Dear friends,

As the year turns, please note that the clocks go back one hour this weekend: an extra hour in bed, but don’t be late for Mass!

This coming Sunday’s first reading speaks of God’s concern for the widow and orphan, that is – for those who mourn. Following the presentation at Mass last Sunday from St Luke’s Hospice, about the importance of advance care planning, this week we will be continuing our season of hope and remembrance, by considering how we can with compassion console those who will mourn our deaths, by planning properly for our own funeral services. The widow and orphan ‘will surely cry out to me,’ says the Lord, ‘and be sure I shall hear their cry‘ – a sentiment echoed in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted‘. We have a part to play in ushering in God’s Kingdom, by embodying the Beatitudes in our own thoughtfulness towards the bereaved.

Please likewise continue to add to the list in church the names of those to be remembered on All Souls’ Day, Thursday next week, 2 November, when there will be Masses at 9.30am and 6pm. Wednesday next week, 1 November, is All Saints’ Day, and is a Holy Day of Obligation: please make every effort to come to Mass that day too, at 9.30am.

It seems that, at St Mary’s, when we are not having a party, we are planning for one! After Mass this Sunday, there will be a short meeting to continue planning for the Christmas Fair (on Saturday 25 November): please do stay to contribute. We will also ensure that everything is in place for our Confirmation Mass (on Sunday, 5 November): please let Pat know if you can bring a dish to share at the party after Mass; please speak to Gloria if you would like to contribute a cash donation towards the party, and please give any donations for fireworks to me! Importantly, please note that on Sunday, 5 November there will be no 10.30am Mass: Mass will be at 5pm – and family and friends are very welcome! Please continue to pray for our candidates, and those joining us on the day from St Lawrence, Little Stanmore.

This Sunday will also be the final opportunity to sign up for the Youth Group outing to LaserPlanet Watford on 11 November (£5pp).

Please find below the final newsletter from ACAT (Harrow).

With gratitude for your companionship in mission and ministry, and praying God’s abundant blessings upon you,

Fr Richard