PARISH NOTICES for the week beginning
10th/11th April 2021 - 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B
Doubting Thomas becomes 'Confessing Thomas'

I wonder would it be right to suggest that after Judas who betrayed Jesus, Thomas is perhaps the least liked apostle and follower of Jesus. After all, he had been with Jesus for three years during his public ministry. He heard Jesus speak and teach. He had seen and experienced some of Jesus’ most powerful miracles. He had prayed and eaten with Jesus on numerous occasions. And yet, Thomas still doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. I do feel sorry for him. He is forever known as the one who would not or could not believe. He wanted and needed concrete evidence that Jesus had indeed risen and was alive.

After his resurrection, Jesus continues to appear to his friends and followers. Through appearing to the men and women who were his friends and followers, he encourages and strengthens them; he calms their fears. When he appears to them, he says, ‘Peace be with you, do not be afraid’. Thomas is not with them when Jesus appears. The others tell him that Jesus had appeared to them and spoke to them. But he does not believe, and he is not convinced and so ‘Doubting Thomas’ is born. I think we have to be careful about over criticising Thomas for his apparent lack of faith. Perhaps we should admire and applaud him for his honesty and conviction. He is honest with himself and others. He desperately wants to meet and experience the risen Jesus for himself.

He is not the only one who doubted that Jesus had risen. When Mary Magdalene told the others that she had met the Risen Lord, none of them believed her. In fact, most if not all the followers of Jesus doubted.

When Jesus does appear again, he asks Thomas to touch and put his finger into his wounds. Then he can have the proof he needs to believe. But the gospel doesn’t say that Thomas did this. Instead, it tells us that he cried out loudly, ‘My Lord and my God.’ This is the prayer of someone who believes, not someone who doubts.

None of us go through life without struggles and doubts. There are times when we are at our weakest, whether physically, emotionally our spirituality. Difficult as it can be, we have to believe and trust that Jesus is with us just as was with Thomas. Jesus is always with us, especially when we feel we are most alone and doubting. When we are struggling to believe, it can help to realise that we are not in control and neither are we on our own. It can be a time of growth for us as we reach out and ask God to help us with our doubts and whatever we are struggling with.

When have these doubts, may we have the faith and courage of Thomas. Like him, may we say with courage and conviction, ‘My Lord and my God.’

In these challenging times of living with Covid-19 and its effects, the Easter light shines undimmed. May we all live in the Light of Christ and reflect his light in our care of one another.

 Alleluia! Christ is risen.

 He is risen indeed. Alleluia

 

 READINGS

1st:  Acts 4:32-35 The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul

Psalm 117 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end

2nd:  1 John 5:1-6    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has already overcome the world

Gospel: John 20:19-31 Eight days later, Jesus came again and stood among them

Fr. Liam writes:

‘I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation and thanks for the kindness you have shown to me during this special time of Easter. Your cards, notes, letters and gifts have been so kind and generous, yet let me assure you that, your prayers are most highly valued and needed.  You are a truly remarkable community.  You have taught me so much about what it means to be a vibrant and generous church community.

I wish you plenty of Resurrection Greetings!

As we move into this Easter Season, I wanted to be sure to reach out to you during this challenging time for so many.

While many of us are physically back at church, I realise some have chosen to stay away for a while longer. Please know that we certainly understand the desire to stay safe as we continue to go through this unprecedented pandemic.  It’s a different day ‘for now’, but how I long for the day when our church will be full again; community singing, and children laughing (and crying)!  How I long for the children’s Sunday school to be up and running, and families meeting in the parish centre for tea/coffee and a chat.

God bless you all,

Father Liam

 

MASS INTENTIONS FOR THIS WEEK

 

MASS TIMES Mass is celebrated every day at 10am (Monday to Friday). Weekend Masses are the Sunday Liturgy. Masses for Sunday Liturgy are Saturday 10am & 6pm; Sunday 10am, 12pm & 6pm. For weekend Masses you will need to sign in via the website.

