Welcome to the website of the Roman Catholic Church of St Alban, Finchley (North).
Our postal address is 51 Nether Street, Finchley, N12 7NN. It is located 200 yards from Tally Ho Corner.
REFLECTION FOR SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
During this period of social distancing I have purchased a bicycle. Bearing in mind that I haven’t cycled since I was 12 years old, this is either very optimistic or very foolish. But I feel the need to do some more vigorous exercise than simply walking. Until now the only thing that has put me off cycling in London has been the traffic. I have gained some confidence since getting the bicycle thanks to the quieter roads and the hordes of other cyclists on the roads at present. Clearly many others have been similarly inspired. Bicycles have come on a lot in 50 years!
Gears are something that take getting used to, but they make life around hilly Finchley so much easier. Modern day saddles however are another issue. I’m told I will get used to it, but I’m not so sure. The owner of the cycle shop where I bought the bike was very helpful with some advice to help me back into cycling. The most useful advice has been to maintain rhythm with the peddling. It helps with stability and keeping a steady pace. (Notice I don’t use the word ‘speed’) The steady pace prevents exhaustion. Mine is not a racing bike, simply what’s now called a hybrid, or an old fashioned cross handlebar workhorse.
I have been thinking of this need for rhythm of late in relation to our churches and having no public access to them. One of the things we appreciate from attending church regularly is the rhythm of prayer it establishes in our lives. It provides a framework for the week and indeed the year. It helps to underpin the uncertainty in life if we have a regular routine that helps everything else find its place. There is however a danger with routine and repetition. We can grow apathetic towards it. We stop seeing the purpose and meaning of it. We become robotic in our responses, saying things that we give no thought to.
At the end of every mass the priest may invite us to ‘go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your lives’. We respond, ‘Thanks be to God’. We have just been tasked with a mission (mass) to let the glory of God be seen in our actions and words. This is some challenge. In the Gospel of today’s mass we have part of the final discourse of Jesus to his disciples. It takes place after He has washed the feet of His disciples at the last supper. This particular part of it, John 17:1-11 is from the Priestly prayer of Christ. The time for His sacrifice draws near: in this prayer Jesus offers himself and intercedes for His disciples. When Jesus asks to be ‘glorified’, it is not in His own interests, but the glory of the Son and Father are one. To give glory to God is to love God and to know we are loved by Him. Biblical love makes no distinction between knowing and loving. True knowledge is the fruit of an ‘experience’, a personal contact. When it matures it is love. When we experience the love of God, we are bound to love others in the same way. Then will God’s Glory be seen.
When we lose that rhythm of prayer there is a danger our lives slip into distancing ourselves from God. When we return to our churches let us see with the eyes of the inquisitive child what we have stopped seeing. Let us hear anew the call to glorify the Lord with our lives.
Now, time to get on my bike!
I am currently exploring having mass telecast from the church on a regular basis while this lockdown continues. Some parishioners have expressed a desire to have mass form our own church available online. With the help of some able parishioners, this will be happening in the next week or so.
Keep well, God Bless,
A MESSAGE FROM CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS FOR PENTECOST
FOODBANK AT ST. BARNABAS IN NORTH FINCHLEY
This is now open to everyone in need on Mondays 12.30pm to 2pm
Having started the Finchley Foodbank over 6 years ago with St Marys N2, we decided to branch out and start a new midweek foodbank at St Barnabas, to help meet the current need.
No vouchers required – we work on a basis of trust and dignity
Donations of tins, jars and packets of food received on Saturdays 10am to 12noon or by arrangement.
UPDATE: 18 MAY – The bank distributed to over 130 people today, with the main being families. The present need is for instant coffee, sanitary items, nappies and meat, the last possibly tinned, or wurst/salami.
St Barnabas Church, 913 High Road, North Finchley, London N12 8QJ
A MESSAGE FROM MARY’S MEALS
Our founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, has recorded a special message for parishioners. You can find his message, filmed outside the shed in Argyll where it all began for Mary’s Meals, here.
If you would like a copy of one of our moving films, Child 31 and Generation Hope, to share with your parishioners please email me back and I will arrange for one to be sent to you. A children’s activity pack, based on the story of Mary’s Meals, is also available to download here.
THURSDAY EVENING MASSES FOR THE SICK, THEIR FAMILIES, NHS STAFF, AND THOSE WORKING IN SOCIAL CARE
Speaking ahead of a series of special Thursday evening Masses for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in Social Care, Cardinal Vincent Nichols has expressed his “deep appreciation” for all those caring for others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Acknowledging the community solidarity behind the ‘Clap for our Carers’ initiative that has seen millions applauding NHS staff and health workers from their doors and windows for the past four weeks, Cardinal Nichols said:
“Now what we want to do, is add to that public applause, the practice of public prayer. So every Thursday at 7 o’clock, a bishop will celebrate Mass in one of the cathedrals for the care workers. We will begin here in Westminster Cathedral.”
Please click here to watch the video and obtain more information.
A NEW WAY TO DONATE TO THE CHURCH
During this time of deep uncertainty, the church too is experiencing temporal challenge. While our parish secretary, Jackie, has been furloughed, (along with all other parish staff) I have noticed how the bills continue to come through the letterbox. These are being paid of course, but one is acutely aware of the weekly income having dried up because of closed churches.
This will, no doubt pick up again in due course. In the meantime, with the help of modern technology, we have set up a digital means of supporting your parish financially, if you are in a position to do so. Those of you who regularly donate by offertory envelopes or simply putting lose money in the basket each week, may wish to switch to Standing Order or a one off donation from time to time. This option is now available through our Virgin Money Giving link. There is also a Gift Aid option to complete for those who pay tax, thus allowing the parish to reclaim 25% from the government without you paying anything extra.
Please consider this option, but only if you are in a position to do so. Please click here to visit the site to make either a one-off or continuing donation.
With gratitude for your continued generosity,
Unfortunately there have to be major changes to funerals during this period. Please take a look at this website for more information.
VIDEO UPDATES FROM CARDINAL VINCENT
Please keep in touch with the You Tube channel of the Catholic Church of England & Wales. The cardinal is posting new video regularly.
Clare has kindly produced a virtual “liturgy service for use by families with young children”. In the absence of mass for the foreseeable time, families may find this service useful to use at home with their children. This is the edition for Sunday 24 May
Services behind closed doors will be continuing at a range of churches in the region, so please join us for these – full schedule here.
ST ALBAN’S CENTERING PRAYER GROUP
Every 4th Sunday of the month in 2020 – the next is on Sunday 24th May – virtually – see below:
24th May; 28th June; 26th July; 23rd August; 27th September; 25th October; 22nd November.
Due to Covid 19 we are now running as a virtual Zoom group on the same dates and times until further notice. Please email Carole O’Reilly email@example.com for more information as to how to join. More information here.
Especially welcome in these fragile times
You can contact us on 020 8446 0224.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re keen to hear from you, so please feel free to contact us.
The parish office is currently closed for the duration as staff are self-isolating, but Father Dermot can be contacted at the presbytery on the email above.