St Joseph’s School Inspection Report from The Diocese of Westminster – Outstanding!

Dear Parish,

I am writing to let you know the outcome of our recent Inspection from the Diocese of Westminster. The Inspectors found that Classroom religious education is OUTSTANDING and Catholic life of the school is OUTSTANDING. This is the best possible result. I attach a copy for you to read and this will be put on the website.

I would like to thank the parents for filling in the questionnaire so quickly. The Inspectors were delighted to receive 188 in such a short time. They comment that, “Parents are overwhelmingly positive in their praise of the school.”

The Report includes many lovely comments about the children and the school including:

Pupils demonstrate exemplary behaviour and excellent attitudes to learning.

Religious education is at the core of this vibrant Catholic school.

The school offers rich opportunities for pupils to develop and celebrate their gifts and talents.

The students’ perseverance and commitment together with high levels of respect are major factors in them making excellent progress.

A clear strength is the warm working relationships within the whole school community allowing pupils to grow and flourish in a secure caring environment.

I would like to thank all of the staff for their hard work and for caring for the children. The Inspectors comment that, “The dynamic head teacher and his team are passionate in their leadership and ambition for the school,” and that teachers, “…plan and deliver lessons which are inspiring, engaging and creative. They create a positive environment in which all can learn.” We are blessed to have such committed and talented staff at our school and we are grateful that Fr. Carlos devotes so much time and pastoral care.

Thank you for your support of the school.

Suzanne Fitzgerald
Chair of Governors

Please click on the link below to read the report

2019 Feb – Inspection Report

Another collaborative project between the Tourist board and the Senior Parish Art Club

‘The start of lent and another collaborative project between the Tourist board and the SPA club . The monthly theme of Trails and walks ties in with the start of lent . A chance to reflect on nature and what god has created for us .The work on display is energised and gentle at the same time . Like nature quietly storing up its necessary food under the cold rough ground before revealing its spring time flowers and colour”



See the SPA Group page for all of the fabulous art work on display…

Food Bank Appeal

Food supplies are getting low in the local Foodbank. St Joseph’s will be collecting donations from now until Easter.

Please leave donations in the tub at the back of the church where there is a list of items required e.g. tins of meat, fish, tomatoes, long life milk and juices, tea and sugar. See the full list below..

Toiletries also needed.

It would be helpful if seasonal items could be donated in good time to be distributed before Easter.

Please ensure items are well within their use-by dates.

Thank you very much

Lent and Holy Week Masses

A Sheet is available for collection at Mass – Please do take one for details of all Masses during Lent and Holy Week




The Governing Body of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School are looking for an enthusiastic and caring SEN Teaching Assistant to work with individual pupils with additional needs on a part-time basis from April 2019, term time only.

For more information about the post, please contact the school office on 01279 652576 or visit

Mission Appeal

The Missionaries of Africa ( aka The White Fathers) are an international team of Priests, Brothers and Lay associates from africa, Britain and many countries around the world. Any ministry which has a real relationship with Africa, no matter in what part of the world it may be, is considered by the Missionaries of Africa to be within the scope of the apostolate. Through parish work, building up small Christian communities, working with the media, involvement in justice and peace, agriculture, seminary training, education and social welfare the Missionaries of Africa aim to work in partnership with the Church in Africa.. and above all help build up the leadership of the Churches.


On Sunday 10th March 2019 Fr Augustin will join Parishioners at St Joseph’s  and on Sunday 17th March Fr Michael will join  Parishioners at Holy Cross and Most Holy Redeemer for the  Mission appeal.


Appeal cheques may be payable to ‘ Missionaries of Africa’

More ‘ SPA Group’ Art Work on display in the Tourist Information Office Window

Members of our Senior Parish Art Group led by Monica Jacobs have started 2019 off by providing some beautiful art work which is  now on display in the window of the Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Information Office. Be sure to go and have a look ! Also visit the SPA Group Parish web page to see more of their talents – FABULOUS!!

Vacancy – Bishop’s Stortford Street Pastors Coordinator

Bishop’s Stortford Street Pastors has an opportunity for a new Coordinator as the current Coordinator is moving away.

In this role you will coordinate, promote and support this brilliant Christian project You will enable the team of Street Pastors from local churches to continue their ministry of caring, loving and listening in the late-night community of Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth.

