Updated: Jan 23
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This season of Advent begins our preparation and waiting for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ: not only his coming in a stable at Bethlehem, but more properly his second coming at the end of time.
The Church’s liturgy helps us to make that sense of expectancy real for us. In the Old Testament readings at Mass during this season we will hear of the prophecies concerning a Messiah who would come to deliver his people and usher in a new age of justice and peace. Our Lord did indeed come on earth to establish that Kingdom, but it is a Kingdom born in us and will only be fully realised at the end of time.
In the meantime, even in the midst of these very strange times of challenge we have to ‘stay awake’, alert for that unknown moment when Jesus our Lord will call us to himself. To prepare our hearts and minds for that call we are invited most ardently to amend our lives and to listen to the advice of the forerunner Saint John the Baptist, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.”
Our God is never far from us. He loves us and he is Emmanuel, God-with-us. I pray that he may be with each of us as we walk together through this Advent, so that we may celebrate his coming to us in Grace this Christmas- and our coming to him when returns again in glory to judge the living and the dead. May we truly remain awake and ready for that day through our diligence in worship, prayer, and though our love and concern for needs of those around us.
It is good to note the relaxing of Lockdown and its intolerable ban on public worship. The Church is once again allowed to be open for the public celebration of Holy Mass and these Masses will resume from Thursday 3rd December. Please see below for the Mass schedule from that date.
SERVICES BROADCAST THIS SUNDAY
Parish Mass at 10 am (First Sunday of Advent)
AND DURING THE WEEK AT THESE TIMES:
Tuesday at 10 am
Wednesday at 12.15 pm
SERVICES OPEN ONCE MORE TO THE FAITHFUL
(These will not be broadcast)
Thursday at 10 am
Friday at 10 am
Saturday at 10 am
SERVICES NEXT SUNDAY
Parish Mass at 10 am (Second Sunday of Advent)
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE BEGIN OUR PREPARATION FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S HOLY NATIVITY TOGETHER AS A PARISH FAMILY. Our Church is open once more and we owe it to our loving Lord, and to each other, to restore and support his worship in our Parish Church. As I’ve said again and again, we are a family and we need each other. Now more so than ever.
Yes we will need to continue to be careful and look out for each other. We will need to continue with all our hygiene requirements, but we now are able to come together as a Parish family and worship. Thanks be to God.
This is a call to you to join in the work that needs to be done to make this time of preparation for Christmas a truly spiritual one. And we will need help to prepare the Church building for the Nativity. There is the Christmas Tree to erect and decorate. The Crib to build and church interior to decorate.
All of us will be boyed up if we know that others care enough to lend a hand.
So keep strong and keep safe and know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
TO TUNE IN VIA FACEBOOK TO JOIN IN OUR WORSHIP PLEASE OPEN THE FACEBOOK APP ON YOUR PHONE OR DEVICE AND SEARCH FOR:
“St Martin’s Parish Church, Fenny Stratford “
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.
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:
Our country as it emerges from lockdown, that the infection rate may continue to decline.
The people of the United States of America as they transition to their next President.
For a rapid final testing and dissemination of a working Vaccine for Covid 19 and for all working for this end.
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 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, Denis & Yvonne Simpson, Mary Collier, Benjamin Duarri, David Lingham, Sandra Walduck, Eugenius Yung, Doris Weatherley, Joy Howlett and Pope Emeritus Benedict.
For the Departed:
For all who have died recently, among them Ruth Lane, Jean Marc Jacobs, Alicia Jaworek, Alice Margaret Sigerson, Ian, and for all those who have died of Covid 19.
We pray too for all whose years mind falls at this time, among them Douglas Mutch, George Morris, James Sellars, Grace Funnell. 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 in this new Advent season.