News

Thank you

THANK YOU to everyone who supported Sea Sunday £802.91 was raised in total across the parish.

Changes to Summer Mass Times

Each year we try hard to recruit a priest to allow Fr Peter and Fr Carlos to have their summer holiday. This has become more difficult each recent year. Retired priest Mgr Turner is free to come for Sunday 11th August when Fr Peter is away. However Fr Angel has told us that he is not able to come from Spain this year, and we have not been able to get a supply from the Diocese’s usual summer pool for Aug 18/25 and Sept 1 when Fr Carlos will be away.

With the agreement of Bishop Paul (who comments that this is happening this year in a number of Parishes), we have had to made the decision that on those 3 Sundays there will be No Mass at Much Hadham or at Sawbridgeworth. That means we will be able to manage with just the one priest being here.

We are sorry to have to do this but it is a sign of the times.

We very much hope that parishioners at Holy Cross and Most Holy Redeemer will make an effort to offer lifts particularly to older parishioners so that they can get to Mass at St Joseph’s, or Old Harlow or Puckeridge.

The date of the first Confirmation Meeting has changed

Thank you to everyone who has submitted their Confirmation application forms.

 Unfortunately as several families have arranged to go on holiday immediately, the date of the first meeting has to change

The Confirmation course for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2020 will now begin with a first meeting for Candidates, with their parents, on Sunday 8th September in the Parish Centre after the 6pm Mass.

Meetings for the Candidates alone will then begin on the first Sunday of Advent, December 1st in the Parish Centre at 4.30pm followed by the 6pm Mass.

You can help your Marriage

You Can Help Your Marriage – Do you feel alone? Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue … or have you just stopped talking to each other? Does talking about it only make it worse? Retrouvaille (pronounced retro-vi with a long i) helps couples through difficult times in their marriages.

There is no group therapy or group work.

This programme has helped 10s of 1000s of couples experiencing difficulties in their marriage. For confidential information about Retrouvaille’, or to register for the next programme commencing with a residential weekend on ……13th – 15th September 2019

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

Defibrillator

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. For every minute it takes for a defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce by up to 10%.

We have been successful in applying for a part funded British Heart Foundation grant to buy an IPAD SP1 Public access defibrillator which once delivered will be located in the exterior porch of St Joseph’s Church for public use in such medical emergencies.

We have to meet the remaining purchase cost of the device (£600), provide and install a special cabinet which in total will cost approx. £1,200.

Free Training for all will be advertised, to be held in the WCC, once we are in a position to do so.

If you would like to contribute towards this life saving equipment any donations would be very gratefully received.

Cheques may be made payable to ‘WRCDT Bishop’s Stortford’.

Thank you very much.

Postponed Caritas Event at Waltham Cross

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the event Caritas due to take place on 13th July 2019 at St Joseph’s, Waltham Cross, has been postponed.

We apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience this has caused.

Thank you for your interest in this event. When the date and location for the next Caritas  has been decided, notices will be posted in parish newsletters and on our website, www.caritaswestminster.org.uk

Book keeper wanted for Across

Across are looking for a Bookkeeper to work 20-22 hours per week. A flexible working pattern is available. Salary £23,400 Full time equivalent.

Please contact Lisa@across.org.uk for the full job description which closes 5pm Monday 22nd July 2019

Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion 2020

Sacraments of First Reconciliation & First Holy Communion 2020 – opens on Sunday 7th July 2019

Preparing for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

This is a Parish based programme which recognises the central role of parents in the development of their children’s faith which explores the many gifts given to us by way of a journey to reconciliation and the Eucharist.

The preparation programme is only for those children who will be receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion within the Catholic Parish of Bishop’s Stortford and not elsewhere.

Each child is prepared so that they may have sufficient knowledge in their own capacity to understand the mystery of Christ in reconciliation and Holy Communion

Sessions are approximately one a month for six/ seven months. The Children are expected to attend each session and Mass that Sunday. It is also a requirement that they attend Mass regularly at weekends with their family.

Children should be 8 years old on or before 31 August 2020

Application forms and sign-up sheets will be available from the Sacristy as from Sunday 7th July 2019 for Children who wish to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion and will be at least 8 years old on or before 31 August 2020

All forms must be signed for by the parent of each child – please do not take a form for someone else.
The last day for receiving completed forms into No.3 Windhill will be Wednesday 4th September 2019

When you have submitted your form please send an e-mail to fhcstjosephs@gmail.com confirming your application.

This is so that our Catechist is able to send you an acknowledgement email and keep you updated of any changes to the scheduled sessions.

 

The first Parents meeting will be Tuesday 17th September 7.30pm-8.30pm in the Parish centre and the first Children’s session on Saturday 21st September 10.30am – 12pm

The First Holy Communion Masses will take place at

St Joseph’s on Saturday 13th June 2020 / 11am / 1.30pm and 3.30pm

Most Holy Redeemer on Sunday 14th June 2020 at 9am

Holy Cross on Sunday 14th June 2020 at 11.15am

 

Work on the Sanctuary

Work continues on the Sanctuary area of St Joseph and the English Martyrs

The carpet has been removed and the steps are being prepared ready to receive a marble inlay which will coordinate with the Altar and Baldachino

 

 

Photos taken by DJ

Our temporary Altar whilst the work continues…

Sacrament of Confirmation 2020

CATHOLIC PARISH OF BISHOP’S STORTFORD
SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION 2020

Application forms for all those in the Parish who wish to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2020 will be available from the Sacristy from this
Sunday 30th June 2019
Applicants only are to collect and sign for a form and must have their date of birth on or before 31 August 2005 (Year 10 and above)

The last day for receiving completed forms into No. 3 Windhill will be Wednesday 17th July at midnight (!) at the very latest..