ZOOM is now live from 9.35am to 11am every day, for Mass at 10am. This means you can connect for Mass every weekday. The services go live on YouTube around 10 minutes before Mass starts

EASTER COLLECTION As many of you know, The Easter Collection is traditionally taken for our Priest and this (along with Christmas) is the main part of his income. All collections over the Easter weekend (including all contactless donations) will be transferred directly to Fr Liam. In addition, you are very welcome to use the Gift Aid envelopes to donate. You will find these on your exit from Mass outside the offices. Or indeed you can donate directly to Fr Liam’s bank account:

Liam Cummins
Sort code: 09-01-26 
Account no.: 80496271

FACE COVERINGS DURING MASS It is most important that if you do come to the church for Mass, you wear a face covering (mask or face shield). Scarves are not sufficient, and masks and face shields must cover the nose. Up to now, loose face coverings have been allowed but we need to be stricter in order to keep this virus at bay. We ask that people who, for one reason or another, are exempt from wearing, or will not wear a face-covering, to consider participating with Mass online via Zoom or YouTube. Please understand that while we do not wish to exclude anyone from Mass, we must endeavour to comply with all regulations in place to keep everyone protected.

ST EDMUND CAMPION VIRTUAL PILGRIMAGE - 28th March to 30th April 2021

We are doing really well with our virtual pilgrimage and have had over 20 people reporting the miles they have walked. We have passed through Oxford, Birmingham, Stoke on Trent and Chester to Dublin, back to London. On through Canterbury, we’ve crossed the Channel to Calais, reaching our destination at Douai. We are now on our way to Rome with under 300 miles to go, having passed Reims and Strasbourg, Basel and Milan. This is 1566 miles in total, so nearly half way. Check our progress and how to contribute to the Lenten project on the website and keep on walking!

Please remember that you can donate even if you aren’t walking, this is our Lenten Project in aid of MISSIO and WORK. Donations can be made by transfer into a dedicated Parish Bank Account:

St Edmund Campion Cen
Sort code: 30-93-04 
Account no.: 01786378

or to the parish office by cheque or cash in an envelope marked Pilgrimage. 

SUPPORT FOR PARISHIONERS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC A number of parishioners are offering support to other parishioners who are vulnerable or self-isolating. If you or a friend or relative would welcome a phone call, a bit of shopping, want the newsletter dropping through your letterbox etc. please phone the parish 01628 628274 or contact Father Liam on 07776 580596. Your request will be passed to a trusted parishioner who will contact you to discuss your request. It would be helpful if those parishioners who have contact with others who are not able to access the newsletter online could alert them to this item. Thank you.

SHIELDING” for those in our community who continue to join at the Eucharist via Zoom or 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.

FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION

It is greatly appreciated that many of you transferred your ‘church offering’ from cash to direct debit and standing order over the last number of months. Our parish has had its financial income greatly reduced and this has impacted on our church activities, donations to various charities and parish maintenance. From September 1st, there will be an Offertory Collection Basket at the church entrance and exit each day if you wish to make a very welcome donation. There is also a contactless “tap to donate” machine, where you can contribute to the weekly collection.

NB: It would be helpful for the parish if the vast majority of our Weekly Collection could be done via Direct Debit / Standing Order. I ask that you reflect and, if possible, switch your donation from cash to bank. This would be invaluable and would give the Parish Council and Finance Committee more solidity in planning for the months/years ahead. At present, we are a vastly cash—giving parish, and with the dramatic decrease, it is very hard to plan and donate to those most vulnerable and in need, as well as care for our parish community..

Account name: St. Edmund Campion Maidenhead

Sort code: 30-93-04

Account number: 00882551

TODDLERS GROUP Good News! From 29th March, parent and child groups can take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under five-years-old don't count towards the attendee limit) so we will be running the St. Edmund Campion Toddler Group after the Easter holidays.

The first session will be on Friday 23rd April. Weather depending, we are planning on going to various parks within walking distance from the Parish Centre. It's free and will run from 9.30am to 11am. Please book with Jenny on jennyoliver51@hotmail.com by Thursday 22nd April. For our first session we will be meeting at the playground at Boyne Grove Park (SL6 6JD). We can't wait to see you all, Jenny.

APPOINTMENTS If you wish to speak to Fr Liam in confidence on any matter, please contact him by phone or e-mail

HOUSEBOUND If you know of anyone who is sick and/or housebound, please let Sarah (Parish Office) or Fr Liam know.

School News

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 get your card stamped. For information on the current Admissions Policy see the school's website, www.st-edmund.org.uk.

Please be aware that attendance cards are available and must be stamped to record attendance on days when Mass allows attendance in-person.

SIF FORMS Please contact Fr Liam directly if you need a SIF form signed.