We pray that we may be a growing community Which, thorough the power of the Holy Spirit, joyfully serves the mission given to us by Jesus Christ.
We pray that we may be a welcoming family In which, young or old, you are known by name, loved and accepted as you are, invited to pray, to share your life, to heal and to grow, to enjoy a loving relationship with God, yourself and others, and so become the person you were created to be.
We pray that together we may reach out in love To serve the needs of the world and offer the joy and hope of the Gospel to others, through our actions, our words and the example of our lives, responding above all to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth, so that in all things God our Father will be glorified.
This vision for Our Lady & St Benedict’s was written at the end of Advent 2018 and was developed during six months of prayer, personal reflection and discussion. The intention was to have an inspiring picture of what we are and what we hope to become. Everyone was invited to participate and well over half the parish actively contributed in one way or another. The vision seeks to combine the insights, inspirations and hopes of all. Now seems like a good time to suggest that we pray it together so that it will help to inspire us and guide our actions, particularly as Our Lady & the Holy Angel’s (Gilling), St Aidan’s (Oswaldkirk) and Our lady & St Benedict’s (Ampleforth) come together. Acknowledging that we each have our own vision, vocation and gifts to offer, let us take every opportunity to share over the coming months what these are; and any suggestions of how this prayer and statement of vision can be improved would be very welcome – just share them with a member of the Co-ordinating Group.
Living God, you walk alongside us & speak to us throughout the Scriptures. Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes & fears & shows us how to live for one another. Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts & minds so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen. V. Your word is our path & your truth is our light. R. This day & every day. (Prayer of the Word for the Year of the Word) Following our Coordinating Group meeting on Mon 3rd Feb to discuss various issues relating to the amalgamation of our three Churches in the one Parish, we have decided on the following timetable & location for our Holy Week Services: Maundy Thursday: Mass & Watching at the Altar of Repose: 7.30pm: OL&HA Good Friday: Liturgy: 3pm: OL&SB Stations of the Cross: 7pm: OL&HA Easter Vigil: Sat 9pm: OL&HA Easter Day: Mass 10am: OL&SB We would be grateful if you would note these especially in your diaries, particularly the locations, & do let others know soon so that they can do likewise. The Coordinating Group will meet again, together with the Vision Group this Monday 24th Feb at 6pm. We are grateful to those who form both groups, who are putting much thought & prayer into helping us move forward at this fertile moment of transition & change. There will be more news from them very soon.
Under the title Behold 2020, our Bishops are encouraging us to prepare for the Re-dedication of England as Mary’s dowry on Sun 29th Mar 2020. We are invited into a “do it yourself” Retreat of 33 days, which started last Friday 21st Feb 2020 & will finish on the Feast of the Annunciation 25th Mar 2020. There is a comprehensive booklet to help you on a daily basis & we hope to have these available soon. In addition we will include the Rosary in our Saturday Holy Hour during the Retreat period, & we will pray the Angelus Prayer at the start of each Mass during the 33 days. More details https://www.behold2020.com/the-rededication
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, our Bishops have written with an update on the Settlement Scheme for European citizens who have made their homes here & wish to remain. There is understandably grave concern for older & vulnerable people who may struggle to navigate the process online, & whose main point of contact with society will be through the Church. This is sufficiently important for us to share full details with each of you, & to commission you to make early contact with any European citizens you know, particularly in your neighbourhood, to ensure they are aware of the necessary process & timescale. If you could feedback to me confidentially details of anyone who might struggle with the process, we can benefit from local information sessions, even for our parish, to book an immigration solicitor free of charge. I’m sure we have parishioners who have legal experience who could help in such a process. The full text of Bishop Paul McAleenan’s letter of 6th Feb 2020 is attached to our bulletin this week.
A reminder Tues 25th Feb: Shrove Tuesday: annual Pancake Lunch with Tombola 12.00-2.00pm Parish Hall. Everyone Welcome.