The New Year in the Church begins with the season of Advent — a time to help us prepare for Christmas, when we celebrate the fulfilment of our longing for the Saviour with the birth of Jesus.
It’s the season that lasts about four weeks, beginning four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. The Church’s Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve and lasts for twelve days.
So, Advent is a season of anticipation that leads up to Christmas.
During this time, we observe a season of prayer, and reflection — followed by anticipation, hope and joy. Each Sunday during Advent we light a candle on the Advent wreath.
The Advent wreath contains five candles. Three of the candles are purple, one is pink/rose and the central one is white. The symbolic meanings of the candles can vary but they are often:
COLOURS OF ADVENT
These three principal colours of Advent are packed with rich meaning.
As we begin this new liturgical year, it is good that we reflect of why we meet as a Community.
In our communities of St. Joseph’s, St. Elizabeth’s and St. Edmund Campion, Jesus Christ meets our five deepest needs:
That is why our Churches in Maidenhead exists.
Today we pray in the Eucharist: come, Lord, show yourself; be visible among us.
1st Jeremiah 33:14-16. Glorious vision of the Son of Man
Psalm (24). Response: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul
2nd 1 Thessalonians 3:12–4:2. May you be blameless when our Lord Jesus comes again
Gospel Luke 21: 25-36. That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap
May their souls, and the souls of all the departed, rest in peace.
FIRST FRIDAY From the First Friday of January, we will have a ‘Mass of Healing’ in our community. There will be just one Mass celebrated that day in our community of Maidenhead.
The First Friday of the month is traditionally a time when a priest visits a home to anoint anyone who is house bound, with holy oil, and to administer the sacrament of Holy Communion. The parish has several people on this list. If you, or someone you know would like a visit from a priest, then please contact Fr. Liam or Fr. Ephraim.
FACE COVERINGS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING It is encouraged, from a moral and respectful point of view, to continue wearing face masks during Public Worship. This indeed, is not a legal requirement, and several our parishioners have exemption from wearing masks.
If you wish to continue adhering to social distancing in the Church, then please arrive at least 10 minutes before Mass, and a section in the church will be reserved for you. Please, please respect the distancing in this area so that people can worship in peace and comfort. If you do not arrive before the Mass starts it will not be possible to guarantee a place in this area.
RED BOXES We are emptying the red Missio boxes again. Please can you bring your box to Mass and give it to either Louise Jennings or Barbara McWalter at 11.15 Mass, or to the serving priest at other Masses. Otherwise during the week hand it to Sarah in the office. Also there are a number of Missio calendars in the church porch. Please help yourself if you would like one. Many thanks in anticipation of your generosity.
We know how loved the Red Box is, and we want as many people as possible to have one in their home. However, we're also conscious that people are using less cash these days. Our simple app for mobile phones and tablets keeps the familiarity of the iconic Red Box.
The app shows how your support is making a difference, and offers various ways for you to pray with and for missionaries, as well as making donating easy.
You can download it from Apple and Google Play stores
MASS VIA YOUTUBE Mass is streamed live on Wednesday (9.30am) and Sunday (11.15am). To join, just click on the YouTube icon on the parish website shortly before Mass starts.
SVP CHRISTMAS SUDAN APPEAL 2021 – SMARTIES!!!! After Mass next weekend, 4th and 5th December, the St Vincent De Paul Society members will be handing out specially labelled Smarties tubes. Once all the smarties have been eaten (yum!) we invite you to fill these tubes with coins or notes, and return the tubes during the Masses of the weekend of 8th and 9th January 2022. If you prefer, you can collect an envelope instead of a Smarties Tube and place donations in that. Everything donated will be sent to SVP Twinnage to enable the SVP to continue its sorely needed work in the area. The SVP in Sudan and South Sudan are desperate for our support. So please, take a tube (maximum two tubes per family) or an envelope and give what you can. Thank you so much for your attention.
