Again this past week there has been a steady flow of people coming into church for quiet prayer. It is good that we are able to open our doors and welcome people into church once again, even if it is at the moment only for one hour on weekdays, ant two hours on Saturdays. I know that those who have came along have been so grateful for this opportunity which is only possible because of the generosity of our voluntary stewards. Thank you to our stewards for all they are doing to help keep our church open and to keep all of us who come along, safe.
St. Michael and St. John’s is open for quiet prayer
Monday to Friday 11am till 12 noon.
Saturday 11am till 1pm.
We use the main doors for entering the church and the side door near the pulpit as an exit.
If you wish to light a candle then you must do this immediately before you leave church.
Once you have left church you must not come back in though the way out.
If you or any of your household present with any coronavirus symptoms then you must stay away.
A few people have been asking when we will be open for the celebration of Mass again. At this stage we are not ready, so please be patient. We will continue just to open for private prayer, before we eventually start to celebrate Mass during the week, then eventually at the weekend. But this will take time. When we do start having public Mass again, things will be different to what we have been used to. Stewards will be needed to show us to our places, then to clean the church after Mass. There will be no singing, no bidding prayers, no long sermons!!!, and Holy Communion will be distributed as you leave church at the end of Mass, with the stewards directing you out of your bench. We will remain seated all the way through Mass. Social distancing will have to be maintained at all times which means that the number of people in the church will be greatly reduced. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass does not apply in these times, so when we do start having Mass then we might all have to decide to come to Mass on just one of the days so as to give everyone the opportunity to come to Mass at some stage each week.
We will all have to rethink our familiar ways of doing things, and be generous in our response. A lot of thought and planning needs to go into all of this, but we will get there, and we have to be sure to get it right.
As Bishop John wrote to the clergy yesterday: The renewed lockdown in the City of Leicester gives us a clear reminder of the seriousness of the on-going pandemic and the lifting of just a few of the Government restrictions does not mean that we have left the dangers behind. While I sympathise with the impatience of many people to return to Mass, the crisis is not over and we need to continue to take every precaution, with the hope and expectation that we can return safely to our churches before too long.
There is much good news in today’s Gospel (Matthew 11: 25-30), which should help to sustain all of us who are anxious at this time, and perhaps particularly because of the pandemic. We’re told we can bring all our troubles to Jesus and find rest. So let us do just that, today and every day, because God will help us, he will always be there for us, he will make our burden light. We give thanks to God for his care and understanding, and patience.
As I celebrate Mass each morning in one of our three churches, I continue to remember all of you in my prayer and ask for God’s continued blessing on you and your families.
Take care and God Bless. Fr. Paul
Today’s Mass is from the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A.
Weekdays Cycle 2
Divine Office Psalter week 2.
Mrs Jean Bentley would like to express her thanks for all the messages of sympathy, cards, prayers and mass offerings she has received following the death of her husband Dave.
THE RIBBLE VALLEY FOODBANK would like to thank all those still managing to donate food at the moment – we are very busy and your generosity is much appreciated. We are currently short of the following items: washing up liquid, washing powder/liquid, deodorants (male and female), sponge puddings, chocolate and sweets, and crisps and snacks. Our warehouse is currently open to receive donations on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am – 12noon and on Friday 9am – 11am – please call us for directions. Thank you!
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Hear the words of Jesus and open your eyes and ears to those who suffer
If you’ve never experienced personally, or via a loved one, domestic violence, loneliness, depression or any or all those things, it’s hard to fully understand or fully emphasise with those whose lives are blighted with that kind of misery. It’s a feature of the human condition that empathy rarely comes without personal experience. Even personal experience of one type of trauma usually fails to bring empathy for something different. I remember hearing a long time ago that a person with a phobia of dogs was unlikely to have any more understanding than anyone else for someone with a phobia of cats. Yet the entirety of the gospels is a proclamation of the command to empathise with everyone.
When the picture of Alan Kurdi appeared in the newspapers people were struck by a harsh reality that had so far eluded them. In our parish, first the Clays and then many of our parishioners and local community responded with our Refugee Days Out, Refugee Come Dine with me, and English lessons. Alan Kurdi’s death has mobilised action throughout the nation but many are still blind to tragedies like Alan’s and ask: who are these refugees, where do they come from, how are they being funded?
