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Our Lady of Compassion

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  • Retreat 2017 - Fr Adrian Graffy

Parish Retreat 2017

Why was St Paul angry with the Galatians?

Thoughts from the Parish retreat lead by Fr Adrian Graffy

This year’s retreat operated at (at least) two levels. At its heart was the message that Faith and Love lies at the heart of Christianity not blind observance of The Law. It was also a lesson in human nature, that decisions of the church are enacted as a result of the actions of the faithful and not by the centre alone – a lesson that remains very relevant today. Fr Adrian finally and very deliberately compared Pope Francis’s campaign to implement Vatican II’s “Medicine of Mercy” (agreed c50 years ago) with St Paul’s stiff reprimand to the Galatian’s for backsliding on The Council of Jerusalem’s decision.

Fr Adrian, warming up, described St Paul’s letter to the Galatians as a mini Romans (written prior to Romans) that delivered the same message but with the added attraction of being a shorter, easier read. He described St Paul as being full on, irascible but capable of great affection and noted that the letter was Martin Luther’s (another passionate, direct, man) favourite epistle.

At Galatian’s heart is a message about knowing what is really important. Salvation comes via faith and not from obeying Jewish law (The Law), circumcision etc.

St Paul’s anger was that the Galatian community was showing signs of turning away from his Christian message to that of the one emanating from Jerusalem/Judea. The specific issue being whether gentiles (non-Jews) must become subject to The Law (circumcision etc) in order to be a Christian. In essence this is the argument that was to settle whether, what we know as, Christianity was to be a Jewish sect or something more.

In the letter, St Paul (previously an enthusiastic persecutor of Christians) describes his Damascene conversion, his revelation, and that he was called by Jesus (not appointed like the other Apostles) to preach the Gospel to the gentiles.

In response to his calling, St Paul didn’t check-in with Jerusalem but preached for 14 years across Asia Minor and then headed to Jerusalem for the Council of Jerusalem (as described in Acts 15) where the issue of observance of The Law was to be settled. The letter highlights that in preparation for the council he submitted his gospel to leaders to verify/test his arguments. The outcome of the Council was that they agreed with St Paul not the counter view from the Church in Judea (lead by St Peter).

In his letter St Paul is genuinely angry with the Galatian community. “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?”. St Paul also suggests that the Galatians are imposing slavery on believers by insisting that they obey The Law.

St Paul’s anger lies in the fact that post the Council of Jerusalem, the Galatians were giving up on the agreed position of the Church. Specifically, faith isn’t about fidelity to The Law and that believers weren’t required to obey The Law. “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?”. He reminds the Galatians that Salvation is found not though observation of The Law but by Faith and Love. If salvation comes through observance of The Law, then Christ died for nothing.

Fr Adrian closed the retreat with an advert for a website for Catholics wanting to know more about their faith. The site includes nine talks (audio files) on Vatican II that were commissioned to celebrate Vatican II’s 50th Anniversary.

Charlie Murphy, 5th November 2017.

 

Harvest Brunch

  • Harvest brunch
  • Harvest brunch
  • Harvest brunch

Breakfast came ready and waiting for parishioners after the two morning Masses on September 24 thanks to the organisers of our annual Harvest Brunch in the Church Hall.

In the past the brunch has been held around Easter time but this year it was decided that a more appropriate date would be during the autumn season of bringing home the harvest.

The event resulted in the sale of 81 tickets and 76 people were served by Isabelle Page, Patrick Draper, Rebecca Richards and Trish Cobby. The chefs were husband and wife team, Barry and Barney Grindle, and Chris Cobby.

All their hard work paid off as the event made a profit of £172.50.

1. Server Rebecca Richards waiting for hungry parishioners.

2. Looking forward to his breakfast is Shawn Martin after the 10.30 Mass.

3. Hands off –– that's my breakfast and I'm not sharing it with you.

 

 

 

SVP - Cream Tea

  • SVP Cream Tea
  • SVP Cream Tea

Members of the SVP organised the event and some provided the transport to get everyone to the picturesque setting of the lakes at Clavering.

The annual cream tea is always a popular outing for our older parishioners and this year was no exception. The tradition was started around 20 years ago and when the weather is fine it's possible to take a stroll around parts of the lakes. This year, however, the weather was unpredictable and, as showers were forecast, everyone decided to enjoy their tea indoors.

1. It all went down a treat : elderly and housebound parishioners and members of our St Vincent de Paul Society posing for a group photograph after their cream tea at Clavering Lakes on September 14.

2. A view of the Lakes.

 

Stewards of the Gospel - Diocese asks parishes to comment on restructuring and renewal proposals

The Diocese of Brentwood has published a Draft Working Plan proposing ideas for its future renewal and restructuring. In his foreword to the document, Bishop Alan Williams sm (right with Steven Webb) reiterates the challenges facing the church in a changing world and his desire to collaborate and consult with the lay faithful on the difficult decisions to be made. “With your help and prayers and with confidence in Christ and Mary I am sure that we can find a way to build on the strong foundations of the last 100 years,” he says.

Steven Webb, Diocesan Director of Development, has written to the Stewards of all parishes to launch the proposed strategy, which aims to maximise the opportunities for evangelisation and sacramental provision across the diocese, given the resources available during the decades to come.

He says: “This document explains how we recommend that we move forward together in order to evangelise our diocese, care for one another, exercise the ministry of charity and celebrate the sacraments. It sets out principles for how we could work together to achieve our vision through our objectives and a strategy that combines both renewal and restructuring.”

He asks that all parishioners read and discuss the Draft Working Plan, which will be available on the website and in hard copy form. “Try to consider what is best for our diocese as a whole rather than just what is best for your parish alone. Please bear in mind that renewal and restructuring are equally important and try to look beyond the obvious possibilities that first spring to mind. There is always more than one way in which we can do things in every location across our wonderful diocese.”

He invites people to be creative with ideas and feed them back to the diocese. “The framework we are proposing does not necessarily lead to one outcome rather than another. We want people to think how their church might look in their locality. Be bold, be creative and let us know your ideas before we begin to make proposals for individual locations.”

He adds: “Later in the year we will set out the First Formal Proposals for the Renewal and Restructuring of the Diocese but first we want feedback from you on the strategy and framework we propose in this document.”

Download the document: Diocese-of-Brentwood_Working-Together.

More information on Stewards of the Gospel page.

 

Trish Cobby - Pastoral Assistant

  • Trish Cobby

Trish Cobby's voluntary work in our parish was all brought under one umbrella when she was commissioned as a Pastoral Assistant by our new bishop on 15th July 2014.

This was a 3-year commission and ended on 15th July 2017 but she was asked to continue her commission by Fr David. He re-commissioned her on 30th July 2017.

The list of duties carried out by Trish is considerable –– she is a pastoral councillor and is responsible for instructing our first communicants, confirmation candidates and those wishing to convert to Catholicism. She is also a member of the North Essex Deanery Council, Social Committee and one of our church's team of fire wardens. And as if that wasn't enough she has a full-time job at University of Cambridge.

Although many demands are made on her time she said her husband, Chris, was very supportive.

 

First Communion 2017

  • First Holy Communion 2017
  • First Holy Communion 2017
  • First Holy Communion 2017
  • First Holy Communion 2017
  • First Holy Communion 2017
  • First Holy Communion 2017

Twenty-Five of our younger parishioners received a very special gift when they made their first Holy Communion in St Mary's Parish Church on June 17th. The Mass, celebrated by our parish priest, Father David, could not be held in our church as it would not have been large enough to accommodate so many families and friends. So we "borrowed" the town's Anglican church as we have done in previous years.

Over the previous months the children had been instructed by Trish Cobby and her assistants to ensure they appreciated the importance of receiving Our Lord's body and blood in communion. Father David told the children that this, their first Holy Communion, should be followed by many more throughout their lives.

1. The First Communicants arriving in St Mary's Parish Church.

2. Parents and friends watch as the children line up in the aisle.

3 & 4. The First Communicants (left and right), approaching Father David to receive their Certificates.

5. Some of the First Communicants took it in turn to read the Bidding prayers.

6. After the Mass the children gather on the steps of the parish church for a group photograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parish Retreat

THIS YEAR’S PARISH RETEAT will take place at St. Mark’s on Saturday 7th October 10:00-15:00. It will be led by Fr Adrian Graffy on the theme: Why was St Paul so angry with the Galatians? The day will include Mass and an opportunity for confession - itinerary

Please confirm your attendance with either Fr. David or Lynn Ingamells by Sunday 1st October. All welcome.

 

Wedding of Neddra Lee-Franklin and Obatare Stephen Sodje

  • Wedding Lee-Franklin Sodje
  • Wedding Lee-Franklin Sodje
  • Wedding Lee-Franklin Sodje
  • Wedding Lee-Franklin Sodje

The wedding ceremony for Neddra Lee-Franklin and Obatare Stephen Sodje on June 27 was certainly a bit different from the usual. The bride used her traditional perogative by arriving late at our church by about 50 minutes but no one seemed to care as the delay gave guests the chance to chat among themselves and catch up with news from family and friends who came from various countries and parts of the UK.

It was a very happy and colourful wedding with many of the women wearing their traditional costumes while the bride, the daughter of an African Chief, looked beautiful in her white dress which had a long train stretching nearly half the length of the aisle. She was attended by four bridesmaids and also five little flower girls who looked very pretty in their white dresses.

There was never a dull moment during the marriage ceremony which, apart from exuberant hymn singing from the congregation, also included an outbreak of thunder claps and torrential rain. As the newly-weds were leaving the church brollies were at the ready to protect the bride's dress from the rain. The reception was held at Quendon Hall.

For Father David it was the first time he had conducted an African style wedding and he did so at the request of the young couple who, although not parishioners, wanted to be married according to their faith in a Catholic church. Our Lady of Compassion Church was the nearest to Quendon where the wedding party was staying at Quendon Hall.

1. Family and guests awaiting the arrival of the bride.

2. The marriage ceremony gets underway.

3. The young couple exchange vows and wedding rings.

4. Friends and family cheer the newly weds as they are leaving the church.

 

Father David's Jubilee

  • Jubilee
  • Jubilee
  • Jubilee
  • Jubilee
  • Jubilee
  • Jubilee
  • Jubilee
  • Jubilee

Over 200 people joined Father David at St Mark's College to celebrate his Silver Jubilee as a priest. They brought with them a salad or pudding to contribute to what amounted a feast, and there was also a hog roast with the pork being superbly cooked.

The celebrations were organised by our Social Committee chaired by Rebecca Richards whose team consisted of Louise Barnes, Patrick Draper, Cassian Bull, Jo Tindall and Trish Cobby. Jo also donated flowers for the tables

The committee donated a Jubilee cake and during the celebrations presented Father David with a silver chalice and paten.

"I was overwhelmed by it all," he admitted. Only weeks before the event he had protested that he did not want to celebrate his Silver Jubilee. He had a change of heart when he realised that he had, since arriving in Saffron Walden, won the respect and affection of his parishioners.

Father David, who came to Saffron Walden in 2011, knew from childhood that he wanted to become a priest and began his religious studies in Rome, first at the Gregorian University and then at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas. His father's death interrupted his studies but he later returned ti Rome where he was ordained as a deacon.

He retuned to England to be ordained as a priest in 1992 and his first parish as a curate was St Peter's and St Paul's Church in Ilford. He was later parish priest for four years at Stanford Le Hope.

1. Father David and three of his parishioners, Lynn Ingamells (left) with Enda Murphy and Jill Gunsell (right) take a closer look at the new chalice given to him during his silver jubilee celebrations on June 25.

