16th Ordinary Sunday 19th July 2020
Orange Book Page 105
Off Road Wheelchairing with Kevin & Len:
So I’ve had my Dad on another wheel chair expedition through the “secret” parkland spaces that surround Enfield. Beyond “Chase Side”, ENDFIELD was the furthest part of the king’s hunting ground, across the river from Greenwich. Some of the surviving woodlands here are very old. There was a time, so it is said, when England was so densely covered by trees that it would have been possible for a squirrel to travel from Nottingham to Devon & Cornwall without ever touching the ground. I don’t know if that is actually true. Nevertheless, you begin to realise how easy it would have been for an outlaw like Robin Hood to hideout in the forest with a band of Merry Men, including the odd renegade monk, an occasional Marian and even an old guy in a wheelchair. Besides, the total population of England & Wales was less than the population of London today. Social distancing was not a problem. It was only in Henry Xlll’s time that deforestation became the reality supplying so many great oaks for the construction of a naval fleet.
Anyway, we were “offroading” on our way to the old manor house for a glass of Guiness and a full roast carvery. Now I never actually believed that there were such people, but here deep in the woods was a solitary lady with her arms wrapped around a tree. I was concerned that she may have been in distress. Not meaning to startle her, she was alarmed to see two dodgy outlaws, one in a wheelchair, emerging from the forest. She was embarrassed and made as if she was doing isometric exercises pushing against the tree. It was too late, we had caught her. I laughed and said “You’ll need a bit more energy to push that thing over”, but she set me thinking:
All these eccentric ideas people have about finding happiness by tuning in to “the rhythm of the universe”? What about “Lay Lines”, do you remember them? All across England there are said to be mysterious lines. I think they point towards Stone-Henge. A few years back we were told that if you aligned your bed with the lines across your part of suburbia you would sleep better at night and find peace! Kind of national Feng Shui. Let’s not start on crop circles and UFO’s, but what about all those other “Health Kicks”? What happened to Pomegranate Juice? (Yuk). This was the elixir to solve the problem of aging and related health issues both for women and men. Now you can’t find it on the shelves. Then there was Manuka Honey, twice the price of ordinary honey, it turns out there was a glut of the stuff a few years ago in Australia and a clever marketing stunt went viral to create that lucrative market!
As we went on our way, around the pond another woman, clad in running gear was sat looking at her phone. “Aren’t you supposed to be running?” I asked. “I’m thinking about it” she said. An hour or so later on our way back she was still “thinking about it” but she seemed content. Perhaps she had the right idea! As for me I swear by pickled (roll mop) herrings. That and one other thing: “Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you”. Mt11:28.
By all means hug a tree and point your bed towards Stonehenge, but if you are looking for love, let Christ wrap his arms around you and hold you where you are.
I shall offer Mass in the coming week with a congregation at the Following times:
Tuesday 7.00pm At St Josephs
Wednesday 12.00noon at OLSS
Thursday 12.00noon at St Josephs
Friday 12.00noon at OLSS
We will resume Mass on a limited Basis
On Saturday at 6.00pm at OLSS
On Sunday at 10.00am at St Josephs
On Sunday at 12.00noon at OLSS
We shall accommodate no more than 40 people. NB. Bring your mask & a pen. NO TOILETS available. I am grateful to Stewards & Cleaners. We shall maintain these times for the following fortnight. I shall be away 3-7th August. I expect to resume weekdays Masses at the usual time of 9.30 from week beginning Aug 10th
A letter to the clergy from Archbishop John:
Dear Brothers in Christ
Grace & peace to you in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thanks be to God, things have moved on in the life of our country and of the Church. With the possibility of opening churches for individual prayer, and the return back to celebrations of the Sacraments with congregations – albeit with restrictions still in place – the life of faith is finding, once more, a rightful expression in our parishes. We are by no means back to normal, whatever that will actually look like moving forward. We are still finding our way, and it’s important that we remain prudent and careful. The impact of Covid-19 will need to be addressed into the future.
