News & Notices

Sunday 26 September

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Year B

Fr Martin Writes – 

The Name of Jesus (meaning: Salvation from God) is synonymous in Hebrew with the name of Joshua, who followed Moses as leader of the Israelites, bringing them over the Jordan and into the Promised Land. 

The power of this Name is attested at the beginning of today’s Gospel (Mark 9: 38-40), while the second half of the Gospel (like the first two readings) offers some very challenging standards for Our Lord’s followers. 

They are called to be prophets (cf the first reading) with a duty to question worldly values and to promote social justice (second reading).

Christians are given the grace to change their own lives and the lives of others for the better.  To embolden us for these tasks, Jesus has a fiery message for us today (Mark 9: 43-49).

St Benet’s Scripture Circle- Wednesday 29 September

meetingsWe will meet online this Wednesday, 29th September at 7.30 pm

Led by Peter Harvey, we’ll be looking at a short passage – Exodus 3: 13-17 – entitled ‘The Revelation of the Name of God at the Burning Bush’. 

Zoom co-ordinates for the meeting are as follows: Meeting ID = 830 7047 0962; Passcode = 876501. 

If you’d like to receive the ‘invite link’, enabling you to join the meeting without typing out those codes, please just send Fr Martin an email & he’ll let you have the link by return.

Synodal Journey

SynodA prayerful process of consultation is being promoted in the worldwide church, preparing for the 2023 Synod of Bishops, and beginning this autumn in every diocese. 

Each parish has a part to play and we are asked to nominate a representative who will meet with others at Mass in St John’s Cathedral on Sunday 17th October, when the process will formally begin. 

Copies of the Bishop’s Letter, read out on 19th September and explaining what is involved, are available at the back of both churches – and a copy is posted here..

Friday Mass – 01 October

Saint ThereseFriday 1st October is Harvest Fast Day and on the same day the church celebrates one of the great Saints of modern times – St Therese of Lisieux, who is also a Doctor of the Church. 

We’re continuing to hold the 11.00 am Mass on the first Friday of the month at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Gillingham (at least until December, when we might revert to St Benet’s for the winter!)


CAFOD – Harvest Fast Day – Friday 01 October

Second Collection – Sunday 03 October 

Cafod 22Following this Friday’s Harvest Fast Day, a second collection will be held for CAFOD on Sunday 3rd October (envelopes available as of today) to support communities affected by climate change in different parts of the world. 

We are asked to pray for all those taking part in the forthcoming ‘COP26’ climate talks (Glasgow, 1st-12th November).

For details of CAFOD’s work, with an opportunity of signing a petition to be presented to HM Government in time for 1st November: visit

Newman Lecture

Saturday 9th October in St John’s Cathedral:

Mass at 6.00 pm; Newman Lecture at 7.00 pm.

Saint John Henry Newman

The feast of St John Henry Newman, 09 October, is now quite a big day in the English liturgical calendar and falls on a Saturday this year. 

One of the Diocesan Newman Lectures, (‘What should we expect from politics after Covid?’) is to be given by Rt Hon Prof Ruth Kelly  in St John’s Cathedral, Norwich.  It has been scheduled for the evening on that day, directly following the first Mass of Sunday.  

Social Club – Update

A small informal group met on 21st September to discuss the proposed club. It was felt a club could help us regain the confidence to socialize again post Covid. Several ideas were put forward for the group including: knit and natter, coffee and chatter, book club, speakers and outings (topics/venues of local interest). However, we do need to know what would interest you. So you are invited to join us at the “Tuesday Coffee Club” on Tuesday 12th October at 2.30pm in St Benet’s (St Anthony’s chapel) to share your thoughts and ideas. If you are unable to come, there will also be a suggestions box available in the church.  

Missio – Red Boxes

Missio red box

Every October, we return our Red Boxes (containing a year’s contribution to missionary work throughout the world) to ‘Missio’ (Association for the Propagation of the Faith, promoted in England & Wales by the Mill Hill Fathers) in time for World Mission Sunday (24th October this year). 

Please bring your red box in to St Benet’s (leaving it with Fr Martin) or return it directly to Bernadette Starak (‘Missio’ rep for our parish) and collect a new empty one for 2021-2 at the end of the month.

Volunteers needed

cleaningEvery Thursday morning, Sue Boyes musters a group of helpers in St Benet’s who get together to clean all the main parts of the church, ready for Sunday.  Sue has put out an appeal for one or two extra volunteers for the cleaning rota, to lighten this task which complements the work of many others in keeping us shipshape.

Congo School for Peace

Congo School for Peace Banner (800x250)The Support Group would like to thank everyone for their generous support for the garden party. Further donations have been received, bringing the final total to an amazing £910. Thank you.

“The Catholic Universe” – Newspaper in Liquidation

This notice has been posted on the website of “The Catholic Universe”.

We very much regret that Universe Catholic Media Ltd has gone into liquidation. For more information contact the insolvency practitioner: Mr Troy Tull, KJG Limited, 1 City Road east, Manchester M15 4PN. Tel: 0161 212 840

Some Reminders from Previous Newsletters

The Repository

Our shop is open after 10.30 Mass with a large range of items and cards.

Christmas is just around the corner and we need time to deal with your orders. So don’t delay!

Offertory Collection 

For those unable to attend Mass, offerings for St Benet’s Parish can be made payable to ‘Downside Abbey Missions Trust Beccles’ at Barclays account no 33416046, sort code 20-47-06.  

(Contributions to the monthly second collection at Gillingham, for the upkeep of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour can be made to ‘Gillingham Catholic Church’ at Barclays acct no 40518174, sort code 20-92-08). 

Food Bank

Food Bank (800x600)The need is still as urgent as ever!

Many thanks for all your usual kind offerings – priorities are as indicated on the tear-off slips in St Benet’s porch. 

Any donations can be left at this collection point ;  you can also donate at Tesco’s collection point; or deliver direct to St Luke’s, Rigbourne Hill (but please verify their opening times in advance!).


St Benet’s Repository

Repository 3YES!!  We’re back in business after 10.30 Mass,  with the usual range of items –  and ready to take orders for Christmas!
We also have catalogues from our wholesalers and can usually have items delivered for collection the following Sunday.
If there is a special need, perhaps due to illness,  please contact TMOB@SAPO.PT and we will do our best to help.