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Fourth Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent

16 March 2015 – Laetare Sunday

THIS SUNDAY: There were two remarkable moments in the story of the Old Testament where God saved his people; one was in the escape from Egypt – we’ll keep that for the Easter Vigil. The other was the end of their second exile, this time in Babylon, which we hear of today. Of course there was an even greater moment when God saved his people: the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God – and we hear Jesus tell Nicodemus about that today. So today’s theme is “salvation”: but to understand “being saved”, we must ask “What from?” Saved from slavery, from exile, from human enemies – these are all clear. But the last and greatest salvation brought by Jesus is harder to understand: saved from sin and death. These threaten us as much as any other enemy, and our salvation in Jesus is as real as any other.


MASS THIS WEEK: As we celebrate the feast of St Patrick this week and the great Solemnity of St Joseph, Mass during the week will be celebrated in the Church rather than in the hall.


FIRST COMMUNION: We need to keep these youngsters in our prayers. They celebrate the gift of the Eucharist on Saturday May 16 (12 noon). Parents are coming along to the Church on Thursday 26 March at 7pm.


LECTIO DIVINA: How about deepening your prayer this Lent? Lectio Divina is a simple, prayerful way of reading the scriptures and allowing ourselves to be attentive to his Word in the lives we lead. Two opportunities each week of Lent: a Tuesday morning or a Thursday evening. See notice on the board for dates.


MEDITATION GROUP: The meditation group meets in the Parish Hall each Thursday after Mass from about 10.15am – 11.15am. Do come and joy them.


PROCLAIM’15 is an initiative of the Bishops’ Conference to enable parish communities explore what it means to be a missionary parish caught up in evangelisation. Our parish is invited to take part in the three small group sessions, one of which takes place on Monday 23 March at 7pm in the hall. The following two sessions take place during Easter-time. Look at for more details. Please take one or two of the prayer cards that are handed out this week. Keep that intention with you during this Lent. Hand the card onto someone else, too.


GATHERING OF READERS: Those readers who will be asked to read during Holy Week are invited to come together in preparation and prayer on Wednesday 25 March at 7pm in the hall. Just make a note of the date. Readers will also find the series of Readers’ notes for Lent in the Narthex.


NEW HYMN BOOKS: Its good to see the little envelopes being returned already! Thank you. If you would like to sponsor a hymn book, they cost £5 each. You will find envelopes for your donation as well as a slip for you to give a particular book in memory of someone or as a gift from your family. All you need do is pop the ‘inscription’ to be placed in the hymnbook in the envelope with your £5 for each copy you want to donate… don’t feel you have to limit yourself to ‘gifting’ one! We have 150! Ten volumes of the full music editions have been gifted to the parish so we just have to look after the pew copies. You can see a copy which has been left on the organ this weekend. Leave your envelope with FrC or pop it into the presbytery letterbox – make sure the slip is in the envelope, too.


MENDIP MALE VOICE CHOIR are making a return visit to St B’s and are being joined by ‘Vox in Frox’ on Friday 15 May. Now is the time to pop the date in your diary. Tickets (£10) are available from this weekend. You will find folk in the narthex happily selling tickets for this event. Please do support it.


ECUMENICAL LENT LUNCHES at our sister Christian churches to raise awareness and to support the hungry peoples of the world.  Lunches will be held on Sat 21 March at St Nicholas Church; and on Mon 23 March at Counterslip Baptist Church, Wells Road.  All the lunches commence at 12 noon and all are welcome.  See notice board for details. Don’t forget our Palm Sunday Soup Lunch in our hall from 12noon. All proceeds from Palm Sunday lunch go to our Outreach Projects.


SYNOD ON THE FAMILY… AND MARRIAGE: There are some copies of the consultation and reflection document ahead of this autumn’s Synod of Bishops on the Family. If you are ‘online’, look up the document on the diocesan website. If you are not online, pick up one of the sheets from the narthex. They need to be in by Pentecost.


FLOWERS FOR EASTER COLLECTION: The flower ladies will be collecting for the Easter Season and beyond next Sunday 22 March. You are always kind to them; please be generous in your help for Easter.


HOLY WEEK TIMETABLE: Simple cards detailing the events of Holy Week are available for you to take from this weekend. Please don’t just take one for yourselves; take a couple to hand on to others. This is a great ministry of attracting and encouraging others to enter into the prayerfulness of Holy Week. You’ll also be able to find the schedule for Holy Week online.


OUR DIOCESAN DIACONAL STUDENTS are here with us next Saturday for their day’s formation.


SCHOOL STATIONS OF THE CROSS: This beautiful meditation and reflection looked after by Year 5 takes place on Tuesday 24 March at 10.30am here in the Church. This is such a beautiful reflection; do come and let the children lead us in prayer.

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