Christians Against Poverty – new Manager

Christians Against Poverty

CAP is also doing some great work, now with a new Manager, Carlton Andrews. Carlton has given us the following introduction to himself and reminded us of what CAP is doing. I am sure you will join him in acknowledging Phil Jackson’s pioneering work and I look forward to this continuing with Carlton, Leigh Smith and colleagues.

Hello there! My name is Carlton Andrews and I am the new manager at Hitchin CAP Debt Centre. After several years faithful service as CAP manager, 29 years’ service to Zeo and even more to our local community Phil Jackson is taking well-earned retirement – well almost! Thankfully Phil will continue with CAP as a Debt Coach – a role I have held for the last 18 months here at Zeo Church. So we’ve effectively swapped jobs.

I have lived in the area with my wife Wendy for less than 3 years, which means that thanks to lockdown we have had little opportunity to get to know other churches, yet alone their leaders. Hopefully, that will change over the coming months.

I have been asked to tell you something about ourselves: Wendy, who is a solicitor & I have been together for 35 years. We moved from Kent where I was actively involved in a Christian foodbank, and with Samaritans – both as Trustee Chair. Since 2014 I have taken teams of volunteers to southern Brazil each Autumn to build homes in partnership with a small Brazilian charity called Maos Abertas (Open Hands) often joined by Wendy.

I would like to remind everyone that CAP is very much open for business, please visit our website We are currently supporting debt clients by phone and Google meet where possible. Leigh Smith is looking at running the CAP Job Club as soon it is safe to do so, and I am doing the same with the CAP Life Skills course. Please contact me if you have any questions about CAP or would like us to come and speak at a service or Church Council meeting. My contact details are Tel: 07305 460031. (Please use 0800 328 0006 for all debt enquiries)

The Parish Pilgrim walks again!

This Lent, Ann Milner (AKA the Parish Pilgrim) is taking up the challenge from CAFOD to raise funds for their Walk for Water campaign. She aims to walk 400,000 steps between now and Easter and asks the good people of the parish to sponsor her in whatever way they can – by prayers, good wishes, donations. She has a fundraising website where you can track her progress and donate at For those who do not send funds over the internet, there will be a paper sponsorship form available – details to follow. God Bless.

Recycling has left the building!


With TerraCycle® we are helping to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”!

Our recycling area has moved outside and is now available 24/7 for your convenience.

The crates for the Tassimo coffee disks are also available in the same place.

For detail of what items are being collected please click here All Parish Recycling with Terracycle-v13 2021

UK Settlement scheme for EU, EEA & Swiss nationals – 30 June 2021

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, who has been resident in the UK since before the 31 December 2020 and do not have permanent right to remain it is important that you read the attached document.
Please note: This does not apply to Eire citizens* (Republic of Ireland).
You and your family members must have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme to continue legally living in the UK beyond 30 June 2021.

Pope formally establishes ministries of Lector and Acolyte for women

Pope formally establishes ministries of Lector and Acolyte for women

Casa Santa Marta 4/2/2020 - Vatican Media

Casa Santa Marta 4/2/2020 – Vatican Media

Source: Vatican News

Pope Francis has changed the Code of Canon Law to make official what is already allowed in practice: lay women reading and serving at Mass.

With a Motu proprio released on Monday, Pope Francis states that from now on, the Ministries of Lector and Acolyte are to be open to women, in a stable and institutionalized form through a specific mandate.

There is nothing new about women proclaiming the Word of God during liturgical celebrations, being altar servers or Eucharistic ministers. In many communities throughout the world these practices have already been authorized by local bishops.

But until now, this practice has occurred without a true and proper institutional mandate. In 1972, when Pope St Paul VI abolished the so-called ‘minor orders’, he maintained that access to the ministries of Lector and Acolyte should be granted only to men, because both were considered to be preparatory to the eventual admission to Holy Orders.

Now, in the wake of the discernment which emerged from the last Synods of Bishops, Pope Francis has formalized and institutionalized the presence of women at the altar.

With the Motu proprio ‘Spiritus Domini’ which modifies the first paragraph of Canon 230 of the Code of Canon Law, Pope Francis, has established that women can have access to these ministries and that this is to be recognized through a liturgical act formally instituting them as such.

Pope Francis specifies that he wants to welcome recommendations which have emerged from various synodal assemblies, writing that “a doctrinal development has been arrived at in these last years that has brought to light how certain ministries instituted by the Church have as their basis the common condition of being baptized and the royal priesthood received in the Sacrament of Baptism.”