This is a key role and we need the post holder to be fully supportive of the Street Pastors’ vision and mission and a committed Christian, in regular attendance at a local Church. You will need to demonstrate strong team working and possess good communication, organisational and administrative skills. You are likely to have had previous experience of volunteering within a Church or charity.

The role offers flexible working hours on average 10 hours per week, paid monthly with eight weeks paid holiday (including statutory holidays) pro rata. The role will occasionally involve evening meetings.

If you are considering applying for the role, please contact Corinne Lewis (Street Pastors Trustees Vice Chair) to request the Job Description (including ‘Key Requirements’) and payment details. We would encourage you to email Corinne to arrange an informal chat for further information about the role.

To apply, please submit your CV with a covering letter by email to detailing how you meet the role’s ‘Key Requirements’, by the end of Sunday 10th March. The interviews are planned for March 19th.

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 (7) Exception for genuine occupational requirement applies to this post, in that due to the nature of the role, there is a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the post holder is a practising Christian.
Bishops Stortford Street Pastors Registered Charity No 1141439

A Prayer for Yemen

As you may have seen in the news, the suffering in Yemen is one of the gravest humanitarian crises in the world today. After nearly four years of war, more than 14 million people are facing starvation and 85,000 children may have already died from extreme hunger since 2015.

‘There is some hope in Yemen, with a ceasefire brokered in December, promising to restore the Hodeida port and allow food and medicine into the country. CAFOD has worked through partners in Yemen since 2016, and while we welcomed the UK government’s announcement last week that it will uplift funding to the UN Peace process in Yemen by £2.5 million, we know that the situation is so desperate that more needs to be done.

‘Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for the people suffering in Yemen.’

Below is the prayer.

A prayer for Yemen
Giver of Life,
Who hears the cries from Yemen;
of mothers choosing between medicine or food,
of parents grieving children lost to starvation,
of those who have given up everything in hunger.
Hear our cries for hope, for change, for peace

In your mercy,
Break political deadlocks,
Soften hardened hearts,
Change closed minds,
Open unhearing ears.
Let people come before power
Let life be holy again
Let your justice and peace
Shape the nation of Yemen
And the lives of all people

The Stone Cleaning and Painting continues at St Joseph’s

The Stone is being cleaned by hand – just look at the difference in colour already!


Photos courtesy of Barry at BK Stone and DJ


The Painting also continues….

Les and Christopher at work carefully re-painting the Spandrels and adding gold leaf



The below photographs were taken courtesy of Christopher Davison of CJD Homes whilst working on the Spandrels

Holiday Bible Week

HOLIDAY BIBLE WEEK- 5th – 9th August 2019- The Holiday Bible week web site will go live on Sunday 10th February,
So please sign-up ASAP to guarantee a place for your Child.
The Children’s registration closes on 30th April 2019.
Adult Volunteers are needed so that places can be offered  to as many children as possible (usually about 500).
A DBS check will need to be done for those volunteers who don’t have one for HBW but that is a straightforward process!

The launch date night for Adult Volunteers will be Thursday 6th June 2019.

Checkthe web site for more information.

Cardinal’s Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony Westminster Cathedral

The Cardinal will be inviting to this Mass all couples in the Diocese who are celebrating their 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th ( and every year over 60) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage in 2019.
If you are celebrating an anniversary please contact the Parish Office with the following details; husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and email ( or telephone number, if no email)
by Monday 18th March please.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Nursery Admissions 2019/2020

The application process for children starting Nursery in September 2019 (born between 01/09/2015 and 31/08/2016) opens on Monday 4th February 2019 and closes on Friday 15th March 2019. Application forms will be available on 4th February from the school office or can be downloaded from A copy of your child’s baptismal certificate and a Certificate of Catholic practice should accompany your application. All applications must be returned to the school office at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.

Places will be offered on Monday 1st April.


Applicants for St Joseph’s School for NURSERY places in 2019 should collect a white ‘embossed’ application form for a certificate from No 3 Windhill, the Sacristy or the Parish Office in person. Once completed it should then be posted through the letter box of No 3 Windhill marked for Fr Peter’s attention with a stamped addressed envelope please. The Certificate will then be posted to you. The School deadline is 15/3/2019.

Please apply in plenty of time to allow the certificate to be processed.

Penny Collection

For several years St. Joseph’s has supported overseas projects but this year we are “going local”, and donating proceeds of the Penny Collection to the Winter Night Shelter at Holy Trinity Church. Whilst now well established as an overnight shelter they hope also to be able to offer daytime activity and practical help and advice.

