Following the Feast of Candlemas on Wednesday this week (together with the inaugural event for the Diocesan Catholic Fellowship with our Bishop in Burbage) we have arrived in green Ordinary Time for a bit. February is a bit of a quieter month, both liturgically and personally. After next week I will get my paintbrushes out and will do some decorating in St Andrew’s Vicarage – I am hoping to move in early March.

Ash Wednesday falls this year on 2nd March (Mass with Imposition of Ashes at 12.30pm) and I am delighted that we will welcome Bishop Christopher again on Easter Sunday (17 April). If you consider Baptism or Confirmation please have a word with me this month.

There are a few dates further away which you may want to add to your diary:

The Diocesan May Festival, Monday, 9 May

Traditionally various Marian devotions are linked to the month of May – possibly for the rather incidental reason that flowers are abundant during this month. The May Festival at St Andrew’s has been happening for many years and this year I am keen to make something more of the occasion:
We start at St Mary de Castro Church (!) at 7pm and will make our way to St Andrew’s during the service, which will be followed by light refreshments. I am delighted to welcome Bishop Michael Ipgrave (Bishop of Lichfield) for the occasion, who is of course a former parish priest for both St Andrew’s and St Mary de Castro.

Internal Reordering Works – Help needed!

Following the May Festival the church will be closed for 3 weeks whilst some internal reordering is happening. (If you want to know what this is about see here.)

Some things need to be done professionally, but on a number of days all sorts of help would be most welcome, from brutal strength to making tea! To raise this at the beginning of February may be a bit early, but some people want to plan ahead – and the more the merrier.

Would you be able to offer some help on one or several of the days below?

  • Thursday 12th May
  • Friday 13th May
  • Saturday 14th May
  • Saturday 21st May
  • Monday 23rd May
  • Tuesday 24th May
  • Wednesday 25th May
  • Thursday 26th May (potentially)

If manual labour is not your thing, could you choose one of those days and

  • bake a cake and join us eating it (and make some tea & coffee?)
  • or make some lunch and join us for lunch? (The kitchen in the Hall is all yours…)

Let’s celebrate! Sunday 12th June 2022

The repair and move of the damaged High Altar requires its re-consecration. I am delighted that Bishop Peter Fox is going to be with us for the Mass on Sunday 12th June to do that – and he will be joined by his wife Angie of altar-frontal restoration fame (see here and pictures below)!

This will be a very special occasion with a big party stretching from the Church to the Parish Hall and from the Vicarage into the Peace Garden. Mark the date!

Small things do matter!

If you look closely you will see that efforts to pay attention to detail and make our church more beautiful are continuing at pace. Ben (of gilding and restoration fame) has started to explore how to paint the relief in the sanctuary and will start with the work in the next few days (which is the line all around the apse above where he is kneeling in the picture – currently painted with a not very nice gold paint).

The Votive Lamp in the Lady Chapel has been thoroughly cleaned but still looked a bit beyond its best. I am delighted that a generous person is having it re-silver-plated – which prompted me to have a go at the hanging weight. Surprisingly, it wasn’t black under all the dirt but is actually made of brass (spot the difference!).

On a personal matter, I am somewhat bemused that I was ordained 25 years ago yesterday on the feast of Candlemas. A quarter of a century is a long time – and it took me all these years to get to St Andrew’s! This event (and various others) will be wrapped up in the big feast on 12 June!

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