Dear friends,

We mark the mid-point of Lent this coming Mothering Sunday, and we look forward to welcoming you to Mass: please do encourage family members and friends to join you, especially if you are celebrating together afterwards. The customary, beautiful Mothering Sunday posies will be handed out to all the ladies in our congregation: please note that we will now be putting them together in church on Saturday (not Friday) at around 2pm – volunteers welcome. After the Parish Mass on Sunday, we will toast the occasion with a glass of something sparkling, and a slice of homemade simnel cake!

As also we contemplate the motherly model of Mary, the Blessed Virgin, so at both Saturday’s Vigil Mass and at Sunday’s Parish Mass we will be sharing in the delightful devotion of Sprinkling with Walsingham water. Using water from the holy well in Walsingham, England’s Nazareth, we will be reminded of the constant generosity of God’s love – and of our own Baptism – by receiving water to drink and with which to wash and cleanse ourselves. Jesus says, ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water“‘ (John 7.37-38). Do make full use of this opportunity for healing, refreshment and renewal!

Thank you to all those who assisted with last Sunday evening’s very special Votive Mass of the Holy Cross, with our visiting choir; and congratulations on excellent Sunday Mass attendance overall! Our guest preacher, Fr Thomas, remarked on how genuinely welcoming a parish he found us – and on how evidently our congregation enjoys our fellowship and faith! Let us together continue to persevere in faith, hope and charity as our Lenten journey moves forward towards Holy Week.

Please find attached an invitation from Bishop Jonathan to join him for a Passiontide service on Wednesday, 20 March, which will include music by Victoria, Gibbons, Duruflé, Lotti and Saunders, and an address by the charity, Friends of the Holy Land.

Please sign up to help during Holy Week, and please return any unused Easter invitations as soon as possible, to be  redistributed for delivery. We will begin receiving offers of food for the Easter Vigil party from this Sunday.

The next Youth Group outing will be on Saturday, 6 April, when we will go indoor climbing at HarroWall. This activity is suitable for all ages, 6-18, and will cost just £10pp. Please sign up in church and collect a registration form and fill in the centre’s pre-registration form online. We can accommodate up to 20 participants: friends and classmates welcome!

Congratulations on donations of £636.75 for St Luke’s Hospice, our monthly charity in February. Please note, finally, that there will be no Vigil Mass on Saturday, 23 March: instead, we encourage all parishioners to join in the Palm Sunday Procession and Mass on Sunday 24 March at 10.30am.

May God, who is infinitely rich in grace, show always His goodness towards you in Christ Jesus,

Fr Richard