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Baptism of the Lord

Baptism of the Lord

12 January 2014 – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord


THIS SUNDAY: It may seem strange, but this is a Christmas Feast. Not if we think of Christmas only in terms of the Baby in Bethlehem, but if we have followed the ideas of the Feasts of Holy Family and especially Epiphany, and have seen the Season in terms of the growing manifestation or appearing of the Son of God: first to the shepherds and then to the wise men from the East. Now in the River Jordan, Jesus, Son of Mary, is revealed to all as the fullness of all God’s promises: “This is my Son, the Beloved”. On this day we stand before the revelation of God’s love for us, such that he would send his only Son into the world. Christmas without the Baptism of the Lord, and the words that are spoken from heaven, would be incomplete, since it is only in them that we fully see the wonder of what happened in Bethlehem. As we come to the end of Christmas today, and look forward to hearing the Gospels in Ordinary Time, we do so having been shown who it is we listen to: the only Son of God, the Beloved. The trees come down this weekend, but the crib remains in place until February 2.


VESPERS:  Evening Prayer for this takes place at 4.00pm and followed by Benediction.


WE WELCOME to Mass this Sunday, particularly, the children who have begun their preparation for First Communion. We also welcome some of the families who celebrated the baptism of their children here at St B’s during 2013. This feast gives us chance to renew our own baptismal calling to be like Christ.


THE CHRISTMAS CRIB is situated over in the Lady Chapel and will remain in place until the fortieth day of Christmas, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas), 2 February. Do go and pay a visit during this beautiful Christmas Season. The basket next to the Crib is there to receive your traditional CRIB OFFERINGS which this year will go in support of the Christian Communities in Syria, made refugees by the ongoing conflict in their homeland. Our gifts will be sent to CAFOD to be sent out to those communities in need. The basket for the offerings will be taken away after this weekend, counted, and sent off.


200 CLUB MEMBERSHIP: Renewal is due and Collette is already sending out reminders in readiness for January. It only costs £12 per year and maybe as we ‘build for the future’, this continues to be one way of boosting our income. Have a look at the spare numbers if you fancy joining up. Each monthly Draw will take place in the Hall on the last Sunday of the month. Half the monies raised goes back into our parish funds!


ADMISSIONS – PRIMARY SCHOOL: Applications for this September’s Reception class need to be in no later than this coming Wednesday -15 January 2014 – via the local authority website. Supplementary forms need to be sent into the school no later that 1 March 2014. Make a note of the dates and don’t miss out on these places.


BISHOP’S VISITATION: The bishop is visiting this deanery over the next couple of months and comes to us on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February. Bishop Declan will celebrate both Masses over the weekend and would like to meet ‘the parish’ in our hall after Mass on Saturday evening. Whilst this is his formal visit to the parish it is, also, a great opportunity to share with him our hopes and our vision for this parish and its future. Put the note in your diaries, please. Each and every one of you is invited to come along and take part in that conversation with the bishop on Saturday 1 February around 7.00pm in the hall.


MARRIAGE CELEBRATION: This annual celebration drawing our diocese (and especially our married couples) together in celebration of the gift of marriage is taking place on Saturday 8 February at 12noon. All are welcome. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary in 2014 (silver, pearl, ruby, golden, diamond… or platinum), would you please let FrC know so that he can arrange a particular invitation? Poster in narthex.


DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO ASSISI: Bishop Declan is leading a week’s pilgrimage to Assisi, walking in the footsteps of St Francis and St Clare. The pilgrimage is set to take place from 22 – 29 September 2014 and full details of the itinerary are on the notice board. FrC has further copies and booking forms. Details are also on the diocesan website. The price is only guaranteed until the end of January, so deposits need to be in before 31 January.


MEDITATION GROUP comes together again on Thursday at about 10.15am.


ROTAS: The January and February Rotas are available from the narthex and online; make sure you collect your copy.


BAZAAR MEETING: Just to bring folk together at the start of the New Year, those looking after stalls, etc, are invited along on Tuesday 28 January at 7.30pm in the Hall just for a brief time to touch base ahead of May.


WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:  Each year, the 18-25 January is designated as a week where we pray for the unity of all Christians across our world. As part of that week of prayer, an Ecumenical Service ‘Together in Christ’ will be held on Friday 24 January hosted by the United Reformed Church, Whitchurch Village starting at 7.30pm. It will be an opportunity for us to grow in our understanding of our Christian brothers and sisters from other denominations and chance for them to deepen their understanding of us, too. Please do go along and represent St B’s at that evening of prayer. Parking behind the church.


PARISH BAZAAR JAMS AND PRESERVES:  in readiness for this coming May’s bazaar, Gordon is seeking donations of granulated sugar and clean jam jars that can be used as part of the stall.  Please leave jars and sugar in the Narthex.


NEXT SUNDAY we welcome Fr Michael from Christ the King to celebrate the evening Mass on Saturday, and Fr Kevin Mortimer who will celebrate the Sunday morning Mass for us. We give them a warm Whitchurch welcome.


SUNDAY TEA AND COFFEE: If you are not dashing off after Mass on Sunday, do go into the hall for a cup of tea or coffee… you’ll receive a warm welcome!

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