts entitled “A History of the Word in Objects from the Diocese of Leeds”. Each object has a connection to the Bible and the podcasts include interviews with local people, historical background information and a guided meditation. You can either listen to the talks via a podcast link of watch short films on YouTube. The one on God’s Granny should raise a smile. https://www.dioceseofleeds.org.uk/education/our-faith/year-of-the-word/history-of-the-word-in-12-objects/

November Masses: There will be no November Masses at Perrymead this year but that doesn’t mean that the blessing of graves can’t take place. On Saturday 7th November at 11.30am, you are invited to gather at Perrymead as part of the month of the Holy Souls. There will a short Liturgy of the Word in front of the chapel and Fr Christopher will bless the graves of those dear and known to you. Do go along if you can. The November Deanery Mass that would usually take place at Perrymead will be celebrated in St John’s at 9.30am that same Saturday (7th). At that Mass we pray for the members of our parish and deanery community who have died across this last year.

Thursday 15th October's updates and resources
Catholic radio: For those who like to send some time away from a computer or phone, try Heaven’s Road radio station http://www.heavensroadfm.com/ You can find the schedule for the week here http://www.heavensroadfm.com/schedule/

St Teresa of Avila: Today is her feast day.

  • This song “Let nothing trouble you” is based on the prayer ascribed to St Teresa of Avila. It is always relevant, but certainly in 2020, this prayer is near to our hearts. https://bit.ly/30UmkkL
  • St. Teresa of Jesus was born on March 28, 1515, in Avila, Spain. Her mother died when she was 14, and she entered the Carmelite Monastery in Avila in 1535. Her life as a Carmelite, though far removed from the mainstream of modern culture, still speaks powerfully to us today. Inspired by St. Teresa of Jesus and St. Henry de Ossó, the Teresian Sisters are a community of consecrated women who collaborate with others in bringing forth the reign of God. Through prayer, education and evangelization, they seek to know and love Jesus and to make Him known and loved by all. They are called to be prophetic signs of God’s merciful love: protecting Creation, proclaiming the dignity of all people, and defending justice, in solidarity with the poor and marginalized. http://www.teresiansisters.org/our-spirituality/the-life-of-st-teresa-of-jesus/
Wednesday 14th October's updates and resources
St John Henry Newman: His feast day was on 9th October. You can listen to a CBCEW podcast series ‘Journeying With Newman’ which examines the breadth of Newman’s teaching and preaching by way of reflections from those who have been inspired by and had their lives touched by our newest saint.

You can also listen to a new episode ‘Benedict XVI on Newman‘ – a final addition to the series to mark St John Henry Newman’s feast day. Taken from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s homily given at the Mass of Beatification in Cofton Park in Birmingham. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/celebrating-st-john-henry-newmans-feast-day/

World Mission Sunday 18th October: World Mission Sunday is celebrated in every Catholic community in the world. It’s a moment of grace to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in situations of poverty, violence and oppression. Every parish, school and community is invited to join this special event. The CBCEW website has a great page on World Mission Sunday https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/world-mission-sunday-2020/ containing lots of links to info on what World Mission Sunday means in practical terms. They include this FAQ sheet https://www.cbcew.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/10/WMS2020-Leaflet.pdf which gives you lots of information including why we should give money and ways to pray for the work of the missionaries.

Live streaming of Masses from St Mary’s: As the battle with Covid 19 is going to go on much longer than we anticipated, we have decided that we must start streaming our Sunday Masses. This way, parishioners who are shielding or prefer not to come back to church yet will be able to join virtually together with those actually attending. We have contracted with ChurchservicesTV who will install a camera during October.  Our Masses will appear on their website and on our parish website, and will be available to anyone with access to the web. https://www.churchservices.tv/  This company has installed streaming throughout the UK and Ireland and has huge experience; indeed our Cathedral in Clifton uses them. https://www.churchservices.tv/cliftoncathedral

In addition to Sunday Masses, we can also stream weekday Masses, baptisms, funerals and weddings. We hope to start streaming our Masses towards the end of October, and will keep you posted about the start date. We anticipate the installation costs to be about £5,000 of which the camera is the most expensive part. We have received some very generous donations towards the costs and hope that we might receive more.

