I am incredibly pleased with a a rather amazing celebration of Holy Week and Easter. It was great to go out in procession on Palm Sunday, to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper together with our friends and neighbours from St Mary de Castro, to join Our Lord during his last hour on Good Friday and then properly celebrate Easter with the highlight of 7 people being baptised and confirmed by Bishop Christopher.
There is little time to catch our breath: various services events are coming up very quickly!
National Pilgrimage to Walsingham
On Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May is the National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (which consists of a Mass followed by a picnic in the old Abbey Grounds and a procession). There is a bus leaving from St Andrew’s at 7am (!) and there are still spaces. Please contact me if you would like to come.
On Monday 9th May at 7pm we celebrate the May Festival together with St Mary de Castro. It will be lovely to welcome Bishop Michael Ipgrave from Lichfield back to St Andrew’s – he is a former Parish Priest of St Andrew’s and St Mary’s and I am delighted that he joins us for the occasion. I need help on the Monday afternoon and evening with hospitality and setting things up as well as clearing things away – please let me know if you are able to offer a hand.
Reordering – Stage 1
Following the May Festival the main body of the church is going to be closed for 3 weeks – services continue as usual. As most of you will know we are going to restore the altar, the wooden platforms and space out the pews and move them closer to the sanctuary. If you were able to pop round with a cake or a few biscuits to support those who are doing the heavy lifting please let me know – I will tell you the dates which are yet not covered. If you want to know more about what is going on and why please check various articles I wrote in preparation: see here.
Following all the work which hopefully will be successful 🙏🏻 we need to recognise and celebrate the achievement: please make a note in your diary for Sunday, 12th June 2022. Bishop Peter Fox will dedicate the restored altar and following the Mass we have a party inside and outside (as the weather will be glorious). Again, if you could offer help on Saturday with preparations, on Sunday itself and with clearing up I would be delighted to hear from you.
Finally, I have moved into the vicarage in Easter Week and that allows me to re-establish the Daily Mass. We have a midweek service on Wednesday at 12.30pm, hence on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday there will be a Mass at 8am if I am around. I will not organise cover in case I am away or otherwise engaged, but I will update the online calendar on this website. If you would like to join and want to make sure the service happens, please contact me beforehand.
A word of thanks!
The last year since we started to worship publicly again on Maundy Thursday 2021 has seen enormous changes and growth in our church. It has been such a privilege to be part of a group of people who get things done, visibly are having fun and don’t leave anybody behind. My prayer is that we will continue to grow in holiness, numbers and service to our community, that we continue to be a place where people are welcomed and cared about, and meet others who one would otherwise never meet – old and young, poor and well off, of different ethnicities, countries of origin, values and convictions. St Andrew’s has such a variety of gifts – if you want to get involved more and don’t quite know how, please let me invite you for a coffee or tea and a chat.