THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Today’s Mass: SIXTH SUNDAY of EASTER
First Reading: the Council of Jerusalem (the first universal council of the Church) meets to resolve the
problems brought by the influx of non Jews. It was decided in the end there should be no difference between Jew and Gentile.
Psalm: as the 50 days of Eastertide continue we continue to sing our praises of God.
Second Reading: in the ‘new Jerusalem’ (heaven) there is no Temple, because it is filled with God’s presence.
Gospel: the words at the Communion Rite of Mass – “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles Peace I leave you, my peace I give to you …” – are taken from today’s Gospel.
Today we welcome Fr Michael Ezenwammadu, CSSP for the Mass at Otford and Fr Mark Odion, MSP for the Masses at Borough Green and West Kingsdown.
Monday is the Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury, Apostle of England, and a secondary patron of this diocese. It is also the anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Peter Smith in 1995.
Tuesday is the anniversary of the Consecration of the Martyrs’ Chapel at The Friars, Aylesford in 1967, and the anniversary of the elevation of Southwark to a Metropolitan See in 1965.
On Friday – the Feast of Our Lady’s Visitation – the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the reunion of Christendom begins. Please pray for Christian Unity.
Bank Holiday Monday
The Parish Office is closed on Monday. Holy Mass at St Thomas’s is at 12:00 noon.
Thursday: Solemnity of the Ascension
This is a Holy Day of Obligation (that is, a day when Catholics are obliged to attend Mass if at all possible).
We welcome Frs Michael and Mark, again assisting in celebrating some of these Masses.
- St Thomas’s: 8:00am (Latin), 9:30am, 12:00 noon, 8:00pm.
- Holy Trinity: 10:00am
- St Bernadette’s: 11:00am
- St Joseph’s: 6:00pm.
Gift Aid and Standing Orders
A big thank you to everyone who supports the parish financially and through Gift Aid. New boxes of weekly envelopes and special collection envelopes for those who use Standing Orders are available to collect at all the churches. Getting the right boxes or bundles to the correct church is a bit of an art rather than a science so if yours is not there please email me and I’ll get it sorted.
If you are a UK taxpayer and are registered for Gift Aid the parish is able to claim an additional 25% on top of everything you give. To register is very easy: email me and complete a Gift Aid Declaration once, and we do the rest. Once done, you don’t ever have to do it again. There are Gift Aid forms at all the churches. PLEASE do fill in a Gift Aid form if you haven’t yet done so; it is a significant boost to the parish every year – over £33,000 was returned via Gift Aid last year, at no extra cost to you. Putting cash in the collection – whilst appreciated – does not take advantage of the Gift Aid scheme.
How you gift to the parish is a personal preference; most parishioners do a monthly Standing Order, or use weekly envelopes. In the background we record everything that’s gifted so that it can be audited. A monthly Standing Order reduces the administration from a minimum of 52 records (the weekly envelope) to 12 via our bank statement. We are pleased to continue doing both but if you use envelopes and think a monthly Standing Order is easier for you please change over. A Standing Order form is included is this Newsletter. Email me, then complete the Standing Order form, and put it in an envelope marked Gift Aid in the offertory collection. We’ll organise everything for you.
Sean Corrigan, Gift Aid Coordinator.firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday: Otford Consecration Anniversary
This Solemnity is on Friday. Holy Trinity was consecrated this day in 1981 by Archbishop Michael Bowen. There will be the usual Mass at 8:00pm, followed by food and drink. The parishioners at Holy Trinity invite those who attend the other three churches to come and join them in their festivities. Note that if you attend this Mass you are dispensed from the Friday requirement to abstain from meat!
Saturday: First Holy Communion Mass & RCIA Retreat
The first First Holy Communion Mass is at 11:00am on Saturday.
The RCIA Retreat – led by Andrew La Trobe and Gilly Fenner – is on Saturday from 2:00pm – 6:00pm in the Parish Centre.
The second collection next weekend is the World Communication Day collection; this supports the work of the Catholic Communications Network (CNN) and the media office of the Bishops’ Conference.
West Kingsdown Mass next Sunday
Please note that Mass at St Bernadette’s next Sunday will be at 11:30am. This is to allow people to attend the Ecumenical Service in the Village Hall at 10:00am.