The Confirmation course for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2020 will begin with a first meeting for Candidates, with their parents, on Sunday 21st July in the Parish Centre after the 6pm Mass. Meetings for the Candidates alone will then begin on the first Sunday of Advent, December 1st in the Parish Centre at 4.30pm followed by the 6pm Mass

Fr Peter writes

Fr Peter writes:

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone, first once again for your kindness and prayers after my Heart attack and now, especially, for your continued kindness and generosity, in celebrating my Silver Jubilee with me.

The good Lord seemed to have sent the rain, but what a wonderful spirit of togetherness and support for each other that rain brought about!! People spoke to, and befriended, each other in the rain and that fellowship bore great fruit once we were all inside the Parish Hall!

Thank you also for your wonderful gift to me, accompanied by so many lovely cards. In all you have presented me with just over £3,000. I promise I will buy something for myself but also I must tell you that a number of my favourite Charities will be benefiting from your great kindness

Thank you VERY much !

Thank you VERY much indeed to everyone who helped and gave their time and talents to make Fr Peter’s Silver Jubilee Outdoor Mass really special on Sunday. It was great to see so many people who came from Fr Peter’s previous parishes as well as our regular parishioners but also those who were brand new in the parish.

The sudden rain storm, before the glorious sunshine, made the event even more memorable – creating a great sense of togetherness as we all huddled closely under umbrellas to celebrate Mass!!

A wonderful cake made by Bertie

Photos courtesy of Martin and Alan

Photos courtesy of Vanessa

 

 

An update from Sr Angela from the St Lawrence Community

Photo of Sr Angela with Karin

Good evening people of God,

 I  have been thinking of you.  Yes, we are now in the second term.  

About the borehole – we were advised to wait until July and August when it will be completely dry.

 I hope all those who contributed towards this project will bear with me as we seem to be taking a long time.

At the right time I will definitely update you and send you the pictures.  

 Currently, the borehole we are depending on is servicing all the institutions in the parish in that there is low pressure.  We hope with our own borehole the school will have enough water to cater for our day to day usage.

I really thank you for the usual support.  You have assisted to add beauty to the school.  I personally appreciate the heart you have for our vulnerable community.

 

Greetings to all, 

Sr. Angela

Governor Vacancies at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Bishop’s Stortford

We have two Foundation Governor spaces on our Board that need filling as well as two co-opted spaces from September 2019. The Board is made up of 9 Catholic Foundation Governors appointed by the Diocese; 2 Parent elected Governors; 2 staff members including our Headteacher; 1 Local Authority appointed Governor; and 2 Governors that we co-opt for their required skills.

If you have some skills that you think could help our Governing Body and have the time to commit then please contact me to discuss. You do not need to be a Catholic to be a Co-opted Governor but you would need to agree to support the ethos of our school and our school motto, “To Live, Love and Learn in a caring Christian Community.”
Our Governing Body is hard working and everyone has to attend the Full Meetings held on Monday evenings between 7.30 and 9.30pm every half term (6 per year). If you join the Finance and Premises Committee then they also meet every half term on a different Monday evening. We have several other Committees that meet during the school day which you might join if you are available. Every Governor appointment is for a period of four years but most of our Governors remain for more than one period of appointment.

There is a great deal of reading and documents are shared via the secure website called GovernorHub. You will be given a school e-mail address to use for any school related e-mails. Please look at the Governor section of the school website for more details. Every Governor has to have a clear Enhanced DBS check (formerly known as CRB) that we will undertake and every Governor has to sign up to our Code of Conduct. The Code deals with how we must all behave and, importantly, confidentiality is crucial on many occasions.

Governors have a strategic role in the school: we are here to ensure clarity of vision and ethos; hold the Headteacher to account for educational and staff performance; oversee financial performance; and safeguarding. We are not here to get involved with the day to day running of the school.

Training is provided and is necessary. We are part of a local network of schools to be able receive training in the evening locally and you will be able to access certified on-line training from the NGA.

As you may be aware, we have the great opportunity of having a new school built within the next 2 year period. If you have skills relating to building, finance, data protection or law in particular then we would encourage you to put yourself forward.

If you are interested and would like to discuss the matter further then you
can e-mail cofgovs@stjosephs207.herts.sch.uk and I can arrange to call you at a convenient time. I would be happy to show anyone interested around the school.

Suzanne Fitzgerald, Chair of Governors

The Foodbank needs 5 Volunteers!!

The Food Bank is short of about five volunteers at present.
We are open 10.00-12.30 Mon,Tues,Thurs,Fri, we have two shifts a day 09.30-11.30 and 11.30 -13.00.
We require people for Tuesday and Thursday 09.30-11.30 and Monday and Friday 11.30-13.00.
Our contact details are:
email address: bsfoodbank.coordinator@gmail.com
mobile: 07432785976
Office: 01279 501745
Address: The Methodist Church, 34b South St. Bishops Stortford, CM233AZ

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/

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

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

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