So please dig out all that unwanted cash and put it in the designated jar at the back of the church to support this very worthy cause.

St Michaels Church Bells Appeal

The red brick tower and slender steeple of St Michael’s church are a familiar sight to the people of Bishop’s Stortford. There have been bells in the tower since the early 1400s. The present ring of ten bells was installed in 1820 in a wooden frame after the tower and spire were rebuilt the previous year. Since then, the only other work on the bells consisted of re-tuning in 1928. Now, nearly 200 years since the last major work, the bells are in urgent need of refurbishment.

ST MICHAELS need to raise £200,000.

Several of our Parishioners are Bell ringers at St Michaels and many weddings over the decades celebrated at St Joseph’s have been accompanied by the bells of St Michaels.

If you would like to help by making a donation, please visit

Church Bells Restoration Appeal

Christmas Preparations at St Joseph’s

Fr Carlos.. preparing the entrance to St Joseph’s Church with a  Christmas garland.. with a little help from our two visiting Seminarians, Johannes and Simon from Germany

Parish AGM

THANK YOU to everyone who came to the Parish AGM on Sunday and to those who provided the refreshments. If you missed the meeting there are copies of the report available at the back of each Church. Please do take one or alternatively click on the link below.

Parish Report

Parish Finance Report

Did you know…?

..that since 3/6/2015 until 5/12/2018 our Church Live stream at St Joseph’s has attracted 273045 Viewers from all over the world!

Penny Collection for Zambia

PENNY COLLECTION FOR ZAMBIA – Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Penny collection for Zambia this year. We
have now reached our £1k total and the money has been sent to St Lawrence School. We received an email from Sr Angela in Zambia last week following our donation( see below). The money raised will make a real difference. Thank you!

Dear People of God

This is really good news. I thank you greatly. On Monday I will check at the bank and for sure the borehole issue will start soon before the water table rises.
Very soon I will report on the full expenditure of the amount we received. We are waiting to buy a transparent roofing sheet to be fixed on one of the classrooms which had the roof damaged.

May God continue blessing you.
Sr. Angela.

‘There but not there…’

Eight men from what was then our young and small Parish, died in WWI and their names are commemorated in an illuminated manuscript that hangs next to the Sacristy door. It records that the beautiful wooden Choir Stalls in the Sanctuary were installed in their memory.

St Joseph’s will be participating in the “There but not There” project (go to and see the works that will be supported by this initiative).

Throughout the weekend there will be 8 silhouettes “sitting” in different locations in the Church benches, each with a plaque giving the name of the person commemorated. They will sit among us once gain as they did in life.

Please use this opportunity to say a prayer for their souls and also to pray deeply that the scourge of war may be taken from our world today.




THANK YOU to everyone involved at our three Churches who so generously give their time and talents each week at Mass and to those particularly who have been involved in the WW1 local Centenary events this weekend.

A special mention also to our talented Flower guild and the Senior Parish Art group who have created some beautiful floral tributes and art work in the Church as well as that displayed in  the Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Information Office





‘There but not there’ project

This year sees the centenary of the end of WWI, and there will be special events to mark this centenary across the country. Eight men from what was then our young and small Parish, died in WWI and their names are commemorated in an illuminated manuscript that hangs next to the Sacristy door. It records that the beautiful wooden Choir Stalls in the Sanctuary were installed in their memory.

St Joseph’s will be participating in the “There but not There” project (go to and see the works that will be supported by this initiative).

Throughout the weekend there will be 8 silhouettes “sitting” in different locations in the Church benches, each with a plaque giving the name of the person commemorated. They will sit among us once gain as they did in life. Please use this opportunity to say a prayer for their souls and also to pray deeply that the scourge of war may be taken from our world today.

Lourdes Future Jumbulance Pilgrimages and HCPT Pilgrimages

Building on our first Parish Jumbulance pilgrimage to Lourdes at the beginning of October we are delighted to announce that the Jumbulance vehicle will be visiting St Joseph’s on a goodwill visit on the weekend of November 17th and 18th.

It will be parked on Windhill and everyone at the Masses will have a chance to go on board and see what it is all about.

We hope that in the Spring we will be doing some fundraising to establish a Parish “Lourdes Fund” that will be able to support future Jumbulance pilgrimages and HCPT pilgrimages from our Parish.