Joining Bishop Richard are 114 Assisted Pilgrims, 99 Pilgrims, 186 Helpers and Leaders, 56 Redshirts and Leaders, 33 Nurses, Registered Mental Health Nurses and Health Care Assistants, 7 Doctors, 24 Chaplains, 10 Assistant Chaplains and 33 Support Team members. Please keep them all in your prayers.
Writing in this year's Pilgrimage Handbook, Bishop Richard says: "The theme in Lourdes this year 'Go and tell the priests to build a chapel here' speaks to me not only of the Basilica of Lourdes and the blessings that flow in Lourdes, but also of the 'living stones, building a spiritual house' (1 Pt. 2:5). We are the Church, the Body of Christ, each living stone with the gifts and talents that we have received from the Lord. When the time comes for us to return home, may we return as 'living stones' firm in faith, growing in hope with the love that will enable is to truly build the Kingdom of God."
In the picture, which shows the Blessed Sacrament Procession starting to form-up, our own Deacon Eddie is on the right-hand side of the Altar.
If you would like to follow the Pilgrimage click for The pilgrims Handbook.. The Livestream Camera for `Key events can be found HERE
The highlight of the parish's youth calendar, ROOTED Weekend Away, was held from the 7th to the 9th of July 2023 with 85 young people across the parish. Our theme for the weekend was "learning how to see". On Friday night, Aseel delivered a talk that focused on learning to see God's creation and our place in it - setting the scene for the Weekend. Saturday was packed with small group time, games, outdoor activities, workshops led by Sr Oneng and Fr Tristan, prayer, worship, adoration, and reconciliation. The weekend culminated in Mass on Sunday morning. It was such a blessed weekend, and the young people were engaged, respectful and great company all weekend.
A big thank you goes out to our volunteer team, who gave so much time to help make this weekend a success (half of whom were once young people at Rooted themselves!). We also thank all the supporters of Rooted, whether offering financial support or prayers – again, we couldn't do this without you.
We can't wait until next year. Bring on Rooted 2024!
Parents came together at St Joseph's Hall for a session on the Eucharist, the final meeting of the First Holy Communion preparation programme. Days before, they had joined their children at a Taught Mass. We look forward to the Masses across the parish on the 10th, 17th and 24th June when about 140 children will be receiving Holy Communion for the first time.
Thanks to a team of parents, Children's Liturgy is being offered every Sunday (during term-time) at the churches of St Joseph's, St Mary's and St Pius X. The group aims to provide the children with an adapted Liturgy of the Word in a context which encourages them to listen, pray and respond to the word of God within a safe place. We are happy to see a growing number of families joining us each week.
For more information, please click here.
The young people at Focus (for school years 10-13 that meets every Friday @ St Joseph's, 7-9pm) have set the agenda for this term. We asked them to share their burning questions about life or faith. We have then been able to categorise them into session titles. Pope Francis' new documentary where he talks to 10 young people from across the globe with their own questions are helping us in our conversations too. We really do have wonderfully engaged young people in this parish!
Over 80 of us, over three sessions (Tuesday morning, Tuesday evening on Zoom and Wednesday evening) we have been exploring how we can build a greater sense of belonging in our parishes, inspired by our Celtic heritage. If you'd like to find out more visit www.cpg.church/belongbelieve
HCPT Group 2 sends heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported us through prayer and fundraising to take three children to Lourdes this Easter. Our pilgrimage, or “holiday with Mary”, has been blessed with sunshine, joy and sharing in God's love.
You can find out more about the work of HCPT here:
If you, or anyone you know, might want to join us next Easter, please contact our Group Leader, JP, via: email@example.com
This year we offered the Way of the Cross for families across all four churches in the parish. Around 70 families joined us for Families Way of the Cross at St Joseph's. It was led and acted out by some of our wonderful young people (aged 10-17) from our three youth groups, Fearless, Fusion and Focus. Children are given a stations sheet that they complete as they travel around the live stations. We then all enjoyed some hot cross buns afterwards.
Higher Prep (Year 5) class have been reflecting on the Stations of the Cross. They then wrote their own diary entries to recount the events.
Every weekday at 6pm (thanks to the IT Team) Evening Prayer is Live-streamed from the Church. Either 'live' or by watching the recording, over a 100 people take part most days. This evening a comment was posted (see above). If you would like a candle lit for any intention please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Sunday (5th Lent) 14 couples came together for the day to conclude their Marriage Preparation Course. Beginning at the 10.30am Mass - with a blessing for the couples - the day included lunch, discussion and a lot of laughter! There was agreement at the end that it had been a very helpful course - and many had made great new friends. We assure them of our prayers as they make their final preparations for their Marriages.
On Saturday 18th March 2023 a group of intrepid CAFOD supporters set out on the arduous Big Lent Walk from St Pius X Church in Merrow to the heights of Newlands Corner and back, a total distance of over 6km. For once the BBC weather App was totally wrong and cleared to a dry morning. Inspired by Monica Rowden, who so far has walked in excess of 180km raising approaching £700, who knows what the remaining days of Lent will bring. The walkers l-r were Steve Rowden, Jan Gutowski, Maria Bonnici, Monica Rowden, Judith Combes, Sarah Style, Michael Combes and CAFOD’s Jenny Finlayson.