THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Today’s Mass: The SECOND SUNDAY of ORDINARY TIME (Year B)
The First Reading - the calling of Samuel to be a great prophet - is chosen to shed light on the
calling of the disciples in the
Gospel. Like Samuel, the disciple of Christ is called to be a
spokesman for God.
We recite the Psalm to indicate our willing acceptance - like Samuel (and the disciples in the Gospel) - of the call to do God’s will.
Second Reading: this begins a series of readings from St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. As our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, we should avoid
fornication, which “is to sin against your own body”.
Gospel: although Year B is the year of Mark, as St Mark’s
Gospel is short on some Sundays like today the Gospel reading is from John. Today we hear John’s account of the calling of the first disciples, but as usual with John the main point is not history but theology: this is a summary of Christian vocation and
discipleship. Is Jesus truly the teacher (rabbi) and Anointed One (Messiah) whom you follow wholeheartedly?
SPUC White Flower Appeal
The second collection this weekend is the annual SPUC appeal. SPUC is currently campaigning to stop decriminalisation of abortion (which simply means allowing any and all abortions). Ostensibly this is to protect vulnerable women, but in practice vulnerable women need compassion and care, not abortions. And of course such a move hardly helps the unborn child. By the Newsletters you will find postcards you can use to write to your MP. Please help SPUC campaign against this attack on unborn babies and their mothers.
Peace on Earth
Today in the Bishops’ Cycle of Prayer is a Day of Prayer for Peace on Earth. See p 10 for an article about this. Envelopes are also available this weekend for you to support Pax Christi; you can either send your donation direct or hand the envelope in and we will send the money to them. Although rooted in the Catholic church and based on the gospel, Pax Christi works with all who share our values to abolish war and create communities of peace and justice.
We welcome Monsignor Matthew Dickens to celebrate the Mass at Otford and the 11:15am Mass at St Thomas’s.
First Holy Communion Celebration Mass
Today at 3:00pm in St Thomas’s: the Opening Mass for this year’s First Holy Communion programme.
Bereavement Support Group
Anyone who has been bereaved is welcome to come to this group, starting at 10:30am and finishing at 12:00 noon in the Parish Centre on Monday. Please enter through the front door to the Parish Centre, by the ramp, rather than through the church. Many thanks.
St Thomas’ School
Year 5 will attend the 9:30am Mass on Tuesday. Parents & family members are particularly invited to participate.
Church Unity Octave
From this Thursday until Thursday 25th the Church observes eight days’ prayer for Christian Unity. See below for Unity Services next Sunday.
First Holy Communion Programme
Children’s sessions begin on Thursday, at both St Thomas’s and St Bernadette’s, from 4:00pm-5:00pm
Sevenoaks Church Unity Service
Next Sunday at 4:00pm in St Mary’s Church of England Church, Kippington. Speaker: Mr Richard Marchant, of Sevenoaks Baptist Church.
Otford Unity Service
This year it is our turn to host the Otford Unity Service, which will take the form of Vespers at 6:30pm next Sunday in Holy Trinity. Please do support this.
With immediate effect, there are some slight changes to Adoration times, to accommodate changing circumstances. Please note the new times carefully (changes marked with **).
Monday: 8:30am – 12:00 noon; 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 11:00am **
Thursday: 11:00am – 1:00pm; 2:00pm – 3:00pm **
Saturday: 8:30am – 10:30am
Friday: 11:00am – 12:00 noon **
Wednesday: 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Thursday: 10:00am – 11:00am
Adoration is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the Altar. Suitable devotional reading is available in St Thomas’s porch, next to the Repository counter. We can highly recommend a Holy Hour in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and would welcome new adorers to join the team. If you are unable to commit to one hour each week, occasional cover would be most welcome. Please let me know what times are best for you: 01959 524362 or email@example.com. Can YOU spare an hour to pray before Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament in this way? Barry Authers
St Thomas’s Music Group
Angela Simmonds, who has led this Group for over 25 years, has now had to step down from leading it. We wish to thank her most appreciatively for her great contribution to the musical life of the parish.
Could YOU now offer to help lead this music group and continue this important ministry in the Parish?
Organist needed at Otford
An organist is required for Holy Trinity, to play for the Mass on some Sundays. Can YOU help in this way? See John Everingham or Fr David if you can.