 

Tuesday 13th October's updates and resources
Vocations: A film about the inspirational work of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal community. Fr. Andrew Apostoli founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal community in 1988 in the Archdiocese of New York. In 1995 Sr. Lucille Cutrone, C.F.R., who was one of the original-founding members, is presently the Community Servant. (Superior) The aim of the Community is to live the Gospel values in simplicity according to the ideals of Saint Francis as handed on by the Capuchin tradition. The age limit for entrance is 35 years old; no college degree is necessary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFRWZRaBhRU You can find out more about them on their website https://www.franciscansisterscfr.com/ Their selfless work is mentioned in Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow’s excellent book Give.

LGBT+ Masses: We are pleased to announce that the monthly Mass at St Nicholas of Tolentino, Bristol for the LGBT+ community, family, friends and allies has now resumed. As previously, they are held at 3.00pm on the third Sunday of each month. These Masses are also now being livestreamed and then made available as recordings, for the benefit of those unable to join us in person.  The livestream can be accessed via a link on the parish website  https://tolentino.org.uk

Pilgrimage: Clifton Diocese and Downside Abbey Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 28 July – 6 August 2021

Father Colin Mason, who is the Vocations Director for Clifton Diocese, will be one of the Spiritual Directors on next year’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This is the third such trip which has been designed specifically for young UK Catholic adults in the age range 18 to 35ish. In addition to celebrating Mass at some of the Holiest places on Earth, exploring places mentioned in the Bible and other historic sites, we also have a lot of fun! Imagine swimming in the Dead Sea, rafting down the Jordan River, and camping out in the Judean Desert!

To get a better idea of what it will be like, please check out YouCAN Instagram handle youngcatholicadultnetworkuk. You can also see pics of last year’s trip at https://youngcatholicadultnetwork.uk/In our present situation we are just asking for a £150 reservation fee to gauge interest, returnable should we decide, for whatever reason, not to go. About a third of the places have already been booked.  Contact the organiser rina@youngcatholicadultnetwork.uk for Itinerary, pricing and booking form.

Monday 12th October's updates and resources
Reflections on how to cope in 2020: Originally designed for teachers anticipating a return to work after lockdown, David Wells presents four 10 min reflections on what 2020 presents us, and how we can react in a positive way. The first one ask us to consider what can be gained from being interrupted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrVNLakyHyg&feature=emb_title

Year of Pilgrimage: We are a bit late to the game here, but 2020 was designated a Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage in the Anglican church. There is a interesting website full of information about the celebrations that have been taking place over the past nine months. Even if we cannot visit these ancient places of worship ourselves, the photography on the website is an excellent antidote to the chill,  cloudy weather outside. https://www.englishcathedrals.co.uk

Missio and children: During October, which is World Mission Month, Missio wish to promote Children’s Activity sheets which help children to follow the Gospel and show how missionaries they help overseas are doing what Jesus asks of us. In addition, they wish to encourage families to understand how they belong to the Universal Church, God’s worldwide family, where everyone has a part to play – no matter how young or small they are. The sheets for the next three Sundays are accessible via a link https://missiontogether.org.uk/calendar/home-and-parish-resources/.

Saying Goodbye services: As October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, we pray for all those suffering the pain of losing a child, at whatever age or stage of pregnancy. The ‘Saying Goodbye’ charity is running a series of online Services of remembrance over the next few months (1st Nov and 6th Dec, 8pm). You can find all the information here https://www.sayinggoodbye.org/services/

We invite our parishioners to light a candle at home and to join in prayer at some point during this awareness month for those affected:

Dear God, soothe the pain of those suffering the loss of their child.

May they receive the loving support they need from those around them

and may God help to heal their hearts and give them peace in knowing their child is now cradled in God’s loving embrace.

We trust in Jesus, our loving saviour, who gathered children into His arms and blessed the little ones.

May the angels and saints lead those tiny lives to the place of light and peace

where one day they will be brought together again. Amen.

Thursday 8th October's updates and resources
Raymond Rodgers RIP: We are so very sorry to announce the death this morning of Ray Rodgers RIP, a long standing parishioner and stalwart of the weekday Masses along with wife Phil. Please pray for Phil (Philomena) and their son Ray, who works at St Mary’s primary school. Details of his private funeral to follow.

Working in a Catholic School: If you or anyone in your family works in a Catholic School or wants to do so, please pass on the link to this online training created by Redemptorist Publications and the Dioceses of Plymouth and Salford. It’s free! You get the wisdom of many leaders in Catholic education. The talks by David Wells are worth listening to even if you have not been in a school since you left as a pupil.