CHRISTMAS STARS Once again we will be doing our Christmas Stars. Despite the pandemic last year, there were 40 stars, all hand-made, and £415 was raised. This year there will be stars ready in the porch, or you can make your own. For those unfamiliar with this, the idea is that, instead of sending Christmas cards to all your friends in the parish, you just write a message on a star or a Christmas card and decorate it if you wish. It will then be displayed in the Church for all to see. Hopefully we can have another wonderful display. Think of the money you have saved on cards and stamps, and time and effort writing and delivering them, and give a donation to charity. There will be a box for your donation in the porch , or you can give it to Barbara McWalter at 11.15 Mass or to Sarah in the office. The charity this year will again be Fr Liam’s charity W.O.R.K. (Widows and Orphans of Rural Kenya https://www.work-kenya.org ) . Thank you in advance for your usual generosity for this very worthy cause.
ST ANDREWS FEAST DAY November 30th the Church celebrates the feast of St. Andrew, patron of Scotland. St Andrew has been celebrated in Scotland for over a thousand years, with feasts being held in his honour as far back as the year 1000 AD. However, it wasn’t until 1320, when Scotland’s independence was declared with the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath, that he officially became Scotland’s patron saint. On this day we ask God’s blessing upon our Andrews/Andreas etc and our parishioners with a Scottish connection!
ST EDMUND CAMPION FEAST DAY December 1st sees the 51st year that Edmund Campion was pronounced a Saint in the Catholic Church and the 440th year since his execution at Tyburn (Marble Arch). He is the patron of our church and Mass will be celebrated at 9.30am on Wednesday 1st December.
“SHIELDING” for those in our community who continue to join at the Eucharist via YouTube on a regular basis, but for one reason or another, cannot physically come to the Church, and would like to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, please let Fr. Liam or the parish office know. Fr. Liam will bring the Holy Sacrament to you whilst adhering to social distancing and a safe environment.
LOVE CHRISTMAS Christmas is a season for kindness, a time to offer a fresh message of hope. As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, many people continue to live isolated from friends, family, and community; often struggling with financial distress, poor health, job uncertainty and bereavement. Love Christmas brings change by drawing people together to share Bags of Kindness. It strengthens personal connections in communities across the UK and lets people know they are not alone. Love Christmas is a national initiative, growing through a network of thousands of churches and other local organisations, connecting people of all faiths and none.
We are delighted to announce that as our project for Advent, St Edmund Campion will be part of the Love Christmas campaign. We are hoping that you would like to support this by sponsoring a Bag of Kindness (£10/12), you can nominate a recipient, or any and all donations will be welcomed. Collections after Mass will start the week of the 27/28th November, or you can make a transfer to our Parish fundraising Account:
The final day for any donations will be Sunday 12th, or you can donate directly here: https://www.loveyourneighbour.uk/donate
SEMINAR Saturday 27th November. A wonderful presentation given by Fr. Kevin Hughes and Dr. Judith Thomas on the book of Pope Francis, ‘Let Us Dream’ and a vision for the Post-Covid Church. Beginning with Mass at 10am and finishing at 3pm.
CAROL SERVICE For the Carol Service on Christmas Eve, which precedes the 10pm Vigil (Midnight) Mass, we are looking for 5 people who would like to propose a personal choice of a traditional carol and be prepared to share their memories from the lectern as to why this carol holds a special meaning for them.
The reflection needs to be no more than 3 minutes.
Please speak to Paula Thomas or email her on: email@example.com by December 6th please.
We have now completed the eco-church survey based on what our parish community and its ministries are doing currently. This covers how we express our care for God’s world in our worship and teaching; how we look after our buildings and land; how we engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and supporting our congregation to find ways to adapt their lifestyles to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully.
There are a number of areas where we can make substantial steps forward which would result in improvements to the environment and our own wellbeing. We would like to get a few projects up and running and are now looking for volunteers to join the team and take a lead on these:
Please contact Sarah Bowden (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more or express your interest in joining the team.