2. Ready to use the silver chalice at a Mass in the new future.

3. Father David and parish assistant Trish Cobby who was one of the main organisers of the celebrations.

4. Sticking the knife in –– Father David cuts the cake to share among those at the jubilee celebrations.

5. The Silver Jubilee cake decorated with an image of Rome where Father David trained to become a priest.

6. Tucking in to a wide choice of tempting dishes.

7. Just checking to see what it's called.

8. Reckon I'll have some of this salad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation 2017

  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017
  • Confirmation-2017

Our church was packed on June 4 when 10 teenagers took the important step of being confirmed in their faith. This came after they had completed an eight month course headed by Trish Cobby and Jill Gunsell.

Their monthly sessions lasted an hour and a half and they also went on a weekend retreat in February held at Walsingham House on Canvey Island and in May, owing to the fact that Bishop Alan was unable to come to Saffron Walden on June 4, they made a trip to Brentwood Cathedral for the Rite of Election.

The Confirmandi were Ciara Bailey, Clementine Catmur, Zoe de Bruijin, Archie Lowe, Reuben Todd, Maeve Barve, Farah Corrigan, Marie Claire Gomez, Henry Nell and Lucas Warren. They were accompanied at the celebration Mass by their sponsors, family and friends who were welcomed by Trish who said the day was intended to be both happy and memorable –– and also a key point for all on the continuing journey of faith.

The young people played an active part in the Mass which included taking it in turn to lead the bidding prayers and by bringing the Offertory gifts to the altar. At the conclusion of the Mass but before the final hymn Father David presented the young people with their confirmation certificates and also a Bible. The congregation was then invited to the church hall for refreshments.

Said with flowers: the 10 newly confirmed youngsters show their appreciation to tutors, Trish Cobby and Jill Gunsell, by presenting them with magnificent bouquets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obituary – Timothy Joseph Chase: 11-Oct-1944 - 12-Jun-2017

  • Timothy Joseph Chase
  • Timothy Joseph Chase

Tim Chase, who was known as a kind and very generous parishioner of our church, had a final gift to donate to others after his death from an incurable disease in June of this year.

He had been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2014 and also had a heart attack. The fact that his disease was incurable made him decide to donate his body to medical science in the hope that further research at the University of East Anglia would help in finding a cure for those who suffer from the same disease. "The university was very grateful to him," said his wife, Colette.

Our church was packed with family and friends at a memorial service for Tim on 23 June. It included, at Tim's request, several upbeat hymns and the eulogy was given in turn by his three sons, Stephen and twins, Kevin and David, who recalled important and happy memories of their father. These included Tim's kindness, open smile and generosity of time and spirit in helping others.

A very special moment for the family was when Tim, along with a close family friend, Dave Powell, were presented with the Papal Medal of the Order of Benemerenti which recognises long and exceptional service to the church. The medal was on display at the memorial service.

1. Father David pins the medal on Tim's lapel at the presentation ceremony in 2015.

2. Tim proudly wears his medal.

Tim and Colette supported their boys in all their pursuits including music which was one of Tim's interests. The boys were driven here and there to gigs and concerts and, at the end of a show, Tim would be waiting to ensure they returned home safely. Right up to his late sixties Tim would play badminton with his sons but eventually his illness made that impossible and he switched to playing Sudoku to train his mind. He also retained his interest in people around him and helping those who needed it.

"He should have been resting up and taking it easy but that was never our dad. He always went the extra mile to help others," wrote Kevin in his part of the eulogy which was read out for him by David.

Colette guided him around in his wheelchair on their trips to the town centre where on one occasion they stopped for a coffee and met up with friends outside the Tea Amo cafe. It was a lovely day but that was to be his last trip to the town centre owing to his illness becoming worse. The family was warned that he was approaching death and help to cope with this came from wonderful nurses at St Clare Hospice. The family has asked for support for a fund set up in his name for the Hospice.

One of his visitors on the day of his death was Father David who, as he was leaving, was given the thumbs up sign by Tim to indicate that all was well.

Tim was born in Dublin and it was in the Irish capital that, while in his twenties, he met Colette at a Christmas party. They both worked for the same company, Colette as a secretary and Tim as a trainee accountant. They were married in London where Colette was working for a firm of solicitors and Tim for Acrow of London. Acrow moved to Saffron Walden and Tim and his family also moved to the town in 1979.

He very soon became involved with our church which made good use of his accountancy skills by appointing him treasurer of the church. Tim was also a Eucharistic Minister and for nine years was a member of the Parents Association of St Thomas More School where his three sons were educated. He ran a youth club for 12 years and was a driver for members of the local St Vincent de Paul Society. In addition to all that he was a member of the Pastoral Parish Council.

Tim had two brothers and three sisters but is only outlived by one of his sisters, Mary, who made the journey from Ireland to attend the memorial service for her late brother.

 

Obituary – Rosamond Ann Richardson: 18-Dec-1945 - 8-May-2017

  • Rosamond Ann Richardson
  • Rosamond Ann Richardson

The Requiem Mass for Rosamond, who lost her courageous battle against an aggressive form of cancer, was held in our church on 24 May.

Rosa, as she was generally known, was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and later was given the all-clear. But earlier this year the cancer returned. Although she was given more chemotherapy she was also given the devastating news that nothing more could be done as the cancer was terminal. She remained in her home in Arkesden where she received palliative treatment and was cared for by her close-knit family and helpers.

Rosa was an extraordinary individual. A prolific creative writer, she had 48 books published, the last entitled Waiting for the Albino Dunnock which she somehow managed to complete while undergoing cancer treatment last year and the book hit the book shops earlier this year. She had been due to give a talk about her love of birds at a book launch in May at Hart's shop in Saffron Walden but, owing to her rapidly failing health, the launch had to be cancelled.

In an interview with Daily Express writer, Elizabeth Archer, she said how bird watching helped her to deal with the break-up of a seven year relationship in 2007. It all came about from a chance meeting with a bird watcher while she was on holiday in Greece. He volunteered to take her for a walk and pointed out a woodchat shrike, a small black, white and brown bird in a bush.

"The world changed for me in that moment," she told Elizabeth, "I felt radiant with happiness, as if I'd fallen in love again. Nature introduces us to a wider perspective than our own and I was completely in awe of it."

Her new hobby would result in Waiting for the Albino Dunnock which is dedicated to James Parry who introduced Rosa to watching birds and was her mentor for the book. He gave the eulogy at her Requiem Mass while a 10 year old grandson, Augustine, wrote a poem, Skellig, which was read by his father, Sam. Another poem, about a nightingale, a reading from the metaphysical poet, clergyman and spiritual writer, Thomas Traherne, were both read by Will Stone, an old friend of Rosa's, who is a poet and translator of poetry.

Born in Oxford, Rosa came from an academic background. Her late father, Sir Denys Page, was Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity College in Cambridge and later Master of Jesus College. Rosa attended the Perse School in Cambridge and it was thought she would go to university. But she didn't want to do that and instead went to the College of Art in London for four years to study fabric design. This resulted in a job with Liberty's main designer and also a television programme series on patchwork. She wrote a book for the series which she followed up with a completely different series, Discovering Hedgerows, which also entailed writing an accompanying book.

What made Rosa stand out as a creative writer as well as a TV programme presenter was her extraordinary range of subjects. These included cookery, design, plants, wildlife, vegetarianism, yoga and also history. She told me that she had become bored with cookery and enrolled as a student at Madingley College where she embarked on the great love of her life, the 13th century Italian poet, Dante. The more she read about him made her decide that she wanted to become a Catholic and she was received into the faith by our former parish priest, Father John, who is now parish priest at Stansted. Her studies of Dante and trips to Italy led to her excellent book, Meeting Dante, and also to a follow-up entitled Dante's Journey to the Stars.

She also wrote under her nom-de-plume of Ingrid Soren a book about a natural history of the violin, the Zen of Horseriding which described overcoming her fear of horses and learning to ride.

In addition to her many books which won her international fame, Rosa also contributed articles to several magazines, and gave lectures and presentations.

Rosa, who married twice, is survived by her three sisters, Corinna, Stephanie and her twin Juliet. She had two children, Emily, and a son who sadly died soon after he was born. She adopted two brothers, Nicholas and William, after she married Emily's stepfather, Clive. In all she had six grandchildren.

The well attended Requiem Mass, led by our parish priest, Father David Clemens, included among the mourners many of Rosa's friends and colleagues from the world of publishing and television. A reception to celebrate Rosa's life was held at her twin sister's home in Horseheath, Cambridgeshire.

 

  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week

Holy Week 2017

Holy Week is a very busy time for any priest and it was no exception for Father David who on Thursday celebrated in the evening the Mass of the Lord's Supper while on Good Friday afternoon there was the Remembrance of the Lord's Passion.

This was also the day when local churches came together for the Good Friday Walk of Witness which was well supported by our parishioners.

1. The Vicar of St Mary's Church, the Rev. David Tomlinson, leads the walk carrying the cross and is accompanied (far right) by the Baptist Church Minister, the Rev. John Goddard.

2. The walkers reach the town square and then make their way to St Mary's Parish Church.

3. Taking part in the walk was Saffron Walden's Mayor, Coun. Sarfraz Anjum (far left).

4. Parishioner Jean Perkins (in red jacket) with a friend and accompanied by Dave Powell and his wife, Jan.

Parishioners flocked to our church on Holy Saturday for the two hour Easter Vigil Mass which involves plunging the church in darkness and initially congregating outside for the service of light. A new fire was lit and blessed and the Pascal candle prepared with five grains of incense representing the wounds of Christ inflicted during His crucifixion.

Fr David then lit the candle from the new fire and carried it into the church followed by parishioners also carrying small candles which also symbolised Christ as the light of the world. Then came the Easter Hymn, the Exsultet which was sung by Fr David.

This Mass also includes the Liturgy of the Word and that of Baptism as well as the Litany of the Saints and that is followed by the faithful being blessed with water and all renewing their baptismal promises.

5. Father David lights the new Pascal Candle in the presbytery garden.

6. The Pascal Candle is lowered into newly blessed holy water.

 

  • Des-Kelly
  • Des-Kelly

North Essex Deanery Day of Recollection

While still a schoolboy Des Kelly prayed fervently that God would let him become a professional footballer when he grew up. In return he would be happy to do God's work when his footballing career came to an end.

His prayer was answered and he signed at the age of 18 for Norwich City Football Club for two years and then played for Colchester United and also Lowestoft Town. The time to keep his promise to God was drawing near when injuries playing goalie in football forced him to rethink his career. And it was that decision which years later would bring him to St Theresa's Parish Church to lead the Day of Recollection on March 4th.

Des's next career after football was that as a teacher of PE eventually rising to become headmaster of his last school. He threw himself into parish work and made a notable contribution when he retired at the age of 60 and was awarded the Pro ecclesia et pontifice medal by the Pope.

His talk entitled "Begin with the heart" was an appropriate description of his work over the years which has been motivated by his love of God and has included being a champion of education, a Rainbows Bereavement support director and evangelisation. The day also included a chance for confessions, quiet times for reflection, prayers and Benediction.

1. Des Kelly who led the North Essex Deanery Day of Recollection.

2. A group from parishes in the Deanery who attended the annual Day of Recollection in Stansted.

 

Parish Questionnaire

The Catholic Church faces a number of challenges in responding to changing world. As a result of this, some change is inevitable. This is your chance to help shape that change by making your voice heard. This is a once in a generation opportunity to help to guide the diocese into the future. Do not miss this opportunity. The questionnaire can found below.

Please email completed questionnaires to Ken Lowe (Steward of The Gospel) by Sunday 19th February

 

  • Wednesday Group
  • Wednesday Group
  • Wednesday Group
  • Wednesday Group

Wednesday Group

Over 20 members of our Wednesday Group enjoyed tucking into their annual pre–Christmas buffet lunch party on December 7. There was a wide variety of goodies to choose from and at the end of the meal a slice of cake made by one of our church's top bakers, Maureen Hanson. It was cut into slices by Pat Antell whose birthday coincided with the date of the lunch.

