Dateline 28/10/2020. This Sunday 1 November is All Saints’Day. At the time of writing there are spaces at the 6.30pm Saturday Vigil Mass and  the 9am Sunday mass but the 11am mass full. November is the month of Holy Souls. Throughout this month I will be saying mass for the deceased members of the parish and the deceased members of the families of the parish. For that I will need their names. Please email me the names of those for whom you would like me to say mass and I will have their names on the altar beside me when I say mass for their souls. Email me at billbowder@recdow.org.uk.

This global virus is making us all think a lot more about our mortality. In the past, when there have been terrible plagues or huge wars leading to a vast loss of life people have found meaning in the truths that do not fade, love of God and gratitude for the love that we have experienced and shared. Love and gratitude. Surely they are the two pillars that will hold up our world even when everything else is collapsing around us?  There is great comfort to be found in art, in nature, in beauty, in music and poetry. When the daily diet of grim news, the distress of so many people, the tragedy and heart ache that we encounter can overwhelm us, the old remedies of prayer for ourselves and for each other can bring us back to a safer landing ground. The saying by Julien of Norwich, “All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well” is not there to deny what is happening, just to set what is happening in the context of the love that sustains us, the universe, time and eternity. Or as another warrior said, asking his soldiers to be brave and use common sense in those far off days when their main weapon was the musket and each man carried a flask of gunpowder and another of shot with which to load his rifle, “Trust God and keep your powder dry.”

 

Dateline 15/10/20: Pope says the pandemic shows we need each other. Please see the news section for the full story. Stop Press! Sunday 18th October, 11am mass now full, try the 9am mass or Saturday 6.30pm Mass or 10am Zoom-only mass!

Also:  as London goes into Tier Two virus alert are we OK to attend mass?  Yes, we have structured our response to be ready for Tier Two and even Tier Three. Our response is 1, Two meter separation between each of the 17 places available in the church, each place can accommodate up to 4 people in a bubble, 2. gel hands on entering and leaving and after lighting a candle, 3. stop singing! (sorry but you shouldn’t sing as it expels air too fast), 4. we clean surfaces before and after each mass. 5. we keep the door open during mass and ventilate the church  between masses, 6. we record who is coming to mass incase we need to contact you, 7. we keep the masses shorter and don’t encourage social mixing after mass, 8. we no longer have printed books to hand out as they can harbour the pathogen.

HARVEST TIME was last weekend but there is still time to give to Cafod!  Our Cafod rep Augusta Onyiuke-Eluma writes:

SURVIVE | BULD | HEAL

CAFOD is the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, and the charity celebrates two feast days every year, primarily through Catholic Parishes and schools.

Despite the challenging year that has been 2020, here are some of CAFOD’s achievements this year:

  • 150,000 – the number of refugees in Sudan who have been helped to stay safe and healthy, to live with dignity by providing hygiene kits and building 1,500 sanitary latrines
  • 342,750 – the number of volunteering hours given last year, which is the equivalent of £3m worth of time volunteered phoning, planning, cake-stall manning, Fast Day talking, sponsored walking and lots more non-rhyming activities
  • 12,000 – the number of people who took to the streets around Westminster last summer to lobby MPs for further, faster action on climate change
  • £22.4 million – amount spent on grants for life-changing work in Africa, Asia and Latin America as a result of the donations and contributions we have made

Coronavirus has been the biggest tragedy of 2020 and many of us have impacted heavily, with some of us having lost close ones to the pandemic. CAFOD started the “Candlelight Funds” to honour those family members and close friends we have lost. It is a special way of donating in their memory and leaving a beautiful tribute. If you would like to create an ongoing tribute to someone special or learn more, visit cafod.org.uk/candlelight

( You can also speak directly to Roisin, CAFOD’s Candlelight Funds Officer on 0207 095 5384). Otherwise our focus for this Family Feast Day is “Survive | Build | Heal”. We ask our Parish to extend the spirit of togetherness to our neighbours in the poorest communities. Some money raised has already in action:

  • Setting up handwashing stations
  • Providing PPE for health workers
  • Providing children with books and pencils so they can study from home while schools have been closed
  • Helping farmers safely sell their produce
  • Delivering food packages to city-dwellers who cannot go out to work

The safest and easy way to donate is to visit cafod.org.uk/give and complete a Gift Aid form (if you are pay UK tax) which means that you will increase the value of your gift by 25p for every £1 donation. For example, if you give £10, then with Gift Aid, you donate £12.50 in total.

Thank you for your donation and your gift in advance!

Check out the briefing notes for this week’s  (10/10/20) The Catholic Universe,  (see side panel) get a free copy as you leave mass (tell Fr Bill if they have run out and he will see if he can get more) and support the paper if you can – the Catholic press needs our support!

