Extended restrictions

Extended restrictions

The British and Scottish governments decided on Thursday 16th April to extend the current lockdown for at least another 3 weeks. This will have repercussions in our lives in many ways and aspects. One of them is our inability to gather in our churches to celebrate the Eucharist or to administer any sacraments - the only exception is a life-threatening situation. As your priests, we will continue to offer as much pastoral care as we can by providing online services and offering individual prayers for you. I hope that a number of parishioners will also continue keeping in touch with other parishioners, particularly those who are vulnerable and/or alone. We can and we will go through this challenge together. (more…)...
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Financial Support

Financial Support

The current situation is badly affecting individuals, families and businesses. Many face very difficult decisions on a daily basis and now it’s exacerbated by a very uncertain future. Because our churches remain closed to fight the coronavirus threat, our usual means of upkeeping the parish (Sunday collection) isn’t possible. Some of you have asked how they could continue to support our parish financially, some of you have already made donations (for which I am very grateful). I’m writing this extremely reluctantly because I understand that many of you struggle to keep yourselves above the water. (more…)...
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Sermon for 5th Sunday of Lent

Sermon for 5th Sunday of Lent

I had some great ideas for this sermon. Then on Friday Pope Francis used up all my ideas in his powerful sermon in the Vatican and I was back to the drawing board. By Saturday lunchtime I scraped some other ideas, planning to turn them into a sermon, but then Bishop Hugh recorded and published on social media his powerful message, accidentally depriving me of my scraps. Usually, I wouldn’t bother too much about the Pope or the Bishop ‘stealing’ my homiletic ideas; I would simply carry on regardless. But nothing is usual here and now. It seems that massive chunks of our lives have moved to the internet; it’s not a great exaggeration to say that effectively we live in it now: children have classes, people work from home, hold working and social meetings. Even religious services are streamed online! In such circumstances, virtually everyone interested has heard or read the Pope’s sermon and heard Bishop Hugh’s message. So,...
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CANCELLED – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions

In wake of the newest restrictions introduced by the British government, the planned daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Family Church is now cancelled with immediate effect. We will continue to offer Masses and services online for as long as we can. From Monday 23rd March the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed at Holy Family Church in Mastrick every weekday between 7pm and 8pm. During the Exposition, there will be an opportunity to make individual Confessions. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays Confessions possible in Polish....
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Mass Online: Practical Advice

Usually, we go to church to attend Mass. With the temporary suspension of Masses celebrated publicly due to the coronavirus crisis, Mass online remains one of very few, if not the sole way of attending. I’d like to offer a few practical suggestions to make ‘watching’ Mass more participatory. (more…)...
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Mass Online

Our tests have been successful and I am quietly confident that now we can stream Mass live from St Joseph's Church. Usually, we go to church to attend Mass. With the temporary suspension of Masses celebrated publicly due to the coronavirus crisis, Mass online remains one of very few, if not the sole way of attending. I’d like to offer a few practical suggestions to make ‘watching’ Mass more participatory. Dress up a bit for the occasion - your outfit impacts your spiritual attitude. Turn off or silence those devices that can interrupt or distract you - make your environment as quiet as possible; not only sound-like but in a wider sense. I suggest sitting in a chair rather than an armchair. Sit, stand and kneel as usual if your health permits. Get ready 5 minutes before Mass; let your mind quieten; say your prayers. Use a personal missal to follow Mass; if you don’t have one, you can use an...
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Updates

If all tests go well, daily Mass will be streamed online from St Joseph's Church, starting this Friday evening. A detailed schedule will be published soon. Starting next Monday (23rd March) Holy Family Church will be open for 1 hour daily for private prayers in front of the Blessed Sacrament; one priest will be available to hear individual confessions. A detailed schedule will be published soon. The parish clergy will be ready to offer pastoral help and support whenever needed; it's not time-off for us. More updated soon. Keep checking this website....
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New (temporary) reality

The most recent decision made by the Bishops of Scotland sets some challenges; as the parish community, we are going to rise to them. Thursday 19th March will be the last day when Mass will be publicly celebrated in our churches. We plan to stream Mass online daily, starting on Friday 20th March (fingers crossed!). More details about that and other pastoral arrangements will be published later on. Tonight, 18th March, the parish clergy will hold an emergency meeting. We will sit well apart for ‘social distancing’; it will also give us an excuse to shout at each other :-) This is not the end of the world - it’s just a new chapter and we will fill it with a beautiful story of resilience, charitable love and communal spirit made in the name of Jesus....
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