Posted by The Parish

24th Ordinary Sunday 13th September 2020
Orange Book Page 128

Batter my heart, three-person’d God,
for you as yet but knock,
breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand,
o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn,
and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. 


If you turn to the back of your “Breviary” you will discover a collection of spiritual poems by English “Divines”, including George Herbert, John Dunne & Lancelot Andrews. These were all Anglican Priests from those turbulent times in the early 1600’s. They formed part of a group known as the “Caroline Divines” who might have helped the otherwise ill feted King Charles 1st to restore the CofE to the Catholic Faith. John Dunne, was the son of a recusant family. In the first part of his life he had continued as a Catholic. His father died when he was just 4 and his older brother Henry died of Bubonic plague while imprisoned at Newgate for assisting a Catholic priest. Just as well he died that way. Fr William Harrington was hung drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1592. John had studied both at Oxford & Cambridge. While he had no ambitions to martyrdom, he was denied his degree for refusing to swear to the “Act of Supremacy. In 1593, in the wake of the disastrous Spanish Amada (1588) Elizabeth introduced “An Act for restraining Popish recusants”. This required everybody in the kingdom to attend worship in the CofE. This is what underlies the residual resentment of the English towards their own church. The later “Test Acts” remained in place until 1828, prohibiting anybody from entering the professions unless they were communicant Anglicans. As late as 1872 we read in Thomas Hardy “Under the Greenwood Treethat if you were a farm labourer or domestic servant you would receive your weekly wage at the door of the church, but if you were not there… 

Donne led a profligate early life until, without permission, he married his patron’s daughter. For this crime, both he and the vicar who conducted the ceremony, were briefly imprisoned. Thereafter any hope of pursuing a career was ruined. Nevertheless, having “converted” to the CofE he inveigled his way into the court of James 1st. The King declined to offer him a position but encouraged him to take “Holy Orders”. It was with reluctance that in 1615 John Donne became a priest of the CofE but very soon he enjoyed “Preferment” and found himself Dean of old St Pauls. Meanwhile his wife Anne, to whom he was devoted, died in the act of giving birth to their 12th child in 1617. Thereafter Donne devoted himself to the spiritual life. He became an outstanding preacher and a mystical poet. His sonnet Batter My Heart” was unintelligible to me at the age of 15. I remember challenging my teacher: “Surely an ordained priest should have resolved his relationship with God…?” Now aged 63, I think I understand things a little better… 

God Bless
Fr Kevin

Children’s First Holy Communion 

We are meeting in smaller groups with care for safe social distancing on Saturdays throughout September, both at St Joseph’s and OLSS. FHC celebrations are planned on a smaller scale at OLSS on Saturday 3rd October at OLSS and at St Josephs on Saturday 10th. 

This Parish Newsletter 

Recently several people have indicated that they have failed to receive the Newsletter by email. It seems, in some cases, copies are going straight to “Spam” folders. Search your Spam folder for the most recent copy and instruct your computer that this is “NOT SPAM” 

A Pilgrimage of Reparation & Prayer for the Sanctity of Life 

So many elements of ordinary life have been affected by the constraints of the virus this year not least the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham where Pilgrimage Parties have inevitably been prevented and visitors discouraged. 

On Sunday 27th September 2020 You are invited to participate in a “Virtual Pilgrimage online” 

Please follow either of the links below:


During the morning
Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
Hymn – O purest of creatures
Luminous mysteries 

12.00 noon Angelus and Holy Mass
break for lunch, private adoration online 

2.15pm Stations of the Cross 

3.00pm Divine Mercy Chaplet, Litany of Life, Benediction & Rosary (Sorrowful Mysteries) 

4.00pm Virtual’ Holy Mile Walk – SILENT
We walk with Christ and the unborn to Calvary Participants at home could join in by taking a silent ‘walk’. 

5.00pm Vespers, Prayer for England, intercessory prayers to Our Lady of the Taper (Wales), Our Lady of Lourdes in Carfin (Scotland) and Our Lady of Knock (Ireland), followed by the Salve Regina 

OLSS ‘140 Club’ September 

The winner of the September ‘140 Club’ draw is: Michael S who wins this month’s £70. The winner was drawn on Sunday 6th by Pat & witnessed by Fr K. 

Greenwich Industrial History Society 

All lectures are free: Next Lecture ONLINE October 10th Search 

CF. Facebook: Greenwich Industrial History 

Government Guidelines and the Church 

Many people are asking if the new restrictions, (proposed next week) will affect Church gatherings? We continue, subject to the existing Government Guidelines for extra services i.e. Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals. This requires that numbers do not exceed 30 people, no singing and ceremonies kept brief. For Sunday Liturgies we continue according to the current arrangements but we must observe conditions: The two churches have been mapped for safe social distancing at 2 metres. Our numbers have been quite manageable so far on this basis. Everybody must wear a mask or face shield. It is imperative that we observe the “Track & Trace” system, we have cards on entering the church that you must add your details to and a register system, this is a legal requirement. This is for everybody’s well being should there be a localised outbreak of the Virus. After each separate event we must ensure that surfaces are sanitised. Sincere thanks to all those who continue as “stewards” for your diligence. There are occasional Gov’t inspections and it is possible for churches to face closure if conditions are not complied with. 


Sincere apologies to Councillor Khan for my inaccurate comment last week. Mr Khan was concerned to clarify that he is one of THREE Councillors who act for this part of Greenwich including Cllr’s Maureen O’Mara & Aidan Smith. Together they continue to invite polite comments concerning new traffic schemes. 

Greenwich is subject to the London wide traffic proposals of the Mayor of London. The current barriers in the town centre are not intended to remain long term. Their temporary function is to provide safe social distancing for pedestrians during the ongoing effects of the virus. 

The previous plans for the town centre included various possibilities, one of these is to remove the gyratory and restore two-way flow of traffic at the beginning of Trafalgar Road without having to pass all the way around the market square. These lower roads would then be reserved for buses & public service vehicles allowing passengers awaiting and alighting in a safe space. I hope the council receives funding from TfL to make these improvements! 

A feedback link is now available on Greenwich Traffic Website. 

MASS CALENDAR FOR 13th–20th September Search Facebook: Our Ladye Star of the Sea


Saturday 12th 6.00pm at OLSS Int: Mrs M Flood (RiP) 

On Sunday 13th 10.00am at St J’s Int: Maria B (RiP) 

24th Ord Sunday 11.00am at OLSS Int: Anthony & Anna F (Renewal of Wedding Vows) 

Lilia U & Ángel M (RiP) 

Tuesday 15th 7.00pm at St Js Int: 

Wednesday 16th 9.30 at OLSS Int: Thomas T 

Thursday 17th 9.30 at OLSS Int: Faith B (OP) 

11.00am at St Js Int: Mr Castillo (Ints) 

Friday 18th 9.30am at OLSS Int: William M (WB) 

Saturday 19th 6.00pm at OLSS Int: Norman & Dawn 50th Wedding Anniversary! 

On Sunday 20th 10.00am at St J’s Int: Irene Robinson (RiP My mother’s Birthday) 

24th Ord Sunday 11.00am at OLSS Int: 

Post expires at 10:22pm on Sunday October 18th, 2020