News and Comments for Week beginning October 18th
This Sunday October 18th at our 9:30am Parish Mass we celebrate the Feast of St Luke the Evangelist. “After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” Luke 10:1-9
These 72 disciples couldn’t be more different from one another. They were not a set of apostles in uniforms with written speeches to be read in a particular tone of voice, all in the same way. They were all different and had different talents, different accents, different ways of expressing themselves. They were not an army of clones or robots because God needs free and genuine disciples, not impersonators. St Paul explains that God called some to be “apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers…”
St Luke was a physician. He wasn’t a skilful rhetorical speaker or a wise Scripture scholar. He was a faithful companion of St Paul on his trips absorbing his teachings on their missionary journeys. There is something he was good at: writing. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write his Gospel and the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. He researched the life and preaching of Our Lord, carefully interviewing witnesses who were still living and collating all the necessary material. Almost half of the content of his Gospel is not to be found in the other Gospels. To him we owe, for instance, the account of Jesus’ infancy that he probably gathered from Our Lady.
Luke had that talent: he could write very elegant Greek. God did not need two St Pauls or two St Peters to spread the Gospel… He needed one Paul and one Peter, and one Luke, and one you! He needs people with different talents but who put their gifts at the service of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel has to be spread throughout the world. Some will use pulpits, others can use websites, blogs, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp…) radio stations, music, poems, novels, articles, paintings, films… There are so many different ways! You have your talents as well: what can you do?
Sunday November 1st is All Saints Sunday when we recall all the saints of God, those whose names we know and the millions for whom we have no name! Parish Mass at 9:30am.
Monday November 2nd is All Souls Day and we offer a special Requiem Mass at 6:00pm for all our departed loved ones. Please add the names of your loved ones to the list of departed that will be read aloud and prayed for at this special Mass.
Remembrance Sunday November 8th A Special Mass of Remembrance at 9:30am with names read aloud from the War Memorial.
Change of time for the First Mass of Christmas. We are moving Mass on Christmas Eve from 11:30pm to the earlier time of 10:30pm. On Christmas Day our Family Mass will be at 10:00am.
Parish Finances – Update
Despite coming through lockdown and the closure of the Church for public worship at the height of the pandemic, we have continued to see some amazing generosity and commitment to Holy Trinity, both in terms of regular attendance and financial commitment.
As you may know, our Parish Share to the Diocese of Canterbury is £58,338 per year. So, what is the Parish Share? Our Parish share is what each parish contributes to the wider Church to cover the stipend and housing of the parish priest along with pension contributions. We have 334 churches and over 100 church schools in the Diocese of Canterbury. Ministry is offered through 120 full-time parish clergy, 60 non-stipendiary clergy, 170 Readers, and thousands of volunteers – including churchwardens, Authorised Lay Ministers, youth group leaders, church officers and clergy with Permission to Officiate.
Around 16,000 people worship in our churches every week and many more thousands benefit from our mission and ministry through youth and children’s work, lunch clubs, drop-in centres, food banks, winter shelters, community banks and ministry to people in care homes, hospitals, prisons, schools and universities.
To help make this possible, every church contributes to the Parish Share. The Parish Share is a financial contribution made by every parish to the collective life of our diocese. It is an expression of our interdependence and mutual responsibility, enabling every community to share in life-changing mission and ministry.
The good news is that to date, even with all the restrictions that the Covid-19 virus has brought about, we have paid £35,000 of our Share, and are on course to pay another £5,000 very soon, thanks to Gift Aid recovered. Individuals have generously stepped up and paid directly for all altar requisites and sacristy supplies. Others have paid for the extra cleaning materials used during the deep cleans, and others have paid for the extra paper and photo-copying needed to have disposable Mass sheets. All in all, we have done very well in what has been a very difficult year. We raised £17,000 plus Gift Aid which totals over £20,000 for the organ repairs in only a matter of weeks, and now thanks to another very generous donation, we are preparing the faculty application for the installation of a new up to date public address and sound system that will include a Loop system for the hard of hearing (£7,000).
All in all, this has been a tough year so far, but what a year of generous and committed giving and support you have given to your Parish Church. However, our financial health is I believe only one indicator of our spiritual health, and it is good to report that numbers at Mass hold steady around 40 – 50 which just safely allows us to be socially distanced. Weekday Mass attendance holds steady at around 15-20, and Sunday School numbers are steady at 8- 13, bearing in mind we are only allowed 15 children maximum. So, as your parish priest I can only say a very sincere Thank you!
Live Streamed Mass
As from the beginning of November we will be re-starting the “live stream” Sunday Mass for the benefit of all those who cannot yet be with us in Church week by week, but who miss worship.
Please be assured that as Covid-19 numbers continue to rise, we will be taking daily advice from the Church of England Recovery Team regarding the safe conduct of public worship, and we will do all we can to make our Church a safe place to be.