Monday, 28 July 2008

B5 Holiday Fun Week

This week is Holiday Fun Week. Now if you are aged between 5 and 11 or a parent of children in this age group, there will be no need to explain what this means!

Every year the Banstead Five Churches organises a holiday scheme for children from all the local churches. About 200 children take part, many of them from St Ann's and I'm pleased to say that we also provide many of the leaders and helpers too. This year, the Coordinating church is All Saints' Church and the theme of the week is Pirates.

In the morning the children meet together in groups to explore various Bible-related themes and generally have fun and make new friends. I popped in to see how everyone was getting on this morning and they all seemed to be having a great time. I might add that I saw one particular adult pirate that looked very familiar but it took a while for me to recognise him as he usually dresses in a similar way to myself!

If anyone involved has any pictures of this year's Fun Week, I would be delighted to include them on the blog. Just email them to me at the parish address as soon as possible.


This week many parishioners from across the Diocese are in Lourdes on the annual Arundel and Brighton Pilgrimage. Among the pilgrims are quite a few from our own parish, both sick pilgrims and helpers. Please remember them in your prayers as I'm sure they will be praying for all in our parish whilst they are in Lourdes.

This year is a special year as it is the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Our Lady to St Bernadette. Because of the anniversary the numbers of pilgrims has been increased from the usual 800 to 1,000 people to accommodate all those wishing to attend.

Sunday, 27 July 2008


Every Mass is a special occasion but the 6pm Mass today was an extra special occasion as during the Mass I had the pleasure of receiving Debbie Wright into Full Communion with the Catholic Church.

Congratulations and our very best wishes to Debbie who is picture above with her fiancé Simon. They will be married at the end of August so you could say 'a double celebration'.

Please keep Debbie in your prayers as she continues on her journey of faith.

Friday, 11 July 2008

A farewell Mass of thanksgiving

This evening we celebrated a lovely Mass in thanksgiving for the many years of devoted service given by Christine Gilbert to our parish primary school. Christine is retiring at the end of term after 20 years at the school in various administrative roles and also as a Governor for some of this time.

Unfortunately I forgot to have my camera ready and the light in the hall was probably not bright enough for my phone camera but I hope you can see well enough to see what a marvellous spread the PTA laid on in the hall after Mass. It was a very joyful Mass and it was lovely to be able to continue the celebrations in the hall afterwards.

Of course, although Christine will be retiring from the school, she is not retiring from the parish and we look forward to seeing her busy around the place as usual.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

A prayer book for the Year of St Paul

Colin Mason at Family Publications has very kindly sent me a review copy of a new book for the Year of St Paul. This little book is very readable and, as they say, 'accessible to all'. It contains beautiful illustrations and short extracts from the writings of St Paul followed by a short prayer or reflection.

It is an ideal companion for anyone who wishes to learn a little more about the life and thoughts of St Paul during this special Pauline Year and a useful aid to prayer and meditation on this theme.

Copies are available from Family Publications at £4.50. Discounts are available for parishes and schools for bulk purchases.

Sunday, 6 July 2008


This morning at the 10.00am Mass David and Shirley celebrated their 20th Wedding Anniversary by renewing their Marriage vows in front of their family and friends and their parish family. Just as on their wedding day they exchanged vows before God and before their family and friends so they have renewed these same vows before God and the community today. It is a public affirmation of their love for one another.

It was wonderful to see such expressions of joy and love on their faces. We wish them continued happiness and look forward to celebrating with them in another 20 years time.

Friday, 4 July 2008

A worrying situation ...

I see from an article in this week's Catholic Herald that moves are afoot to restrict the right of Catholic doctors to refuse to refer women for abortions. According to the article by Simon Caldwell, currently about one in four doctors are now refusing to sign consent forms on moral grounds. It is expected that this proposal will be passed by the BMA's policy-making body on Thursday.

On Tuesday Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff spoke out about this proposal saying, that the "right of conscience is a fundamental human right"

It is important to mention that it is not only Catholic doctors who feel strongly about this but they are also supported by doctors of other Christian denominations as well as Jewish and Muslim doctors and some who have no religious faith.

If you have missed your copy of the paper this week, you'll find a link to the article here.

If any new readers of this blog missed the earlier post about the baby who underwent surgery in the womb please follow the link to read about this amazing story.

A video introducing the Pauline Year

I recently received this interesting video from Fr Fergus O'Connor, a priest of the Opus Dei Prelature. My grateful thanks to him for forwarding it to me. I hope you enjoy watching it. I understand that more will follow.

"From June 28, 2008 to June 29, 2009, the Church is celebrating a jubilee year dedicated to Saint Paul, for the two-thousandth anniversary of his birth. Introduction to the Pauline Year (Bishop Javier Echevarría)."