A big thank you to all who made Christmas go smoothly and successfully here at Our Lady of Lourdes—especially those who manned the carpark and church doors, and to those who cleaned and decorated the church and altar. Special thanks to the children in Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School who made the decorations for the Christmas tree—it looks fantastic! Thank you for the many kind messages, cards and gifts that we have received. We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. We’re exhausted but enjoyed being with you either in person or in prayer over the Christmas liturgies. God bless you all and have a happy New Year.
Fr David, Fr Andrew, Fr Johnson, Deacon Ian, and the parish office team.

Today is the Fourth Sunday in our Advent journey. Since 17th December we entered the inner heart of the Advent season, which really prepares us to celebrate the great feast of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.  This week was also the end of term for children and staff in our schools. We send them all our thanks and best wishes after a very challenging school term, and every blessing for the Christmas holidays.

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent, when we meet John the Baptist in the liturgy; the ‘voice crying in the wilderness’. The wilderness of today’s world also needs to hear clear voices of faith, awakening memories of goodness and holiness, that will open the doors of hope. Today at Mass we hear the opening words of the Gospel according to Mark (Mk 1:1-8). Mark’s Gospel does not begin with the stories about Bethlehem and Nazareth, or about angels and shepherds. It begins when Jesus is already an adult, at the start of his challenging and life-changing mission by the bank of the River Jordan. These words at the start of the Gospel are an extraordinarily message about the coming of the one who will baptise his people with the Holy Spirit—words that have resounded throughout the centuries, opening doors of hope to those who have come to believe.

Today is Gaudete Sunday—a day of rejoicing and gladness in the heart of the Advent journey. Today we light the third, rose-coloured candle on the Advent wreath.

Today is the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of a new cycle in the Church’s calendar. Advent is a season of hope and of preparation for the coming of Christ. It is also a time when we prepare for the liturgical celebration of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem at Christmas.

This week the lockdown ends at 12.01am on Wednesday 2nd December. That means the faithful will be able to come to public Masses, the first being Wednesday lunchtime 12 noon. The system we had in place until 5th November will recommence. Saturday Mass 4pm & 6pm; Sundays 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm; Monday-Friday 12pm & 6pm. We will hear Confessions on Saturday afternoons at 2pm. The same procedures apply to the church as before: limit on numbers, face covering, hand sanitiser, shorter Mass. Please note there are no toilet facilities available.


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