churchWelcome to the website of the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady Help of Christians, Kentish Town, London.

We are a friendly and vibrant community in Kentish Town and would like to welcome you to our church.

You will find us on the corner of Lady Margaret Road and Falkland Road, just a 3 minute walk from Kentish Town Station.

Our postal address is The Presbytery, 4 Lady Margaret Road, Kentish Town, NW5 2XT.

You can contact us on 0207 485 4023 or email to kentishtown@rcdow.org.uk

Parish Priest: Fr John Deehan

 

 


Dear Parishioners,

Following the government announcement suspending worship in our churches I wrote to Sir Keir Starmer, our local Member of Parliament,  expressing my concern at what I considered to be the needless and uncalled for closure of our church. This week I received a letter written on his behalf acknowledging our concern and linking me to the speech he made in the House of Commons on which he took up our points, and more, for which I have thanked him.

Let’s hope we will be able to open again for Mass on the first weekend in December and go on to celebrate Christmas together. In the meantime may I ask you not to forget the Christians of Bethlehem and the West Bank. Most of those in Bethlehem depend on Christian pilgrims and their sources of income have been totally disrupted for several months, with nothing from the state to fall back on. I hope that when ‘normal’ travel becomes possible again we can organize a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and that many of us might like to undertake it as a thanksgiving for the end of the pandemic.

In the meantime they ask of us three things. To be informed about their situation, to pray for them, and if we can to support them with funds.

You are invited by Friends of the Holy Land to participate in two forthcoming occasions, for which there is no charge.

  1. At 7.30pm on Thursday 26 November. Peter Rand, FHL’s Vice Chairman and Executive Trustee, is running a session on Zoom. He has visited the Holy Land on around 25 occasions in the last 10 years and is in regular contact with the FHL Bethlehem office, the local FHL Committee and other partners including the Latin Patriarchate, the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and the Pontifical Mission. He would like to share with you and take questions on the reality of life with COVID for our Christian brothers and sisters in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and Jordan, as we approach Christmas – a very different experience to ours in the UK. Please email Peter at peter.rand@friendsoftheholyland.org.uk and he will send you the link to access the meeting.
  2. Also at 10am on Saturday 5 December, FHL are organizing a live cookery demonstration by zoom of a traditional Palestinian Christmas meal, prepared by the ladies at St. Martha’s House, a Day Care Centre in Bethlehem, supported by FHL. Again, please email Peter who will send you the link.

I look forward to you joining us next Thursday.

Fr John


OUR CHRISTMAS APPEAL. 

A big thank you to all who have responded so generously to our Christmas appeal to support some needy families and our regular Sunday and Wednesday guests over the Christmas period. To date we have received £2,512 towards our target of £3,000.


SICK AND RETIRED CLERGY FUND.

Unfortunately our church had to close just before we took up this collection.  

May I suggest you make your offerings online directly through the Westminster Diocese Website www.rcdow.org.uk  Click on DONATE in the top right hand corner and then on Sick and Retired Clergy. Please do not use the parish website for this donation.

If you prefer to give cash please drop it through the presbytery door in an envelope along with a note if you wish to Gift Aid this contribution.

With best wishes to you all.

Fr John


CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

We can supply the following items:  Advent calendars  £1.65,  Calendars  £1.00,  Christmas cards  70p each, box of 18  £3.50,  packet of ten small cards  £1.25,  Christmas Mass cards  60p,  candles £1.00.

Please contact Anne on an795j@sky.com  or leave a note for her in the presbytery.     

Anne will prepare your order and leave it in the presbytery for you to collect or in the church when we resume.

You may pay either by bank transfer to the parish account click here to go direct to Donate to our Parish using the reference REPOSITORY – the preferred way –  or by leaving cash in an envelope marked REPOSITORY at the Presbytery.


Dear Parishioners,

I was very sad to learn earlier this week of the death of Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi, at the relatively young age of 72. Jonathan Sacks was an orthodox Jew. After university he lectured in Jewish philosophy and during this time experienced a call to be a rabbi. He was ordained in 1976 and by the age of 43 he had become the Chief Rabbi.

Whenever he appeared on ‘Thought for the Day’ just before 8 in the morning, I would invariably stop what I was doing and listen to him. He had a wonderful talent of probing the depths of meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures (what Christians call the Old Testament) and relating them to human life. One of the most important books he wrote was entitled, ‘The Dignity of Difference’. One particular chapter (ch. 3) in its original publication created great opposition to him from within certain parts of Judaism. It was a plea not to let religion become a source of or pretext for intolerance and conflict and to allow every religion to respect, and be very clear about its own identity while seeing others not as a threat to one’s beliefs or way of life but as an enrichment of our humanity. ‘The Dignity of Difference’ was first published in 2002. In the light of subsequent events, in particular the culture wars which are threatening not only democracy but religion itself, it deserves a re-reading.

Up to 2013 he used to publish a regular column in the Credo section of the Times on Saturday. In his obituary was quoted a piece from his final column in 2013 which I would like to share with you:

I believe faith is part of what makes us human. It is a basic attitude of trust that always goes beyond the available evidence, but without which we would do nothing great. Without faith in one another we could not risk the vulnerability of love. Without faith in the future we would not choose to have a child. Without faith in the intelligibility of the universe we would not do science. Without faith in our fellow citizens we would not have a free society’.

May he rest in peace.