We have entered the inner and final part of Advent which is our ‘way’ towards the Lord’s Nativity at Christmas. We look forward to seeing many celebrate Christmas here at church. Please note the times of Masses over Christmas and New Year. There are no Masses on Christmas Eve morning, and no Vigil Masses for Sunday on Christmas Day and New Years’ Day. The Christmas Vigil Mass begins at 6pm and the ’Midnight’ Mass at 11pm. In the week between Christmas and New Year there are only 10am Masses. This week, there are confessions after Mass on Wednesday (Thursday is now a funeral, so the confessions are not possible that day after all). New Year’s Day Mass is at 12 noon.

Today is Gaudete Sunday (the Third Sunday of Advent) when we light the rose coloured candle in our Advent wreath. This is a day of light and joy in the Advent journey. We rejoice and are glad for the approaching feasts and for the coming of Christ.

Cards with Mass times for Christmas and New Year are available at the back of church. Please take one and refer to it—to avoid any confusion over the festive season! At the back of church there are also free parish diaries and some free newspapers.

If parents have primary school forms for me to sign, I will be available next Saturday 11th December at 5pm-6pm, just inside the parish centre. Please bring all your paperwork ready for me to sign. I will be available again on Saturday 8th January for any further paperwork to be signed, 5pm-6pm. There is no need to sign up for an appointment.

Today is the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Church’s new year. This year follows the readings in the liturgical cycle ‘Year C’. These Sunday Gospels are drawn mainly from the Gospel according to St Luke. In Advent, we remember especially that Christ our Saviour is coming! At this new beginning, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us through the coming season towards Christmas. Many thanks to all involved in last Sunday’s wonderful Christmas Market. Thank you also to everyone who supported it with such generosity. Finally, I celebrated the 13th anniversary of my priestly ordination last Monday. Thank you to the whole parish—by your presence, prayers and friendship you bring me so much joy and satisfaction in my way of life. May God bless all of you!

Picture: By John Stephen Dwyer, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Today is the solemnity of Christ, the Universal King. This is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time and the final Sunday in the Church’s calendar. Next Sunday will mark the beginning of a new liturgical cycle as we begin the First Sunday of Advent. Today (Sunday), please do visit our Christmas Market in the parish hall. With many thanks to those who have worked hard to organise this lovely event. If you would like to support Red Wednesday this week please do come to 10am Mass and exposition on Wednesday morning—wear something red!? There will also be an opportunity today for you to take Aid to the Church in Need information or to give towards their work. Have a lovely Sunday and a great week—best wishes to you all.

Today is Remembrance Sunday. The Requiem Mass for the fallen will be celebrated at the 10am Sunday Mass. This will be also be the Church Parade with representatives of our uniformed groups (the entire troops will not parade due to Covid precautions). We had a lovely Remembrance Assembly in the primary school on Thursday which was also Armistice Day.  Thank you to everyone who came this week to support our CAFOD hunger lunch on Thursday, or to hear Fr Matt give his reflection at Mass on Friday. Thanks also to parishioners who joined us for the Deanery Mass last Tuesday or the Diocesan Mass last Wednesday. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.

The Seven Sacraments by Jobas - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Congratulations and best wishes to the forty four young people who received the Sacrament of Confirmation here on Friday evening. Thank you to the candidates, sponsors and families. We also thank the team of catechists for helping to prepare the young people, and everyone who helped with the lovely celebration in church, either in preparing or celebrating the liturgy.

Today is the solemnity of All Saints. This is the feast of the Church Triumphant, where all the saints are gathered around the Lord. The witness and prayers of the saints spurs us on, and their powerful intercession helps us on our journey towards heaven. Tuesday is All Souls' Day. This commemoration of the faithful departed is not a feast but a day of prayer for the Holy Souls which spills over into the rest of November. There will be an extra Mass at 7pm that day to pray for our departed loved ones. We will continue our prayers and Masses for the faithful departed throughout the month.

Fr Johnson will expose the Blessed Sacrament and say the Rosary each morning Monday-Friday (7am Exposition, 7.15 Rosary) before the 8am Mass. Rosary before the 10am Mass on weekdays - all are welcome to join. On Sundays, there is a Rosary for persecuted Christians after the 10am Mass (in front of the Blessed Sacrament altar).

It has taken a long time to put things back together safely in the parish. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far, including with our new readers’ list, the church cleaners, singers and musicians, collectors, counters, florists and to other groups who have started back. We are now looking for help to start tea and coffee on Sunday mornings after the 10am and 11.15am Masses, and for volunteers to man the shop on Sunday mornings. Perhaps you did these roles before and would like to begin again, or maybe you are new to these roles—either way, your help would be great. Please speak to Fr David or Fr Andrew today, or contact the office during the week.

Today there is a pastoral letter from Cardinal Nichols, partly reflecting on some of our recent experiences as well as introducing the diocesan preparatory phase of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops (2023) on Communion, Participation and Mission. Friday was the CAFOD Harvest Fast Day and there will be a retiring collection for this at all Masses this weekend. Thank you for your generosity. Pope Francis hopes to visit Scotland in November to take part in the COP26 summit. Please keep this and the world's poorest in your prayers. Wishing you all a good weekend.