Welcome to the webpages of the
Catholic Church of St Edmund of Canterbury, Whitton.
The parish of St Edmund of Canterbury exists:
- To foster and nurture Gods love and our relationship with Him, individually and as a parish community
- To live as the family of God, in one united heart, showing our love through the reconciliation of our differences. Celebrating the diversity of our gifts and encouraging one another to respond to Gods will, therefore building His kingdom on earth.
- By the love that we show for one another we act as witnesses to Christ, extending God’s love to those around us so that others may come to know and experience the love of God through the risen Lord Jesus.
You will find us if you turn right at Whitton BR Station, left at the Admiral Nelson Pub. The Presbytery is behind the church.
Parishioners have been asking how they can continue to support our parish financially. Father Nigel is grateful to them, and to all who have continued to support the parish at this time. The parish does indeed need financial support and if you can help out in any way please access the ‘Donate to Our Parish’ link above to see how you can help.
We are now in the pilot scheme for CONTACTLESS GIVING -the payment point is available at every mass. Thank you.
You can contact us on 020 8894 9923. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can use the contact page on this website.
We are also on Facebook
We’re keen to hear from you, so please feel free to contact us!
OPENING FOR MASS AT ST EDMUND’S
St Edmind’s will now be open for public masses from at the normal times (provided there are enough volunteer stewards and cleaners for each mass).
Social Distancing – IMPORTANT
The Government maintains that the 2m social distancing requirements should be applied where possible. The Government has also said is possible to go to “1m plus;” this means we can space people more closely (with a minimum of 1m) providing a mitigation of risk is also applied. In the case of churches, this means the compulsory wearing of a face covering for members of the congregation (now a legal obligation). Ventilation will be maximised. Those on the sanctuary are sufficiently distant from the congregation, and there is no need for them to wear face coverings.
Priests are asked to remain mindful of their own personal situation with respect to potential exposure to virus transmission. It is permissible for those in the 70+ age group (e.g. Fr Nigel), to celebrate Mass, but it is strongly advised that they do not distribute Holy Communion and take particular care to be constantly socially distant from the congregation. They should return to the sacristy directly after Mass is ended.
At St Edmund’s, entry will be by the brown doors facing Nelson Road, accessing the available pews from the side aisles. Households may sit together; otherwise keep a minimum of 1m separation. Wearing of a face covering by members of the congregation will allow a maximum of 100 people to worship at each mass (50 each door).
Before the Mass
Only the priest should be in the sacristy before Mass. For the time being there will be no servers. The priest will prepare everything for the celebration of Mass. Single-use gloves will be worn with particular care taken over the preparation of the elements for Holy Communion.
The altar breads for distribution to the people will be placed into a clean covered ciborium. Sufficient altar breads will be placed within a ciborium for each celebration. A separate ciborium will be prepared for each person who will distribute Holy Communion. The cover of the ciborium will not be removed until the time for distribution of Holy Communion.
The priest will prepare his own chalice and paten for consecration. The chalice will have a purificator and a pall. The purificator will be used only once and then be laundered. He will prepare the cruets of wine and water and his own bowl for the lavabo. Again, the towel will be used only once and then laundered.
All hymnbooks and other published material normally used by the congregation have been removed from the church or are inaccessible. The Holy Water stoups will remain dry. (Holy Water can be blessed if you bring your own water in a sealed container).
During the Mass
Until further instruction is given on singing, there will be no congregational singing at Mass. The Mass Sheet is for single use and must be take away with the user when the Mass ends. They must not be left in the church at the end of Mass, but taken with you.
The priest, and if present, deacon, should remain socially distant at all times on the sanctuary during the celebration of Mass. This is particularly important at the Gospel (for the deacon’s blessing), the Preparation of the Gifts, and during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Readers will be supplied with single-use gloves or use hand sanitiser and should avoid touching the microphones or the Lectionary during the Liturgy of the Word, apart from page turning. The homily will be brief, to minimise the time that people are congregated in the church building. The Prayer of the Faithful (Bidding Prayer) will be omitted.
There will be no offertory procession of the gifts of bread and wine to the altar; the priest will have these on the credence table or the altar before Mass begins.
There will be no collection bag. People are encouraged to make their donation to the church online, using the contactless payment point or via standing order. A collecting box for cash offerings will be placed at the entrances of the church, overseen by stewards. (The collection should be consolidated into plastic bags, sealed, placed into a secure location and left for 72 hours before counting.)
The Communion Rite
Members of the congregation should not exchange the sign of peace.
After the prayer and its response “Behold the Lamb of God…Lord I am not worthy,” the priest will receive Holy Communion under both kinds using his own Host and Chalice. The priest will hold up the Host to the Congregation and say audibly “The Body of Christ” to which the people should respond “Amen.” In the same way, he elevates the chalice and says, “The Blood of Christ” and again the people respond “Amen.” Because the people have already acclaimed the presence of the Lord the People’s Communion is distributed in silence with no dialogue between Extraordinary Minister and communicant.
