This week the final touches are being put to the organisation of our forthcoming parish pilgrimage to Rome, which begins in the early hours of this coming Monday morning. Father Nicholas and I are working out exactly what we need to take with us, in terms of ecclesial tat, and what will be supplied by the various churches and basilicas that we will be worshipping in. Tom, our director of music, is finalising his folder of accompaniment and the choir have been rehearsing tunes for Evensong.

The excitement mounts then as we prepare for this special journey within the Year of Mercy. To send out the pilgrims on Sunday with aplomb we shall be singing the wonderful hymn ‘full in the panting heart of Rome’ at the end of each Mass.

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The St. Anselm’s Autumn Raffle will be drawn on the first Sunday in November. Tickets are available from this Sunday and need to be sold and purchased with zeal! I am also hunting for decent prizes- let me know if you can be of any help or have contacts you could speak to on our behalf.

Harvest Festival will take place on Sunday 23rd October. This year we will be supporting the Pembury Food bank, which we collect non-perishable good for throughout  the year. The food bank has really struggled to meet demand in 2016 and is now collecting to meet need for the Christmas food hampers which are sent out to deserving villagers each year. Please bring produce to Mass for the harvest procession.

32 parishioners will be travelling to Rome for our parish pilgrimage between 10-14 October. Please note that there will be no midweek worship that week as there will be no resident clergy. The other churches in our deanery will be staffed as usual and can be called on for daily Mass or if a priest is needed in an emergency.

Tuesday 1st November is All Saints day and it is a day of holy obligation for all Catholics. Mass will be offered in Church at 7pm. The following evening is All Souls day and our main celebration will also take place at 7pm. During this Mass there will be an opportunity to light a candle for a loved one and to pray for them.

A working party is being organised for Saturday 8th October. (For those not travelling to Birmingham for the Ordinariate Newman pilgrimage) We need people to strip out the old kitchen and dispose of the units at the local tip. We need others to set to work in the garden, especially with the weeding of the borders around the paddock. If these jobs are too heavy then bring some brasso and polish and give the altar rails and pews a little love.

October will also see building work begin on the new parish kitchen and, we hope, within the church. The kitchen, having been gutted, will be completely refurbished. The main body of the church will have two walls plastered and painted, a gradine built to house the sacrament and ‘big 6’ candlesticks and a stage built to raise the altar. Scaffolding may be present for a week or two. In the side chapel, which is now dedicated to the Sacred Heart, a wall will be plastered and the new reredos mounted. Please be patient during these work phases.