Updated: Jan 23
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
First of all I want to call you to action as we enter this second period of Lockdown. It is clear that we once again have to seek to be heroic in keeping our Christian faith alive. And so I call on you to be ever more faithful in your daily private prayer and in making the effort to tune into our Parish Facebook worship particularly on Sunday mornings. This is how we will keep both our faith and our church alive.
As I have already noted, not being able to meet together in person for Mass and corporate worship is far from ideal. The Christian Church is a Sacramental Church that requires us to obey the Lord’s own command and gather around His altar to offer the Eternal Sacrifice and to receive from Him the gift of his very own Body and Blood - His Soul and Divinity. This is so that we may be strengthened by the gift of His grace as we journey through this life seeking to be more and more conformed to His will - to be made ready and worthy of that eternal life in His presence that God truly wants for each of us. We are saved through our ongoing participation in this sacramental life of the Church.
While this normal pattern of Christian life is on hold and we pray earnestly with hope for better times; nonetheless we must remain faithful in prayer, remembering one another and making regularly our spiritual communion. This is essential for our Christian wellbeing.
PLEASE NOTE CHURCH OPENING TIMES
The Church is allowed to be open and will be open for private prayer on Saturdays and Sundays between 10.30 am - 12 noon and on Wednesdays between 11 am - 1 pm.
Finally do not be hesitant in ringing, texting or emailing me and one another at this time. We are a family and we need each other. Now more so than ever. While we cannot meet in person we can communicate with one another. Some of us have partners, spouses and family at home with us. Others do not. Yet all of us will be boyed up if we know that others care enough to pick up the phone. We can and will get through these next few weeks if we pray and look out for one another. Keep strong and keep safe and know that all of you are in my prayers.
This weekend we continue the theme of Remembrance as we offer prayers and supplications on behalf of the souls who gave their lives in time of war and violence. As we look back on the last few centuries we are acutely aware of how many conflicts have troubled the human family. How often we have strayed from the peace and love that our God calls us to fashion our lives by.
And yet while acknowledging the sinfulness of mankind, that so often leads to strife through selfishness, avariciousness, pride and hate, we also acknowledge the other side of the coin. Of those, that caught up in such war and violence, have risen up to show forth the nobility that man is capable of: who sacrificed comfort, who gave of themselves to protect the innocent, who displayed heroism and courage, and who went on to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Those who ended their time in this world laying down their lives that others might live and seek to work for a brighter future.
These two divergent realities we seek to embrace as we keep Remembrance Sunday: the sorrow that war and conflict is and will always be wrong as it flies in the face of the express will of a loving God, and the recognition of all those who, caught up in such war, made the ultimate sacrifice for love of family, community and country. So we pray this weekend for the realisation of true peace on earth while commending the souls of those who died in conflict seeking to establish that same peace.
OUR USUAL REMEMBRANCE DAY COMMEMORATION, due to Lockdown and the closure of all Churches by our present government, will now take place online on the “Saint Martins Parish Church Fenny Stratford” Facebook page at 10 am on Sunday 8th November. A Requiem Mass will be offered by the clergy of Saint Martin’s for the repose of the souls of those who laid down their lives for their country. You can also access our Facebook Page from our Website Home Page at: saintmartinschurch.co.uk
OUR SAINT MARTINS-TIDE CELEBRATION will also be, of necessity, vastly different from usual. There will be no firing of the Fenny Poppers this year and for the same reason the Brown Willis dinner cannot take place. We will do our best, however, as a Parish family to honour our Patron Saint Martin and plead his prayers for us by coming together, again through our Facebook Page on Wednesday the 11th November, for a Broadcast Mass at 7.30 pm. I pray that despite everything that is happening at this time in history we might make the effort to all tune in and through this online medium, come together to witness to Christ as a Parish family as we honour Saint Martin.
