News

Holiday Bible Week

Wonderfully we have had over 400 children sign up for this year’s HBW but need many more helpers. We have tent leaders already this year so all volunteers will be joining experienced leaders! Young people can also volunteer. For more info please visit https://holidaybibleweek.co.uk/

Across Job Vacancies

The charity Across are relocating to the perimeter of Stansted Airport and are looking to recruit. We have three vacancies available:
Fundraising Manager – Full time. salary circa £30K
Community Fundraiser – Full-time. salary £18,000
Pilgrimage Administration Assistant Part-time. £17,550 pro rata. All Closing dates are Saturday 25th May 2019.

Please email lisa@across.org.uk for the job descriptions and further information

Evening Prayer at Holy Cross

Between Ascension and Pentecost we will be meeting for evening prayer in the church on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday [3,4 and 5 June] at 6pm and holding a Taizé service on Thursday, 6th June, also at 6pm. if you are able, please join us to pray for ‘Thy kingdom come’.

Advanced Notice – Fr Peter’s Silver Jubilee

Fr Peter will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood with a special ‘Parish Outdoor Mass’ on Sunday 16th June at 11am to be celebrated on the Monastery lawn situated at the rear of St Joseph and the English Martyrs Catholic Church (weather permitting!). There will be no other Mass services celebrated on this morning at St Joseph’s, Holy Cross or Most Holy Redeemer.
For those who are unable to join us outside on the lawn, we hope to be able to also ‘live stream’ the Mass which will be shown via the online service but also on the screen in the Windhill Churches Centre.
After the Mass everyone is invited to stay for a picnic to be eaten either on the Monastery gardens or in the garden behind the back of the Windhill Churches Centre. Please bring your own food. Refreshments will be provided .Extra car parking facilities will be made available courtesy of St Mary’s School.

All of our Priests are special, dedicating their lives to the service of God and to us his people, they are there from the very beginning of our Christian life in Baptism and continue to administer God’s grace to us through the Sacraments right through to the end of our lives, none of this would happen without our Priests! If you would like to make a monetary gift /donation for Fr. Peter on the occasion of his Silver Jubilee, special donation envelopes will be available after Mass next weekend.

Further information will follow as we continue to plan this special event. We will be seeking your help as we will need volunteers from all three Churches to assist with a variety of jobs including Eucharistic Ministers, Marshalls, Tea/ Coffee makers, Offertory Collectors, Welcomers, People to help fetch and carry and clean up the grounds and the WCC afterwards etc.

If you are able to help us please do let the Office know. Thank you very much.

Volunteer Year at SPEC, the Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre

SPEC, the diocesan youth retreat centre, offers the possibility of a volunteer year for young adults. The volunteer missionary would live on site in Pinner in the residential community, receive formation and accompaniment in their faith and serve as a retreat facilitator, working with the employed retreat leaders.

In particular, any sixth formers who may like to find out more are welcome to attend a day retreat to see what goes on and meet the community.

For more information please see www.dowym.com/spec/volunteer/ or contact spec@rcdow.org.uk

Volunteering Opportunity – Caritas Reps

Are you interested in social outreach? Caritas Westminster, the Diocesan social action agency, is looking for Caritas Representatives to help record local poverty and social exclusion projects across different areas of the Diocese. They would also work closely with the Caritas development workers to help respond to those in need in the local area.

If you are interested, please contact Caritas Westminster at caritaswestminster@rcdow.org.uk to register interest

Stress in your Marriage?

Retrouvaille is a program for married couples that feel bored, disillusioned, frustrated, or angry in their marriage. Some experience coldness. Others experience conflict in their relationship. Most don’t know how to change the situation or even communicate with their spouse about it.

This programme has helped 6,000 couples who were experiencing difficulties in their marriage in the past year. There is no group therapy or group work.

For confidential information about ‘Retrouvaille’ or to register for the programme commencing with a weekend on 7th – 9th June 2019 in Welwyn Garden City.

Call or text 0788 7296983 or 0797 3380443 or email retrouvailleukinfo@gmail.com or visit www.retrouvaille.org.uk

Update from Fr Peter

FR PETER WRITES:

Dear Parishioners,
I cannot tell you how much I have appreciated all your good wishes, kind thoughts and heartfelt prayers for me over these last few weeks. They’ve been a great source of reassurance to me. The truth is I don’t feel “grown up” enough to have had a heart attack!! I have been resting quietly away from the Parish and shall continue that for one more week. I expect to be with you for the weekend of May 4/5 and I am looking forward to seeing you all. Needless to say I shall be taking things not at full pelt for the first few weeks!

I must take this opportunity to thank Fr Carlos for all that he has managed to cover whilst I have been away, especially during Holy Week which many of you have told me was a holy and precious time for you. My thanks also to Debbie in the Parish office for all that she has carried.

I have remembered you in my prayers in this wonderful Easter season of new life and promise of things to come and ask you to continue to remember me.

With my love and prayers
Fr Peter

Safeguarding

‘ Marriage Love’ – A Conference on Marriage Enrichment

“This is a great opportunity for all of us to learn some new insights and discover the ways in which Teams have helped married couples through mutual support, faith-sharing, spiritual accompaniment and ways to sustain and grow a healthy marriage and family life.”

 

11:30 Gathering and shared lunch

12:00 Opening prayer, Welcome & Reflection – Roger Carr-Jones (10 minutes)

12:10 Introduction Bishop Nicholas Hudson – personal experience and hopes for the future (20 minutes)

12:30 Key-note speech: Caroline Dollard (40 minutes)

13:10 Break (5 minutes)

13:15 Piotr & Dzidzia Chodzko-Zajko (overview and personal testimonies)

14:00 Experiencing TOL – sharing workshops

15:00 Break (10 minutes)

15:10 End of day sharing

 

 

Foundation Governor Recruitment

The vibrant Catholic Secondary School in Bishop’s Stortford that is St Mary’s is looking for practising Catholics who feel they have something to offer to this historic institution to join the Board of Governors as a Foundation Governor.

It would be an advantage (but not essential) if you have skills in any of the following areas; facilities management, construction, communication or health & safety. The role is a 4 year tenure and requires attendance at 2 – 4 meetings per term plus occasional visits to school to meet with classes and subject teachers as well as attending training courses as required.

If you are interested in giving something back to this Outstanding School, please contact the Clerk to the Governors at headspa@stmarys.net

 

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…

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!!

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

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 www.therebutnotthere.org.uk 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

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 2018
CENTENARY OF THE END OF WWI
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 www.therebutnotthere.org.uk 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.