Yet in the UK, and despite the “hostile environment”, refugees are lucky compared with many others hidden from us. In the UK there are 127,000 refugees and 45,000 asylum seekers. The latest estimate for slaves is 136,000 which is more than the number of refugees and three times the number of asylum seekers. A refugee has access to what every UK citizen is entitled to and an asylum seeker has some support and some hope. A slave has neither.
There is no slave equivalent of Alan Kurdi – no picture of the girl rescued from a London brothel whose DNA was found in finger nails embedded in the door she had tried to scratch her way out of in Belfast; or the man rescued from a newsagent’s shop in Blackburn with one leg shorter than the other because the trafficker had broken his leg and failed to take him to hospital. Yet these people ARE seen by the public or by the punters who use prostitutes caring not about whether the girls are willing or not.
Justin Welby has asked us to take off our blindfolds, open our eyes and see the crime hidden in plain sight, but more than that he says: “those who forcibly constrain, confine, traffick and enslave people will face the judgement of God for their terrible sin, yet even more serious is when we choose not to see, when as it were, we put on our own blindfolds because then we don’t see those around us held in slavery oppressed, trafficked in other people’s bars”.
Fr Gerald Wilberforce, great great grandson of William and a priest in Plymouth diocese says: “The truth is that slavery still exists. And to a large extent we are all complicit in this. We are all part of the same society and we are all responsible.”
If we care not for those born into this world, we care even less for those not yet born. Today I read on the Right to Life website that: Abortions, contraceptive devices and surgical sterilisation measures are being forced upon women in Xinjiang in an apparent attempt to limit the population of Muslim Uighurs.
At the end of last year, abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland which means in theory that a woman can have an abortion up to birth on request. In practice that won’t happen of course but –
• In Southern Ireland abortion is available up to birth when a woman threatens suicide;
• in China, Vietnam, Canada and eight North American states abortion is entirely decriminalised and a child can be aborted for any reason throughout the whole 9 months of pregnancy;
• 21 other North American states allow abortion up to birth when there is a risk to the life/health of the mother, in the case of rape/incest or if they baby has a possible life-limiting condition;
• Ireland, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina allow abortion up to birth in one or more of the circumstances mentioned above;
• in Denmark and Macedonia abortions are also allowed up to birth if having a child is going to be a social/economic burden to the woman or in the case of a child pregnancy;
• a “partial birth abortion” of a live baby, fingers clenching, legs kicking, is too gross to describe.
Fr. Gerald Wilberforce whom we have seen as a champion of anti-slavery is also a champion of the pro-life movement. In 2018 he noted that: “with the passage of time we look back in horror at how we devalued human life [through slavery]. I truly believe we will look back in years to come, repent and ask forgiveness for what we let happen to the unborn child.”
Let us join Justin Welby and Gerald Wilberforce in opening our eyes and ears not only to slaves and the unborn but to all who suffer in our community and in the world.
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
Record of two meetings of the Parochial Church Council from 1946 and 1947
Minutes of a meeting held December 1946:
Present: Rev Fr Kemball, Mr Bush (chairman), Messrs. R.Briggs, T.Haslam, G.Pollard, P.Fullalove, T.Dobson, Mrs Wrigley, Mrs Fehrenbach, Miss Crompton, Miss Carter
Apologies for absence from Mr Leeming and Mrs Bush.
I. The minutes of the last meeting were accepted as read. Prop: Mr Fullalove, 2nd Mr Briggs
II. A letter from the Canteen Committee electing Mr Briggs as representative on Parochial Committee was read. It was agreed that Canteen Committee b3 asked that a representative other than Mr Briggs be elected as he already was the representative for the teachers.
III. Mr Briggs then gave a report of the Canteen, which he said was more of a social centre although the Canteen part was clearing expenses. The Balance Sheet for 6 weeks to Nov 8th showed a balance of £20. 1s. 9d. Proposed Mr Pollard 2nd Miss Carter that the report be accepted. Carried unanimously.
IV. It was reported that at the Polish Concert there was a lack of music stands and lights and shades for the orchestra. Those formerly used belonged to Mr Shaw. Mr Briggs suggested Parish get some of their own. Mr Haslam reported that stage equipment is obsolete, and advised that the whole stage be rewired. Using material from the air-raid shelters would make it less costly. Mr Briggs proposed that discussion about the matter be left to Fr Kemball and Mr Haslam. 2nd Mr Pollard and carried.