1. Self–service at our Wednesday Group's pre–Christmas lunch.

2. Time for a chat with friends during lunch.

3. Father David deciding what he would like for his lunch.

4. Pat Antell cuts into the cake specially made for the Wednesday Group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cake stall

Cake Stall

A cake stall in aid of Saffron Walden Mencap Society raised £473 last month. "It was a fantastic amount and will help to maintain our weekly 'Side by Side' club which meets every Wednesday evening in the Salvation Army Hall in Abbey Lane," said the Society's chairman, Patrick Draper.

The club provides an opportunity for adults with learning difficulties, aged 19 and upwards, to socialise and take part in a variety of activities. It has 25 regular members who are helped by two paid staff members, Margaret and Steve, and a number of enthusiastic volunteers. More volunteers would be made very welcome. Two club members attend Mass at our church.

The cake stall was set up outside Boots in the Market Square and within five hours all the cakes, biscuits and goodies had been sold. They were provided by Mencap supporters and also by several members of our church, namely Father David, Elizabeth Tindley, Jan Powell, Isabel Page, Maureen 0'Keefe, Di Pohlmann and Louise Roberts.

This year's Day of Prayer, also on the first Friday in March, was held in Saffron Walden's Baptist Church and prepared by women in Cuba with the theme being 'Receive Children, Receive Me.' The service, which raised £283, was led by the Rev. John Goddard of the Baptist Church who showed a video giving what life is like in Cuba. Keith Kent played the piano and directed the newly formed Mother's Union Choir which helped with the singing of the hymns, some of which were unfamiliar to those at the service. Keith, a very talented musician, sadly died earlier this year.

1. One of many tempting goodies being sold by Patrick who was helped by Jane Bailey and Charis Wither.

 

  • Fr David's Supper
  • Fr David's Supper
  • Fr David's Supper
  • Fr David's Supper
  • Fr David's Supper
  • Fr David's Supper

Fr David's Supper 2016

Once again the remarkable culinary skills of Father David and his team of helpers were much in evidence at the third 'Father David's Supper' on November 4th held in our church hall.

It is no exaggeration to say that it was a rip-roaring success thanks to a superb meal and a warm, happy atmosphere. Over 30 tickets were sold and the diners were welcomed on arrival with canapes and chilled Prosecco. This was followed, once everyone was seated, with pasta with Italian bacon and peas in a rich tomato sauce served with Focaccia bread. The main course was chicken fillets in Madeira and mushroom sauce served with garlic and rosemary roast potatoes and topped with dressed rocket.

The goodies didn't end there for then came the dessert of raspberry meringue roulade and fruit baked in port, balsamic vinegar and honey served with vanilla marscapone cream. Throughout the supper the white and red wines flowed freely and finally coffee was served with chocolates and a choice of limoncello and port.

All the above involved a great deal of work and pre-planning on the part of Father David and his team and, as far as the diners were concerned, it was worth all the effort and they had nothing but praise for the team. There was an added bonus for those who lived nearby as they could walk to the church hall and so leave the car in the garage. No need for them to worry about being stopped while en route for home.

Roll on to the next 'Father David's Supper!

1. Chefs Father David and Noberto Fusi with waitress Trish Cobby serving the meal at Father David's annual supper in the church hall on November 4.

2. Two more waitresses ready to take the supper to 30 diners.

3. A welcome break for Patrick Draper who multi-tasked during the evening by welcoming the diners with a drink and then helped to serve them and refill their glasses.

4. Time for a chat –– some of the diners at the supper.

5. The dessert went down well judging by the empty plates.

6. A job well done ––Father David and his team celebrate a successful event. From left to right, Noberto Fusi, Rebecca Richards, Trish Cobby, Patrick Draper, 11 year old Florence, and Hazel Phipps.

 

  • Retreat 2016

Parish Retreat 2016

Mercy and forgiveness – a tall order, commanded by God

Notes by Charlie Murphy

Delivered by Fr David, complete with asides, diversion, a small rant on mobile Doors of Mercy and some quotable mystics. The Parish annual retreat tackled ‘Mercy and Forgiveness’ in the Church’s year of Mercy. The year is designed to focus our awareness of mercy and to shake us (and the Curia) out of any spiritual amnesia we may have acquired.

To travel through the door of Mercy, in Brentwood, Westminster etc., is a signal, a symbol, a carrier of meaning that words alone cannot express. “I [Jesus] am the gate [door] of the sheepfold.

Core to the day was the message that God asks us to be merciful as part of our very of being (as part of our soul); always ready and willing to forgive. Unfortunately, mercy isn’t an act of hope, it’s a lifelong spiritual exercise that comes with all the trials of learning (flailing around, stumbling, moments of ‘ah I get it’ etc.). It is also a task we probably won’t complete but can’t give up.

Probably the toughest message of the day (in this ‘me’ world) was that it isn’t about you. Being merciful, forgiving, isn’t meant to make you feel good (it might or might not) it isn’t about feeling at all. It’s about opening ones heart to the joy of God’s love. In the most personal sense it can be painful. Cancelling a debt/resentment is difficult and requires practice.

This act of will has much in common with the command to Love Thy Neighbour, you don’t have to like them but we are commanded to love. Forgiveness is an act of will, it doesn’t have to be a two way process nor is it always instantaneous. It is about truly accepting that while one still may harbour resentment, you choose not to act against the transgressor.

How you feel is irrelevant, it doesn’t affect the outcome.

Forgiveness like mercy, kindness, compassion and understanding are all aspects of love. They are not instruments to be offered or withdrawn as the mood takes you; with practice we get better at it. Forgiveness is an instrument of mercy, our understanding of what this means may change (hopefully for the better) but its absolute nature doesn’t.

Confession is a sacramental instrument of mercy; it’s not designed to make you feel better, though over time it may. Confession isn’t a legal obligation. It is, like every sacrament, a personal encounter with Christ and something that the Church encourages. A sacrament both signifies and cause the grace of Christ’s presence for the particular purpose of the sacrament; the grace of commitment and fidelity in Matrimony, the grace strength and heading in the sacrament of the sick etc.

Responding to questions about a sense of a lack of progress (i.e. you repeat the same sins, time after time), Fr David reminded us that the commitment not to sin again needs to honestly made and is valid even if you know the flesh is weak. He also reminded us that just because you aren’t observing progress it doesn’t mean that God’s love isn’t doing its stuff.

Tying God’s command into the human, psychological world, Fr David highlighted that holding on to anger (i.e. not forgiving) is exhausting and toxic for physical and mental health. Releasing, letting go of pain, anger, disappointment etc., and working at it is good for the body as well the soul.

 

  • Harvest 2016
  • Harvest 2016

School Harvest Service 2016

Staff and pupils of St Thomas More School excelled themselves for the annual Harvest Festival Service at Our Lady of Compassion Catholic School on October 17. With a lot of help from their parents the children filled scores of boxes with goodies to distribute among elderly parishioners, who attended the service, and to the local branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Volunteers from the SVP then shared out the boxes among the housebound and worthy local causes.

The children were from Year Two, who have an average age of seven years, and the older pupils represented the school's Chaplaincy Team. Each box had been decorated before being filled with gifts of mainly food items. Before the start of the service the boxes were all brought into the church and piled high in front of the altar. The importance of sharing was explained to the children by Father David in his homily. The hymns chosen for the service were relevant to the harvest theme and after the service everyone went into the church hall for refreshments.

1. School head teacher, Mrs Mary-Jo Hall, (left) leading the hymn singing.

2. Father David hands a parcel to one the pupils to be given to a parishioner at the service.

 

  • Siobhan & Christopher
  • Siobhan & Christopher
  • Siobhan & Christopher

Wedding of Siobhan Brunwin and Christopher Tarrant

Our church's first girl altar server, Siobhan Brunwin, came back to Our Lady of Compassion church for her marriage on July 30 to Christopher Tarrant. The young couple met in 2005 at Brunel University where Siobhan, whose parents, David and Una, live in Great Chesterford, was reading modern drama while Chris was studying Finance and Accounting. They now live in Wanstead, East London, where Chris works as a senior finance business partner for a bank while Siobhan is an HR business partner for a media agency.

1. Exchange of vows and rings at the wedding of Chris and Siobhan conducted by our parish priest, Father David. When Siobhan became the first girl altar server the parish priest was Father Edmund Dobson, a Cistercian, who came in 1990 and whose time in Saffron Walden ended in 1996 when he suffered a fatal heart attack while driving on the M11 motorway.

2. Siobhan wanted lots of colour at her wedding and this was certainly achieved with the wonderful floral arrangements.

3. Thirteen turned out to be a lucky number for our sacristan, Enda Murphy, who after searching for ages for a suitable dress for her granddaughter's wedding, it was the thirteenth dress she tried on that proved to be ideal for the purpose.

 

 

 

 

  • Women's World Day of Prayer

Preparations for Women's World Day of Prayer

Preparations are now underway for next year's Women's World Day of Prayer and in Saffron Walden a start was made in June at the home of parishioner, Elizabeth Tindley, with a coffee morning which raised about £135.

Elizabeth is pictured top left with other members of the group who organise the annual Day of Prayer in the town which will be held on March 3rd. The programme for the day has been prepared by women in the Philippines and it takes as its theme "Am I Being Unfair to You." This is based on St Matthew's Gospel and Our Lord's comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven to labourers hired at various times of the day to work in a vineyard for the same wage. Those who laboured most of the day were disgruntled when those who had worked for only an hour received the same wage. It was pointed out that all had agreed to the same level of pay when they were employed. Our Lord pointed out "This is how it will be in the Kingdom of Heaven when the last will be first and the first last."

The aim of the Day of Prayer, which involves scores of countries, is that a wave of prayer will spread around the world and raise funds for women in poorer countries. In the Philippines many women and girls are the victims of abuse and there is serious economic inequality.

This year's Day of Prayer, also on the first Friday in March, was held in Saffron Walden's Baptist Church and prepared by women in Cuba with the theme being 'Receive Children, Receive Me.' The service, which raised £283, was led by the Rev. John Goddard of the Baptist Church who showed a video giving what life is like in Cuba. Keith Kent played the piano and directed the newly formed Mother's Union Choir which helped with the singing of the hymns, some of which were unfamiliar to those at the service. Keith, a very talented musician, sadly died earlier this year.

 

  • Siobhan & Christopher
  • Siobhan & Christopher
  • Siobhan & Christopher

Wedding of Siobhan Brunwin and Christopher Tarrant

Our church's first girl altar server, Siobhan Brunwin, came back to Our Lady of Compassion church for her marriage on July 30 to Christopher Tarrant. The young couple met in 2005 at Brunel University where Siobhan, whose parents, David and Una, live in Great Chesterford, was reading modern drama while Chris was studying Finance and Accounting. They now live in Wanstead, East London, where Chris works as a senior finance business partner for a bank while Siobhan is an HR business partner for a media agency.

1. Exchange of vows and rings at the wedding of Chris and Siobhan conducted by our parish priest, Father David. When Siobhan became the first girl altar server the parish priest was Father Edmund Dobson, a Cistercian, who came in 1990 and whose time in Saffron Walden ended in 1996 when he suffered a fatal heart attack while driving on the M11 motorway.

2. Siobhan wanted lots of colour at her wedding and this was certainly achieved with the wonderful floral arrangements.

3. Thirteen turned out to be a lucky number for our sacristan, Enda Murphy, who after searching for ages for a suitable dress for her granddaughter's wedding, it was the thirteenth dress she tried on that proved to be ideal for the purpose.

 

 

 

 

  • School celebration
  • School celebration
  • School celebration
  • School celebration

School Celebration

Over 200 pupils from St Thomas More Academy returned to St Mary's Parish Church on June 20 for a Mass to celebrate making their First Communion on May 28. The First Holy Communion Mass had also been celebrated at St Mary's Church as Our Lady of Compassion Catholic Church is too small for so many people. The children were joined by teachers, parents and friends.

