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Holy Family

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Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family – 30 December 2012

THIS SUNDAY: As an example for us to follow, the Holy Family can seem a little too perfect: when we consider the more “dramatic” events of the Christmas and Easter story, it can seem so far removed from us. And yet, as today’s Gospel reminds us there were also the so-called “hidden years” – the many years of family life in Nazareth, spent in ordinary things. During that time, we hear how Jesus grew and matured, and in the glimpse of that family life we see our example. Our celebration of this feast announces that there is a lasting value in the ideals of family life, and the relationship between husband, wife, parents and children. Whatever the changing details of each age, honour, understanding and love always remain the recipe for the perfect, and holy, human family. It is love that we put on over all the other clothes of changing cultures and places, to guarantee the life of the family in imitation of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

FLOWER COLLECTION: Thank you for your generosity and your kindness. £199.20 was raised last weekend through the collection for the Christmas flowers. It is great appreciated.

CRIB OFFERINGS this year go in support of the work of St Nick’s with the homeless and the migrant. The little basket next to the crib is for you to put your offerings in and will remain there until 13 January.

VESPERS AND BENEDICTION for the Feast of the Holy Family (this Sunday) will be celebrated at 4.00pm. Vespers for the Epiphany (next Sunday) at 4.00pm ~ 6 January.

VESPERS FOR NEW YEARS’ EVE: To end 2012 in thanksgiving and anticipate the coming New Year, there will be sung evening prayer in the Church at 6.00pm on Monday 31 December. Do come along if you can.

NEW YEAR GRAND DRAW: Those draw ticket stubs with money need to be returned to the presbytery no later than Thursday of this week if they are to be included. The Draw will take place on Saturday. If you have taken tickets away please make sure they are returned to FrC before too long. There are still some in the narthex if you have yet to pick some up. Every pound goes to support our parish… so get the remaining tickets whilst they are there. First prize: £200    Second prize: £100    Third Prize: £50    and more.

EPIPHANY LUNCH in the hall on Saturday 5 January at 12.30pm. There are some places available (limited to 40, though) and the cost of the lunch will now be £4… someone has kindly offered to pay for part of that lunch for us. If you would like to come along to this Epiphany parish celebration, pop your name on the list in the narthex to secure yourself a seat. The Draw will take place during the lunch…so you may go home with more than you came with.

YEAR OF FAITH DAY OF PRAYER: January 8 at St James’ Priory – put the date in your diary. A day of Exposition for our deanery in this Year of Faith. Each deanery hosts a time of prayer during the Year of Faith and January focuses around south Bristol deanery. The church is open all day, beautifully positioned next to the bus station, and offers us the chance to keep our gaze fixed upon Christ as we enter the New Year in prayer and reflection. It would be good if there were folk from our parish able to take part in this simple day of prayer.

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:  In this Year of Faith, the Bishop is inviting us together with friends from other churches to join him in the Cathedral on Sunday 20 January at 4.00pm. Do go along and invite your friends from the local churches to join you – this is a great opportunity for us to journey together.

CELEBRATION OF BAPTISM: On Sunday 13 January all those who were baptised here during 2012 have been invited back to Mass for the renewal of Baptismal promises. The 10.30am Mass will host these families.

FIRST COMMUNION: The first parents’ meeting takes place on Tuesday 8 January in the hall. Please make a note of the date and make sure your child is represented. The children participate in their first celebration Mass on 13 January at 10.30am where they come to celebrate the gift of new life given to them in baptism.

CONFIRMATION: The next session of preparation is on Wednesday 16 January at 5.30pm in the hall.

CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE: Once again the bishop is inviting all married couples to join him for the annual celebration of Marriage in the Cathedral on Saturday 9 February at 12.00noon. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary in 2013, please let FrC know to ensure you receive your personal invitation.

200 CLUB: Renewal notices are on their way to you around now. Please do consider renewing your membership. This next year will run from January through to December – £12 for the year with the prospect of winning the £25 monthly prize or the big prizes twice in the year. Congratulations to Colette Dawson (£200), Alura Comer (£100), and Barbara Lee (£50) – the winners in this month’s 200 Club Grand Draw.

THANK YOU to all of you who have worked so hard over the last couple of weeks to help in any way with the Christmas celebrations. It is so obvious, not just looking around the Church, but by how well each of the Masses over Christmas was celebrated that people had thrown themselves into getting everything ready. So many people have worked up front and equally behind the scenes to ensure that everything is as it should be and as we would want it to be for this great Feast and in order to welcome so many visitors, too. And there are equally so many who tirelessly give of their all each and every week…many go unnoticed and quietly get on with what they have committed themselves to do. Every contribution – no matter how small or how significant – makes such a difference to our parish. Thank you. FrC wants to also thank you for your kindness, your generosity and your thoughtfulness shown through your cards, your gifts, and your Christmas offering – thank you.

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