Dateline 15/10/20. Zoom masses still at 10am on Sundays!  We are back the old pattern of a 6.30pm mass on Saturday night and a 9am mass and 11 mass on Sunday. Any day now we hope to be able to Zoom these masses thanks to the generosity of Tideway West who have been  building the super-sewer under the Thames from Wandsworth Bridge. (They have finished tunneling their 7k section and now they are lining the tunnel with a skin of concrete which will take a few months to dry out). However until the installation of the new camera in our church is complete and commissioned I will continue to Zoom the 10am mass. Contact me, billbowder@rcdow.org.uk for the link.

The great volunteer response means that Saturday night masses are back!  We can do with even more volunteers, especially younger Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers  to administer Holy Communion during mass (contact Fr Bill on this and contact Steve our Volunteer co-ordinator for other volunteer work through this website under “Volunteering in the parish”.

The late George Lawson, greatly treasured member of the parish and a backbone of our choir who died in August seen here talking to Megumi Rolfe at the Pentecost BBQ and Concert last year. George’s funeral, necessarily restricted in numbers to family members registered for the limited places available because of strict government  regulations concerning the  virus, was on Tuesday 15 September.

Certificates of Catholic Practice for school applications. Please download the CCPs from the diocesan website or from the schools concerned, fill them in and then contact Fr Bill by email and send him the filled-in forms (to billbowder@rcdow.org.uk) Fr Bill  will fill in his part of the form and organise a time when you can collect them.

John Allen, (pictured below) would often attend our weekday masses and was looking forward to the church being open once again. Sadly he died before our weekday masses could be resumed. His funeral was this month. We extend our sympathy to his family in their loss. Mass was said for the repose of his soul on Thursday 13 August.

John Allen RIP

Bill Flynn RIP. We are sorry to have to report the death in hospital of Bill Flynn on Friday. Bill and his brother Brendan were both servers in our church fifty or so years ago and grew up here when the area was a very different and, they told me,  very demanding place to live in. Yet a place of fond memories and great friendships. Bill, a former printer in Fleet Street during the great days of printed newspapers was latterly residing at Olive House.

Appeal from Hammersmith and Fulham to take care. Aysha Esakji, MBE
Community Coordinator for Faiths says “In order to protect our community we want to remind our residents about the importance of adhering to Covid safety rules. Can I please ask if you could kindly share the message with your worshippers about how to be more careful, wear face coverings outside the house, wash hands more often and for longer, and keep a distance of 2 metres from others.  Avoid crowded places.  If they think they might have Covid, get tested  – call 119 or go to a mobile test site  https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/health-and-wellbeing-advice/covid-19-testing If you could also ask worshippers to stay away from your place of worship for the next few weeks if they are older than 60 years, or have underlying medical conditions, to reduce their risk of catching the infection. ”

Please send me your prayers for mass by email!

Please use the booking system in Events to say when you are coming to mass and remember to wear a mask.

view from the back of the church with two meter distancing between pews

Fr Bill’s parish mobile number is 07985772083. This replaces the old parish mobile numbers

Schools: See under Schools on this website.   

  Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Stephendale Rd, SW6 2QT 0207 736 4864
Fr Bill Bowder, parish priest: billbowder@rcdow.org.uk Parish mobile: 07985772083.

On Wednesdays the parish administrator,  Susan Keogh is in the office 10am-3pm: emails: stephendaleroad@rcdow.org.uk. Please phone 0207 736 4864 before visiting the office.

Head Catechist, Jackie Charles: emails: jackc58@hotmail.co.uk
Parish Safeguarding Representative, emails: stephendaleroadsg@safeguardrcdow.org.uk
Website: https://parish.rcdow.org.uk/stephendaleroad/ Telephone: 020 7736 4864

Adoration of the Blessed sacrament

The icon of Christ appears in glory lit by the late evening sun

Bishop, one of our asylum seeker family members, drew this card for us.

 

The Blessing of the Statue to St Barbara patron saint of miners and tunellers at Tideway West, Carnwath Road

 

 Our Lady of Perpetual Help here in Fulham, near the Thames  is  in Stephendale Road in Fulham, SW6. We have had many occasions to thank her for her intercessions to her Son in whose name we live and move and have our being. Here there is a welcome for everyone of goodwill, a place of prayer and beauty.

Our postal address is Parish House, 2 Tynemouth Street, Fulham, SW6 2QT. You will find Sand’s End east of Wandsworth Bridge Road, south of New King’s Road, north Imperial Wharf. You can contact us on 020 7736 4864. Fr Bill’s email is billbowder@rcdow.org.uk  and the parish email address is stephendaleroad@rcdow.org.uk