St Leonard of Noblac lived, in the sixth century, as a hermit in the forest of Limousin (in France), following his conversion to Christianity in 496 alongside the Frankish King Clovis I, and other members of the royal court. He campaigned for the rights and release of prisoners, and – at his intercession – captives saw their chains miraculously break before their eyes. His cult soon spread to England, where no fewer than 177 churches are dedicated to God in his honour. One of these stood on the site of our own beloved parish church, before St Mary’s was built in 1936: indeed, from 1927 the people of Kenton worshipped in the mission district and mission church of St Leonard – and a photograph of the mission church is still proudly displayed in St Leonard’s Chapel, in the north transept of our present-day building. Each year around St Leonard’s Day (6 November) we give thanks for the faithfulness of generations past, and recall with gratitude the work and witness offered in Kenton in the mission district of St Leonard.
This year, our celebrations on Sunday will be extra-special: Bishop Jonathan will be visiting us, to celebrate Mass and to administer Confirmation to seven of our own candidates, plus five more from the parish of Little Stanmore. Please pray for Bishop Jonathan, and for our candidates: Akeelah and Simon, Bright and Sparkle, Carmin, Hasmik and Hovan.
Note that there will be no 10.30am Mass this Sunday: the Confirmation Mass will be at 5pm. All are welcome, including your family and friends: if you can bring something to share at the party afterwards, please let us know. The evening will include a fireworks display, and promises to be a splendid occasion! (If you can assist setting up the Hall for the party, please come for 2pm on the day.)
On Saturday evening, the 6pm Vigil Mass will be celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, to accommodate the Stanmore Choral Society concert at 7pm: tickets for this are available from wegottickets.com, or on the door. There will be no public Evening Prayer or Confessions on Saturday (and no public Morning Prayer on Sunday).
The PCC will meet next week on Thursday, 9 November (after the 6pm Mass); and those coming on the Youth Group outing to LaserPlanet Watford on Saturday, 11 November should gather at Kenton Station at 12.45pm.
Please make sure you also have the date of our Christmas Fair (Saturday, 25 November) in your diaries now! We are also looking for volunteers to assist with the Christmas Workshop for Kenmore Park School, in church on Friday, 8 December – when, through crafts, activities and storytelling, we will share the Good News of Christ’s birth with some of the young people of our local community: please see me if you can help.
Our Statistics for Mission return to the Church of England shows an increase in Mass attendance of over one-third on the same period in 2022: thank you for your faithfulness, keep up the good work, and to God be the glory!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people; and kindle in them the fire of your love!