The priest receives Holy Communion as described and immediately cleanses his paten and chalice. He then holds a reverent silence before the Prayer after Communion, giving the Blessing and dismissal. At this point, the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who will assist the priest come forward, cleanse their hands with sanitiser and receive Holy Communion under one kind. They then sanitise again, receive the ciboria and move to the points for distribution where a physical barrier will be placed, to maintain a social distance.
Communion must be given silently in the hand only, with the communicant standing, and avoiding any physical contact. People should wait in their pews until instructed to move forward for Holy Communion by the Stewards using the centre aisle, always aware of the regulations on social distancing, in the orderly single queue. When they approach the minister, they should do so with arms at “full stretch” so that there is a good distance between the minister and the communicant. Their hands, palms upwards, one of top of the other, should be extended as flatly as possible. They then immediately leave the Church by the side aisles. The remaining Blessed Sacrament is placed into the Tabernacle.
After the Celebration of Mass
Leaving church at the end of the Mass all should ensure good social distancing. The Priest will return to the sacristy after Mass. Parishioners are encouraged to return home and not remain to socialise.
Each Sunday mass will require a minimum of 4 stewards, a reader, 2 Extraordinary Ministers and 4 cleaners (roles can be combined). Stewards, cleaners and Extraordinary Ministers should be below 70.
If you can volunteer in any capacity please contact the presbytery. email@example.com
Without sufficient volunteers we cannot open for public worship.
This is what Cardinal Vincent said:
“I welcome the statement by the Prime Minister earlier today, that places of worship are now able to resume collective acts of worship from 4 July. This is welcome news for members of all religions in England. I thank all who have worked hard to bring this about, not least my fellow religious leaders.
As Catholics we now look forward to being able to celebrate Mass together again from 4 July. We have waited with patience and longing for this moment, understanding the importance of protecting the health of people in our society. Now we are full of anticipation that we will be able again to take part together in the Eucharist, which lies at the centre of our faith.
It is important that we continue to abide by the guidance, given by the Government, on appropriate social distancing and the other measures to avoid all unnecessary risk. Our own detailed guidance will be distributed around dioceses and parishes so everyone can be confident that they may come to Mass securely and understand the part they are to play in protecting each other from any remaining risk of infection.
The past few months have been a time of fashioning new patterns of prayer, new ways of exploring and enriching our faith and vigorous ways of reaching out to those in need. We can build on these, forgetting nothing of the graces we have been given. Yet now, with the experience of opening our churches for individual prayer already gained, this return to the more normal patterns of worship will be of great importance to all Catholics.
This time of our ‘Eucharistic fast’ has made our hearts grow in longing for that moment when we can come together and receive again the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. That moment is now very near and for that we thank God.”
Easter Day 2020
Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on Granting Special Indulgences in the Current Pandemic
On 20 March the Apostolic Penitentiary issued a Decree granting special Indulgences to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 (coronavirus) as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them. The Decree can be found on the Vatican website at https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/03/20/200320c.html
Obligation to Easter Duties removed this year
In these extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic when we are unable to gather together to celebrate the great feasts of Holy Week and Easter, Cardinal Vincent explains, in this video, that the obligation to our Easter Duties to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion is removed from us. Instead, he says, we can make an Act of Perfect Contrition to express our deep sorrow at our sins against the goodness of God, and leads us in prayer.
Coronavirus is affecting every country we work in. The poorest and excluded are most vulnerable. Food prices have risen with borders closing; the poorest are losing their jobs and income with wholesale shutdowns. As you can imagine, the outlook is very serious in places where healthcare is inadequate, and washing regularly and social distancing are luxuries. Half the world’s population can’t access basic healthcare, and already struggle to feed their families; and they now face the threat of hunger as the coronavirus shuts down markets and jobs.
As our first response, we have adapted all of our current work across 40 countries, and are also responding to already severe needs with emergency food relief, water and sanitation, and spreading awareness of prevention measures, especially through Church leaders and Catholic media.
But this is very much only the beginning of what will be a massive, and enduring response programme across every country we work in. This virus is changing our entire programme of work across the world. Beyond the immediate loss of life and suffering, long-term vulnerability, poverty, exclusion and injustice will only become more acute. The task is daunting. We and our church partners around the world are looking to God for strength, and to keep us acting in faith and hope, and we know that you across England and Wales are doing the same. https://cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-Emergencies/Coronavirus-appeal
Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry, Passion Sunday 2020
Impending humanitarian catastrophe in Holy Land
“As we approach Easter amid this global pandemic, we must not forget the impact on our sisters and brothers in the land of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.
“Not only is this a major healthcare crisis, but necessary closures at this time of pilgrimage are also having a devastating impact upon the local economy.
“On top of this the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Gaza, where the healthcare system has effectively collapsed and people are trapped in the most overcrowded conditions on earth, points to an impending humanitarian catastrophe.
“In the face of these unprecedented challenges, Catholics can stand in solidarity with the people of the Holy Land through our prayers, support for the Friends of the Holy Land appeal and contributions to other humanitarian agencies working on the ground.”
