Honouring Sunday

honouring sunday

HONOURING SUNDAY As people begin returning to more regular patterns of parish life and following the first face to face meeting of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales in Leeds, the bishops have issued the following statement about the importance of honouring Sunday: www.cbcew.org.uk/bishops-statement-honouring-Sunday. It is also available to read on the notice board in Church.

Remembrance Sunday 2021

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life. We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism. We pray for repose of the souls of all the Fallen this Sunday and pray for the peace of the world. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord…

All Saints/ All Souls

SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS is the beautiful celebration of all those who have died and gone to heaven. We believe that all people in heaven are saints. This includes all saints, not just those who are known to us (those canonized by the Church). A saint may be a mother, father aunt, uncle or friend. We, the faithful on earth, celebrate their triumph and seek to learn from their example in what it means to live holy lives. We also ask them to pray for us as we journey through the Christian life. The word, “Halloween” comes from the vigil of All Hallows Day, now known as All Saints Day. On Tuesday, All Souls Day, we remember and pray for those who have died who are in purgatory. Souls in purgatory are being purified in order to enter heaven. On both days we pray for ourselves, that the Lord may help us to become pure of heart now, purified by the trials we endure for Christ now, holy now and saints in the life to come.

Preparing for Synod

PREPARING FOR SYNOD For the first time, the Synod Office in Rome has produced a comprehensive process which encompasses the stated aim of the Holy Father that the Church in today’s world should have a vision of missionary communion orientated to evangelisation. Pope Francis has highlighted the importance of ‘mutual listening’ and this will be at the heart of the synodal process throughout the Church. The process begins in the Local Church and then moves to the level of the Bishops’ Conference. From there, discernment takes place in the Regional Area – for England and Wales, it will be steered by the European Council of Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) – before moving to the Universal Church with the final Synod Gathering of Bishops in 2023, sub et cum Petro. Pope Francis invites us to participate in a world-wide Synod – every person in the Church is invited to respond. So that we can fully understand what Pope Francis is asking the diocese is offering information sessions to give everyone an opportunity to find out more and so be able to fully engage with the process. If you would like to participate in one of the online Teams sessions, please let us know at synod@cliftondiocese.com, so that we can send you an invite. If you plan to attend one of the sessions around the diocese, please also let us know so that we have an idea of numbers. Our local session is on 6th November, 10am -12noon: St John’s Centre, Trowbridge www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/trowbridge-synod-information-sessions-tickets-190920838367

Prisoner’s Sunday

PRISONER’S SUNDAY – Today marks Prisoner’s Sunday and is the national day of prayer and action for prisoners and their dependants as marked by the Catholic Church and across the Christian denominations. It is a day to direct our thoughts and prayers to prisoners, their families and children. Prisoners’ Sunday is the time to reflect on how we as individuals, as a Church and as a community are serving those affected by imprisonment. Prisoners’ families, prisoners and people with previous convictions often find themselves on the margins of society due to the social stigma associated with imprisonment. They are often forgotten or come lower down on the list of causes to ‘hold a hand out to’. But the gospel of Matthew 25: 36 reminds us of our duties towards them: ‘I was naked, and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’ Pact’s work embodies the Christian value of mercy and belief in the innate dignity of every human being. Through this campaign we ask you to engage with a core element of Catholic social teaching and put our faith into action. You can donate at www.parish.action@prisonadvice.org.uk.

Maintaining & Improving our Church

MAINTAINING & IMPROVING ST PATRICK’S CHURCH Our church was built as a Victorian charity school in 1848, is grade 2 listed and has been a church for approximately 75 years. The original building was modified for industrial use (first as a glove factory and then, during the war, producing gas masks) in the 1940s and then into a church between 1950 and 1965. The church originally consisted of the current main part of the church in front of the altar with 2 additional rooms on the carpark side. It was extended in the 1960s by partial opening up of the internal walls and building the extension that is now the flower sacristy beside the car park door. While the church space was increased the internal layout was not changed as the altar has remained directly under the aesthetically attractive gothic style main window.  As a result, many parts of the church have poor sight lines to the altar. These various modifications have, unfortunately, compromised the structural integrity of the original Victorian building. The roof drainage has been disrupted and leaks into the building, the fire escape and associated door are aesthetically disappointing and have caused structural damage to that part of the church, the upper floor is poorly attached to the walls and has been ordered out of use because of structural and fire safety concerns, and the flower sacristy is falling away from the main building and has severe rainwater leaks. There is also a need to increase Mass capacity due to the reduction in weekend masses that will be caused fewer priests in the diocese. The Parish Finance Committee is working with the Diocese to appoint an architect to establish the current state of the building and to identify how it can be improved to increase capacity, improve the liturgical layout, and to prepare it for another 75 years of church use. Tender responses from architects invited to carry out a design study are between £10,000 to £15,000. These early discussions with architects have led to the realisation that the total bill for refurbishment of the church could be in the order of £500,000.

