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Click on the links above for more information on the Archdiocesan SYNOD , Fr Michael's paintings and to find out what is going on in the parish

Fr Tim


The St Mary’s Pilgrimage is coming up and I will be away for the inside of the week after next.

I will just highlight the fact that during that week there will be no weekday Masses at St Mary’s, but Deacon Bernard has kindly offered to celebrate a liturgy in the early part of the week but the usual holiday of obligation times will be in place for the Feast of All Saints.


Please do not despair. You are on my radar and hopefully, before I leave for Rome and Assisi we will have plans in place to train the new servers in both parishes and re-affirm all our existing servers.


I remind you that because of the Foreign Mission Appeal last Sunday we have had to postpone our Synod Sunday to this weekend. This explains why Archbishop Malcolm’s Pastoral Letter relates wholly to the Scriptures and the events of last week, notably the canonisation of John Henry Newman.

It is worth noting that this week the Scriptures remind us to support one another in prayer and to be certain that God will answer the prayer of the just. The Gospel reading ends with the challenge “Will the Son of Man find any faith on earth?”

The Synod is a great act of faith and once again I encourage you all to take an interest and respond as and when you feel able.

After discussing this next phase with our delegates, we have decided not to call any more meetings, but invite you to reflect over the coming months on each of the four themes in turn.

There is a box for your comments and reflections as part of our Synod display at the top of the aisle, just before you enter the Lady Chapel.


The questions we are asked to ponder are

  • How do I hear the call of God in my life today?
  • How do I feel about being called by God? 
  • What changes in me because God has called me? 
  • What does it mean for us to be a church of saints and sinners?


Today is a day of rejoicing for the Church in our country as John Henry Newman is canonised a saint. He is certainly someone under whose patronage we can place our Synod because he wrote extensively about the importance of the consultation of the laity and was an inspiration to me when I was doing my research in the 1990s.


I will be in touch during the coming week about how we will organise the training of our new volunteers and seeking the support of those who are already faithfully serving.

The text of the Freddie Freckles manual is nearing completion! 


synod 2020 logoAcross the Archdiocese today has been designated Synod Sunday. However, apart from saying together the Synod Prayer at the end of the Bidding Prayers this weekend, we will postpone Archbishop Malcolm’s letter and all the additional material until next weekend.

If you would like a sneak peak or listen to the Archbishop's letter you can find it at

This will leave the coast clear for our visiting Dominican priests, Frs Dominic White and Aidan Nichols, who will be preaching the annual foreign mission appeal.

The SYNOD Sunday poster illustrates the areas that we will be asked to focus on



As promised, I have outlined the thoughts I shared with you two weeks ago and they are now included in this month’s edition of BE Alive.(for an electronic version).  Hopefully, they will provide some criteria to guide our decision making in the months and years ahead.



Next Sunday has been designated Synod Sunday, but since we have the Dominican priests, Frs Aidan and Dominic, preaching the foreign mission appeal next weekend, we will postpone the Dominican Archbishop’s message for the Synod until the following weekend!


Our Synod reps will stagger the distribution of the available material accordingly.


Last Sunday I tried to reflect on how we might approach the future calmly and realistically. I will jot down a summary of my thoughts and publish them in a series of bullet points next weekend in BE Alive, so that we can all have something in writing for future reference.

I concluded by indicating that there are two areas where we can immediately reinforce our pastorally effectiveness.

One is to ensure that everyone who falls ill will be cared for with the sacraments and so I would like to meet all the Ministers of Holy Communion this TUESDAY EVENING IN THE FISHER-MORE HALL AT 7.30PM. (If you are unable to make this meeting, please inform the office.)

I would also like to have some more people involved in Funeral Ministry. This is a most rewarding ministry and of immense help to me.

Anyone wishing to know more and willing to take part in the necessary training, please get in touch with me.


Redemptorist Publications have commissioned me to write an altar server’s manual in the Freddie Freckles series and I am drafting this at present. At the same time, I have invited the children who made their First Communion last year to consider whether this is a ministry to which they may wish to commit themselves.

Application forms are at the school, but for children not at Bishop Eton and who wish to become servers, please go directly through the office.

Furthermore, at the end of next month, Archbishop Malcolm is coming to ordain Tim King (from the Focolare Movement) to the diaconate. It would be good if we could train a small group of servers for the occasion. Any servers who are interested, please contact the office.

synod 2020 logoTHE SYNOD:

In a fortnight we have a designated Sunday for the Synod. At the same time we also have two Dominican Priests preaching their foreign mission appeal, so we will have to organise ourselves to ensure that you are fully informed of all that is happening and to that end our Synod reps will meet in the coming week.


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