Donate online: Friends of the Holy Land appeal
Act of Spiritual Communion:
I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar.
I love you above all things
and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come spiritually into my soul
so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever.
Liturgy and Prayer
Universalis (Available free online or as a paid app)
Magnificat is providing complimentary access to its resources during this time.
Apps including Laudate, iMissal and iBreviary
Click to Pray is the home of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and provides three brief moments of prayer each day as well as allowing you share your own prayer intentions for all to pray.
Pray as you Go release daily spoken meditations on the readings of the Mass designed to go with you wherever you go. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection. They have also launched a new series called Pray as you Stay, providing weekly prayers.
Catholic Voices are running weekly webinars each Monday to share inspiring wisdom, stories and answers to the questions on peoples hearts and minds.
WESTMINSTER, LONDON, SW1P 1QJ
Pastoral Letter for the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday)
22 March 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
You need no words from me to state the grave seriousness of the crisis of the spread of the coronavirus around the world and throughout this country. We know the steps and the sacrifices we must take in order to play our part in slowing its spread, saving lives and enabling the NHS to continue its vital work. These things are our duty before God.
There are other vitally important aspects of this moment in our history that are less prominent in our media and conversations.
At this moment we stand before God. That is never to be forgotten. Together we turn to God in prayer, at this moment as never before.
Our faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is the bedrock on which we live. Prayer is the first and loving expression of this relationship. Prayer is an acknowledgement that we are not in ultimate control of our lives or of our world. That is so clear at this time. Prayer is the recognition that our lives, individually and communally, are marked by failure and sin. Prayer is an expression of our turning to God for that grace which alone can heal us, strengthen us and give us the resolve and generosity to do all that is rightly expected of us today. Please make this a time of prayer, personally, in the family and wherever you happen to be.
The highest form of prayer is the celebration of the Holy Mass. This is at the heart of the rhythm of the life of the Church, the rhythm of prayer which sustains us all. The present crisis will not disturb that rhythm. Mass will continue to be celebrated, day by day. The prayer of the Church will continue day by day.
What will change is the manner of our participation in those celebrations of the Mass. In response to the pandemic and the official guidance, which we must follow, public participation in the celebration of the Mass is not, for now, possible. This is a sacrifice we have to make. It is not easy, for any Catholic, but it is what we must do.
I want to make it exceptionally clear that the teaching of the Church is that, in these circumstances, the obligation of attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days no longer applies. Please have no doubt about this.
This does not mean that we lose our love of the Mass or our desire to take part in the celebration of the Mass. Mass will be celebrated, day by day, in your church. There are many ways of taking part in this prayer. Associate yourself with the celebration of the Mass spiritually. Read the Scriptures of the day. Use some of the materials that are available to be close in your heart. Learn again the practice of spiritual communion. If you are helped by a visual participation in the Mass, then go to one of the websites on which that celebration is being streamed. The list of those websites is available to you.
There are many ways in which we can deepen our participation in the Mass and our life of prayer in these strange and stressful days. Indeed, they are an opportunity for us to do so.
Two other points.
Being unable to attend Mass is the experience of many, many Catholics around the world. They are deprived of the Mass through distance, or through violence, or through persecution. We can unite our experience with them and, like them, return to the Mass with fresh love and enthusiasm when, again, it is possible for us to do so, in bigger numbers than ever.
Secondly, you understand well that from our prayer, and from the prayer of the Mass, flows the love and compassion which we want to show to those around us who are in need. Jesus gives Himself entirely for us in His sacrifice, the sacrifice made present again for us in every Holy Mass. What we receive from Him we offer to others. So please do look out for every way in which you can help those in need around you. Thank you.
We know that this time of crisis is not going to be brief. We are involved in a lengthy battle. We encourage each other. We pray for each other. Together we turn to Mary for her special protection, especially on 29 March when again, in keeping with our ancient tradition, we offer ourselves and our country to her, as our gift, and seeking her protection.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, pray for us
Mary, Mother of Sorrows, pray for us
Mary, Mother of Joys, pray for us.
+ Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
PS, I was given this prayer a few days ago. It touched me deeply. It is a prayer for our times.
Dear Guardian Angel, go for me to the church, there kneel down at Mass for me. At the Offertory, take me to God, and offer Him my service: What I am, what I have, offer as my gift. At the Consecration, with your seraphic strength, adore my Saviour truly present, praying for those who have loved me, for those who have offended me, and for those now deceased, that the blood of Jesus may purify them all. During Holy Communion, bring to me the Body and Blood of Jesus uniting Him with me in spirit, so that my heart may become His dwelling place. Plead with Him, that through His sacrifice all people throughout the world may be saved. When the Mass ends,bring home to me and to every home, the Lord’s blessing. Amen.
We are still surrounded by the angels and by the saints who are glorifying God and protecting and assisting mankind. Why should we not make them our particular friends and allies in situations where we are touching limits that we cannot overcome?