THE SOLEMN PROFESSION OF FATHER VICTOR (known as Brother Cuthbert in Community) AS A MEMBER OF THE BENEDICTINE HOUSE OF INITIA NOVA took place last Thursday evening. Father Victor would like to thank all those who sent him cards and messages of congratulations on the occasion. It moved him to know that your love and prayers were with him for the occasion.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO VISIT THE DISPLAY AT THE BACK OF CHURCH INTRODUCING SAINT BENEDICT, HIS MONASTIC RULE AND THE HOUSE OF INITIA NOVA, THERE WILL, VERY SHORTLY, BE A PAGE ON OUR WEBSITE FOR YOU TO VISIT AND BROUSE ON THE SUBJECT.
SERVICES BROADCAST THIS SUNDAY
Parish Mass at 10 am
AND DURING THE WEEK AT THESE TIMES:
Tuesday at 10 am
Wednesday at 7.30 pm (Patronal of St. Martin)
Thursday at 10 am
Friday at 10 am
Saturday at 10 am
SERVICES BROADCAST NEXT SUNDAY
Parish Mass at 10 am
PLEASE don’t forget to contact me if you have any prayer requests or Mass intentions you would like me to offer at Mass or if would like someone added to our parish prayer list of the Sick or Departed.
My contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 01908 372825
I am also available in person during Surgery Hour on Saturday’s in Church between 10.30am - 12 noon. The Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation is also available at this time.
From time to time Sunday Vespers and Benediction will also be broadcast. We will also continue to maintain a presence on the Saint Martin’s Parish Church Facebook Page and our Church What’s App group so that we can remain in touch with as many members of our Saint Martin’s parish family as we can.
Please continue to remember the following in your prayers:
Those who gave their lives in conflict so that others might live.
Those who have made Profession and Solemn Profession and have begun their Religious Life as Postulants this week.
Our country under lockdown, that the infection rate may decline and quarantine measures may end on time.
The people of the United States of America as they decide on who shall be their next President.
Those who are working on a Vaccine for Covid 19 and for the countless volunteers who are assisting them.
Those who have found themselves out of work, particularly those who have families or other dependents to support.
Those who are despairing at the future of their businesses and those that work for them.
Those who still live in fear of this global pandemic and those who live in fear and are living with anxiety and depression.
For those who have suffered due to racism or bigotry. For those who have suffered violence or torture at the hands of others.
For the Government in their seeking solutions for the common good at this time.
That at this continuing tightening of lockdown measures people may continue to act and behave sensibly.
For peace to reign within our homes and amongst one another.
For the elderly, housebound and those living in residential and nursing homes.
For our Ambulance Service and for our other Emergency Service Staff and for Milton Keynes Hospital and all who work there.
For Bishop Jonathan and all our parish clergy as they seek to continue to make present in our midst the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, the Sacraments of Christ and offer continuing Pastoral care.
For the Mother House of the Monastic Community of the House of Initia Nova of the Order of Saint Benedict. For it’s Abbot Michael-John, the community and for those exploring a vocation to vowed life within its family.
For the Sick:
For Jonathan Kemp, Mary Cowan, Peter White, Roger D’Elia, Shirley Milburn, Jean Holden, Paul Ward, Norman Kent, Peter Woodward, Gay Lavery, David Gregg, Eugenius Yung, Denis & Yvonne Simpson, Mary Collier, Benjamin Duarri, David Lingham, Sandra Walduck, Eugenius Yung, Doris Weatherley and Pope Emeritus Benedict.
For the Departed:
For all who have died recently, among them Ruth Lane, Marjorie Matthew, Helen L’Estrange, Peter Salt, George Tsimikalis and Margaret Catchpole.
For all those who have died of Covid 19.
We pray too for all whose years mind falls at this time, among them Elizabeth Green, Arthur Parkins, Dorothy Broderick, Gilian Strawniczy, Alice Downes, Arthur Kemp and Mary Wilford. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let Light Perpetual shine upon them.
With best wishes and every blessing on you and your families,