Dear friends,

Modern life seems sometimes characterised by busyness! But, in this Sunday’s second reading, from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we are counselled – amidst this busyness – not to worry, but to pray and to open our hearts to God’s peace. The apostle further encourages us to be high-minded as well as open-hearted – always to keep in view the dignity which we ourselves and those around us enjoy, as God’s children, and to keep in mind also the nobility of our vocation, called to grow more and more, day by day, into the likeness of God. St Paul says that we should ‘fill [our] minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure…’ – in other words, to look up from what is worldly, what is base and what is passing, and instead to fix our hearts and minds on what is of heavenly worth and origin – which we do above all when we give priority to prayer. The world, with all its distractions, may pull us to pieces; but God bestows a peacewhich heals and makes us whole.

Notwithstanding this peace, yet we are also very busy at St Mary’s! Thank you for your Harvest Festival donations for the Harrow Food Bank: if anyone has anything else to contribute, please bring your gifts to church this coming weekend. Thank you also for your support for our recent Macmillan Coffee Morning, which raised an amazing £615!

Peter Coe turns 80 this week – and kindly invites the congregation to join him after Mass this coming Sunday, for celebratory refreshments in the Hall: happy birthday, Peter!

We also congratulate Pat on the safe arrival of her first grandchild, and pray for the whole family and for baby Amelia.

After comparison of diaries, the new suggested date for the next Youth Group outing (to Laser Planet, Watford) is Saturday, 11 November: please sign up in church to secure a (heavily subsidised!) place.

With our commemoration of the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day (Thursday, 2 November) approaching, please add to the list in church the names of those you would like to be remembered: please PRINT these names clearly, and please indicate at which Mass (9.30am or 6pm) you would like them remembered – which is also your commitment to turn up and pray at that time as well!

Please note that there will be no public Morning Prayer next week on Tuesday, 10 October; and please find attached the latest monthly prayer case from Action by Christians against Torture (Harrow).

With my prayers for God’s peace in your hearts, minds and lives,

Fr Richard