Dear friends,

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading Jesus says, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.’

The life of a seafarer is always on the move, and so often involves little rest. Life onboard a ship never stops, and times of quiet are often interrupted. Often the days are long, and seafarers are required to stand watch or be on duty through parts of the night. The daily rhythm is intense, and there are no days off at sea.

The work of the Mission to Seafarers is in many ways to try to help bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters at sea. This can happen in conversation, in prayer or in practical care. It is a ministry that involves glimpses of holy rest – in sharing a cup of instant coffee, a woolly hat, a bar of chocolate or a rosary.

This Sunday’s special collection for the Mission to Seafarers helps us play our part in giving Christ’s gifts of rest and humility and gentleness, and greeting Jesus in the faces of our brothers and sisters at sea. Please return your donations in the envelopes handed out last week, remembering to complete the Gift Aid Declaration on the front as appropriate. (There are a few spare envelopes in church.)

We ask the intercession of Mary, the Star of the Sea, for all seafarers, that she may be to them and to us a font of consolation and perseverance.

Please note that there will be no services this coming Saturday, 8 July except the 6pm Vigil Mass.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 9 July we are heading to Hampton Court – leaving as soon as possible after Mass, to travel by public transport (please bring a contactless payment card or travelcard). It is a short walk from the station to the Palace: en route, there will be the chance to buy lunch – however, please be advised that Hampton Court will likely be very busy, on account of the Flower Show – and you may therefore prefer to bring a packed lunch on the train. We will aim to arrive at the station at 2.15pm: for anyone travelling independently of the group, please meet at the main gate at 3.00pm.

This weekend will be the final opportunity to purchase tickets for the parish barbecue on Saturday, 15 July at 3pm. We also welcome offers of sides, salads and desserts.

There will be a list in church for those who wish to be prepared for Confirmation: Bishop Jonathan will be visiting us on Sunday, 5 November at 5pm. Please sign up as soon as possible: classes (for adults and young people) will begin in September.

All are welcome to attend an ALMA (Angola-London-Mozambique Association) Sunday Eucharist at St Paul’s Cathedral on 23 July at 5.30pm, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the link between Anglican churches in London and our partner dioceses. Those who wish to attend afternoon tea before the service (between 3.30-5pm at St Vedast Church EC2) should RSVP to ALMA. It is possible to sign up for the ALMA newsletter here.

Please also find attached the latest ACAT (Action by Christians against Torture) (Harrow) Prayer Case for July.

With the assurance of my prayers, and best wishes,

Fr Richard