A message from the Parish Priest Fr Philip Barnes  

Dear friends and parishioners of St Stephen’s,

 

I hope this week’s email finds you well and thriving, and that your spirits have not been dampened by the wet weather this week!

 

It was so good to see so many at the 11 o’clock Mass on Sunday – joining in both in church and ‘on line’ through the live stream. There was a real sense of joy in our ‘return home’, and I’m so grateful to those who were able to be present. In this phase of our return to worship we’ll be continuing to offer the option to join Mass on the YouTube channel as many of us are shielding at home still – you are such an important part of our community and although we’re looking forward to seeing everyone here soon we know that’s not quite possible yet.

 

As we noted last week we can’t return to ‘how things were’ before the outbreak of the pandemic, and the way we are celebrating Mass has a number of differences. Thank you for dealing with these so well – everyone felt safe and happy to be in church. It’s important to use the sanitising station as you enter and leave – a firm push on the dispenser will issue a lovely dollop of sanitizing gel into the palm of your hand! The seating is arranged so we are always two metres apart, and the arrangements for Holy Communion are clear and easy to follow. I’m sorry that we are unable to offer refreshments after Mass, but it’s good to greet each other outside afterwards.

 

I know that it’s hard not being able to sing together, but how marvellous it was to hear a specially composed Mass Setting by Greg last Sunday ‘Missa de profundis’ as well as some beautifully sung Handel from Lucy and Sam. This Sunday Joshua and Chrissy will be providing lovely music for us to enhance our worship, including the ‘Litany to the Holy Spirit’ by Peter Hurford.

 

As usual now there is a recorded devotion on our YouTube channel to prepare for the weekend – Friday is the feast day of St Benedict, so I’m introducing another ‘out of the way’ feature of the church, and I’m reflecting on what St Benedict might have to teach us about life in these strange times! The link is:

 

Recorded Devotion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8Y0Vhw4xgY&t=5s

 

The link for the live stream for this week, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time is:

 

Live Streamed Mass

https://youtu.be/e9T45zxF3iw

 

There are just a few other notices to mention:

  • If you’d like to read at the 11am Mass please sign up on the rota at the back of church.
  • If you are able to lend a hand with the cleaning that we’re required to do after Mass again, please sign up!
  • I’m going to be in the church garden tomorrow from around 11am to give it a spruce up – you’d be very welcome to join me!
  • If you would like a name added to the list of the sick who we are praying for please let me know. Don’t forget that we are required to have their permission first (for data protection reasons). We’re also asked to keep the timing of Mass down so there are no Intercessions on Sunday, but those on the prayer lists are remembered at weekday Masses.

 

For now Masses remain at the times as before:

 

Times of Masses

 

Sunday

Mass                9am

Sung Mass       11am

 

Monday

Mark and I keep this as our days off and the church will be closed

 

Tuesday

Mass                12.30pm

The church will be open from 9am until after Mass

 

Wednesday

Mass                7pm

The church will be open from 2pm until after Mass

 

Thursday

Mass                12.30pm

The church will be open from 9am until after Mass

 

Friday

Holy Hour       5pm – 6pm

This is a lovely chance to spend some quiet time before the Lord at the end of a busy week

Mass                6pm

The church will be open from 2pm until after Mass

 

Saturday

Mass                10am

The church will be open from 9am until 2pm

 

with my love and prayers and gratitude for you all,

and wishing you every blessing in the week ahead,

 

Fr Philip

 

frphilipbarnes@btinternet.com

020 7937 4263

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