The Mass was celebrated by Father David who presented all the First Communicants with a medal commemorating the event. There was a treat in store for them after the Mass when they all trooped into the nearby parish rooms for refreshments which included a two-tiered cake baked and decorated by one of the parents, Mrs Jo Denton, whose daughter had been among those making their First Communion. The cake decorations included a cross and also butterflies representing new life.

1. Head teacher, Mrs Mary Jo Hall, leads the hymn singing at the celebration Mass.

2. Children, school staff and parents joined in the hymn singing.

3. Father David celebrating Mass assisted by two young servers.

4. Pupils in line to receive their First Communion medal from Father David.

 

  • A birthday
  • A birthday

A Birthday

Father David was given a break from baking a cake for the regulars on June 2nd who attended the Thursday Mass which is always followed by a social gathering in the parish hall. For that was the day he celebrated his 65th birthday. Roles were reversed as regulars staged a party for him and provided a special cake decorated with an edible sheet of one of his favourite pieces of music, plus a chef's hat and paintbrushes reflecting his skills in both cooking and painting.

He is pictured above slicing into the cake, pictured right. Not a lot was left of the cake which was very much enjoyed by everyone at the party which enabled the regulars to express their appreciation for all the superb cakes Father David has baked for them.

 

  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion

First Holy Communion 2016

Two dozen of our younger parishioners received a very special gift when they made their first Holy Communion in St Mary's Parish Church on May 28. The Mass, celebrated by our parish priest, Father David, could not be held in our church as it would not have been large enough to accommodate so many families and friends. So we "borrowed" the town's Anglican church as we have done in previous years.

Over the previous months the children had been instructed by Trish Cobby and her assistants to ensure they appreciated the importance of receiving Our Lord's body and blood in communion. Father David told the children that this, their first Holy Communion, should be followed by many more throughout their lives.

He told them about the English writer, J R R Tolkien, a renowned Roman Catholic, who was also a poet and university professor. During World War 2 one of his sons served in the RAF and was given sound advice by Tolkien who urged his son to love one thing above all –– namely the Eucharist.

1. The First Communicants arriving in St Mary's Parish Church.

2. Parents and friends watch as the children line up in the aisle.

3. Some of the First Communicants took it in turn to read the Bidding prayers.

4. Senior server, Steve Halewood, releases incense towards the chalice.

5 & 6. The First Communicants (left and right), approaching Father David to receive the Eucharist.

 

7. One youngster obviously very happy to be presented with her First Communion Certificate.

8. After the Mass the children gather on the steps of the parish church for a group photograph.

 

  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation

Confirmation 2016

An important milestone was reached by seven teenaged parishioners on Pentecost Sunday when they were confirmed in their faith. "This is a special day, a rite of passage." Father David told them. "The reception of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing thing for the rest of your lives."

He and their instructor, Trish Cobby, are pictured (bottom left) with the confirmandi, each holding the gift of a Bible and their confirmation certificate, outside our church after the 10.30 am Mass. During the Mass the seven confirmandi, accompanied by their sponsors, renewed their baptismal promises and were anointed with Chrism. They took it in turn to lead the bidding prayers and then went to the back of the church to collect the offertory gifts and present them to Father David.

After the Mass they, their sponsors, family and friends, assembled in the parish hall for refreshments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedicated Church Parking Space in Castle Street

The Pastoral Parish Council has decided to apply for a dedicated parking space in Castle Street and we need your help!

The parking space will assist with the dropping off and collecting of frail, elderly and disabled parishioners and will also allow better access for hearses when funerals are taking place at the church. We need to present as strong a case as possible to the North Essex Parking Partnership (who make the decisions about parking) and we are therefore asking that as many parishioners as possible write to Fr. David expressing their support for the application. These letters would then accompany the application as evidence that the parking space is indeed needed. So, the more letters we can gather the better!

To give you an idea of the sort of the letter that is needed, please see this draft. You can use this draft as the basis for your own letter if you wish to, but you don’t have to. When you have written your letter please send or give it to Fr. David by 1st May.

We will let you know how the application progresses but it is likely to be a long-drawn out process!

In the meantime you can continue to use the ramp outside the garage to drop off/collect those who need it, but please remember to then move on and park elsewhere especially at weekends in order to allow others to use the ramp.

Thank you.

Ken Lowe - Chairman, Pastoral Parish Council

 

  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week

Holy Week 2016

The solemnity of the Easter Triduum began on March 24th with the Mass of the Lord's Supper which included our priest, Father David, washing the feet of several parishioners. Among them was Peter Walters pictured alongside. This ceremony re-enacts the moment during Our Lord's last supper when He washed the feet of His disciples to demonstrate the importance of humility.

2. Many of our parishioners took part in the annual Walk of Witness on Good Friday. This year the Baptist minister, John Goddard, and the Church of England rector, David Tomlinson, took in turn to carry the cross. John carried it from the Baptist Church and then passed it to David when they arrived at King Street. The two are seen being followed by scores of people of all ages, including children, making their way into the market square.

2. The walkers arriving at St.Mary's Parish Church for a reading of St Mark's account of the crucifixion of Our Lord. Earlier the first half of St Mark's account had been read at the Baptist Church. The Walk was organised by Churches Together in Saffron Walden and after the service at the parish church everyone there was invited to enjoy hot cross buns and a hot drink in the nearby parish rooms.

 

 

 

  • Frs David and John
  • Sister Judith
  • Deanary Day of Recollection

    A nun with vast experience in the field of education led the annual Deanery Day of Recollection in March at St Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church in Stansted. Sister Judith Russi, who is based in Harrow, has been a member of the Sisters of St Mary of Namur for over 40 years.

    Her work as a teacher has also included curriculum development, research, strategic planning, public speaking and writing educational and religious book. She is a director of EducareM, a Catholic educational charity offering those involved in education the opportunity to develop new ideas.

    She began her talk by recalling her own school days in the Dunmow area where there were no faith schools for Catholic children. "We were Catholics through and through," she said. "So much so that we believed that we would be going to heaven but not non-catholics.That was just bad luck for them."

    Sister Judith reminded her listeners that 2016 is the Year of Mercy instigated by Pope Francis because the church is going through a dark time and now seems unable to get out of it as we don't learn from past experience. One thing we do need to learn is that our God is infinitely patient and forgiving. She reminded everyone of the story of Moses who had to deal with his fellow countrymen who were forever complaining on their journey to the Promised Land after the escape from Egypt.

    Moses consulted God when, while in the desert, there were times when no water was available. He was ordered to strike Rock Horeb with his staff and when he did so water flowed out for the people and their livestock. On another occasion when water ran dry God instructed Moses to talk to the rock but instead he hit it twice with his staff. For this disobedience and his failure to attribute the miracle to God but rather to himself, Moses was told he would never enter the Promised Land. He paid a heavy price for his pride and lack of faithfulness.

    Sister Judith said it was an extraordinary story which throughout showed God as the great creator who wanted to love us and for us to love Him. "We have the potential to love God and get it right. We are God's children and a piece of the tapestry of God's creation and we are able to go back to Paradise which is where we came from, she said.

    The Deanery Day also included Mass, which was celebrated by our priest, Father David, and by our former priest, Father John, (both pictured above) who left Saffron Walden to become parish priest of St Therese Lisieux Church.

    There was also exposition of the Blessed Sacrament after the talk and the day ended with Benediction.

 

  • Guild of St Stephen
  • Guild of St Stephen

Servers enrolled in the Guild of Saint Stephen

One adult and seven youngsters were enrolled in the Guild of Saint Stephen for Servers in February. They are pictured (left) Father David presents the servers with the bronze medal of the Guild of St Stephen and (right) with our church's MC and Senior Server, Anthony Grossfield, (centre) who trained them. One candidate, who could not be with her fellow servers owing to illness, received her medal at a Mass in March.

The Guild, now an international organisation, was founded in England in 1903 and is open to those who attend Mass regularly. It aims to encourage adults and children to become servers and gain a deeper understanding of their faith. Children become eligible from the age of nine and after they have made their first communion. St Stephen was chosen to be inscribed on the medal because he was the first disciple of Our Lord to attain the crown of martyrdom.

 

  • Agape meal
  • Agape meal

Agape Meal

All the churches in Saffron Walden were invited to send representatives to the Agape Meal hosted at the town's Catholic Church on January 21st.

Organised by parishioners, Elizabeth Tindley and Berry Wareham, with help from several volunteers, the Agape was held in the church hall and supported by around 40 people. It included hymns and readings chosen by Father David which reflected the importance attached by Our Lord to sharing meals with other people. The supper started off with a choice of soup, followed by bread and cheese, and finally by fruit, cheese and hot drinks.

The Agape, the word means love, dates back to the early church but it had largely fallen out practice by the eighth century although a limited use of the Agape was encouraged by the Second Vatican Council.

It has become an annual event in Saffron Walden with the local churches taking it in turn to act as hosts. The meal collected £157-62 which was given to the Churches Together group in Saffron Walden.

1. Some of the members of local churches tucking into the Agape meal.

2. Plenty to choose from among the many fruits and cheeses.

 

  • Harvest Service
  • Harvest Service
  • Harvest Service
  • Harvest Service

Harvest Service 2015

The Harvest Service in our church is an annual event for which pupils from St Thomas More Academy bring food parcels which are then distributed among our elderly and housebound parishioners and some items also go to the town's food bank

1. Some of the many food parcels provided by the school.

2. Pupils begin distributing the food parcels.

3. Older pupils from the school played a leading part on the service.

4. After the service all who attended were invited into the church hall for refreshments.

 

 

 

 

 

  • RCIA
  • RCIA
  • RCIA

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

Three people took an important step towards being admitted to the Catholic faith on the first Advent Sunday on November 29.

Johanna Purser from Saffron Walden, Shawn Martin from Radwinter and Zoe Harrington from Newport gathered in the cloister of our church to mark the beginning of their candidature to the faith which will reach its conclusion next Easter.

They were warmly greeted at the entrance to the church by Father David, who asked them their names and also what they asked of God's church. They said they sought faith and the eternal life that faith offers.They also accepted the Gospels and were signed with the cross by Father David before processing into the church preceded by the altar servers and Father David. The candidates were each presented with a Bible and intercession prayers were said for them.

Father David finally stretched his hands over the candidates asking God to receive them with love. "Lead our candidates to the baptism of new birth, so that living a fruitful life in the company of your faithful, they may receive the eternal reward that You promise."

1. The three candidates, left to right, Johanna and Shawn, and front row, Zoe with her son, and one of the sponsors next to Pastoral Assistant, Trish Cobby, who has been instructing the candidates since September.

2. After the Rite of Acceptance and the Advent Mass the three candidates with their instructor, Trish Cobby, and Father David.

3. Father David and one of the altar servers shortly before leading the candidates into the church.

 

 

  • Quiz Night
  • Quiz Night
  • Quiz Night
  • Quiz Night
  • Quiz Night

Quiz Night

The annual Parish Quiz attracted a full house at Newport Village Hall on November 13 which proved to be a lucky number for the winning team.

Right up to and beyond the halfway point of the quiz Father David's team, who called themselves Fine Vintage, held the lead but in Round 8 dropped to second place when they were overtaken by The Choir. They failed to regain the lead in the final round and The Choir were victorious with 79 and a half points. One member of The Choir, Ben Gill, also won the £20 prize in the heads and tails fun contest.

The evening included a ploughman's supper and the brain teasing questions were fired at the teams by Patrick Draper.

1.Patrick Draper poses the questions.

2.Figuring out the answers.

3.Father David's team reckon they've got the right answers.

4.The winning team, The Choir. Centre left is Ben Gill who also won the heads and tails competition.

5.Pastoral Assistant Trish Cobby (right) given a helping hand folding up the raffle tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Walsingham Walk
  • Walsingham Walk

Walsingham Walkers

A group of parishioners have over a number of years been walking the route pilgrimage from London to Our Lady's shrine in Walsingham. The route has been walked regularly since 1952. The pilgims give themselves a week to complete the 128 miles walk.

