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.
January 17th: Peace Sunday:
Pax Christi, founded in 1945, continue their work for a more peaceful world through educational campaigns in many different countries.
‘We need to stop and ask ourselves what has led our world to see conflict as something normal, and how our hearts can be converted and our ways of thinking changed, in order to work for true peace in solidarity and fraternity’ (Pope Francis).
Donations in support of the international Catholic Movement for Peace can be made online at www.paxchristi.org.uk
Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity: 18 – 25 January
‘Abiding in Christ’ is the theme for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, to be explored in a series of five sessions led by representatives from the different churches and Christian communities in Beccles.
The sessions will be held online between 12.30 and 1.00 pm, each day from Monday to Friday (January 18th-22nd). We’re encouraged to join in the meetings by logging into ‘Zoom’ from about 12.15 each day, using the following codes: meeting ID 864 6458 8760; Passcode 035234.
The session at 12:30 on Tuesday 19th January (entitled ‘Maturing internally’) will be led by Bernard Segrave-Daly, who writes as follows:
As the world sees Christians as very divided we wish to join in with all the Christian denominations and have a really good spiritual time of Prayer, even if only by remote zoom, asking Our Lord to bless our week of prayer. Unity was one of Our Lord’s prayers – that we should be “one”.It is only through prayer that we can break down the walls that divide us. Please join in wholeheartedly with the efforts of all our churches here in Beccles.
St Benet’s Scripture Circle
Fr Martin is still intending to launch a series of sessions on the Bible – initially online – for those who read at Mass and for any others who would like to join in.
This venture is inspired by the ‘Year of the Word’ which began in 2019 and is now, because of missed opportunities during the pandemic, planned to embrace the three-year cycle of readings for Sunday Mass (2019-2022).
The new Catholic Biblical Federation (website: www.c-b-f.org) and http://www.godwhospeaks.uk offer plenty of material encouraging us to engage with the Bible from different points of view. Our starting-point will be the cycle of Sunday readings and we shall hope to arrange an initial session before the end of January.
Please contact Fr Martin if you would like to take part in a ‘Zoom’ meeting to inaugurate the course.
Mary’s Meals Christmas Appeal
Please can any donations be given to either Father Martin or me by the middle of this month, to allow time for any cheques to be cleared. We can then take advantage of the government pledge to double donations until the 31st of January.
A big thank you to anyone who has already donated, to date we have received almost £1000.
Coping with Covid
Our small sub-committee met on Friday 08 January – via ZOOM – to review our procedures for Coping with Covid – especially in light of the appearance of the new highly transmissible variant.
The consensus was that our basic procedures are in good order. Thanks are due to our Stewards – and indeed to all our parishioners – for the general level of compliance with the regime.
One area of concern is that we have all become a bit complacent in following the “Social Distancing” requirements when entering and leaving the church, and especially when waiting to comply with the “check-in” procedures.
To address these issues, we will:-
- encourage earlier arrival to avoid build-up of queues;
- provide clip-boards for “self-recording” by visitors, while in the porch;
- provide clear indications and markings for the “2 mtr spacing” at both entry and exit doors;
- (politely!) discourage any chat between those queueing for entry and exit;
- investigate the use of simpler “parishioner lists” for check-in;
- make the QR codes more noticeable and encourage their use (see below);
- direct QR Code users down right-hand aisle (to use seats adjacent to this aisle only);
- after Mass, all to leave by centre aisle, as and when directed by a steward;
- leave in order from front to rear, then side chapels;
- “2-mtr distance” to be maintained while leaving;
- leavers to move well clear and not to stop to chat outside the door or in the grounds.
Covid-19; QR Code for St Benet’s
To make life easier for parishioners – and stewards! – we have posted more copies of the parish QR Code for “NHS Track and Trace”, together with the instructions, at the entrances to the church.
If you have a fairly modern “Smart Phone” with a camera, first of all download the APP, then follow the instructions. It’s easier than it looks – and you can even register your attendance at St Benet’s while still at home, using the code block above!
Using this process makes the whole recording process totally automatic and will speed up your entry into the church; no more standing in a queue outside! Yes, you can even record your attendance by clicking on the QR code on the website!
SOME REMINDERS FROM EARLIER NEWSLETTERS
For those unable to attend Mass, offerings for St Benet’s can be made by Bank Transfer, to “Downside Abbey Missions Trust, Beccles” (or “DAMT Beccles” for short) at Barclays account no 33416046, sort code 20-47-06;
The equivalent at Gillingham is ‘Gillingham Catholic Church’ at Barclays 40518174, sort code 20-92-08.
Cheques can be sent to Fr Martin, made payable to “Downside Abbey Missions Trust, Beccles” or “DAMT Beccles” for short.
The organisers of the Waveney Foodbank have said a big ‘thank-you’ to all those who contributed to this year’s Christmas Hampers.
All-year-round donations continue as before (please use the box in St Benet’s church porch – or the black box outside the front door of the presbytery).
(NON) Heating of the Church
The heating in St Benet’s cannot be used when the church is occupied.
Our system re-circulates the used air, which gives an increased risk of spreading infection.
The intention is to put the heating on prior to the start of Mass, to at least take the chill off the church.
Overcoats and thick socks are recommended over the coming months!
The Repository remains closed, but 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, which was planned for Thursday 23 April 2020, 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.