Letters from Fr John

24 September

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady’s, St Anne’s and St Jerome’s.

Every day, I have reason to be thankful for so many good people in our three parishes who work hard for our communities. As I have mentioned before, much of this work is carried on quietly and out of sight. Whether stewards, counters, florists, cleaners or others, the list is long. Many of these tasks are menial and require a rolling up of the sleeves. But I have been so encouraged by this spirit of service. Many of our people, of course, have not been able to return to their works of service because of the pandemic, and are very keen to do so. But to those who have been able to carry on with their work safely, I extend a very sincere ‘thank you’.

‘Safely’ is a word that is becoming more important again. I have been wondering how the rather basic church life we have at the moment is going to look in the coming weeks in the face of further restrictions. The flower ladies at Our Lady’s, who have been doing a magnificent job in embellishing the church in these difficult times, have decided to withdraw for the time being, to shield during the new restrictions. Thank you ladies for all you have done! It is likely that other helpers will have to do the same. My thanks to each one of them!

Whilst we all carry the responsibility to take proper care of ourselves at this time, we are also responsible for each other. We all know the practical things we can do, especially for those who need us most. But the focus now is on our electronic and printed modes of outreach, to develop them further and provide greater support. More news about this work in the coming weeks.

Above all, let us keep our eyes on the Lord. Finding time each day for a little quiet and prayer will bring peace and light to our lives. So much appears uncertain at the moment, but the Lord is our rock and he is always with us.

Please stay safe in these days.

May God bless you and your loved ones.

Father John