March 29 to 4 April 2020

Palm Sunday 5th April. The Palm crosses will be blessed today and will wait for us for when we are finally all able to come back to church. Meanwhile praise God and sing “Hallelujah! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
19th Day. Saturday 4 April. As we go into this extraordinary, probably unique Holy Week it seems best to think of ourselves each in our families or indeed on our own as a Domestic Church.
The love we have for our families and the love they have and have had for us, even if we are on our own, makes each of us a special temple of the love of God that makes the world go round.
Jesus puts love at the top of his agenda.
This Holy Week, as we see love working itself out in so many ways through the care each of us has for others and the care so many people have for those they do not even know but recognise as fellow human beings, let us say to ourselves that love is stronger than death.

17th Day. Thursday 2 April.
I heard a wonderful story yesterday. It was some years ago, in an African country where there was terrible terrorist activity. They were about to attack the village where an eight-year-old girl and her siblings sheltered in their home. Her mother rushed in and said: “We must leave at once.” They fled into the forest and their house was bombed that night. But they were safe in the forest where they built themselves a little home and lived in the heart of the forest for a year, not making a sound and rarely venturing out lest the terrorists heard them. The family are now safe in England. As we face months of not being allowed out and feeling we can achieve so little stuck at home their story is an inspiration. As the girl, now grown up with children of her own said: “What matters is that you are alive.” May God be with us as we each find ways of living our lives in these radically new circumstances. And may God be with all those who are suffering from this pandemic, those who minister to them in so many ways and receive into his heavenly kingdom those who die.

14th Day, Monday 30th March. As we enter into the daily reality of this lock-down, our society is being shaped into something new. This is a test for us all. The future form things will take is at the moment fluid. While we place our trust in our NHS to look after us, scientists to find means of preventing the spread of this virus and administrators, industry, politicians and public services to do the right thing for our communities, we place our trust also in God. He called us into being, sustains us with his mighty power, never leaves us nor forsakes us and he will lead us through this time of hardness into his kingdom. We pray every day “Thy kingdom come.” We make that prayer because we want the future to be shaped by Godly values and his truth. We pray “Thy kingdom come” because we want whatever is being shaped around us of our new society to be good. We want our new society to be fashioned by grace and love, care and encouragement, where everyone matters and no one is marginalised. To pray the Lord’s Prayer each each day and to say “Thy kingdom come” is to give goodness a real chance of prevailing in the weeks and months to come.
Sunday 29th is the Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry. The Cardinal has recorded a video reciting the Angelus Promise and the Act of Entrustment, so that we can all join him and unite in prayer. The link to the page, is https://rcdow.org.uk/news/re-dedication-of-england-as-marys-dowry/
The videos will be uploaded at 11am On Sunday. Fr Bill will say mass behind closed doors at 11am. Please email any prayer petitions to him on the parish email by 10.30am.