St Patrick’s School is currently circulating a consultation paper about the proposal for Saint Patrick’s School and Our lady of Lourdes School, Kingswood to officially federate. This is completely different to academy conversion – the schools keep their separate identities, budgets, OFTSED inspections, results etc. but it offers more security for the future. Please do take a look at the proposal and give your feedback if you wish (Link below). Thank you.
With the return of children to their classrooms delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown, schools are moving online for their teaching, though many children still lack the right devices to access their lessons. Many teachers are concerned some families could be left out from online learning due to this lack of tech at home. One poll of teachers revealed that 88% had students they believed were falling behind due to lack of access to online learning, as many are needing a functioning device.
As a result, we are calling on parishioners to donate any unwanted old laptops and tablets etc (with the power lead) to our school to help children learn during lockdown.
If you can help, please call St Patrick’s School asap on 01249 713125.
THE CELEBRATION OF MASS Father Michael has sadly been asked by the NHS to shield once again as someone clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid 19 and will be isolating. After consultation with Bishop Declan and the Dean, it has been decided that it would be putting at risk some of our elderly clergy if they were asked to come and supply. Bishop Declan also mentioned that it is probably not possible for parishioners in Corsham to go to other parishes who are having to limit their own numbers due to social distancing. It is still important that Sunday is observed as a Holy Day and the Bishop encourages parishioners to set aside time on the Sunday to reflect upon the Sunday readings and have a quiet time of personal prayer. The Sunday readings are made available each week in our online bulletin together with a prayer for spiritual communion. Please note that the obligation to attend Sunday and Holyday mass is still suspended during this present crisis. We are considering the possibility of a Sunday celebration of the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of the Eucharist with readings). As this will require scheduling leaders, stewards and cleaners, would you please let Fr Michael know if you would be interested in attending. We all need to be extra vigilant at this time as the virus is present in the town and pray that we are all able to receive our Covid vaccinations very soon.
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
The Western Church began to celebrate the Epiphany in the 4th century where it was, and still is, associated with the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus when God revealed himself to the world through the wonder of the incarnation of Jesus. The Magi (traditionally named Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar) found Jesus by following a star across the desert to Bethlehem. In the gospel of Matthew, they offer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These gifts were symbolic of the importance of Jesus’ birth, the gold representing his royal standing, frankincense his divinity and myrrh his human mortality. The word Epiphany means ‘to show’ or ‘to reveal’ and the feast is celebrated on 6th January. The Epiphany is seen as a continuation of the Christmas season, a season of manifesting/showing the Christ to the world. The three great manifestations of this part of Christmastide are the visit of the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus and Jesus’ first miracle at the marriage at Cana. Traditionally after the gospel of the day the deacon or cantor may sing the dates of the moveable feasts for the coming year (see the missal p.1505) We celebrate the beautiful Solemnity of the Epiphany on Wednesday 6th January at 12noon.
MASS BOOKINGS Please remember to continue to reserve a place at Mass during the pandemic. Book now at
During this time seats are very limited due to the ongoing need for social distancing. Thank you for helping to keep our community safe.
FROM FR MICHAEL This has been such a difficult time for all of us and especially as a community. It has been a time of anxiety and uncertainty for all. Although there is now hope on the horizon with the coming of a vaccine, we are about to celebrate a Christmas that will be totally different from any before. I ask you to put Jesus at the centre of your homes this Christmas. I asked our school children and encourage all our families to have a crib at the centre of your decorations at home. Many will celebrate Christmas in the home this year and this little reminder will put Christ at the centre of your domestic Church. I also ask you to try to attend and celebrate a Christmas Mass, but this will be difficult for some as numbers are limited this year. So, I encourage you to come to Mass within the Octave (8 days) of Christmas. It is necessary to book, as we have limited availability due to social distancing this year, but it will be wonderful to see you. www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-patricks-catholic-church-corsham-30646123644. If you cannot come, then you might watch the Midnight Mass (11.45pm) on TV from our Cathedral Church in Clifton this year celebrated by our Bishop Declan!
As the world faces up to the widespread disruption to life being caused by the pandemic, let us ask for God’s help in what lies ahead in the New Year. Let us pray for all those who are working to control the spread of the virus. Let us pray for all those in our NHS who are tasked with caring for those who have the virus. Let us pray for all the sick, all carers and the anxious and lonely. Every one of us wishes we could gather our families as we have for generations, hug our parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren and celebrate this holy time. We simply cannot wish away the reality that the virus is having a major effect on all our lives. We cannot ignore the growing number of family and friends who are afflicted. God calls every one of us to do our part and make sacrifices to protect the old, the sick and the vulnerable. I’m sure that as a community we will be able reach out and so just that. I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have diligently helped St Patrick’s Church to continue its mission since the first lockdown in March. Many of you have given of yourselves sacrificially in so many ways and that self-giving has truly been inspirational. May God bless you all, your homes and families this Christmas as we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Although it is one like no other, let us still make it a Christmas of love, joy and peace!