On the feast of Stephen


The photograph above, captured after Mass on Christmas morning, begs itself as a caption competition. My offering is Father Jack, who is looking quizzically at Fr. Nicholas, saying to his children “If that is what passes as ecclesiastical headwear in the Ordinariate, then I am returning to the Church of England!”  The folly was, of course, all mine. It is something of a tradition that I now gift Fr. Nicholas with something tacky on Christmas morning to add to his class and gravitas.

Christmas went well. Numbers were a little down at Midnight, compared to last year, but much higher on Christmas morning. The crib service was up on last year and the vigil Mass much the same. Meaning we had a similar number of people through the doors as last year but with people spread across the services in a different way.

This morning there is the Mass of St. Stephen at 9am. And then there will be no daily Mass until Saturday 3rd January as I take my post Christmas break. This Sunday both services will be offered by Fr. Simon Heans, a Catholic priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Thank you to him! Please make him welcome and be there to support him.

Finally good news for the parish as the following statement was read out at our services on Christmas Eve/day. Things are, God willing, about to get going as regards transforming our dual use hall into a permanent space for worship…

The Building Committee has now agreed, in principle, to proceed with the construction of the new parish room, which will provide the space we need at a cost we can afford.

However, the planning permission, already granted, stipulates that we have to ‘avoid damage to the existing trees, including their root systems.’

This means that a method whereby this can be achieved has to be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

Once we have this agreement, which we hope will be early in the New Year, orders can then be placed.

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