Our coach trip to Southend will go ahead as planned leaving from outside the church at 10 am on Thursday 18 August.   There are a few spare seats. Any parishioners or friends who would like to join the trip please text or call Jackie on 07956 809152.

Please note that the Parish Office is open on Monday, Thursday and Friday only of this coming week.  Emails and recorded phone messages will be dealt with on these days only.  Thank you!

For the first time in history the relics of St Bernadette will be touring England.

This very special once in a lifetime event will provide an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the gifts and charisms of Lourdes, in a church or cathedral near you. I would like to invite you and your parish to visit Westminster Cathedral for this special event on the weekend of 3-5 September.

The veneration of the relics will start on Saturday 3 September at 1 pm and will last all through the two days and nights until Monday 5 September at 6 am.  There is no need for advance booking. The visitors are invited to come at a time suitable for them and join the queue on the Piazza for entry via the West Doors. Be advised that at peak times, especially before or after liturgies, we expect long queues. Wheelchair access will be available at all times without the need for queuing.  Please see the poster on the notice board or take a flyer from the back of the Church for the timetable of the visit—and check out the website for details of the rest of the tour.

Please keep an eye on the Newsletter for Parish Office opening days over the holidays.
Mass times continue as normal.  For all those who are going away for their holiday, we wish you all a very happy and peaceful break.

We are planning to have the parish centre redecorated, and the kitchen repaired, during the summer break. This work will begin on Monday 1 August and may take up to four weeks. Please note that the halls will be completely out of action during this time, which will mean a suspension of all groups. We have specifically aimed to do this work during the summer holiday to cause minimal disruption to the normal programme. Thank you.

This week we welcome Fr Michael who will be with us for a couple of weeks during his summer holidays. Fr Michael will also be able help Fr Jerome and Fr Johnson while I am away. I am looking forward to celebrating the wedding of Consiglia and Daniel this Friday, after which I will leave for my break. I want to send my best wishes to all the children and families of Year 6 who are moving on from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School. Please remember: you are always part of the parish family! I wish you all a very happy summer holidays and look forward to seeing you—hopefully all refreshed!

Today is the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the Gospel we hear how Jesus sends his seventy-two missionaries out to spread the news of the Kingdom of God. The word of Jesus is to bring peace to the people and their homes. May the Word of God always be welcomed among us, and may the peace that Jesus’s message gives also bring peace to the families, individuals and homes of our own parish! Have a blessed Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who joined in our day of prayer for the parish last Friday. It was a lovely way to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am also grateful to those who joined in from home and who prayed for us even if they are not able to come to church. Thank you to Fr Josh for his homily at the Mass on Friday. Finally, Bishop John Sherrington has written to say thank you for the warm welcome he received in the parish two weeks ago. He says it was a joy to celebrate the school’s anniversary and Confirmation Masses, and he sends his thanks and best wishes to all involved. He asks that we continue to pray for the Christian people in Nigeria after the recent attacks they have suffered.

This coming Friday we have our special day of prayer for the parish. This is in view of the forthcoming centenary next year. Centenaries are rightly marked in many ways: socially and in practical ways. But the most important element must be spiritual. Great events are best celebrated when they have been prepared for. I warmly invite the whole parish to use this Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, as a day to prepare personally for the 100th year of our parish. The Heart of Jesus, broken for us, is the fountain of all we are and do! We have invited Fr Josh to preach at the special Mass at 7pm, especially given that his secondment to the Apostolic Nuncio is coming to an end. Finally, there is a list in the porch to sign to say you will be praying here on Friday. I hope that there will be more than one person at a time! Please join us, especially at 7pm Mass and afterwards.
NB There is no Friday abstinence on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Many congratulations to the school and whole parish community who have celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the school. A wonderful celebration was led by Bishop Sherrington. Many thanks to everyone who helped arrange the day. It was a joy to receive the apostolic blessing from Pope Francis to the people of the parish and school. A special thank you to all the staff and governors of our school for the wonderful work they continue to do in our parish!

Happy Pentecost Sunday! Today is the climax of the Easter season and the great feast of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. Next Sunday will be the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and the following Sunday will be Corpus Christi. I hope everyone has enjoyed the Jubilee weekend so far. Please join us in the hall this morning (Sunday) for a little celebration after the 10am and 11.15am Masses. Also today at the 11.15 Mass, we will bless the new flags for our Scouts groups. This Bishop will be here on Friday for the school 50th anniversary—please note that there is no 10am Mass on Friday as it will be replaced by the parish Mass at 2.30pm. Please join us. Have a wonderful feast and a great week.

Today is the Sixth Sunday of Easter, and we are heading into the time of Ascension and, later, Pentecost. Thank you and well done to everyone was part of the First Communion thanksgiving Mass and party last Sunday. It was a lovely occasion!

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Easter. Jesus gave his followers the new commandment of love: that they should love one another as God loves us. Let us remember this wonderful commandment in the work of the parish and in our daily lives. Welcome to the children and families who recently First Holy Communion. Today, the 11.15am Mass will be the celebration of thanksgiving and going forth. Please note that there is no early exposition on Monday this week before the 8am Mass. Fr Johnson will be back from Rome after this.