Our parish hall has been a regular venue for the second evening of the Walk and once again the pilgrims were entertained to an excellent evening meal by Jill, Sue and Karon with Father David providing one of the dishes.

Father David took Benediction for the pilgrims in the evening and brought forward morning Mass to 08:00 the following morning so to allow a prompt start to the day - next stop Newmarket and evening meal with Bishop Alan.

1. The chefs and Father David share a meal with the walkers who spent the night in our church hall before continuing their walk the next morning.

2. That's the way we will be going. Father David sees the walkers off on the next stage of their long trek to Walsingham.

 

  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper
  • Fr Davids Supper

Fr David's Supper

Wow! What a fantastic evening was provided at Father David's Supper for 30 guests in our church hall on October 9.

We are lucky to have a parish priest who is also a first class chef and he and his helpers gave the diners a three-course Mediterranean meal to remember. The starter was grilled Halloumi with a tomato salsa and fresh dressed rocket. Then came the main course of chicken saltimbocca glazed with Madeira wine and served with roasted vegetables accompanied by potatoes with rosemary and garlic. Finally came the dessert, an Italian dish of fruit, baked with port and honey, and sponge fingers created in the shape of a dome and served with marscapone cream. Throughout the meal the wine flowed freely and after the dessert Limoncello was served as a digestive. On arrival the diners had been greeted with chilled Prosecco and a choice of canapes.

Such was the success of the event that it created a wonderful and very happy atmosphere in the hall where it was obvious that everyone present was thoroughly enjoying themselves. Much was owed to the chefs, Father David, Noberto and Michelle Fusi, Theresa Zammit Lupi and Andreas Claase and Rebecca Richards. Also helping to ensure that everything ran smoothly were the waiters, Patrick Draper, Tim Chase, Hazel Phipps, Rebecca Richards and Trish Cobby. The hall had been set up by Katie Nell, Patrick and Tim. It was an ideal event for Matthew Buckley who that day celebrated his 44th birthday.

1. Serving up the main course.

2. Patrick Draper ready to offer red or white wine to the diners.

3. Tucking into a delicious meal...

4. ...

5. ...

6. ...

7. Dessert ready for serving.

8. Tim Chase serves as another waiter.

9. Trish Cobby serving the dessert.

10. Phew! The diners must by now have had enough wine...

11. ...but Patrick Draper tops up the glass of another guest.

12. Someone has to do –– the chore of washing up after the meal.

13. Happy birthday for Matthew Buckley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sunday Brunch
  • Sunday Brunch
  • Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch

A total of over 70 parishioners trooped into our church hall for the annual Bacon Brunch after the two Sunday Masses on September 27 which saved them all the bother of cooking their own breakfast.

The meal of bacon butties, croissants and a choice of drinks went down a treat, judging from the many happy faces at the event after the 08.30 Mass which replaced the Bacon Brunch held in the past on Palm Sunday. It was decided to switch the date to the autumn as that was deemed to be a more appropriate time bearing in mind that the earlier date was the run-up to Our Lord's Passion.

A team of helpers ensured the brunch was a successful event which raised £206 for our church funds. The bacon was cooked by Ben Gill and Marcus Richards while the servers were Patrick Draper and Louise Barnes. The food was bought by Rebecca Richards and Gosia Atter and the hall was set up by Rebecca Richards, Stephanie Gill, Katie Nell and Trish Cobby. The chore of washing up was taken on by Florence Nell, Charlotte Jones and Phil and Katie Nell while that of cleaning up the hall was carried out by Trish, Louise, Stephanie, Aoife Grindle and Chris Cobby.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Parish Retreat
  • Parish Retreat

Parish Retreat

Father David came to the rescue when it proved impossible to find an outside speaker for our annual Parish Retreat Day at St Mark's College on September 26th. He stepped into the breach at the 11th hour and gave a thought provoking talk on the place of prayer in our lives.

About 30 parishioners attended the retreat which began with Mass in the college's chapel and it then progressed to the first part of Fr David's talk entitled 'What prayer is: misperceptions and misunderstandings.'

Prayer was, he said, "talking to God" and was our relationship with God so there was no right or wrong way to do it. It can also change from day to day, depending upon our emotions at the time. St Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church and a mystic, was very down to earth and when asked how she prayed simply answered "I just talk to God."

Sometimes prayer ends in silence and that can be more eloquent than words. "Silence," said Fr David, "is the apotheosis and fulfilment of talking to God."

Prayer can be both public and personal and often it can be difficult and we are reluctant to pray so it requires an effort and whether easy or difficult deepens our relationship with God.

After lunch Fr David spoke about the problem of distractions when praying. "There is nothing we can do about them for they belong to human nature," he said. But, once aware of the distraction we have to pull ourselves back and return to the prayer.

Fr David, on the subject of prayers of intercession, said that when asked to pray for someone he would do it faithfully. He would make an adoration to God and bring up the name of the person and commend them to God. "I would hold them in the love of my heart and lift them up to the light of God's love," he said.

The talks allowed time for questions and there was also the opportunity during the lunch break for confessions.

1. Fr David said non-malicious humour was fine particularly as the devil has no sense of humour.

2. Parishioner Gerard Clinton puzzles over a point made by Fr David.

 

  • Golden wedding

Golden wedding anniversary

Parishioners Terry and Mary Wheatley celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary on September 4th and now have a very special reminder of that happy day.

They were presented with a sampler depicting the couple on their wedding day which had been made for them by our parish secretary, Lynn Ingamells, who, with Mary, leads our Wednesday Group which, through handicrafts, supports our twin parish in Evander, South Africa.

Lynn warned the couple that she was making the sampler for them months ago and predicted they would forget she was doing so. She proved to be right but Terry and Mary were delighted with the gift when it was given to them.

They came to Great Chesterford from Croydon where they first met at an old time dancing club. Terry was then a 16 year old still at school while Mary (19) was working as a nursery nurse. In their spare time the couple remained enthusiastic members of the Old Time Dance Club and took part in competitions for which Mary had to make her own dresses. Terry, who dressed in tails for the competitions, trained in commercial accountancy when he left school and worked for Sainsbury.

Four years after they met the couple were married in St Mary's Catholic Church in West Croydon, Surrey. Years later they moved to Great Chesterford and both became very involved in our church. They played in and organised our Folk Group for 26 years until their retirement in 2006. Mary was a Minister of the Eucharist and provided instruction for new candidates. She is also well known to lots of parents and children in the town having been head teacher at Saffron Walden Nursery School for many years.

The couple, who have two children, Susan and Mark, celebrated their anniversary at a family meal and also with a holiday in the Lake District.

 

  • SVP Outing
  • SVP Outing

St Vincent de Paul Society - Annual Outing

Afternoon tea went down a treat for over 20 of our senior parishioners at the Clavering Lakes Cafe in September.

The annual outing was organised by our St Vincent de Paul Society whose members also provided transport to Clavering's popular attraction. Apart from hot drinks the tea also included cakes and scones with cream and jam. After tea there was time before returning home for the more able bodied and energetic to take a stroll around the lake.

 

  • Papal medal
  • Papal medal

Papal Medal

Years of dedicated service to our church by Dave Powell and Tim Chase won Papal recognition on July 19 when they were presented with medals of the Order of Benemerenti. The presentation was made by Father David towards the end of the 10.30am Mass who said the award honoured not only Dave and Tim but also the whole parish.

The medal features a gold cross which includes a depiction of Christ with his hand raised in blessing and on the reverse are the Latin words Benemerenti meaning "Well Deserved." It ranks among the highest honours awarded to laity but was first established in the 18th century for soldiers in the Papal Army. In 1925 it was extended to members of the clergy and laity to recognise long and exceptional service to the church.

Both Dave and Tim became closely involved with our church in the late 1970s. Dave, a retired horticulturist, headed the small building committee which took on the marathon task of drawing up plans for the restoration of our church and supervising the various stages of the work which was completed in 2005 when the church was reopened on Maundy Thursday of that year. Dave is still chairman of the building committee and is a pastoral parish councillor and a Eucharistic Minister.

Tim is also a Eucharistic Minister and was appointed at the time when candidates had to go to Brentwood to be trained. Over the years he has been involved in many projects which entail finance as he is our church's treasurer and in that capacity is an ex-officio member of the Pastoral Parish Council. He was also for nine years a member of the Parents Association of St Thomas More School where his three sons received their primary education. Other work for our church included running a youth club for 12 years, and being a driver for members of St Vincent de Paul Society. Tim has for many years drawn up all the questions for our fund-raising quizzes.

When told that he had been awarded the Benemerenti honour, Tim said, "I was quite shocked and could not believe it."

 

  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015
  • Parish picnic 2015

Parish Picnic 2015

The rain failed to put a damper on the fun and games at our summer picnic held in June at St Mark's College.

There was something to keep all the children amused, the activities including face painting, apple bobbing, football skills, limbo expertise chess and many more. Parents were kept busy providing family picnics and volunteers arrived with a variety of desserts.

By mid–afternoon the rain eased off and the event raised a profit of just over £158. This came from the proceeds of a raffle which also covered the £70 cost of hiring the college hall.

1&2. Dragged along by his ankles but, as is obvious from photograph below, there were no hard feelings!

3&4. Success! Removing the apple from the bucket of water where in the end fingers were more useful than teeth.

5&6. Going up and under the bar limbo style.

7. But as one young lad demonstrated, there is an easier way of getting under the bar.

8&9. Patrick Draper and David Cetin ended their game of chess in a draw while below one little girl makes her first move.

10. A six year old has her face painted up as a dalmatian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Confirmation 2015
  • Confirmation 2015
  • Confirmation 2015
  • Confirmation 2015
  • Confirmation 2015
  • Confirmation 2015

Confirmation 2015

Bishop Alan Williams paid his first official visit to Saffron Walden since being appointed Bishop of Brentwood when he presided at the Solemn Pontifical Mass for the confirmation of 10 of our parish's teenagers on Wednesday 3rd June.

This was the highest number of confirmation candidates in recent years and in his homily Bishop Alan explained the importance of the event and how much it could and should change their lives. He reminded the candidates of the first Pentecost Sunday when our Lord's disciples received the Holy Spirit. Prior to that day the disciples were still fearful and had been in a locked room. But all that changed when they received the Spirit and had the faith and confidence to go public and preach to the people in Jerusalem about Jesus Christ.

Bishop Alan told the candidates that confirmation would change their lives in a meaningful way and he asked them to reflect on how the change would affect them individually.

The candidates had been prepared for confirmation by our Pastoral Assistant and catechist, Trish Cobby, who was helped by Jill Gunsell, also a catechist. After the Mass Trish was presented with a bouquet and the following Sunday both Trish and Jill were given pendants as a token of appreciation by the teenagers.

1. Bishop Alan, together with the confirmation candidates, Father David, and MC Tony Grossfield and seven servers make their way down the aisle to the altar.

2. Bishop Alan anoints one of the candidates, seen here with her sponsor, with holy oil.

3. All the candidates are presented with a Bible and their certificate of confirmation.

4. The confirmandi pictured here with Bishop Alan and Father David after the Mass.

5. Pastoral Assistant, Trish Cobby, is presented with a bouquet.

6. Five of the confirmandi pictured after Mass on June 7 after gifts of appreciation had been presented to Trish and Jill.

 

  • First Communion 2015
  • First Communion 2015
  • First Communion 2015
  • First Communion 2015
  • First Communion 2015
  • First Communion 2015
  • First Communion 2015
  • First Communion 2015

First Communion 2015

Twenty two first communicants made their First Communion on 16 May. Their special Mass was celebrated in St Mary's Parish Church which, unlike our own church, is large enough to accommodate all the family and friends of the youngsters. The Mass was celebrated by our parish priest, Father David Clemens, who was assisted by the parish priest of Lucan in Dublin, Father Peter O'Reilly one of whose relatives was among first communicants.