It is, however, wonderful that we are able to celebrate the Mass again, with and for our people. Since lockdown began, I have received a great deal of correspondence from people within and outside our Archdiocese. Forceful and persistent pleas for the opening of churches and access to the Sacraments were then followed – once this became possible – with strong concerns that we were acting far too hastily and should wait. Perhaps we all have the sense sometimes that we can’t do right for doing wrong. It has been inspiring to witness the importance of people’s faith during the pandemic. I do not underestimate the challenges brought by the lockdown. For some of our people it has been truly devastating, with loss of life and serious illness for those they love.
This has certainly been a time of trial and testing, including for us too. It is important that we take time, as soon as possible, to get a break. The cumulative impact of not being able to have proper days off, or get away, all takes its toll. Please make time to look after your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Thank you for your dedicated expressions of spiritual and pastoral care during the pandemic. I know how much the efforts to live-stream and keep in touch have been appreciated. I have said it each week in my email to the clergy, but let me repeat: I am extremely grateful to each one of you, the bishops, priests, & deacons, of the Archdiocese, for the ministry you have exercised.
A letter I received from one parishioner in our Archdiocese expressed simply and beautifully the sentiments of so many more: ‘I am not given to tears but to be able to go into church and to sit with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was a very emotional moment. We have been deprived for so long. The streamed Masses have been, literally, a spiritual lifeline….These have been very strange and challenging times, especially for priests who have had to adapt to a whole new way of working. God bless them all.’ To each of you, thank you most sincerely. On 25 July I will celebrate that first anniversary of my installation as your Archbishop.
On 29 July I celebrate my silver jubilee of priestly ordination. To all the jubilarians this year, we extend our warm and affectionate congratulations. If, twentyfive years ago, someone had told me I would be keeping this anniversary as the Archbishop of Southwark I would have laughed in their face. ‘How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?’ asks the psalmist. I am slowly leaning that the answer is by doing my best to love and serve you. Thank you for your kindness over the past twelve months. There is much to be done, but it can only be done together. I hold fast to the belief that God calls some people to be priests – and bishops – because it is the only way he can save them. May His will be done in and through us, in love for Christ, for His Church, for His people, and for each other.
+ John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark
Zofia (Sophie) RiP
After some reflection with the family, Sophie’s funeral will take place privately with a graveside ceremony and burial at Eltham this Thursday 23rd at 2.00pm. At a later time, a Sung Mass will be organised when Victoria & the Grandchildren can travel from South Africa and we can welcome family and friends in greater numbers for a fitting celebration of her life.
The funeral of Andrew will be at St Joseph’s Church on Wednesday 12th August at 12.00 noon followed by Cremation & Committal at Kemnal Park at 2.00pm
Sincere thanks to those who have recently taken out Gift Aid Standing Orders or made bank transfers to either church. We have received some monies and not sure from whom? Please email Greenwich Gift Aid Coordinator – Tomas [email protected] or Gregory for St Josephs
SUNDAY SERVICES WILL ALSO CONTINUE LIVESTREAMED AT WEEKENDS
Saturday 18th OLSS 6.00pm Int: Peter D (RiP)
Sunday 19th St J’s 10.00am Int: Well Being of the People
(16th Ord Sunday)
We shall resume Mass with congregations on a limited basis from this Tuesday:
Tuesday 21st 7.00pm At St Josephs
St Mary Mag 22nd 12.00noon at OLSS Int: Grace D (BD)
St Bridget 23rd 12.00noon at St Josephs Int Anthony O (BD)
Friday 24th 12.00noon at OLSS
Saturday 25th 6.00pm at OLSS Int John M (WB)
On Sunday 26th 10.00am at St Josephs Int: Well Being of the People
On Sunday 26th 12.00noon at OLSS Int: Fr John Lavery (RiP)
Midday School Supervisor Required For St Ursula’s School from September
Details on the Website: www.stursulas.com
Post expires at 7:42pm on Saturday August 22nd, 2020