Dear parishioner

    Message No 72: 25th July 2021


    Do not attend church if you have COVID, COVID symptoms, or are isolating.

    Please continue to

    • sanitise hands on arrival and departure,
    • wear face coverings (unless under 11 or exempt),
    • sit at a safe distance from other household bubbles.
    Our churches will remain well ventilated. Congregational singing is now permitted. Altar Servers, readers, cantors etc can now perform as normal. The Offertory will continue to be collected by a box/plate at the entrance. Holy Communion continues to be under one kind only, and the Sign of Peace remains suspended. Please take great care when receiving Holy Communion, whether in the hand or on the tongue. Only those receiving Holy Communion (and small children you can’t leave behind) should come forward in the Communion procession.

    Holy Mass will continue to be livestreamed from St Thomas’s via the parish website.

    Saturday Confessions at St Thomas’s will be heard in the (more COVID safe) side chapel. Alternatively you can approach a priest after any Mass or contact Fr David or Fr Peter to Confess in the car port.

    Holy Water
    While the Holy Water stoups remain empty, to get Holy Water simply bring a bottle of water and ask a priest to bless it.

    Holy Communion for the sick and housebound
    The Clergy may do this, although since they must restrict the number of visits they make in a day this may mean less frequently than before. Fr David and Fr Peter can visit at any time for the Anointing of the Sick when someone is in danger of death.

    Those Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who are already DBS checked and on the list of those authorised to take Holy Communion to the housebound may now do so but only after receiving Fr David’s explicit approval to proceed.

    Altar Serving, readers, singers etc
    These ministries can now resume as before. Altar Servers and choir members should endeavour to sit a safe distance from one another, and avoid several people touching things.

    Mass readers should read from the Lectionary at the Ambo, and remove their face covering when speaking. If the psalm is being sung, it is safer if the cantor does not do it at the Ambo but somewhere else.

    Welcomers please take care, and in particular ask people to take the Newsletter away with them and not put it back. Please ensure people can make their Offering at the Entrance.


    2 Kings 4: 42-44; Psalm 144; Ephesians 4: 1-6; John 6: 1-15

    First Reading: this incident in the Old Testament foreshadows the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, and even more significantly it is one of the many passages in the Old Testament which foreshadows the Eucharist.

    Psalm: in his compassion God feeds us. In return, all we can do is to praise him.

    Second Reading: the church is not a collection of individuals; rather we are bound together in unity (or communion we might say) through our common Baptism.

    Gospel: this is John’s account of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. What is especially noticeable is that John uses the same words to describe what Jesus did at this miracle as at His Last Supper: He took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out.

    First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
    "I am with you always (Matthew" 28:20) is the theme of this first World Day. Visit Vatican Press for Pope Francis’ Message.

    The Supreme Pontiff grants a Plenary Indulgence, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the Holy Father) to grandparents and the elderly, who may apply it as suffrage for the souls in Purgatory. The same Plenary Indulgence is granted to those who today visit the elderly or those in need (eg the sick, the abandoned, the disabled). The priests are ready to hear Confession today (mostly after Mass).

    Annual Mission Appeal
    We welcome Fr Tom Ryan and Fr Pat O’Beirne, priests of the Order of St Columban, who will be speaking at Masses this weekend and making the annual Mission appeal. The Second Collection will be for the Columban Fathers.

    We also welcome Fr Bryan Wells, assisting while Fr Peter is away.

    The Why? Course
    The final session is tomorrow (Monday) at 8:00pm by Zoom: the subject is Why the Church? Contact Andrew La Trobe; 07775 738485 to receive the Zoom link. You are welcome to participate even if you were not able to join in either of the previous two sessions.

    Parish Finance Committee
    The Committee meets, virtually, on Monday evening.

    Incidentally the Independent Examiner has audited and approved the 2020 Parish accounts.

    Your Missal will tell you that Thursday is the memorial of St Martha, but Pope Francis recently restyled it as the memorial of SS Martha, Mary & Lazarus.

    Fr David
    will be away this week from Tuesday to Friday, taking his first break since his post Christmas break over a year and a half ago.

    St Thomas’ Repository
    is now open for business again, for the usual items: cards, rosaries, etc. Please take care at the counter and maintain COVID precautions.

    RCIA Course
    The RCIA course will start in September. This is a programme designed for adults (in our Parish we use the Evangelium course) who wish to be Baptized in the Catholic Church or (if already Baptized) Received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church. Contact Andrew La Trobe (as above) to enquire or to register for the course.

    COVID stewards
    An enormous thank you to the stewards in the four churches, whose ministry has now (we hope) ceased. Without them we could not have maintained the full programme of Masses, Adoration, and other Liturgies.

    Second Collections
    The collection for Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) was £508.74.

    The farewell collection for Fr Paul Okora came to £1,954.65. Thank you for your generosity.

    Another extract from a church Newsletter
    "Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands."

    Please pray

    • for those children making their first Holy Communion at this time;
    • for James, recently Baptized;
    • for the Missionaries of St Columban;
    • for grandparents and the elderly;
    • for God’s help in ending the pandemic.

    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


  • image