The Mass marked the culmination of months of preparation provided by our Pastoral Assistant, Trish Cobby, and her helpers. Prior to the Mass the children had gathered in the church hall and this year, owing to the closure of the footpath between Castle Street and the parish church, took a different route which took them down the High Street and across the Memorial Garden. Accompanied by family and friends they returned later to the church hall for refreshments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Deanery Quiz
  • Deanery Quiz

Deanery Quiz

Stansted's team from St Therese's Church emerged as the victors in a closely fought contest in the North Essex Deanery quiz held in Catholic Church hall in Great Dunmow on May 8th. Saffron Walden fielded two teams with that headed by Trish Cobby coming third while other Walden team, led by Patrick Draper, came a close second separated by only a couple of points from Stansted's team.

The quiz, an annual event, raised £292 for the Deanery's Pastoral Council, the money being spent on a variety of projects including those involving young people.

 

  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil

Easter Vigil 2015

Our church was packed on April 4 for the Solemn Easter Vigil which was superbly organised and lasted for nearly two hours. Parishioners gathered outside the church for the blessing of the new fire and the Pascal Candle.

Pictured below Father David prepares the Pascal Candle with markings and the insertion of five grains of incense in the form of a cross before lighting it and then entering the darkened church followed by parishioners. They too had candles which were lit and with the Pascal Candle symbolised Christ as the Light of the world.

The Liturgy for the remainder of the service includes three other parts, namely the Liturgy of the Word which featured readings from the Old and New Testaments.These started with the story of creation and ran through Jewish history and the writings of some of the prophets before progressing to readings from St Paul's Epistle to the Romans and Mark's Gospel.

Father David returns to the church with the Pascal Candle and for the Liturgy of the Word which is followed by the Liturgy of Baptism when the Easter Water is blessed. Parishioners are blessed with water and renew their baptismal vows. The fourth part of the Mass is the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

This very moving and beautiful Mass included chants and hymns led by our choir and musicians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness

Walk of Witness - Good Friday 2015

Christians from most of Saffron Walden's churches took part in the local Council of Churches' Walk of Witness on Good Friday.

Leading the walk and carrying a large wooden cross was Arthur Coote from the Baptist Church. Scores of people, including several from our parish church, took part in the Walk which started off from the Baptist Church and this year followed a slightly shorter and more direct route down the High Street and through the town centre before finishing at St Mary's Parish Church for a service of readings and hymns. After the service most went to the Parish Rooms for a hot drink and hot cross bun.

1. Arthur Coote lead the walkers along Cross Street.

2 - 5. Christians of all faiths took part in the Walk of Witness. Young and old were among the walkers. And even pets were welcome to take part.

6. The walkers arrive at the parish church where Arthur Coote was at last able to lay down his heavy load.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cabaret
  • Cabaret
  • Cabaret
  • Cabaret

Cabaret Evening

The stars came out at our OLC's Cabaret Night staged at Newport Village Hall on January 17th.

"We were thoroughly entertained by a whole host of talented parishioners with songs, dance, theatre, comedy and music," writes producer Louise Barnes. "There was something for everyone and the audience was continually impressed with the skill and professionalism of the performers.There were rapturous applauses from a full house and endless compliments. It was a special opportunity to see our community come together and share our talents and enthusiasm."

Louise said she wished to thank many people but especially the performers who dedicated many hours to rehearsals and showed great courage getting up on stage. Those Louise singled out for praise were our confirmandi who organised a wonderful raffle, Hazel for her colourful decorations, Patrick and Tim's organisational skills, Barney's shepherding of all the acts, Trevor the sound man, and all the other kind people who gave their time and good will to make the evening such a success.

Over 120 parishioners attended the event which raised £665. The raffle featured many excellent prizes which included two bottles of Moet champagne, babysitting vouchers and chocolates. Thanks to all the effort by the confirmandi the raffle raised £207.50.

1. Pascal accompanied herself on the guitar for her opening song.

2. Altar servers for the night, Patrick and (right) Ken, set words to music.

3. Catherine entranced the audience with her talented playing on the harp.

4. Young Nell entertains the audience playing the piano.

 

  • Lord's Prayer - example
  • Lord's Prayer - example

Framed prints of The Lord's Prayer for sale

The prints are either framed (which can be different to the examples) or mounted. An example is available in the church. Cost will be £95 framed and £60 unframed. £10 from every framed print and £5 of every mount only one goes to the Church Restoration Fund. Please contact Mike Rogacs for further details (07890151523).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wednesday Group Christmas Lunch

Wednesday Group Christmas Lunch

T'was the time to be merry for members of our Wednesday Group at their annual Christmas lunch on December 3rd.

Over 20 members were at the buffet lunch which was held in our church hall and also attended by Father David. One couple, Ron and Dolores Clew, pictured at the far end of the table, had an additional reason for looking very happy as later in December they renewed their wedding vows after being married for 60 years.

The Wednesday Group meets weekly in the church hall to make knitted items and provide other support for our twin town in South Africa.

 

 

 

  • Elizabeth Tilbury

Elizabeth Tilbury - WI Centenary

This was when the centenary baton, which is travelling around the country, arrived in Saffron Walden. It was launched last January and its final destination will be the Royal Albert Hall in London in June.

After a thanksgiving service in St Mary's Church, Liz, a member of the Saffron Walden Afternoon WI, was chosen to carry the baton part of the way to the market place.

Soon after leaving the church she helped to plant nearby a WI rose. The baton was placed alongside a display outside the town's Tourist Information Centre while inside the town hall there were other attractions celebrating the centenary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Quiz night

Quiz Night 2014

Others may have been racking their brains but not Karen Grossfield, a member of Father David's team at the QLC Quiz Night held in November at Sewards End Village Hall.

Karen obviously knew the answer to the question but her team had to be satisfied with second place in the quiz which was organised by our Social Committee. It attracted a full house and the price of the ticket included a yummy Ploughman's Supper. The hard work paid off as, after all expenses had been paid, the committee was able to donate a fantastic sum of £939.14 towards renovating our church hall.

 

 

 

 

  • Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival 2014

A wonderful and colourful array of food parcels adorned our church at the Harvest Festival Service in October thanks to staff, pupils and their parents from St Thomas More Primary School.

The children, many of them at the service, had not only filled the parcels with lots of goodies but had also decorated them and many had enclosed a note for the recipients –– the elderly, housebound and the needy. The importance of their gifts was explained to the children by Andy Taylor, secretary of our local branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society, which was founded in 1833 by a law student and his friends to help the destitute in Paris. Since then the SVP has spread worldwide.

After the service the children helped SVP members and volunteers to load up the parcels in cars parked nearby from where they were delivered to dozens of homes in Saffron Walden to provide treats for the recipients.

1. Some of the piles of food parcels provided by St Thomas More pupils.

2. Secretary of St Vincent de Paul Society, Andy Taylor, tells children and other parishioners at the Harvest Service about the history of the SVP and the role it plays in Saffron Walden.

3. Pupils begin to collect up the parcels for distribution.

4. The pupils, seen here with their head teacher, Mary Jo Hall, had something to sing about after all their hard work.

5. Before setting off to deliver the food parcels a welcome cup of tea and biscuits was served to pupils and parishioners in the church hall.

6. Pupils begin to collect up the parcels for distribution.

 

  • Sarah Jane Evans

Sarah Jane Evans: An appreciation

The Requiem Mass was held in our church on August 27 for Sarah Jane Evans, a young mother and wife, who tragically lost her battle against a very aggressive form of cancer on August 12.

Sarah was born in the London borough of Croydon and was only two years old when her parents emigrated to the United States of America and eventually settled in Denver, Colorado. On leaving school she went to the University of Colorado where she read Micro-Biology. University gave her the opportunity to throw herself wholeheartedly into one of her great passions — rugby. She played in the position of hooker in the rugby squad and she trained with the Eagles which was the US's national Womens' Squad. Sarah also trained to become a rugby coach.

After graduation Sarah worked as a scientist but at the age of 26 decided to return to England, arriving home on Christmas Eve, She eventually obtained a research job with the British Sugar Company in Norfolk and It was there that she met her husband to be, Barry, who was studying radiotherapy and oncology at the University of Suffolk, dividing his time between the university and Addenbrooke's Hospital. The couple literally bumped into each other in a research laboratory.

They married in October 2009 in a church in Croydon where Sarah's parents, Charles and Sue Grasso, were married. They had a wedding photo taken on the identical spot where Charles and Sue had been photographed. They had a belated honeymoon cruising in the Mediterranean and another holiday was a stay in Malta where Sarah's father was born — it was Sarah's first visit to the island which she loved.

The couple moved to Saffron Walden in 2010 which was nearer to Barry's job as a radiographer at Addenbrooke's Hospital. Their son was born in 2012 and was baptised in our church on May 10 of this year. Charles and Sue were unable to come to the service but they saw the whole proceedings via a WiFi link.

It was in 2013 that Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent radical treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital under the care of her consultant oncologist, Simon Russell. "He was wonderful and I cannot speak too highly of him," said Barry, who added that Dr Russell had vowed that he would get Sarah to her son's Baptism. And it has to be said that Sarah looked as fit as a fiddle at the Baptism as can been seen by the photograph of her.

Earlier sessions of chemotherapy had been unsuccessful but in May she appeared to be in remission as a scan found no trace of the cancer which by then had spread to her liver and and finally to her brain. Weeks before her death she was in serious pain and was admitted to Addenbrooke's Hospital where she died.

The Requiem Mass was celebrated by Father Tim Dean, a friend of Father David who was away on his annual break when Sarah died.

"God has taken her from this world for reasons that are inexplicable to us," said Father Tim.

"Sarah was greatly loved by many people, both at work and where she lived, but she has left a special gift to the world — her little boy. He will grow up with the the love of others and that of a mother who looks after him from above. We ask that God gives a life to him that reflects that love of his mother."

 

  • The walkers

Walsingham Walk 2014

2014 marked the fourth in a new series of London to Walsingham pilgrimage walks supported by the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom who formerly ran the previous Walsingham Walk for many years. Starting on the first Saturday in October and finishing the following weekend the small group of men who this year hailed from Exeter, Norwich, Reading, Saffron Walden, Swansea and London forged their way along busy roads, countryside footpaths and river banks on a route that follows much of the old pilgrimage trail. Each day is anchored by a common spiritual purpose with two silent hours of prayer as the Walk proceeds, two decades of the Rosary plus Mass and Benediction. The walkers also carry petitions that, on arrival at the Catholic Shrine at Walsingham, are deposited in the petitions box on the Altar of the Slipper Chapel. (Website: www.walsinghamwalkers.co.uk).

 

 

  • Fr Richard

Parish Retreat

Parish secretary Lynn Ingamells and parishioner Berry Wareham are pictured above with the Rev Dr Richard Finn OP who led our annual retreat in September.

The retreat was held at St Mark's College at Audley End and began with Mass in the chapel which was celebrated by Father Finn, a Dominican, who afterwards gave two talks, the first on decisions in the Christian life, teaching, conscience and the virtues of prudence. In the afternoon he discussed hope amidst the structure of sin. The retreat, attended by over 20 parishioners, ended with prayer and a blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SVP Outing
  • SVP Outing
  • SVP Outing
  • SVP Outing

SVP Outing

Fine weather blessed the day for members and the committee of our branch of St Vincent de Paul Society at the annual outing on September 2nd. The committee (first picture) organised a trip to Clavering Lakes where a group of over 20 parishioners were able to enjoy from the balcony picturesque views of the lake and surrounding countryside. They were also treated to refreshments and selection of cakes and scones with cream and jam.

The SVP visits housebound and disabled parishioners in their homes to provide companionship and to help out if they can. Anyone wishing to be involved in this activity should contact the President, Mrs Jean Perkins.

 

 

 

 

  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day
  • Deanery Fun Day

Deanery Fun Day

A brilliant day was had by all who attended the North Essex Deanery's Fun Day at St Mark's College, Audley End, on July 13.

