SECONDARY SCHOOL TRANSFER
If your child is due to start at secondary school next September, the schools will be holding open days/evenings in the next couple of weeks. Please keep an eye on their websites for details of dates and times.

Fr David will be available to sign school forms on Saturday 16th October from 5pm to 6.30pm. There is no need to sign up, but please do come at this time with all your forms ready to be signed. Most Catholic schools will not need a CCP, but some may still be using it so please check the information on the schools’ websites carefully. He will also be able to sign for other schools which require a priest’s reference.

FR DAVID WRITES
It has been lovely these past few weeks to see many people and activities returning to the parish after such a long and difficult time. Today, we are pleased to have church music back at the 10am and 11.15am Masses. Thank you to readers, singers, musicians, church cleaners and many others who are beginning their roles and ministries once again in the parish this week. We are all very grateful. Last week, many young people returned to school and studies, and this week the Confirmation programme will begin. Please pray for all the people of the parish as we move into a new term and phase of new life! Please also pray for the seminarians of our diocese as I meet together with them and the Cardinal on Thursday at Allen Hall Seminary. Please continue to pray for vocations. God bless you all.

FR DAVID WRITES
Welcome to the autumn term, and a warm welcome back to all children, young people, teachers, governors and staff in our schools as we begin this new academic year. I also send lots of good wishes and prayers to young people who are beginning or returning to their courses at university and college, or other training. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit at this time of new beginnings for every blessing, strength and protection, hopeful of all the wonderful opportunities and experiences that lie ahead of us! Monday is the beginning of the altered schedule at church. This means next weekend will be the first weekend for the changed times for Sunday (please take note). Please also note that from next Saturday, Confessions will change from 2pm to 3pm. Today is the last day for registration for First Holy Communion. I have already extended this registration period by seven weeks, given the complicated circumstances. However, this is the final opportunity so please sign up today if you haven’t done so already. The numbers are pretty much full so there will be no further opportunity or extension. Have a wonderful week and a great term.

FR DAVID WRITES
As the new term approaches, we have lots to think about and much to do. This October will see the diocesan phase for the future Synod of Bishops on Communion, Participation and Mission (2023). We are waiting to hear from the Cardinal about how our diocese will be involved. We are also thinking about participation and mission in ourselves. As you know only too well, many of our activities were suspended and are now opening up again. We are all thinking and praying about how to restart and renew possibilities for in our own area. I invite everyone to pray about this! If you are part of a group or ministry in the parish, how might its mission be restarted and renewed in such a way to reach out to the post-pandemic situation we find ourselves in? These challenging questions might sound daunting. However, it is the Holy Spirit who brings life and change to the Church, and who inspires new opportunities in ways we humans could never really plan or imagine. Inviting the Holy Spirit is the first and most important moment in this journey which we make together.  

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FR DAVID WRITES
I hope that everyone is having a pleasant summer and possibly the opportunity for some time away or other relaxation. It is was lovely to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption with you all last weekend. August is the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and our devotions to the holy Mother of God continue as ever.

Thank you to the members of both our choirs who are putting plans in place to begin church music at Sunday Masses on 12th September. We are also working on the new Mass times (thank you to everyone who wrote to me), and the corresponding rota for readers. I am keen for other rotas to be recommenced where necessary. If you are interested in serving tea and coffee on a Sunday after the two sung Masses, please speak to me this weekend. If you are responsible for other rotas or activities that haven’t taken place since the pandemic, and would like to recommence, please also speak to me.

During Mass on Wednesday we said thank you and goodbye to Brian Moran who is moving to Frinton-on-Sea. Brian has been a wonderful and cheerful volunteer, helping with the sacristy and serving at Mass for many years, including all my four years here. We will miss him but send him off with many good wishes for his new life by the seaside!

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THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
This weekend we celebrate the joyful solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven. Today the preface to the Eucharistic Prayer wonderfully reflects the meaning of this feast. At the end of her earthly life, Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven to enjoy the first fruits of her Son’s victory over sin and death. At the same time, she shines forth upon the earth as a sign of hope and comfort to God’s pilgrim people on their own journey towards the fullness of life in heaven. Thus, in the Assumption of Mary we see a beautiful sign of our own future becoming clear. Happy feast day to you all!

ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Next Sunday, 15th August, is the Feast Day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

COMMUNION 2021/22 REGISTRATION
If you wish your child to make his/her First Communion next year, please sign the sheet in the church porch.  You have until Sunday 5th September to sign up.  Please make a note of the date of the first session on 30th November.  Please clearly provide your email address.

TEST AND TRACE EMAIL:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.—every time you come to Mass.

COMMUNION 2021/22 REGISTRATION
If you wish your child to make his/her First Communion next year, please sign the sheet in the church porch.  You have until Sunday 5th September to sign up.  Please make a note of the date of the first session on 30th November.  Please clearly provide your email address.

TEST AND TRACE EMAIL:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.—every time you come to Mass.

COMMUNION 2021/22 REGISTRATION
If you wish your child to make his/her First Communion next year, please sign the sheet in the church porch.  You have until Sunday 5th September to sign up.  Please make a note of the date of the first session on 30th November.  Please clearly provide your email address.

APOSTLESHIP OF THE SEA
Thank you all very much for your kind donations last weekend, which amounted to £338.87.  Envelopes are available at the back of the church if you would still like to make a donation, and you can look at the work of the AotS online at www.stellamaris.org.uk/SeaSunday

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FR DAVID WRITES
Welcome to Fr Samuel Homiah who is helping us during the month of July. As I will be away this week and next, Fr Johnson and Fr Samuel will be responsible for the day to day running of the parish, together with the parish office. We had a lovely school Mass on Thursday for children, staff and parents of Year 6. We wish them all well in their new schools in September. However, wherever we might go to school, we are all part of the parish family of Our Lady of Lourdes. I look forward to seeing lots of children, parents and families back in September. Have a lovely summer and I will see you all again at the start of August.

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FR DAVID WRITES
We now know that many restrictions are coming to an end on July 19th. We are awaiting some further guidance from the diocese about what this will mean for life in the parish. As it is almost the start of the summer holidays, and to avoid confusion when many people will be coming and going, it seems sensible to hold off beginning the new schedule here until September. In terms of the liturgy, we will also wait for September for the return of church music at Masses, when we will also create new rotas for readers, Eucharistic Ministers, counters etc. We will let you know what other restrictions and procedures can be lifted at church as soon as we hear. Thank for your patience and cooperation throughout this time.