​​​​​​​​​​​​“An online approach to training and formation for teachers and support staff. Whether you are a practising or lapsed Catholic, practice a different faith, or are not religious at all, the Catholic school system can sometimes be a bit confusing. These sessions deal with some of your possible concerns. Issues covered include getting to grips with the Catholic language and ethos, thinking about the curriculum you can offer and what do we mean by Catholic Social Teaching?” https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/what-is-it-like-working-in-a-catholic-school

CAFOD: Here is a great 3 minute film about Catholic Social Teaching from CAFOD – what it means, where is comes from and how is affects us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNcBCPVbYDU Something else to share with that teenager in your life, or the person who says that the Bible and the Church has no relevance for today.

Catholic Social Teaching: If you want to know more, and in greater depth, have a look at the film here from “Breaking the Habit” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjKk1s0S1sI

Fr Kevin Knox-Lecky RIP: Tomorrow is the anniversary of the death of Fr Kevin, who was the parish priest at St Alphege’s before his death in 2014.

 

Wednesday 7th October's updates and resources
Our Lady of the Rosary: Today is the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. Mission have a great pdf on how to pray the Rosary for the world: https://missio.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rosary_Pamphlet_2019.pdf

Music: Something lovely for Wednesday morning “Be thou my vision”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihJAJA4ibEs

CAFOD National online events this week to celebrate Harvest Fast Day

Friday 9 October, 11am-12pm Harvest 2020 Family Fast Day Join our exclusive dialogue with CAFOD’s International Programme staff to hear about how coronavirus is affecting some of the most disadvantaged communities around the world. Register to join us.

Friday 9 October, 6pm-7pm Family Fast Day Eucharistic Celebration All are welcome to join together in solidarity and prayer with Rt Rev Peter Brignall Bishop of Wrexham celebrating the Eucharist from St Mary’s Cathedral, Wrexham. Register to join us.

Saturday 10 October, 12pm Global Family Food event Join our CAFOD’s Global Family Food Event, have fun, eat some delicious food, and raise funds to transform the lives of people in poverty. There will be a chance to share recipes and eat together as well as hear about our work in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic around the world. Register to join us.

Saturday 10 October, 7pm ‘Harvest Like No Other’ Quiz Join many other supporters at our ‘Harvest Like No Other’ Quiz, have fun, get competitive, and raise funds to support our brothers and sisters in need around the world. CAFOD’s Programme Coordinator for South Sudan, Thomas Delamere will be our Quiz Master and will tell us about CAFOD’s work in South Sudan. Register to join us.

Sunday 11 October, 10am Children’s liturgy live Harvest special This Harvest, come together in prayer, praise and song with other families and a very special guest from Sierra Leone. Register to join us

Sunday 11 October, 7pm-8pm Healing the World: An evening of prayer and reflection with Bishop John Arnold Join us for an hour of prayer and reflection with Rt Rev John Arnold Bishop of Salford and Chair of CAFOD’s Board of Trustees, in the last of our ‘Harvest like no other’ events.  Bishop John will reflect on the lessons of Pope Francis’ new catechesis, Healing the World, and consider the significance of the highly anticipated new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, for our global family. Register to join us.

Tuesday 6th October's updates and resources
CAFOD: An additional way to raise money and help people through the work of CAFOD is to use the World Gifts website. World Gifts are CAFOD’s alternative charity gifts that transform lives. Perfect for Baptisms, birthdays and anniversaries, you can choose a unique, virtual gift that will make a real difference to a family living in poverty.  Free delivery included https://worldgifts.cafod.org.uk/

Teenagers: Have you got a child/grandchild/niece/cousin/friend who is at a Catholic secondary school and/or is studying GCSE Religious Studies? Are they simply interested in what the Bible contains or how you might try to read a gospel? The God Who Speaks website has some useful posters on the Bible which can be downloaded for free https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/education/posters-for-schools/ If they are studying for GCSE RE with Educas, then CAFOD have a great page https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Secondary-and-youth-resources/GCSE-and-KS3-RE-resources

Christmas is cancelled: No, not really. However, Open Christmas have had to cancel the Big Christmas Day Lunch at Kingswood School due to the pandemic restrictions. Please let anyone know who is elderly, usually goes to the Open Christmas lunch, and does not use the internet.