We have been advised that the Diocesan Finance Committee and the trustees would be unlikely to support a request to spend tens of thousands of pounds on a design study without addressing how the full building cost can be met. We would potentially be wasting a large sum of charitable money if the full project could not proceed. We have therefore asked our potential architects to amend their proposals to reduce the level of detail in their plans and to include an investment appraisal looking at the whole of the current church site. In the meantime, we have a legal obligation to preserve this listed building but are struggling to achieve that due to a reduction in our income resulting from the pandemic. There is a backlog of urgent weatherproofing repairs to the roof and the window which need to be funded from our weekly offertory giving which still falls far below pre pandemic levels, partly due to a move away from cash and our inability to hold a cash collection each week. We will therefore be making appeals to you all in forthcoming weeks to recover our level of income using standing orders, card payments in the church, gift aid, and to ask for an increase in the level of giving. (Vic Steadman – Parish Treasurer)

Our Lady of Walsingham 24th September

OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM is England’s national Marian shrine. According to legend, Our Lady appeared in Walsingham to the Saxon noblewoman Richeldis de Faverches, in 1061. In three visions, Richeldis was taken by Mary to be shown the house in Nazareth where Gabriel had announced the news of the birth of Jesus. Mary then asked her to build an exact replica of that house in Walsingham. Throughout the centuries, Walsingham became one of the most popular shrines in Europe. Many pilgrims returned from their visit healed in body and spirit. Walsingham received visits from King Henry III, Edward II, Edward III, Henry IV, Edward IV, Henry VII and Henry VIII, who finally brought about its destruction in 1538. In 1897, the first official Catholic pilgrimage after the Reformation took place at the restored 14th century Slipper Chapel, which is now the centre of the Roman Catholic National Shrine. In the 1920s the Anglican shrine began growing in the remains of the original Priory and now has its own church, housing a copy of the original statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and a replica of the Holy House. There is also now a Russian Orthodox chapel in Walsingham. Walsingham came to be known as ‘England’s Nazareth’. During lockdown a small statue of Our Lady of Walsingham has been a focal point of our Marian devotion at St Patrick’s, and many have lit candles before this image of Our Lady. Mass will be celebrated at 12noon on Friday 24th, the feast day of Our Lady of Walsingham. Do come along and give thanks to Our Lady of Walsingham for blessings received.

First Holy Communion

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION Father Michael met this week with lead staff from St Patrick’s School regarding first Holy Communion. We had hoped to celebrate this on the Solemnity of Christ the King. This would however have necessitated a shortened course and we feel that we will not be able to prepare the children adequately in this time for both the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. As some of the FHC children have not yet had the opportunity to return to Mass, we are now proposing to wait until early January to begin a full course for all children looking to FHC.  This also gives us the ideal opportunity to begin a new 18-week course, leading to FHC at Corpus Christi (Sunday 19th June). Please do not hesitate to contact Fr Michael or Mrs Courtney if you have any questions. Application forms for the 2022 FHC are available in Church. Please return asap to Fr Michael.

Time to begin School?

TIME TO START SCHOOL? If you have a child born between 1st September 2017 and 31st August 2018, then now is the time to apply for a place at a Catholic primary school in the Diocese, including St Patrick’s School. You must complete an application form (either online or on paper) that is available from the school admissions team of the Wiltshire Council, for admission during the 2022-23 school year. If your child has been baptised, you must also provide a copy of the baptism certificate to your preferred school. Please ensure you apply by the closing date of 15th January 2022.

Sing the Mass

SONG GROUP / CANTORS Psalm 150 proclaims ‘…let everything that has breath give praise to the Lord!’ Music can inspire people to change, to forgive, to live a joyful life, to love more and to pray better.  It expresses things that we are unable to express in words alone. We are hoping to re gather singers to assist in singing the Sunday Masses as we move from recorded to live singing. If you would like to join, all you need is a love of singing and be able to give some time to practice. All ages and experiences are welcome. Do you play an instrumo our music and enhance our worship. Please have a word with Fr Michael if you are able to help and we will schedule an initial get together to determine the way forward.