Dear friends,

In September 2019, Pope Francis called the universal Church to celebrate the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time each year as a special “Sunday of the Word of God”, on which we might once more open ourselves to the Scriptures as a source of spiritual nourishment, by means of which more fully to live our relationship with God our Father and with our brother and sister Christians.

In our eucharistic celebration and Sunday worship, we must again encounter Christ – who is the Word of God – in a particular way through the witness of the Bible; and the Scriptures must likewise become and remain for us a daily companion, from which we draw guidance and grace. Our encounter with Christ in the Scriptures prompts us to the more confident proclamation of our faith – to a sharing with the world around us of the Good News of God’s love.

In practical terms, our own marking of this special Sunday will involve welcoming a guest preacher this weekend at the 10.30 Parish Mass: the Rev’d Canon Gary Jenkins was recently appointed as the Dean of Estates Ministry in the Diocese of Southwark, after a distinguished ministry as a parish priest in Bermondsey, Redhill, Morden and West Norwood. We look forward to welcoming Fr Gary and his wife Ruth: please make every effort to join us and them.

In preparation for the Sunday of the Word of God, why not also carefully and prayerfully read through Sunday’s readings, which are attached to this e-mail? Allow Christ the Word to speak to you through his Word, and bring these initial reflections to Mass, for further illumination by Canon Gary in his homily. In both the Vigil Mass and the Parish Mass, our intercessions will reflect the theme of this Sunday, as will a special Solemn Blessing offered at the conclusion of the liturgy.

Please likewise find attached to this message a pastoral note from me regarding our expenditure on gas and electricity; the latest edition of the Forward in Faith London newsletter, and a poster-invitation to a Quiet Afternoon in preparation for Lent. Please also note that the Kenton Group of Churches Joint Celebration this coming Sunday evening has, sadly, been postponed.

With the assurance of my prayers and best wishes,

Fr Richard