V. Mrs Wrigley reported that the Women’s Sodality wished the matter of the shortage of plates in the pot and pan room be brought up. It was suggested that Mr Leeming be approached about the matter.
VI. Mr Haslam wished for clarification of the minute regarding the Pool Fund. Min 8 1.2.46. Considerable discussion took place.
VII. Mr Haslam asked about dressing room for Pantomime. Two old dressing rooms available as part of Canteen must remain open.
VIII. Mr Haslam asked about Insurance and Compensation re. use of hall etc. Mr Dobson advised that a policy to cover all – audience, staff etc, be best. It was agreed that Fr Kemball and Mr Haslam make enquiries of Mr Marsland for approx. cost.
IX. Mr Bush tendered his resignation but unfortunately, the Secretary had left the meeting.
Minutes of meeting held January 17th 1947
Present: Reverend Fr Kemball, Mr Brown, Mr Briggs, Mrs Wrigley, Mr Fullalove, Mr Leeming, Mrs Bush, Mr Geldard and A.Crompton and Miss Brown.
1. In the absence of chairman (retired) and secretary, Mr Brown appointed temporary chairman and Miss Crompton temporary secretary for this meeting. Apologies for absence from Miss Carter and Mrs Fehrenbach (no longer representing Girls’ Club) Miss Brown welcomed to take her place.
2. Proposed Mr Briggs seconded Mr Geldard, that a letter of thanks be sent to Mr Bush for his services.
3. Mr Briggs proposed and Mr Geldard seconded, that minutes (after slight alteration and addition) were correct record.
4. Hall Secretary reported for November 5 Dances, 4 for school fund, one private. Caretakers Fees 5 @ 7/6d leaving a balance of £3. For December Balance Nil. January quiet but bookings for February.
5. Fr Kemball had been requested by Mr Luff (Bandmaster) to withhold booking a dance at the Hall on February 21st as the Borough Band, had a Benefit Dance in King Lane Hall that evening. Proposed Mr Briggs, seconded A.Crompton that the Panto Dance booked for that date be cancelled (carried unanimously).
6. Proposed Mr Briggs, seconded Mr Leeming that Annual General Meeting be held in the Hall Sunday February 2nd. Representative bodies be asked to send members to next ordinary meeting, date to be fixed at A.G.M.
7. Fr Kemball approached by U.N.A. Secretary Mr Hall to book the Hall for meeting on February 7th. Date already booked by Panto Society. Suggested that Fr Kemball contace Mr Hall to suggest alternative date, Sunday February 9th.
8. Mr Geldard re-suggested (matter brought before committee by Mr Haslam) that a central entertainments committee be formed. Mr Briggs proposed and Mr Geldard seconded that Wednesday 29th January be fixed for meeting in Library with two representatives from each body likely to use Hall for entertainment purposes. Members present guaranteed to notify those concerned.
9. Letter from Whitehall read recommended using alternative lighting facilities if cash electricity supply cut off. Candles to be placed in Hall permanently for the present or where needed.
ST HUBERT’S DUNSOP BRIDGE
August 1922 – The Rev Fr H Marshall of St Hubert’s Dunsop Bridge was a guest on the 12th August at the marriage of Prince Stephen Gustave de Croy, son of Prince and Princess de Croy and Soiree and Mlle Alyette de Pomeru daughter of the Marquis de Pomeru, Senator of the Seine Interieure and Marquese de Pomeru.
CORPUS CHRISTI JUNE 1941
There were a good number of visitors at Thorneyholme Dunsop Bridge last Sunday afternoon to take part in the annual procession in honour of the feast of Corpus Christi. A procession was formed of the cross bearer and acolytes, Knights of St Columba associated with St Michael & St John Clitheroe, children of St Hubert’s church, the girls strewing flower petals immediately before the Blessed Sacrament borne under a canopy. Other members of the congregation and visitors along with Sisters of Notre Dame (including some evacuated from Houses of the Order in distant parts of England) also took part. A route was taken across the lawns to an altar erected beneath the trees, prayers and hymns being said. The Rev Fr Ward preached a most striking sermon about the Feast and current times. Afterwards the service continued, the procession formed and wended the way back to the house chapel where another short service was held. The proceedings concluded with a hymn to Our Lady. Councillor J. Watson acted as leader, Fr Ward reciting the prayers and the Chaplain acting as celebrant.