Prisoners week 11-17 October: On Sunday, we have the annual day of prayer for Prisoners and their families. There is a lot of information on this website, which focuses on prayer for all affected by imprisonment, of themselves or someone they love, and those who work in prisons:  https://prisonsweek.org/  This year, there is an additional focus on those who feel imprisoned, in body or mind, by the lockdown. There is prayer for each day, so keep this one handy for Sunday:

” Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.”

Monday 5th October's updates and resources
Pope Francis: Fratelli tutti is the name Pope Francis has given his third encyclical letter, this time on human fraternity and social friendship. “I offer this social Encyclical as a modest contribution to continued reflection, in the hope that in the face of present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others, we may prove capable of responding with a new vision of fraternity and social friendship.” You can read it here: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/the-church/the-pope/pope-francis/fratelli-tutti/encyclical-letter-fratelli-tutti/

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day: This week our parish is marking CAFOD’s Family Fast Day to help people facing the worst of the coronavirus crisis. We’ve all felt the impact of this terrible disease – let’s come together to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world survive, rebuild and heal. Please pray for all those affected and donate online at cafod.org.uk/give or by using one of the envelopes. You can also give easily via text. Text CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10 (Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text CAFODNOINFO to 70085.For more information please see our Privacy Policy:cafod.org.uk/Legal-information/Privacy-notice)

Link to Coronavirus Appeal video: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/453718072/66db9d386d and YouTube: https://youtu.be/5GagOhIBb8Y

What’s allowed and how to do it: The CBCEW website has created a one-stop-shop page so you know what the Church can and cannot offer you at the moment. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/guidance-collective-worship/

October, a month of Mary – The Rosary: Something to use with children and young people – a short film on what the Rosary means https://bustedhalo.com/video/the-rosary-in-two-minutes Alongside the film are many links to all sort of pages about the Rosary, plus the words of all the prayers.

 

Thursday 1st October's updates and resources
St Therese of Lisieux: Today is her feast day. St. Therese had a simple yet powerful message that still resonates in the hearts of millions today. Her letters, autobiography, and other recollections of her life help us understand her “Little Way” and use it in our daily lives. This website has a wealth of information about her life, her faith and her legacy.  https://www.littleflower.org/therese/

St Francis of Assisi: Redemptorist Press have some books on St Francis ahead of his feast day on Sunday 4th October. They ask the question “St Francis lived his life to imitate the life of Christ: what can we learn from his character and spirit and his devotion to the human Jesus?”

https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/gospel-according-to-st-francis

https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/search?search=st+francis

Rule of Six (except where it isn’t): We have received clarification on the guidance sent on Monday: Baptisms outside of Mass – The minister celebrating the baptism is NOT part of the “Rule of Six” that is now applied to this situation.  However, the one being baptised IS counted as part of that group and so it would be a situation of “5 guests plus the candidate” if the celebration takes place outside of Mass.  Children present ARE counted as part of the Rule of Six in England.

Booking a seat at Mass: Here is the new link to book Masses at St Mary’s for 4th October – 28th November https://bookmass-sundayoct4-fridaynov27.eventbrite.co.uk  There are always small numbers of people at weekday Masses. If you are uncertain of coming back to Mass, I would book one of those.

Wednesday 30th September's updates and resources
Mary and the month of October: I have attached a leaflet on how to say the Rosary 200330 Rosary booklet. This is today’s recommendation by a parishioner (who also created it). If you would like to know more about why both May and October are times of devotion to Mary, please follow these links:

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/months/10_1.cfm

For children or anyone completely unfamiliar with why we use the Rosary to pray, go to:

http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/loyolapress-1929048-rosary/

https://teachingcatholickids.com/praying-the-rosary-in-october/

Safe Spaces: Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England or the Catholic Church in England and Wales. From Tuesday 29 September 2020, a telephone helpline and live chat facility is available from Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm, apart from Thursdays when the service is open 12 – 8pm.

Telephone 0300 303 1056 (answerphone available outside of opening times)

Email safespaces@victimsupport.org.uk

LiveChat/Website safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk

Lots more information on https://www.cbcew.org.uk/launch-of-safe-spaces/

Tuesday 29th September's updates and resources
CAFOD and Missio: As Pope Francis prepares to sign his new encyclical Fratelli Tutti: Brothers and Sisters All, you are invited to an online event to share with you the work of CAFOD and Missio over these last few months. CAFOD’s Geoff O’Donoghue, Senior International Programme Leader and Missio’s National Director Fr Anthony Chantry will discuss the challenges facing our global family in this time of pandemic and how we are responding creatively and keeping hope alive.

