COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS – SUMMARY
Information Available on the Website
In a separate section, we have a summary of the Government information received, as well as that from our National (CBCEW) and Diocesan (RCDEA) Church Authorities.
We also have a summary of Local Information and also the local “Action Plans” to support and help the less able members of our Parish.
Fr Martin’s Liturgical Notes
Today, we remember how Jesus was honoured as he entered ‘his’ city of Jerusalem – a city of prophets, priests and kings – in the knowledge that the prophets were put to death when their messages were found wanting.
The first reading at Mass (Isaiah 50,4-7) celebrates the qualities shown by Jesus as his journey into the city leads, for Him, to the Way of the Cross.
The famous Hymn to Jesus from Philippians 2,6-11 (the second reading) then praises Our Lord for his victory as a Divine Disciple.
The Passion according to St Matthew, when the full version is read, opens with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, one of his own disciples .. and the narrative never fails in reminding us of some of the most bitter truths of our own human nature. Even these, in the light of Faith, throw the love of Jesus, in his divine service and his self-sacrifice as a human being, into ever greater light as a revelation of human love from God Himself
Holy Week Celebrations
Whereas Jesus stands alone through the glory of his Passion, on the Cross, and in his Resurrection, the Faith he shows for all of us ‘draws all things to Himself’.
Even if we are required to be alone ourselves at this exceptional time, we are invited into Communion with Him through the prayers of the Church and the different forms of help and support which we can offer to one another.
The Holy Week Services – which are listed under the “Services” tab – will be celebrated (rather sadly, behind locked doors) in St Benet’s at the usual times – see the notices on the church doors or on the parish website.
The 8.00 Sunday Mass at Gillingham, is being celebrated similarly, but at the usual time to retain some degree of normality.
Please let Fr Martin know if you would like him to offer Mass for any special intention. Several other telephone numbers are also given below in case of any other need
Scriptural Way of the Cross
Bishop Alan has recommended we use these Scriptural Readings for meditation while praying the Way of the Cross.
Resources for Our Use in Time of Need
Please do not hesitate to access the various resources advertised on the parish website.
Among the numerous excellent resources for prayer that are available, it is especially worth visiting the Catholic Truth Society ‘blog’ www.ctsbooks.org
There are also wonderful audio-visual meditations on the Sunday Gospels by Fr Denis McBride to be seen at Redemptorist Publications www.rpbooks.co.uk
For those who don’t use computers, a paper Newsletter is in circulation and we are trying to deliver this, on average, about once every fortnight.
Please let Fr Martin know if you would like to be on the ‘mailing list’ for this, or if you know of anyone who is feeling neglected.
The usual Good Friday collection for the Holy Places in and around Jerusalem is being postponed until later in the year.
Please set aside your contributions to Lenten Alms (for Aid to the Church in Need and the Society of St Vincent de Paul) and to the weekly offertory collections until the current emergency comes to an end.
If preferred, bank transfers can be arranged through our parish treasurer: Pamela@saint-mart.co.uk; or please ring her on 01502 471717)
Music from St Benet’s “Family Choir” now Available On-line
Most parishioners will know Hilary and Thomas Harrison and their children who lead us with their music at the monthly Family Liturgy, for 10:30 Mass.
We are delighted to learn that they have posted on “Youtube”, a recording of them performing the hymn, “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord”.
Just click on the link above to watch, listen and join in.
Hilary tells me that the family hope to post a new recording each week – and I will then update the link.
Grateful Thanks to our Volunteer Helpers
Our thanks are due to all those who are operating “Buddy Phonelines”, distributing copies of the paper Newsletter, collecting groceries and medicines and remaining in contact with those who are self-isolating.
Please click here to see details of ‘COVID-19 – Local Support’ that is available in the Parish.
If you are in need of anything, please do not hesitate to contact one of the following:
- Aloma & Tony Pampackal (07391 865733);
- Brigid Rawlinson (01502 677557 or 07818 021676);
- Mary Ellwood (01502 716960);
- Tim & Toni Harrison (01502 711605);
- Joshua Do Rozario (07404 566051)
The number of Foodbank clients in need has more than doubled in the past year .
The current Coronavirus Crisis is increasing demand while reducing donations.
Your help is urgently required to help the most dis-advantaged in the community
with essential food and hygiene items.
If you have an urgent need for a devotional article – especially for someone suffering from the Coronavirus – email Terry on firstname.lastname@example.org with a note of what you want, and we will try to help.
Parish Annual Meeting
The meeting planned for Thursday 23 April has been postponed until further notice.
The items listed below will be discussed at the later date.
1. Buildings and Resources – Report on Action Needed
Our church buildings have received two insurance inspections so far this year: one was for the ‘health and safety’ of those who work here, and the other was concerned with the state of the buildings themselves.
A report will be given at the Parish Annual Meeting.
2. Screening of St Anthony’s Chapel; Presentation of Proposals
You may have heard talk about erecting a glass screen supported by an oak frame enclosing St Anthony’s Chapel.
The proposal is to create a space within the church (separately heated) where daily Masses / services can be celebrated, where church groups such as prayer groups, discussion groups, and parish committees can meet. Importantly it would be wheelchair accessible.
If you would like to comment before the AGM, please drop a note in the letter box in the church porch, or speak to a PPC member.
A presentation of the plans and estimated cost will be made at the Annual Parish Meeting.
3. Stewardship – The Way Ahead; Presentation of Plans
“Time, Talents and Treasure “
The ‘three Ts’ will be the hallmark of the forthcoming Stewardship Campaign, designed to help us preserve the heritage of our faith for the future within the parish as a whole.
The aim will be to make good use of our all the resources available to us as a parish. Details will be given at the Parish Annual Meeting.
COMING ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
Note that all planned activities and events for the near future have been cancelled or postponed.
Amended procedures for Services, Celebrations and Activities, will be posted in this website as and when they are received from the Diocese.
The “Weekly Mass Schedule” gives details of all Services and Mass Intentions.
Information on coming events and activities is on this separate page.