Monday, 28 January 2008

III Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sexagesima

This weekend began with the funeral of Tina Newholm. It was held in her old Parish Church where she worshipped for over thirty years until moving to this Parish some two years ago. The church of St Michael's Beckenham was packed for a concelebrated Mass of Requiem. Fr Mark and I concelebrated. Fr Christopher Smith, the Parish Priest, gave a moving sermon placing the Christian life of Tina in the context of Easter. After the Mass all the concelebrating clergy went to the cemetery for the burial. It is the same cemetery where the great Fr Tooth is buried. There are now two staunch anglo catholics at each end of that cemetery. Tina's funeral was truly a Christian witness, a celebration of Easter. May she rest in peace.

After the funeral Fr Mark and I shared the Office of Readings, Vespers and Benediction. I then went to Sevenoaks Hospital for the weekly visit. At 8pm we had Mass for the conversion of St Paul followed by the AGM of the Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Saturday saw a team from the Parish working hard in setting up the new Parish Website. It is of a very high standard and am sure that you all will enjoy it when it is launched this Saturday.

On Sunday early Mass was celebrated by Fr Mark. I was there in time to join him and our Lay Reader Roger at greeting people at the end of Mass. We shared Lauds together and prepared for the Parish Mass. Once again the attendance was very good. During Mass we reflected on Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee where today's gospel was set. We reflected about Jesus calling us to follow him especially so during this Year of Grace which we embark upon this Saturday. The photo above is what remains of the town of Capernaum where Jesus lived and below the Sea of Galilee where today' s gospel is set. These photos were taken last August. The Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in February 2009 is nearly full. If you are thinking of joining do not leave too long.

During Mass we greeted baby Edward, the firstborn of Andrew and Laura, with a hearty applause. This was the first time that Edward came to church, I am sure the first of many.

Today we gave out the latest edition of the Parish Magazine called: "About St Johns". It is an attractive edition and the hope is that it will be available on the web site too. Many thanks and well done to the Editor, Mrs Cheesman and her mother for all the proof reading.

This day ended with communions and pastoral visiting in hospital. Some of the regulars have done very good progress and are going to be sent home shortly. It was a very moving moment to be thanked for the visiting by them. The work of hospital chaplains is very important.

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