Dear parishioner

    Message No 37: 22nd November 2020

    Masses during the lockdown
    Daily Mass sine populo will be offered in St Thomas’s, by Fr David at 8:00am each day and by Fr Paul at 6:00pm each day. These will be livestreamed on the parish website.

    Private Prayer & Adoration
    Adoration will continue as follows:
    Holy Trinity: Thursdays 7:30pm - 8:30pm and Fridays 11:00am - 12:00 noon;
    St Bernadette’s: Wednesdays 12:00 noon - 1:00pm.

    The churches will be open for private prayer:
    St Thomas’s: Sundays 9:00am - 11:30am
    St Bernadette’s: Friday 10:00am - 10:30am and Sundays 11:00am - 12:00 noon.

    Confessions can be heard, outside. Please contact me or Fr Paul to make an appointment. Best of all, don’t sin until regular Confession times can be reinstated!

    Parish Office
    The Parish Office is closed during the lockdown, and Magda is furloughed. Please contact Fr Paul or me for any immediate matters.

    St Thomas’ School Year R 2021 Admissions
    Parents of children due to start in Year R in September 2021 should contact me in early December for an appointment, for me to countersign the Supplementary Form.

    Today’s Mass Readings: CHRIST the KING

    Ezekiel 34: 11-12, 15-17; Psalm 22; 1 Corinthians 15: 20-26, 28; Matthew 25: 31-46

    First Reading: God may be a good shepherd, but a good shepherd is one who is also a judge: bad and weak sheep may be discarded so as to retain the good sheep.

    Psalm: as you pray this psalm, pray to be among those who enter heaven at the Day of Judgement.

    Second Reading: today’s Preface at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer recalls the thesis of this passage, that by His death on the cross Christ conquered death, that His resurrection precedes the resurrection of the faithful, and that this will be a cosmic transformation of the universe, in which all things will be subject to Him.

    Gospel: in this Year of Matthew (Year A) the Gospel focuses on Christ as the Judge on the last day. And we shall be judged not so much on the sins we have committed (adultery, dishonesty, and so on) but on the good deeds for the poor and needy we have failed to do (welcoming the stranger, visiting the sick, etc).

    Youth Sunday
    Younger people: please visit the National Youth Sunday Website for something to do this Sunday. The Feast of Christ the King is traditionally observed as Youth Sunday in this country.

    2021 First Holy Communion programme
    If your child is currently in Year 3 or older you should now enrol them on the 2021 programme: go to the Parish website and fill in ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM HERE by Sunday 13th December. An initial Zoom parents’ meeting will take place on the evening of Monday 14th December. If you have any difficulty please email First Holy Communion . We have developed a new programme which, we hope, will be ’pandemic proof’.

    Parish Family Zoom Quiz for Malawi
    The last Parish Zoom Quiz will be next Sunday (29th) at 7:30pm. Like the previous quizzes this will be a fun, inclusive event for everyone to join in. To take part email Hugh Mercer and he will send you the Zoom link.

    The situation in Malawi is very bad, so we hope you will support this fund raising with your customary generosity. Fr Boni will join the quiz from Blantyre and tell us about the situation there.

    Please either put a cheque in an envelope marked ’Malawi’ through the Presbytery letterbox, or make a bank transfer with your name (so we can reclaim Gift Aid) and ’Malawi’ in the reference. Please do either of these by Wednesday 2nd December, so we can then make the necessary inter-continental bank transfer in one go.

    St Thomas’ School
    I am sorry to have to report that Mrs Claudia Aquilina, after investigation and due process, has been dismissed by KCSP as Headteacher of St Thomas’ School for gross misconduct.

    Mr Chris Wright will continue as Acting Head until a new permanent leader can be put in place. Please note that these matters are the responsibility of the board of the Multi Academy Trust (KCSP) which oversees the Catholic schools in Kent, and any enquiries should be directed to them and not to the staff or members of the local governing body. Parents should refer to the school’s website for any updates.

    Please remember everyone involved in your prayers.

    Sevenoaks Food Bank
    The Trustees of the Sevenoaks Food Bank have written to "thank you very much for the food you collected and donated". They add: "Such donations have always made a difference to the lives of local people and in this year of pandemic they have been particularly important".

    Items can be left in the ’Loaves & Fishes’ basket in St Thomas’s entrance when the church is open on Sunday mornings between 9:00am and 11:30am.

    ’Return to Mass Sunday’
    A message from the Archbishop: "We will enter Advent this year from Lockdown; but how important it will be to mark the first weekend of Masses on 5th/6th December, the 2nd Sunday of Advent, as ’Return to Mass Sunday’ when we will hear St John the Baptist call to us: ’Prepare a way for the Lord.’"

    Please pray for the repose of the souls of Winifred Lobo and Francois Eloquin, who have died recently.

    Christmas Crib
    I am concerned about the Crib this year. Travel restrictions make it very difficult for the Wise Men to get here from the East. If they do get here, they will have to quarantine for 14 days. They and the shepherds will have to wear face coverings, but Mary, Joseph and Jesus form one bubble. Whether or not the angels can sing the Gloria is uncertain: government regulations do not mention angels. We must also hope the animals do not include mink, or they will have to be culled.

    Overheard at the school gate one morning recently: one pupil told his dad that the was so excited to be turning 6 as he was fed up of being 5. No doubt we all feel the same about 2020 and hope for better in 2021.

    St Roch, pray for us.
    St Joseph, pray for us.
    St Thomas of Canterbury, pray for us.
    St Bernadette, pray for us.
    St Edith of Kemsing, pray for us.

    Fr. David.

    Fr David Gibbons, KHS, Parish Priest of Sevenoaks
    12 Granville
    Sevenoaks01732 454177
    TN13 1ER


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