Dear friends,

This Sunday’s Gospel reading contains the astonishing assertion that we are those whom Christ has chosen ‘to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last‘: we are those whom Christ has chosen as his friends, and to whom he has entrusted the mission of sharing with the world the Good News of God’s love. This is an awesome responsibility, and an amazing privilege – to be, in the words of St Teresa of Ávila, now the hands and feet and voice of Christ, empowered with his Holy Spirit.

This Sunday is also the final opportunity for our young people and their families to register interest in taking part in the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage this summer, 5-9 August. Additional funding is available for those for whom the suggested contribution of £100pp may be difficult; and we will be travelling with other London parishes, to join with young people from all over the country. Slightly older members of the congregation can sign up to become a “godparent” to a Pilgrimage participant, committing to pray for one another, and contributing a small subsidy to each child’s place. To learn more, pick up a flier in church.

Next week on Thursday, 9 May is the Solemnity of the Ascension (a Holy Day of Obligation): Mass will be at the usual time of 6pm, but will on this occasion be followed by sparkling refreshments – all welcome.

On Sunday next week, 12 May, immediately after Mass we will hold the parish’s Annual Meetings, to which all are welcome and encouraged to attend: there will be nomination forms in church this weekend for the election of our churchwardens and PCC members, and hard copies of the 2023 Annual Report, and the meeting Agenda, with last year’s Minutes (also attached electronically to this message).

What is the PCC?

The Parochial Church Council (or PCC) is the governing body of a parish church, and is a team made up of clergy and laypeople. Together, they are responsible for the overall wellbeing – practical as well as spiritual – of their church, the church members and the church buildings. The PCC also has a duty to promote the mission of the church in the wider community. Members have the right to be consulted, to know what is proposed and to have the opportunity to express an opinion on it.

Please prayerfully consider standing for election to our PCC: we would love for your voice to be heard.

Don’t forget our forthcoming May Devotion on Saturday, 18 May, beginning at 2.30pm at All Saints’ RC Church (531 Kenton Road, HA3 0UL), and processing to St Mary’s. Afterwards, there will be a Pentecost world foods party in the Hall: please let Pat know if you can contribute a dish – and please spread the word!

After Mass on Sunday, 19 May we will have a short, initial planning meeting for all those interested in assisting with our parish’s summer barbecue (on Saturday, 6 July).

Do also sign up in church to come to the beautiful church of All Saints, Margaret Street on Sunday, 9 June: after Choral Evensong and Benediction, the Vicar, Fr Peter Anthony, will give a short talk on the history of the church – before we are invited for a drink in the parish bar!

Finally, thank you so much for your kind donations to our Lent Appeal for WaterAid, which raised a stunning £1,089.86, and to the Friends of the Holy Land (£405). This month, we are collecting in aid of the Additional Curates Society, whom we hope will be able to support us with the cost of our pastoral assistant, Ryan, who will begin with us in September. Please take home and fill up an ACS donations box.

Herewith attached a plethora of exciting invitations to forthcoming events nearer and further afield.

May the God who loves you and calls you, strengthen you to proclaim His praise,

Fr Richard