ST VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY Please call Hilda on 07749 917134 for further details. Our next meeting is on 6th December at 7:30pm in the Parish Centre - everyone is welcome.
PARISH COLLECTION Please continue to support your parish, its activities and outreach programmes by contributing to the weekly collection via the 'baskets' and/or Contactless. It is very positive that a lot of our parishioners, over the course of the pandemic, switched their contribution from cash to Bank Transfer.
NB: If you want to set up a direct debit or standing order (or even make a one-off donation) the account details are:
Account name: St. Edmund Campion Maidenhead
Sort code: 30-93-04
Account number: 00882551
WEDNESDAY BRIDGE CLUB If the numbers are sufficient, we will start the Bridge Club on Wednesday 1st December after the 9.30am Mass. All past bridge players and parishioners who would like to learn the game are invited.
COX GREEN LUNCHEON CLUB The Luncheon club was started by three churches in Maidenhead over 30 yrs ago. (The Good Shepherd, All Saints and St Edmund Campion).
Lunch is held in the Cox Green community Centre serving the community.
During the year there is also entertainment on special occasions and a special Christmas lunch prior to a break. The luncheon club is run by Ruby Doughty and her volunteers for 43 weeks of the year on a Tuesday. We need volunteers, you can choose when you could help and be part of a team. For more information contact Ruby Doughty on 01628630703 or email@example.com.
YOGA CLASSES continue on Tuesdays at 12 noon in the parish centre. Classes are free but if possible, a donation for charity will be appreciated. Come to all the classes, come to some, come to one class... you’ll be welcome!
Note: The last class of the year will be on Tuesday 14th December.
Yoga mats will be available. Bring your own if you have one, mat cleaning sparay and wipes will be available. It will be helpful if you can let Rachel know if you plan to come. Or just come on the day! Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org or the parish office.
MOTHERS' PRAYER GROUP is held in the Church every Friday, from 8:50am to 9:45am and, if you can stay on for Mass at 10am with tea/coffee and chat afterwards!
Meetings begin with a relaxed welcome and greeting. Prayer follows, primarily for our children, God-children, children of the parish and children of Maidenhead. The peace it brings is tangible.
TODDLERS GROUP Calling All Parents with preschool babies & children! Toddler Group is back in the Parish Center from 8:45 to 10:45am on Fridays. Contact Jenny on email@example.com for more information.
LIBRARY We have a parish library located in the foyer of the Parish Centre. One bookcase is dedicated to Theology/Religious books, another bookcase to Fiction/Non-Fiction and a third smaller bookcase to children's Bibles/Bible stories etc. Please feel free to borrow/swap.
If you would like to donate, we can only accept books that are in excellent and clean condition. Thank you and enjoy.
FOODSHARE We are a collection point for Foodshare. Our collection area is just inside the porch doors, but if you leave food outside, out of hours (in a bag or other covering) the building is regularly checked. Foodshare are currently really in need of tinned vegetables and tinned meat, amongst all the regular donations.
APPOINTMENTS If you wish to speak to Fr Liam or Fr Ephraim in confidence on any matter, please contact either one for an appointment. They are happy to visit your home if so desired, adhering to social distancing guidelines.
HOUSEBOUND If you know of anyone who is sick and/or housebound, please let Sarah (Parish Office), Fr Liam or Fr Ephraim know.
ADMISSION INTO ST EDMUND CAMPION SCHOOL AND NURSERY is based on Mass attendance for some categories. In our parish, we have an attendance card available from the table in the church lobby. Every time you come to Sunday Mass please get your card stamped. For information on the current Admissions Policy see the school's website, www.st-edmund.org.uk.
S.I.F. FORMS FOR SCHOOL APPLICATIONS Fr Liam will be available on Wednesday 17th of November to sign Supplementary Information Forms for School Applications. He will be available from 8am to 11am and 3pm to 5pm. More dates will be given in the next newsletter.