During these exceptional times

The Mission Continues

Saint Paul tells us that we should “proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable” (2 Timothy 4:2). These times have not been exactly ‘favourable’ in terms of the pandemic, but yet we ran an Alpha course by Zoom earlier this year which was richly blessed.

In the hope that the numbers of infections will not increase, we have a new Alpha starting on Tuesday 21st September – this will be ‘in person’, but with an on-line option. Please register using this link, and we will contact you. regarding which way you would like to attend.

There are other courses available; please see the current Newsletter for more information. We are in a time of Apostolic Discipleship, or, as Pope Francis has said, Missionary Discipleship. The disciple is one who is learning, and most of the courses will be by Zoom, which, while not as fun a face-to-face, do mean that we are spared travelling (good for the planet) and take less time out of the day (good for us).

Public Mass continues, and the times are as normal: 9.00 am every day except Thursdays, additionally 11.00 am and 12 noon on Sundays and 7.00 pm on Thursdays. There will be Eucharistic adoration on Thursdays from 9.00 until 10.00 am. The church will be open daily from 9.00 until 10.00 am, and additionally, on Thursdays from 6.45 until 7.30 pm. The 12 noon Sunday Mass will continue for as long as we remain socially distanced in church. Additionally there is a Syro-Malabar Rite Mass (celebrated in Malayalam) on Sunday evenings and once a month a Mass in Shona on Sunday afternoons. We hope to resume the monthly Mass for the sick on the last Friday afternoon soon, if the pandemic allows.

This is the opening prayer of the special Mass “In time of pandemic”. Please make this prayer your own:

Almighty and eternal God,
our refuge in every danger,
to whom we turn in our distress;
in faith we pray
look with compassion on the afflicted,
grant eternal rest to the dead, (here name any known to you)
comfort to mourners, (Again, think of any you know)
healing to the sick, (Pray for those whose names are in our Newsletter as well as any you know)
peace to the dying, (Pray for those in hospital and any others)
strength to healthcare workers, (Pray especially for those in our town)
wisdom to our leaders (Pray for our government and for local government)
and the courage to reach out to all in love, (Pray for all who are volunteering)
so that together we may give glory to your holy name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

Technology can be something of a ‘black art’, and it is not always a simple process to get the recording of Mass and other recordings onto the website! Sometimes it can take quite a long time to get the video into a form that is suitable for the internet. We do always try to put Mass on the parish Facebook page. On this site the recordings of Mass are on the “VIDEOS” page.

If you are unable to get to church, please pray in union with the Church in your own home and make an act of Spiritual Communion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is now available while the church is open, but please email to Fr Andrew to arrange a time (priest@stgregory.org.uk)

All other activities in the church; courses, and prayer groups are suspended during the present crisis. However Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is on Thursday mornings from 9.00 am to 10.00 am.

Preparation for First Holy Communion and Confirmation is also suspended, and will resume when the crisis is over; probably in the autumn. Please keep in touch through the newsletter which can be downloaded from this website. We have a provisional date for Confirmation in the autumn; 1st October. (Please note the change of this date.)

Please look out for neighbours and friends who may be in need of help, for example in shopping, and if you need help yourself, please contact the parish by email.

Donations for the Hope Centre may be made on their just giving page:
www.justgiving.com/campaign/helphope , and donations for CAFOD may be put in a clearly marked envelope and put in the CAFOD money box near the office door whenever the church is open.

Please continue to pray for a speedy end to the present crisis, and for all who are infected or affected by coronavirus.