Entry to the event was free and families were invited to bring a picnic and relax in the sun, which shone most of day with rain only making an appearance when everything was being set up and then again while being taken down at the finish. Parents and their children came from the majority of parishes in the Deanery with the biggest turnout coming from our parish which, perhaps, was not surprising at St Mark's College is on Saffron Walden's doorstep.

There was loads to entertain the youngsters which included five a side football matches, sack races, welly wanging, face painting, assault courses and archery. Staff from the College were on hand to keep an eye on the assault course activities. A running commentary on events was given by one of the Saffron Walden organisers, Patrick Draper, who had a PA system. And when a break was needed there was a large selection of cakes and drinks in the barn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Chales Goldie

Charles Goldie

A Requiem Mass for Charles William Homan Goldie, conducted by the Rt Rev Thomas McMahon, Emeritus Bishop of Brentwood, was celebrated before a packed congregation on July 25 in our church.

Charles, whose health had been failing for many years, died at his home in Saffron Walden on July 10. His was a record of years of unstinting and extraordinary service to the Catholic Church and it was one which followed a family tradition dating back to the latter part of the 18th century. Several of his ancestors entered religious life as either priests or nuns.

Charles, the eldest of four children, was born in El Salvador where his father was British Charge D'Affaires and from where this diplomatic career took the family to many other countries, particularly in Europe. On leaving school and completing his National Service, Charles went up to Cambridge where he met his wife-to-be, Beatrice, also a Cambridge undergraduate. The couple, who have three children, two sons, Robert and Paul, and a daughter, Caroline, as well as several grandchildren, celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in July, 2009.

After a spell teaching English in Rome, Charles and Beatrice returned to England where he was called to the Bar and became a pupil in the chambers of John McMahon, the twin brother of Bishop Thomas. He later was employed by managers of ship owners mutual insurance associations, a job that was to take him to the City and also many parts of the world.

He and Beatrice moved to Saffron Walden over 30 years ago and Charles soon became involved in the affairs of our church. Bishop Thomas paid tribute to that contribution to both the parish church and deanery while our former parish priest, Father John, recalled how Charles had helped him so much when he first took over the parish.

"He built up my confidence," said Father John who added that whenever there was a new project or job to deal with Charles' simple phrase to him was "How can I help you?" When he asked Charles to form a pastoral parish council he agreed to do so and "did a wonderful job."

Father David read the Gospel while Father John read out a eulogy written by Charles' three children. They wrote that their father was a total stranger to the destructive emotion of anger and he possessed an abundance of humanity's finest qualities, these including selflessness, tolerance, perceptiveness, wisdom, sensitivity and humility.

Anyone who knew Charles would surely agree that he was also a gentleman in the truest sense of the word –– he was a gentle, caring person who was impeccably courteous to all –– and there are many who will miss him.

His work in the parish included being a Minister of the Eucharist, a Reader, chairman of the Pastoral Parish Council, parish representative on the deanery and diocesan councils and a trustee of the Apostleship of the Sea, a worldwide Catholic charity which provides practical and pastoral care to mariners of every nationality.

Charles spent two years researching and writing his excellent history of the first hundred years of our church in Saffron Walden. The book was published in 2008.

 

  • Trish Cobby

Trish Cobby - Pastoral Assistant

Trish Cobby's voluntary work in our parish was all brought under one umbrella when she was commissioned as a Pastoral Assistant by our new bishop on July 15.

Trish was one of three new pastoral assistants commissioned at a service in Brentwood Cathedral presided over by Bishop Alan Williams who also recommissioned for a further three years a dozen other assistants from various parishes in the Diocese.

The list of duties carried out by Trish is considerable –– she is a pastoral councillor and is responsible for instructing our first communicants, confirmation candidates and those wishing to convert to Catholicism. She is also a member of the North Essex Deanery Council and one of our church's team of fire wardens. And as if that wasn't enough she has a full-time job at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

In order to become a pastoral assistant Trish had to attend a twice a week course in Brentwood. She and the other assistants were told by Bishop Alan that if they wanted to know what their ministry would be like they should read what St Paul had written about serving Christ. St Paul had warned that it would sometimes be very hard. But one word should always be remembered that that key word was Christ. He said the secret of a successful ministry was how close disciples could get to Christ.

Trish was first asked to train to become a pastoral assistant a few years ago by our former parish priest, Father John, but she was unable to do so then because of her work. She was later encouraged to reconsider by Father David who felt the appointment would raise her profile in our parish and encompass all her existing voluntary work.

Although many demands are made on her time she said her husband, Chris, was very supportive. "He is very much in love but he goes off playing golf so it balances out."

Father Alan, a former Marist superior, was appointed the seventh Bishop of Brentwood by Pope Francis in April. At that time he was Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham. His Episcopal Ordination was carried out in Brentwood Cathedral on July 1 by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, in the presence of the Papal Nuncio, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, and numerous other members of the clergy as well as leaders of other faiths.

Bishop Alan, who replaced Bishop Thomas McMahon, is pictured above with Trish and Father David.

 

  • Confirmation 2104
  • Confirmation 2104
  • Confirmation 2104
  • Confirmation 2104
  • Confirmation 2104
  • Confirmation 2104
  • Confirmation 2104

Confirmation 2014

Five young people were confirmed in their faith in our church at Pentecost by Father David who described the event as a "rite of passage."

1. The five confirmation candidates with Father David and Trish Cobby.

2. A candidate lights the Pascal Candle.

3-7. The candidates took it in turn to be confirmed by Father David. Each candidate was accompanied by their sponsor when they approached the altar to be confirmed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • First Communion 2104
  • First Communion 2104
  • First Communion 2104
  • First Communion 2104
  • First Communion 2104
  • First Communion 2104

First Holy Communion 2014

A total of 23 children made their first communion at St Mary's Parish Church on May 24. This special Mass was held at the Saffron Walden's parish church because our Catholic church is too small for that number of First Communicants and all their family and friends.

Parish priest, Father David, said the Mass reminded him of his own First Communion. He had scarlet fever at the time and so had to have it on his own to avoid infecting any of the other children.

"I had to walk down the aisle on my own and I didn't like it and was upset," he said. He also had to have the communion breakfast by himself.

He told our First Communicants that each time they received Jesus Christ in the Eucharist they would be meeting Him once again. "Each time you receive Communion it will be like the first time," he added.

1. Children leaving a side chapel for the start of the First Communicant's Mass.

2. Families and friends with the first communicants in the main part of the parish church viewed from the pulpit.

3. Leading the Lord's Prayer.

 

4. Children forming a queue to receive their first communion.

5. Children being presented with their First Communion certificate called up by their instructor, Trish Cobby (far left).

6. Father David with the two instructors gather with the First Communicants for a group photograph after the Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Camino

Camino - The Way of St James 2014

On 23rd April 2014, Andy Taylor, Tony Grossfield, Lawrence Bonavia and Tim Chase began a walking pilgrimage from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago in Spain, a distance of 787.1 km. They did this in memory of friends, relations and members of the parish who are no longer with us. They are raising funds on behalf of EACH (East Anglia’s Children's Hospices) and would appreciate any promises of donations by e-mail, direct to Andy, Tony or Tim or on the list in the Church Porch.

Read Andy's blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil
  • Easter Vigil

Solemn Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday 2014

Our church was packed for the Solemn Easter Vigil in April which lasted for over two hours. Father David, accompanied by his servers, led the procession into the church garden where he blessed the holy fire, water and Pascal candle. On returning to the church he enacted the lengthy and moving liturgy of the vigil. Not only was it solemn but it was also a memorable night for all who attended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sister Angela

Essex Deanery Day of Recollection

The life and times of an extraordinary woman mystic formed the subject matter of the North Essex Deanery Day of Recollection conducted by Sister Angela Morris, a canoness of the Holy Sepulchre based at Colchester.

Held at St Theresa' s Parish Centre in Stansted on March 15, Sister Angela gave a very interesting account of the English anchoress, Sister Julian of Norwich, who was born circa 1342 and had her cell built onto the wall of St Julian's Church in Norwich. She was drawn to be an anchorite following a very serious illness while still at home and a series of visions of the sufferings of Jesus which ended when she recovered from her illness. She wrote about these visions immediately after they had happened which were later incorporated in a book entitled Revelations of Divine Love.

She certainly lived in turbulent times, which included the Black Death, the Peasants' Rebellion, and the Great Schism in the Western Church which generally were seen as God's punishment of sin. Julian's theology, however, was optimistic and spoke of God's love in terms of joy and compassion. Her theology was not challenged by the church even though it was unique in several aspects, namely her belief that God loved everyone and did not resort to anger, and that Christ was a mother as well as a father figure.

She penned one of the most famous lines in Catholic theological writings : "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

Sister Angela's talk was followed by a discussion and after lunch there was the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction to end the day.

Several of our parishioners attended the Day of Recollection and had the opportunity to meet up with Fr John, our former parish priest for over 14 years until he was transferred to Upminster and later to Stansted.

 

  • Women's World day of Prayer
  • Women's World day of Prayer

Women's World Day of Prayer

Several of our parishioners played a prominent role in the Women's World Day of Prayer which was hosted on March 7 at Our Lady of Compassion Church.

The WWDP is an annual event staged in over 170 countries and involves most Christian denominations. This year a dramatically enacted service of worship was provided by women in Egypt who chose as their theme "Streams in the Desert." The worldwide prayer for peace started at sunrise in Samoa before sweeping across every continent before ending in Samoa about 36 hours later.

The service in our church was organised by the local WWDP group with the back stage arrangements being headed by parishioner Elizabeth Tindsley while the service itself was led by another parishioner, Sophia Corpas.

A collection was held during the service which will be given to the work of the WWDP and to projects run by Christian charities worldwide.

 

1. Sophia Corpas leading the service.

2. Two women take round the offertory baskets during the service.

 

  • Parish Retreat 2013
  • Parish Retreat 2013

Wednesday Group's annual Christmas lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a sweet gesture made at our Wednesday Group's annual Christmas lunch on December 4.

The popular buffet lunch, attended by over 20 members and guests, was held in the church hall and after the meal Father David went round to everyone offering them sweets from a large jar. Before the celebration had ended every sweet had been devoured!

The group, which meets every week, supports our twin parish in South Africa by making blankets and other items which are sent to Father Gerald Gostling who is well known in our parish as several years ago he stood in for Father John while he was in the United States of America. Father John, who was our parish priest for 15 years, is now priest in charge at Stansted Mountfitchet.

1. Jean Perkins slices up the Christmas cake.

2. Father David offers sweets to everyone at the lunch.

 

 

  • Derek Shepheard

Derek Shepheard's 90th

The highlight nowadays of Derek Shepheard's week is the regular meetings of our Wednesday Group's get-togethers in the church hall and it was doubly so at the beginning of October when members helped him to celebrate his 90th birthday.

On account of his age Derek can no longer pursue his former interests which included dancing, fishing, singing and going for long walks. "The Wednesday Group meetings are the highlight of my week," said Derek who admitted that life would be very lonely without them.

The group helps our twin parish of Evander in South Africa by providing various items, which include knitted blankets. Derek became a member largely by chance about 12 years ago.

"I was going for a walk and was coming down the hill when I noticed that the door to the hall was open and I could hear the sound of chatter," he said.

Curious to know what was going on he popped his head round the door and was offered a cup of tea and a piece of cake. "The die was cast," he said.

To celebrate his birthday members provided his favourite cake –– a battenberg and decorated the festive table with balloons.

Now that he can no longer go fishing Derek is offering his 12ft carbon fibre fishing rod to anyone who wants it. Just leave your name and telephone number on the church notice board and Derek will get in touch with you.

 

  • Harvest 2013
  • Harvest 2013
  • Harvest 2013

Harvest 2013

The gift of giving was celebrated when pupils from St Thomas More school joined parishioners at Our Lady of Compassion church in Saffron Walden for a Harvest Festival in October.

