Fr Martin’s Letter – 05 Feb

The “Alive in Faith” programme has now been launched in St Benet’s parish and an Information Pack has been produced for all parishioners.

In addition, the pages in the information pack are available on the parish web site. They will “drop down” from the “Alive in Faith” tab on the top menu – or you can click on each one from this list.  They are:


Fr Martin’s Letter

St Benet’s Catholic Parish

                                             4th February 2017

  Dear All:

As announced at the beginning of this year, the diocesan Alive in Faith appeal is being launched in our parish on the first Sunday of February.  In his accompanying letter, Bishop Alan explains the general purpose of the Appeal and the special basis on which our parish will be taking part: the focus will be upon raising funds for the training of future priests within our Diocese of East Anglia.

Since the foundation of St Benet’s late in the 19th century, our parish has been served almost exclusively by Benedictine priests from the community of Downside (based in Somerset), thus forming part of a small network of (currently) just under thirty Benedictine parishes within England and Wales.  Like our neighbouring parish of Bungay, we work and pray within the diocese for the Church and for the world in which we live.

Many of you will remember that St Benet’s has already enjoyed the ministry of a diocesan priest, Fr Simon Blakesley, who is now Judicial Vicar of East Anglia Diocese and was our Parish Priest between 1995 and 2003 (the Benedictines returned with Fr Antony in 2003 and Fr Martin in 2011).  As Bishop Alan says in his letter, the number of future priests now in training for the Diocese of East Anglia is roughly equivalent with the numbers in formation within the Benedictine Order in England and Wales.

The statistics show that our parishes of Beccles and Bungay are both likely to depend upon the services of priests from the Diocese of East Anglia in future years and so I warmly encourage you to play your part in this Appeal.  The enclosed pledge form offers each of you the opportunity of taking part on a five-year basis: the table overleaf shows what may be achieved through individual giving over this period while, as a parish, I’d hope we’ll be able to surpass the initial goal of £25,000 (please see the Bishop’s letter) as we look towards the future.

The schedule of possible donations (PTO) illustrates our capacity for giving at many different levels – you may be able to give more or less than any of the amounts shown.  Please take some time to reflect and to discuss this with your family in order to make a decision that will be right for you and for your personal circumstances.  The table shows how even quite small sums can build up over five years, especially when donations may be gift-aided – thereby increasing their value by 25 per cent (this is one of the advantages of using the enclosed pledge form).

Schedule of possible individual donations:

MONTHLY                   ANNUAL                     OVER 5 YEARS:                      TOTAL (Incl Gift Aid)

£100                          £1,200                            £6,000                                         £7,500

£50                             £600                             £3,000                                         £3,750

£25                             £300                             £1,500                                           £1,875

£10                             £120                               £600                                               £750

£5                                £60                                £300                                              £375

Thank you in advance for your support.  Our parish has always shown generosity in charitable giving (see for example the information at the back of St Benet’s on the Congo School for Peace) and this Appeal is a comparatively rare opportunity to take part in a special fundraising drive on behalf of the local Church.

The Alive in Faith programme, which is administered by the Diocese of East Anglia, is projected to run within the parish from now until Easter. As stated in the enclosed information, confidentiality will be respected at all levels; please feel free to address your questions to me at any time (email address given below) – or to Brian Lewis and Chris Boyes, who represent our Finance Committee.  I am enormously grateful to Brian and Chris for their help in the preparation of this Appeal.

Later this month, a brief meeting will be held after Mass on a Sunday morning so that a progress report can be made and questions answered publicly if wished.

With grateful thanks to you for reading this letter and with every blessing for 2017


Fr Martin



Diocese of East Anglia

Registered Charity No 278742



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