The Pope invites us to recognize that what is under discussion are lay ministries “fundamentally distinct from the ordained ministry that is received through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.”

The new formulation of the Canon reads: “Lay persons who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of the conference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical rite to the ministries of Lector and Acolyte.” The specification ‘lay men’ qualifying the laity and present in the Code until today’s modification, is, therefore, abolished.

The Motu proprio is accompanied by a letter addressed to the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, in which Pope Francis explains the theological motivations behind his decision.

The Pope writes that “within the spectrum of renewal traced out by the Second Vatican Council, the urgency is being ever more felt today to rediscover the co-responsibility of all of the baptized in the Church, and the mission of the laity in a particular way.”

Citing the Final Document of the Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region, the Pope observes that “regarding the entire Church, in the variety of situations, it is urgent that ministries for men and women be promoted and conferred… It is the Church made up of baptized men and women that we must consolidate, promoting forms of ministry and, above all, an awareness of baptismal dignity.”

In his letter to the Cardinal, after recalling the words of Saint John Paul II that “regarding ordained ministries, the Church does not have the faculty in any way to confer priestly ordination on women,” Pope Francis adds that “regarding non-ordained ministries, it is possible, and today it seems appropriate, to surmount this reservation.”

The Pope explains that “to offer to lay persons of both sexes the possibility of accessing the ministries of Acolyte and Lector, in virtue of their participation in the priesthood of the baptized, the awareness will grow, through a liturgical act (of institution) as well, of the precious contribution that many lay persons, including women, have been offering for some time to the life and mission of the Church.” He concludes that “the decision to confer these offices even on women, which entails stability, public recognition and a mandate on the part of the bishop, will make more effective everyone’s participation in the work of evangelization.”

Role of our Churches – Message from Bishop John Sherrington

Message from Bishop John Sherrington  Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster

Some parishes are receiving letters from the local boroughs which express concern about the opening of churches for communal worship. Some people, including parishioners and those who have visited our churches because they are open, have also expressed both surprise and concern.

On behalf of the Cardinal, I am sending you a letter which may be used to explain the position of the Diocese at this time. It is entitled ‘The current position and role of our churches in this phase of the pandemic’. The letter distinguishes between the principle of churches being open and the prudential judgement about the hours of opening and the frequency of communal worship.

Please be assured of prayers at this time.

With every good wish


Click here for statement 210108 Role of Churches

National Lockdown from 5 January 2021

Following the PM announcement on 4/1/2021  the church is still open for collective worship according to the government guidance below.

Mass will be at 10am as usual. It will continue to be live streamed at

There continues to be no obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

Bishop John Sherrington wrote to the Priests of the Diocese:
I know that some of you have been asked to self-isolate, that others have the virus, and that there is an anxiety among many people about the safety of older vulnerable people. We have worked hard to ensure that churches are COVID-19 secure and have achieved this through the hard work of cleaning, stewarding and organisation by priests and laity. For this reason, there is no prohibition on churches opening and the government permits communal worship to continue. They have recognised that we are essential for the well-being of many people. 

Every Church has its own challenges to provide a safe environment for the priest and the people. The removal of the Sunday obligation has meant that nobody should feel guilty if they do not attend Mass and we need to reinforce this message, as well as ensure the safety of all who attend, especially the more vulnerable, which can include the priest. In particular circumstances in a parish, it may be necessary to reduce the number of public Masses or reduce other communal prayers, or even for a time only celebrate streamed or private Masses, and this is your local decision. 

Please ask people to pray at home for the end of the spread of the virus and the distribution of the vaccine. Please also pray for those clergy who have tested positive at this time. 

Strict social distancing measures of 2 metres apart will be put in place today (previously 1m+) which will limit the number who can come to Mass further and there is to be no social contact between parishioners in the church or in the car park according to the government rules which will be enacted by law on Wednesday.
If you have received a letter in the past from the government saying that you are clinically vulnerable and should shield then the guidelines are below.

Please do whatever you think is most safe for you. Do not put yourself or others at risk. The government’s message begins and ends with 

National lockdown: stay at home

You must stay at home. This is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.

You must not leave your home unless necessary.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble.

Helping Herts Homeless

Click below for the latest newsletter

HHH Newsletter Autumn 2020

The next Annual General Meeting of Helping Herts Homeless will be taking place on Sunday 24th January 2021 at 3:00pm. Due to the restrictions currently in place, the meeting will be held over Zoom this year, with details to be provided in January.