Thank you to those who have applied to be Altar Servers. Training will be on Friday 26th Jan, 2nd & 23rd Feb, 2nd & 9th March, 3:30pm-4:30pm, at St Thomas’s. Please contact David Brunning (firstname.lastname@example.org) to confirm you will be attending. Please note that each session will require the attendance of an additional parent with a church DBS check. Please let David know if you can help with this. Many thanks.
‘God Calls’ App
The Catholic Church in England & Wales has launched an app designed to help users deepen their faith and discover their vocations. ‘God Calls’ is described as a ‘spiritual toolkit’ and a ‘godsend for young Catholics’. The app includes daily prayers and meditations on the Gospel and the lives of the saints, as well as a news section and Twitter feed to connect users to the life of the church. It also includes a journal for users to monitor their spiritual growth and understand more clearly how God is calling them. The app is available free of charge on iPhone and Android devices from www.godcalls.co.uk.
Parish Catechetical Evening
Please put this in your diary now. To be held at St Thomas’s Church on Tuesday 23rd January from 8:00pm to 9:30pm. For ALL in the Parish involved in, or interested in, catechesis - RCIA, Confirmation, First Holy Communion & Reconciliation, Children’s Liturgy, Young Disciples etc.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018
Monday 22nd January 2:30-3:15pm, Parish Centre.
WE are hosting the first day with prayer and reflection on the theme ‘Welcome the Stranger’. Naida Haq from Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees will help our reflection by telling us about our refugee family from Syria. All very welcome - timed to finish so that parents can collect their school children. Tea for anyone who can stay. Enquiries: Isobel or Pat 01732 453902
Church cleaning at St Thomas’s Can you find the time to keep God’s house clean? We are looking for additional help once a month, for an hour, either Wed morning or Wed afternoon. Contact: Pat on 01732 453902 or email@example.com
Many thanks to all Red Box holders & individuals for their support in 2017. The total collected was &1701.01, an increase of 10% on 2016.
If any parishioner would like a box for 2018, please contact Peter Ringham on 01732 885814.
Parish Party - Change of Date and Venue
Our Parish (post) Christmas party will now be held on Sunday January 28 2018, 1-4pm St Lukes Church Hall, Eardley Road. This is a much bigger venue than the school hall and will enable us to make this a fantastic social occasion to brighten up the long January afternoon!
Everyone, young and old, in the parish is warmly invited to attend. Come and spend a happy afternoon with your church community. We plan to have a variety of food and entertainment for all tastes and ages - live music, DJ, parish raffle, prizes etc.
How can you help?
Now that December is over, please do consider offering your help. It would make a huge difference re planning if you could do so this week.
Food and soft drinks: To donate/make and bring food (various types, hot food, soup, salads, cakes, biscuits etc), make and serve soft drinks/tea/coffee/and assist in serving: Please contact Sandie: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Alcohol: To donate and make mulled wine/Glühwein and help in running the bar: Please contact Bill: email@example.com;
Entertainment: We want to provide some live music and other forms of entertainment. Please contact Caroline: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raffle prizes: Do you have anything you can offer? Contact Ann O’Sullivan or drop prizes at the Presbytery - email@example.com
Together we can make this a happy and memorable parish event. If you have other ideas to make this a fantastic parish event please contact Fr David or Ben firstname.lastname@example.org/07720 271681.
St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School - Proposed Admission Arrangements for 2019-20
In accordance with the School Admissions Code, we would like to invite you to take part in our
consultation on our Admissions Policy for 2019-2020.Our School has reviewed and updated its
Admissions Policy for 2019-2020 for which the
consultation period runs from 1 October 2017 to 31 January 2018.
Proposed change to the oversubscription criteria
The school is proposing to make changes to its oversubscription criteria by removing ‘Distance from School’ and replacing it with ‘Random
Allocation’ which should provide a fairer system for granting places to all children who live in the
parishes of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks and
Westerham. There will be a change to the
Supplementary Information Form in that the Parish Priest confirms which parish the parents/carers home address is in. The full policy can be viewed here – http://www.saintthomas.co.uk/parents/admissions/.
If you have any queries or comments to make about the proposed admission arrangements, they should be sent to Mrs Emma Elliott, Admissions Officer, at the school address by 4pm on 31st
January 2018. Hard copies of this policy are
available in the school office.