Dear friends,

We are now counting down the days until our May Devotion this coming Saturday, 18 May – and praying fervently for fair weather! A reminder that volunteers are requested (i) to assist decorating the processional image of Our Lady with flowers, tomorrow (Friday) after the 9.30am Mass, and/or (ii) to help set up the Hall, tomorrow evening from 6.30pm.

On Saturday itself, the Hall will be open from 1pm for donations of food to be dropped off. The May Devotion will then begin at 2.30pm at All Saints RC Church (531, Kenton Road HA3 0UL) – please wear something blue, for Our Lady! Weather permitting, we will process from All Saints to St Mary’s: the procession will arrive here at around 3.15pm – and those who cannot walk from All Saints should gather at St Mary’s in readiness. A Pentecost world foods party will follow in the Hall: all are heartily welcome!

St Ephraem the Deacon wrote that ‘Mary was made heaven on our behalf by bearing the divinity which Christ, without leaving the glory of the Father, enclosed in the narrow confines of her womb‘: we honour Our Lady as a sign of paradise, she whose womb was the home of God.

(Evening Prayer will be celebrated as usual at 5pm, and the Saturday Vigil Mass at 6pm.)

Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost, and the conclusion of Eastertide: please wear something red to Mass! After Mass, there will be a short planning meeting for the Parish Barbecue on Saturday, 6 July.

Please note that a week on Saturday, 25 May, Morning Prayer will be said simply (without Adoration), and will not be followed by Mass: this will allow those who wish to to travel to St Augustine, Kilburn for their Patronal Festival (at 10.30am): if you wish to travel together, please gather on the platform at Kenton Station at 9.30am.

From Advent, a new Lectionary of Mass readings will come into force – and we have pre-ordered a beautiful new Book of the Gospels: if you would like to sponsor this purchase (£250), please speak to me. The Book can be inscribed with your dedication or memorial intention.

Thank you again for your continuing generosity to our monthly appeals: the Friends of the Holy Land have contacted me to acknowledge our recent donation of £405, and ‘would like to thank all parishioners… Your donation will help us to support the most vulnerable at this very challenging time. Please continue to pray for the Holy Land, and for a peaceful resolution.’ This month’s collection for the Additional Curates Society continues: please return your collection boxes at the end of the month.

Finally, our dear friend Fr Bernard Dagnall, who graciously covered many Masses here during the last interregnum, will be turning 80 this summer – and his family extends an invitation to all well-wishers to join them to celebrate on 17 August, first at a Mass at 2.30pm, celebrated by the Rt Rev’d Matthias Mededues-Badohu (Bishop of Ho, in Ghana), and then at a birthday tea – both at the church of St John the Evangelist, New Hinksey, Oxford OX1 4RD. RSVP to Mrs Jenny Dagnall, (

Please find attached fliers for the Patronal Festival at Kilburn, plus Bishop Jonathan’s Corpus Christi Mass, and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament National Festival.

As I observed at last Sunday’s APCM, God continues richly to bless us – with generous hearts (and nearly £6,500 given to partner charities so far this year); – with generous friends (from whom we have so far this year secured £10,000 in additional grant funding), – and with a passion for prayer: out of 308 public services since 1 January, only five have seen a priest without a congregation – and this has not happened now for almost 80 days… for truly the fires of faith burn brightly here.

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, / And lighten with celestial fire‘,

Fr Richard