The Building Work in the Parish Room continues!

The builders have taken out the old toilets and the interior plasterboard walls and although things continue to look like a building site is bound to look (as in really bad and dusty), this has opened up the space and it is obvious that a lot more light is coming in. It is now possible to imagine how the space will look with the 3 additional windows in the roof and how it will function after the building work has been finished. This is likely to take until May.

In the meantime we continue to use various ways from the church into the hall – through the vicarage garden, the little door from St John’s Chapel or the way round via Jarrom Street and Gateway. It is unfortunate that this temporarily has removed step-free access to the church and I am grateful for the patience of those struggling with this.

Can you help?

The building work leaves its mark on everything and obviously things are a lot more dirty and dusty than under normal circumstances. If you can spare two hours on Saturday morning (18th February, 4th March) between 9.15am and 11.15am, please join us to do some cleaning and care for the church. There will be cake!

Service Times

In order to allow those helping on Saturday mornings to attend if they wish the Mass times for the week have been slightly adjusted – Saturday morning now happens at 9am.

Special Services

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday falls on the 22nd February this year. As many of us work during daytime there will be two Masses with Imposition of Ashes, the usual Wednesday Mass at 12.30pm and an extra Mass at 7pm in the evening. You are most warmly invited to join us in church to begin a holy and blessed Lent. More about Lent and Easter and special services and events I will write about next time.

Small Lent Sermon Series

We firmly believe that worship is something involving our bodies and that actions are as important as words. Our whole style of sacramental liturgy is kinaesthetic: the sense of place and beauty matters as much as what we do or say.

Some of the theology behind actions is completely obvious – but it may help to raise awareness to what happens, when and why – not just for people who are fairly new to our kind of Christianity. For example, it may not be obvious to everybody why people make a small sign of the cross at the announcement of the gospel on their foreheads, their lips and their hearts? (The answer is that as the gospel is proclaimed by the deacon the three crosses are a symbolic prayer for the Word of God to enter my thinking, my speech and my feelings).

As we do believe that these things matter hugely we take some time this Lent to talk about them. Fr Stephen, Fr Barry and Fr Johannes will use the sermon slots on three Sundays in Lent (Lent 3 (12/03), Lent 4 (19/03) & Lent 5 (26/03)) to look at some elements of the Liturgy of the Mass.

Compline & Benediction

Following the success of the monthly service of Compline & Benediction (followed by a quiet pint in the Robert Peel) this is going to continue – it has become one of my favourite occasions as it is so simple yet stunningly beautiful. Come along on Sunday 5th March at 7pm and see.

Special Guests

Bishop Peter

On the 2nd Sunday of Lent on 5th March Bishop Peter Fox is joining us again. +Peter is known to many of us as he consecrated the refurbished High Altar in May 2022 and I am delighted he is joining us again.

Archbishop Rowan Williams

Last not least a particularly exciting date for your diary: by invitation of the Diocesan Catholic Fellowship Archbishop Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is giving a talk at St Andrew’s on Friday 31st March at 6pm. In order to book a free ticket you need to go onto Eventbrite and reserve a space HERE.

Lord Williams speaks on ‘Priesthood, solidarity and transformation: thoughts on ministry and witness today.’

Lord Rowan Williams of Oystermouth is acclaimed internationally as an outstanding thinker, writer, scholar and teacher. Following academic and parish work in both Cambridge and Oxford, and a short time as a Canon Theologian at Leicester Cathedral, Rowan was elected Bishop of Monmouth in 1991 and, subsequently, elected as Archbishop of Wales in 1999. From 2002 to 2012 Dr Williams held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury, the first Welsh successor to St Augustine of Canterbury, and the first since the mid-thirteenth century to be appointed from beyond the English church. Rowan entered the House of Lords as a life peer in January 2013 where he has spoken on a wide range of issues. Rowan retired as Master of Magdalene in 2020 and now lives in Cardiff. His books and articles invariably both stimulate and challenge. Among his better-known books are ‘Arius: Heresy and Tradition’ (2nd Edition, SCM Press, 2001), ‘Dostoevsky: Language, Faith and Fiction’ (Continuum, 2008) and edited with Kenneth Leech ‘Essays Catholic and Radical’ (Bowerdean Press, 1983). 

Apart from being a theologian he is also a noted poet and translator of poetry and, apart from Welsh, speaks or reads nine other languages. 

The lecture will begin at 6.00pm prompt at St Andrew’s Church and will last for approximately one hour. A drinks reception will take place after the event.

White Elephants

The White Elephant Table is busy – both in terms what people put there and in the uptake of items. I am delighted this is caring for an obvious and direct need.

The APCM and the Electoral Roll

On 21st March at 7pm is our Annual Parish Church Meeting and there are elections for our Churchwarden, Steering Group and for Deanery Synod and those on the Electoral Roll can both vote and be elected. Anybody who regularly worships at St Andrew’s, is baptised and over the age of 16 can join. This doesn’t commit you to anything, costs you anything or changes your religion or anything – it simply enables you to vote! It is also possible to be on more than one Electoral Roll if you worship at another parish regularly as well. There is still time to add your name to the roll before the APCM on 21st March 2023 – the deadline is Monday 27th February.

Easter Project Choir

This is something I am really excited about! St Andrew’s has not had a particular musical tradition for the past 100 years or so and this is a way to join an exciting choir project without signing your life away. It’s an ideal and fail-proof way of trying out whether this sort of thing is for you.

  • People of all abilities and experiences are welcome to join.
  • You do not have to be able to read sheet music.
  • Each voice will be supported by a professional singer you can follow and ‘hang on to’ – making things both stable and easier. This also means that the project cannot fail, the professionals will carry everybody along.
  • I am delighted that Leicester based musician, teacher, singer, organist, pianist and conductor John Gull has accepted leading this project at St Andrew’s.

The three rehearsals are (you need to able to firmly commit to at least two of those):

  • Wednesday 22nd March, 7pm – 8.30pm
  • Wednesday 29th March, 7pm – 8.30pm
  • Wednesday in Holy Week, 5th April, 7pm – 8.30pm

On Easter Sunday 9th April the project choir will sing during the 10.30am Festival Mass at St Andrew’s.

Interested in taking part? Talk to me! And do turn up on Wednesday, 22nd March at 7pm.