TEST AND TRACE EMAIL:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.—every time you come to Mass.

Having celebrated the Easter Triduum, and then the Easter octave, we continue our journey through the season of Easter. This time of Christian joy lasts for fifty days until the great feast of Pentecost. Having gone through the fast and the discipline of Lent, let us live the days of this continuing festival with gladness and joy.

This weekend we join with people throughout the world in praying for the repose of the soul of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as we give thanks to God for his long life of service.

Today (Sunday) after the 10am Mass we will draw the winners for the spring season of the Four Seasons Club. We will now have caught up on all the draws missed because of lockdown. Thank you for continuing to support this fund which helps the parish.

We have received lots of messages about the dignity of our Holy Week celebrations. Of course, we would have preferred to celebrate these days in their usual full manner, and we are sad that not everyone was able to join in the celebrations in person. Nevertheless, we also want to thank everyone who helped to make the celebrations as good as they could be in the circumstances. Above all, thank you for your prayers.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a list of our recently updated Stock. Fair Trade at Our Lady of Lourdes is still socially distancing, delivering to your home. Or call Michael on 07723 376616.

I am grateful to those parishioners who have continued to work on our finances throughout the last year - including bookkeeping, counting, preparing the reports, analysis, and to members of our finance committee.

The parish was in excellent shape before the crisis and remains in relatively good shape now, all things considered. Thank you to the many who have continued to give faithfully and generously to the parish, and to those who opted to use standing order or sign up for Gift Aid. We have been able to make reductions in our spending - some happened naturally as a result of the closure and others we have implemented. In 2020, we cut spending by £45,822. But we continue to have some big responsibilities. For example, the payment to the diocese last year was just over £60K - that's £5,000 every month before anything else. For everyone, this has been a difficult 12 months both domestically and commercially.

We completed the Annual Financial Report, submitted to the diocese. A few headline figures may help you. Between 2019 and 2020 income dropped, for examples, as follows:

Envelopes         £52,614 → £27,780
Loose plate         £71,659 → £31,336
Income for stipends     £26,966 → £18,152
Overall income         £303,180 → £194,609

Income from Standing Orders has increased (£53,910 in 2019 to £64,673 in 2020 - thank you!) Gift Aid has also been an invaluable help at this time. You can read a summary of the finances in the notice board in the porch. For now, thank you again for your generosity and contribution towards the presence and mission of the parish.

Next Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday, the day we pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood. The annual collection for the Priest Training Fund will take place next weekend. This fund pays for the priestly formation of men for the Catholic priesthood. There are currently 42 men studying at Allen Hall seminary, 18 of whom are for our own Diocese, and two men are studying in Rome, also for our Diocese. Last year two men who studied at Allen Hall and one who studied in Rome ordained to the priesthood to serve as our future priests. This fund also supports the ongoing enrichment and formation of our ordained priests. Your generous donation helps ensure we can support these men who are called to be like Christ the Good Shepherd. Donation leaflets are available in the back of the church. Please take one home, read the information, and bring it back next weekend with your donation. Please continue to pray for vocations and for our priests. You can donate online anytime at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations