Two weeks ago I mentioned that the 2011 census revealed that 1 in every four UK citizens claimed to have no religion (a number that has doubled in only 10 years!) You can be certain that many of these are baptised Catholics. I also reported that in response to Pope Frances’ plea that parishes in the West strive to become missionary parishes willing to share the gospel and welcome enquirers our Bishops have launched Proclaim 15, a strategy to help us become just that. Well, two weeks ago we held the first of three Lenten meetings to launch this initiative. Attendance was poor and disappointing but for those who did come it proved to be a most encouraging evening. Perhaps surprisingly the majority were from the younger adult side of the parish. The next meeting is this Wednesday: as Jesus said to Andrew: ‘Come and see’.
For more information go to: www.catholicnews.org.uk/proclaim15
A reality of church life today is that more frequently than not a majority of mourners at a Requiem Mass may not be Catholic or if Catholic have lost contact with the Church and no longer know when to stand, sit or kneel. To save visitors any embarrassment it was decided at Wednesday’s Forum to invite parishioners at Requiems to occupy the left hand benches at the front of the church so that mourners in the benches on the right-hand side are able to easily see and follow the parishioners’ lead. Also, and to avoid embarrassment, parishioners are requested at communion to come smartly forward and not wait for mourners to first approach the altar.
You may remember that a few years ago we started renovating the church benches but following a Forum proposal that we should first cushion the benches we turned attention to this. After much discussion and experimenting with two different designs of cushioning, neither of which was successful, it was decided on Wednesday to forget the cushioning and proceed with stripping and staining the benches. (Neither can we replace the benches with chairs because if the church’s slanting floor)
Family Paschal Candles are now available at the same price as last year, retailing at £10.
We are half way through Lent. Hopefully you are maintaining your Lenten resolutions. If you have slipped then simply start all over again and if you haven’t even started, well begin today.