COVID-19 Parish Updates
A Message from Vocations Director, Father Michael Dolman
Although this year we don’t have our churches open for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the Vocations Office has prepared some resources in the hope that these might be used on parish/school websites and on social media. You will see that this year Pope Francis has chosen to reflect upon Jesus’ call for Peter to walk across the water during the storm. He offers a very beautiful reflection on our vocation that seems to be apt in our current circumstances.
With the closure of the seminaries, all but one of our eleven seminarians are currently in presbyteries around the diocese, continuing their formation ‘online’. You may have seen one or two of them featured in the various live streamed Masses! Thank you to the priests who have welcomed them so generously during this time. There are also 14 men who continue their formation for the permanent diaconate. Please do continue to keep them all in your prayers.
With thanks for all that you do to contribute to the culture of vocation in our diocese, and for the particular ways in which you promote the permanent diaconate and the diocesan priesthood.
For the full letter and a list of resources for Vocations Sunday from Father Michael Dolman, Vocations Director, click the link below.
A Message from Father Matthew
Lockdown – a time to appreciate
The whole world appreciates the frontline workers of our hospitals because they are the heroes of this time. Doctors, nurses and other hospital related workers are called to repair the mankind which is sick. Our leaders invited us to appreciate and thank these frontline workers with a clap. Yes, they really deserve it.
This lockdown period is a time to realise that we have neglected many in our lives who really deserves appreciation. When we are closed in our own houses, we see the hard work and sacrifices of our loved mothers, who are very busy in the kitchen and in the house keeping. Usually we are tempted to criticise our political leaders. But this Corona crisis opens our eyes to understand the dedication and huge responsibility they have. Social distancing makes us understand how important was the friendship and nearness of our neighbours.
The most important thing this lockdown period has helped me to think about is the protection of our Lord that I have enjoyed all of my life. It was always taken for granted. I never realised it or appreciated it enough. We have fallen into a world epidemic. It is a time to look above. Saul on his journey to Damascus fell down and then he heard a voice from above (Acts. 9, 3-5).
He is risen-Let us rejoice and be glad
My dear loving parishioners, this lockdown may help us to appreciate God’s protection and thank him. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107, 1ff).
We will surely survive this time by the grace of God. Our new life should be a life of gratitude to our hospital frontline workers, our family members, our leaders and above all to our loving God. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3, 17).
God bless you
Fr Mathew Pinakkattu
A weekly newsletter is being prepared and uploaded to the website. Please take a moment to read this.
Whilst we are unable to attend Mass at present, we are able to attend to the majority of parish matters remotely. Unfortunately, we were only at the early stages of collecting up to date contact details for our parishioners, a task we will continue with once our church is open again, therefore we are heavily reliant on our parish website to post important information. Fr is present in the presbytery and can be contacted on the church phone number or his mobile 07788 790928.
New offertory envelope boxes have been received and will be available for collection once our church is open. We are all obviously sensitive to this issue as many of our parishioners may be struggling financially; however, we have been receiving enquiries from a number of sources regarding offerings, in view of the uncertainty of when our church may be reopened, so please be advised that we’ve made available a standing order and Gift Aid form for parishioners so they can continue to give during this time. If you prefer, retain the weekly envelopes until such time as you are able to attend church. If you run out of envelopes or you normally donate without an envelope you could pop any offerings in a plain envelope and again retain until such time as you are able to attend church.
As you will be aware, our weekly offerings are our Parish’s only source of income at present. Whilst we work hard to secure lettings for our church centre, which has also been impacted by the situation we find ourselves in, we are ever mindful of our financial obligations. Making a regular contribution by way of standing order and additionally considering whether you are in a position to Gift Aid that contribution will be invaluable to our parish during these uncertain times.
Set up a Standing Order to continue giving
NB: If you have internet banking you don’t need to fill in the standing order section of the form, please obtain your parish’s bank details direct from the parish and set up a new standing order online.
- Download the form here and print it Standing Order Mandate
- Fill in your bank account details and how much you wish to give etc. and sign it.
- Then either contact your parish for the parish bank account details and add them in and post the form to your bank OR post the form to your parish and they will complete the parish section and will then post the form to your bank. Please note you can print stamps at Royal Mail
- If you post the form to your bank yourself it would be helpful to let your parish know so that they can watch out for your donations to ensure all is well.
- If you are a tax payer, paying sufficient tax, please consider Gift Aid. In which case please complete the Gift Aid form ensuring that it is dated on or before the date of your first payment. If you don’t need to post your standing order form to the parish, you can scan the Gift Aid form and send it to the parish, or alternatively, just hand it in when we are allowed to go back to Mass.
God bless you, THANK YOU and keep safe.
To download the standing order mandate, please click the link below.