Please join us on Tuesday 6 October from 4-5pm for COVID-19 pandemic and the global response of the Catholic family.

Click here to register online

If you are unable to join us live, please register to be sent a recording.

Working with St Mary’s School: St Mary’s Primary School have been working with Fr Jeremy and myself (as RE Link Governor) to continue to incorporate school and parish despite the pandemic restrictions. Fr Jeremy visits the school at least 2-3 times per week to support the staff and pupils. Pandemic restrictions mean that the usual school assemblies, whole school Masses, whole school or Key Stage 1-2 penitential services and Advent celebrations are not possible, and parents may not visit ot take part in any such celebrations. Therefore, Fr Jeremy will be preparing each of the Key Stage 2 classes (age 7-11) to celebrate Mass in their classrooms instead. There will also be trips to the church for the older pupils. Fr Jeremy will use the power of Zoom and clever use of technology to hold an Advent penitential service, then he and Fr Chris will hear the confessions of the children in a safe and socially distanced way. They also hope to hold a Christingle service during Advent – more on how we can all help with that, later.

 

Monday 28th September's updates and resources
Job: Applications sought for the position of Director of Bath Christian Action Network Would you like to organise prayer events and activities, manage communications, support local Christian projects, and work with others to build stronger local communities? Are you a committed Christian, energetic and efficient, good at administration and communications, used to facilitating teams and leading new initiatives, a team player as well as an experienced leader? Would you like to take this key role in bringing churches and Christians in the Bath area together in prayer, discernment and action around a common purpose to build justice, mercy and hope for individuals and local communities? This role is for 16 hours per week, with a pro-rata salary level of £30,000 per annum. Please contact bathcan@gmail.com  for a full job description and person specification and application form. Closing Date for applications is Friday 16 October at 12noon.

The God Who Speaks: The Daily Service programme is broadcast on BBC RADIO 4 LW every Monday – Friday from 09:45 – 10:00. It offers a space for spiritual reflection with a Bible reading, prayer and a range of Christian music. On Monday, 28th September the Most Reverend George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff led the service reflecting on The God Who Speaks – through the incarnation. To listen to the service, go to https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bbc-radio-4-daily-service/

COVID-19: This morning we received guidance on how the new restrictions affect Catholic churches and parish celebrations. Masses are not affected at this time, so we stay operating as we have been since 5th July. However,  I have attached the document as it refers to baptisms, weddings, funerals, initiation of adults into the Church, First Holy Communion celebrations, Confirmations and the need to use track and trace in churches. 2020.09.23 – Update on Covid Restrictions – 2 – Revision 1[2305843009247737722]

Thursday 24th 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/

Wednesday 23rd September's updates and resources
Death: We are sorry to announce the death of Ramon (Ray) Cliffe RIP who died recently. There will a private funeral on Tuesday 6th October. Please pray for his family at this difficult time.

Music: Today’s recommendation by a parishioner is an uplifting video of Andrea Bocelli and a choir singing the “Our Father” http://gloria.tv/?media=479543&language=3SsSaAhCEfb

Healing Mass: All welcome! Friday 25th September, St Alphege’s Church, Oldfield Park, 7pm. There is a healing Mass on the last Friday of every month.

Distraction burglaries: There has been a rise in the number of distraction burglaries and rogue roof repair men in Bath over the past weeks. Please watch out for unexpected people coming to the door, and avoid leaving patio doors/ground floor windows open after you have left the room. No-one delivering a parcel needs you to sign anything.

Marriage: Retrouvaille – A Programme for Couples Struggling in their Marriages. Retrouvaille is for couples with marriages that are struggling, maybe not communicating well, and for those who are considering marriage separation or divorce. It is also for those who have already separated or divorced who want marriage help. Some couples come to Retrouvaille during the initial signs of a marriage problem. Other couples are in a state of despair and hopelessness when they attend the programme. Some couples have been married for many years, while others have been married only a short time. For confidential information about Retrouvaille’, or to register for the next programme, a Virtual weekend commencing on 12th -15th Nov 2020 Call or text 0788 7296983 or 0797 3380443.  email  retrouvailleukinfo@gmail.com – or visit www.retrouvaille.org.uk

 

Live streamed Masses from St Mary’s: Coming soon! Plans are afoot…

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