St Thomas’s Maintenance Committee – help needed
We have had one volunteer so far; another one or two would be very helpful. If you can help oversee repair, maintenance and health & safety works and approve payments, please contact Fr David.
CAFOD Thank you
The Head of Supporter Donations has written to thank parishioners for the latest donation of £2,011.29. You can read the letter on the noticeboard in St Thomas’s Entrance.
First Holy Communion Masses - Singers needed
This year's First Holy Communion Masses at St Thomas's are on the 1st, 8th and 15th June at 11:00am. No practice, just meet in the church at 10:30am. If you are able to join the 'choir' please contact email@example.com.
Bereavement Support, Advance Notices
Please note the amended dates for 2019:
~17th June we are unable to have this meeting but there is an outing of the Pilgrims and Friends to Faversham and Reculver on Thursday 20th June which promises to be a lovely day out.
~15th July,10:30am-12:00noon in Parish Centre
~ August and September - Summer break
~21st October, 10:30am-12:00noon in Parish Centre
~2nd November (Saturday) - All Souls Day. A special Mass for the bereaved followed by refreshments
~16th December, 10:30am-12:00noon in the Parish Centre - Coffee and mince pies.
Summer Garden Party
Save the date! The annual Garden Party for all the parish will be on Sunday 7th July, from 12:30pm in the Presbytery Garden. Put the date in your diary now, and pray for good weather. This will be an inclusive event involving young and old, families with young children, teenagers, retirees, elderly and parishioners,
Please try and help to make this a great parish event. The raffles will help to raise money for the parish.
Raffle tickets are for sale from 26th May. One ticket £2; book £20. We have great prizes all donated by local businesses.
Please enable us to make this a fantastic social occasion. We need some volunteers and donations for the items below.
If you have other ideas or queries to make this a fantastic parish event please contact Fr David or Ben
- Bottle stall: basically anything that fits into a bottle: wine, spirits, homemade jam, sauces, perfumes, makeup, bath crystals etc. Bottles can be deposited in the box inside the Presbytery. Please contact Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Food and soft drinks: various types of cold and hot food, salads, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, tea, coffee and assistance in serving, please contact Sandie: email@example.com
- Alcohol: wine, Pimm's, spirits, beer, prosecco. We also need help in running the bar, please contact Catenians - Aidan : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Entertainment: We would like to provide some live music and other forms of entertainment, please contact Caroline: email@example.com
Poetry reading, please contact Madeleine firstname.lastname@example.org
- Children’s Games: Games for under 10s. We have various games like hook-a-duck and cactus hoopla available. Please contact Edmund: edmundgrobel@ googlemail.com and Jackie: email@example.com
- Teenage games room: We would like to set up a teens games room. We need to borrow some board and card games. Can someone lend us theirs for a few hours?
Mass for New Catholics
St George’s Cathedral will host the annual Diocesan Mass for New Catholics on Saturday 8th June at 12:30pm. The Archbishop will preside. All who recently entered the Church are warmly invited to attend with their friends and family.
Mass in Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage
On Saturday 13th July at St George’s Cathedral. If you are celebrating your 1st/10th/25th/40th/50th/60th + wedding anniversary this year, please apply as soon as possible. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can receive an invitation from the Archbishop. Please let us have the location of your parish in the title of your email.
Diocesan Marriage & Family Life Team
CAFOD Southwark Summer Pilgrimage 2019
Saturday 22nd June, around Hartley in Kent – looking at the new Climate Change campaign ‘Our Common Home’. All are welcome; please bring your family and friends. 12:30pm gather at St Francis de Sales Church, Church Road, Hartley, DA3 8DW; 1:00pm set off on 3¾ mile pilgrimage on paths through fields and woods, with stops for prayer and reflection; 4:30pm return to St Francis de Sales for tea and cake; 5:30pm Holy Mass. Contact CAFOD Southwark on 020 8466 9901 or email@example.com.
Gap Year Volunteers
The diocesan Youth Service (SCYS) are looking for talented and committed gap year volunteers to live in Christian community and work with young people. The Youth Service team will help them to develop their gifts, gain new skills and enjoy an experience that will stay with them for life. The gap year team works with residential groups at St. Vincent's and day retreats at Aylesford Priory. This opportunity is open to those aged 18-25 (Sep '19 -July '20) Potential Gap Year Volunteers can email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to arrange an informal chat.