The altar was festooned with brightly wrapped gifts of food provided by the school’s children. It was,said Father David, a practical example of our Christian faith, the fulfilment of Christ’s wish that we share our bounty with others.

 

It had been facilitated by the close bond that existed between the Catholic school and the church, and which would continue to support the pupils as they continued on the next stage of their life’s journey.

Some of the gifts were given to parishioners by pupils during the service.Others were later distributed by local members of the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) to elderly and sick in local care homes and to struggling young families in Saffron Walden.

Jean Perkins president of the SVP conference at Our Lady of Compassion, thanked the pupils and staff at St Thomas More "for the love and effort they contributed in preparing harvest festival gifts. All of those who received gifts wish me thank you for your generosity".

"In particular the liked they personal letters from the children that accompanied the gift boxes. These notes made them feel valued and loved, just as important for them as the physical gifts they received. The school made a remarkable effort which is much appreciated by the whole community."

 

1. Andy Taylor, a member of the SVP explains to parishioners and St Thomas More pupils the history of SVP giving gifts to the needy and housebound elderly people in the town.

2. A pupil from St Thomas More School gives a box of goodies to one of our parishioners.

3. Pupils from St Thomas More School with their head teacher, Mary-Jo Hall (far right) and, centre back, Father David with Andy Taylor.

 

  • Walsingham Walkers 2013

Walsingham Walk 2013

1. Saffron Walden team with rest of the Walsingham walkers pictured outside the presbytery ––third from left - Brian Ray with, from right – Tony Grossfield, Andy Taylor and Peter Walters.

Now in its third year, the revived Walsingham Walk this time boasted four parishioners from Our Lady of Compassion Church among its walkers.

Moving it from last year's sweltering August to the more temperate climate of October proved to be a wise move that is likely to be a permanent feature for the future.

"We walked 120 miles over seven and a half days and while a typical day of around 16 miles distance is not in itself massive, the cumulative effects over a number of days, all the time keeping to a strict timetable, can be quite taxing on all of us. For 2013 we had a couple of route changes to master, mainly to avoid roads that, recently, have become dangerous and also two new evening stopover locations, including the Salvation Army at Fakenham who seemed entirely unfazed at the prospect of entertaining a cluster of Papists!

Closer to home we were grateful to Father David for allowing us to use the Parish Hall once again for our overnight stay on the first Sunday of the Walk. There, Jill, Sue and Karon provided the men with an excellent dinner and the wherewithal for our next breakfast. Father David not only joined us all for dinner but also provided one of the dishes. He said Benediction and moved the Monday 9am Mass to 8am. Having this level of commitment to the Walk from a parish priest gave great encouragement to the men.

Thus fed, both physically and spiritually, we bade a sad farewell to all at OLC and continued on our way into several days of fine weather until the rains came down and the wind battered our motley crew during the Norfolk end of the Walk, finally arriving in Walsingham a little wet, but in good spirits, the following Saturday." - Peter Walters.

 

  • Parish Retreat 2013

Parish Retreat 2013

Father Paul Keane, chaplain to the University of Essex, made a return visit to Saffron Walden on September 28 for the Annual Retreat for our Eucharistic Ministers and Readers.

He last came to head the retreat, held at St Mark's College, in 2007 and this time based his talk on Pope Francis's "A poor church for the poor."

Father Paul referred back to Saint Francis of Assisi who devoted his life to the poor and had been instructed by Our Lord in a vision to "rebuild my church." The saint did this by stripping himself of possessions and accepting the invitation that Jesus gave to a rich young man who, however, was unable to give up his wealth and follow Jesus.

In the quest for perfection Father Paul said, "That young man had to be free of his possessions. He had to be able to walk away from them and thereby prove his attachment to Christ without being distracted by possessions. In so doing the young man would be able to follow Christ fully and so find perfection."

"We think that possessions make up secure and safe but it is a false sense of security. If we follow Christ, however, we are free," he added.

Not everyone would be expected to give up everything to follow Christ but it would be necessary to be detached from possessions and also to be humble and not egotistical. This detachment would enable us better to see what those around us need. Our hearts have to be transformed by Christ's work and thereby help us to keep our eyes on the Kingdom of Heaven.

Father Paul said we were poor because of our thoughts, feelings and weaknesses. He stressed that this was one reason why Confession was so important. "We are all poor and so must be aware of our weakness. Part of poverty is letting go of ourselves instead of making the mistake of acting out how we feel," he added.

Father Paul made himself available to hear confessions and earlier had celebrated Mass in St Mark's chapel. He continued his talk in the afternoon, allowing time for questions and answers, and ended the retreat with a prayer and blessing.

 

  • Fr. Gostling & Wednesday Group

Father Gostling and Wednesday Group

A warm welcome awaited Father Gerald Gostling when he attended a meeting of our Wednesday Group on September 25 to talk about his work in the Dundee Diocese in South Africa.

Father Gostling was back in the Brentwood Diocese for a holiday before returning to South Africa and moving to a new parish next month in Kriel which is about 37km from Secunda, his first posting in South Africa during 2004 and our twin parish. About 18 months ago he became a parish priest in Newcastle, the largest town in the Diocese of Dundee.

He became well known in Saffron Walden some years ago when he worked in our parish while Father John was in the USA. Members of the Wednesday Group, pictured above with Father Gostling (centre), have for a long time helped his missionary work by providing blankets, knitted wear and other items as well as funds.

Father Gostling told the group that he loved Saffron Walden, especially because of the wonderful people in the community. He brought greetings to them from the community of Dundee which is largely a rural diocese about the size of Ireland.

An important part of his work in conjunction with missionary nuns and other agencies has been the care of orphans whose parents have all too often died of AIDS. Houses were built for the children and they were also given education and much improved health facilities.

He said the authorities were so impressed with this work that they wanted to see it extended into other areas and this happened in an area known as Amsterdam where buildings were taken over for the benefit of the community. Negotiations are underway to provide a mobile clinic and bore holes are being sunk to provide clean water which can be stored to enable people to grow their own vegetables.

About four years ago the Dundee Diocese discussed splitting the organisation of HIV/AIDS projects into the two main areas of the Diocese. One was in the Mpumalanga Province where the first meeting, chaired by Father Gostling, agreed the project should be named M-CARE and registered as a non-profit organisation.

Those interested in knowing more about M-CARE's work should go to the website: www.M-CARE.org.ZA

 

  • Walsingham
  • Walsingham
  • Walsingham

Walsingham

Over 40 parishioners took part in the in the SVP national pilgrimage to Walsingham in July for a very special anniversary.

The trip for our parishioners was organised by the local branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society to enable them to take part in the 200th birthday anniversary of the founder of the SVP, Blessed Frederic Ozanam. It was while he was at the Sorbonne University in Paris that he and a group of friends established a charity to help the poor. Initially known as the Conference of Charity, the group later became the SVP and now ranks as a global organisation with many thousands of volunteers.

The pilgrimage, which attracted groups from all over the country and from abroad, was blessed with fine weather. This enabled everyone to tour the Slipper Chapel and grounds, dedicated to Our Lady, before settling down to a picnic lunch.

Mass was celebrated in the Chapel of Reconciliation by the Right Reverend Peter Doyle who annointed many of the sick pilgrims. Later in the afternoon Benediction was held. The pilgrimage was also attended by the SVP's national president, Adrian Abel, and the international president, Dr Michael Thio.

1 & 2. Above left and left – some of our parishioners at Walsingham.

3. Above right - one of our parishioners is annointed by Bishop Peter

 

  • BBQ 2013
  • BBQ 2103
  • BBQ 2103

Parish Barbeque 2013

It was hot work for Andy Taylor and Chris Cobby at our annual barbeque on June 30th.

It was a gloriously warm and sunny day for the event at St Mark's College but for Andy and Chris there was no escaping the heat while they were busy cooking the burgers and sausages. The barbeque was a gift to Andy from his mother on his 60th birthday and it was the ideal size for our church event.

1. Feeling the heat: Chris Cobby and Andy Taylor cooking the sausages and burgers.

2. Whoops! Gerard Clinton loses his egg in the egg and spoon race.

3. Right move? I think I'll play this one.

A variety of salads, other tasty goodies and desserts were provided by many parishioners and a raffle prize of strawberries and champagne, organised by Sue and Brian Ray, boosted the overall amount raised to £288 to help church funds. Fun for the children was a wide range of activities arranged by Patrick Draper and Trish Cobby.

 

  • Wedding of Kirsty Sharp and Ryan Liversage

Wedding of Kirsty Sharp and Ryan Liversage

A young couple, both born and bred in Saffron Walden, were married in our parish church on June 29th.

They were Ryan Liversage, a quantity surveyor, and Kirsty Sharp, a purchase manager, who have known each other for nine years. Kirsty's mother, Maria, ran a hairdressing salon in the town's High Street for 30 years until her retirement 18 months ago.

After the marriage service, conducted by Father David, the couple were driven to the Coach and Horses Inn in Newport for their reception with family and friends. They spent their honeymoon in the United States of America where the trip included visits to New York, San Francisco and the Grand Canyon.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Coffee Morning

Coffee Morning

Elizabeth Tindley with her husband, Denis, and another of our parishioners, Berry Wareham.

A coffee morning and bring-and-buy sale was held on June 19th in the lovely garden at the Saffron Walden home of one of our parishioners, Elizabeth Tindley.

The event raised £114, most of which will help finance the cost of staging the the Women's World Day of Prayer in our church March 7th next year. The Day of Prayer is a worldwide event which involves virtually every country which take it in turn to organise the event and raise funds for charitable causes involving women in the host country. In Saffron Walden the churches take it in turn to host the event.

A donation from the money raised at the coffee morning and sale will also be made to the Bible Society.

 

  • First Communion 2013

First Communion 2013

St. Mary's Parish Church was packed for the First Holy Communion Mass on June 15th celebrated by Father David Clemens for 27 of our young parishioners.

"It was the most we have had in a very long time," said their Catechist instructor, Trish Cobby. The Mass, as in previous years, was held at the town's parish church because our church is not large enough for so many people.

Father David, explaining the meaning of the Eucharist, said it was the real presence of Our Lord in the bread and wine. "We pray that all Communion days to come will be as special as this one," he added.

  • First Communion 2013

The big day for the youngsters began with a procession from our church hall to the parish church where at various stages the children played a pivotal part in the Mass, such as reading the bidding prayers, and bringing the candles, flowers, books, and hosts and wine to present to Father David.

A priest from Ireland, Father Peter O'Reilly, who is parish priest at St Mary's Church in Lucan, travelled specially to Saffron Walden for the Mass because he is godfather and great uncle of one of the first communicants.

After the Mass he, together with Father David, joined all the First Catechists on the church steps for a group photograph before going off to celebrate the day with their families and friends.

 

 

 

  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013
  • Confirmation 2013

Confirmation 2013

The Mass to celebrate Pentecost on 19 May was extra special this year when six teenagers were confirmed in their faith. The six were Lawrence, Kate, Kathleen, Thomas and sisters Rosalia and Gabriella.

Confirmation is usually carried out by the diocesan bishop but as Bishop Thomas, now retired, was and not due to make a pastoral visit to our parish, Father David was authorised to confirm the candidates. One of seven sacraments, Father David said confirmation was a rite of passage crossing from spiritual childhood to spiritual adulthood.

The candidates affirmed their faith by renewing the vows made on their behalf when they were baptised as infants. Having done so the candidates, accompanied by their sponsors, approached the altar in turns to be annointed with Chrism on their foreheads.

The Mass then continued as normal and the prayers of intercession were led by the newly confirmed who were later presented with confirmation certificates and a prayer book. After the Mass all were invited to the church hall for refreshments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Good Friday Walk
  • Good Friday Walk
  • Good Friday Walk

Good Friday 2013 - Saffron Walden Town Walk

Father and son, Paul and 13 year old Lee Watts from the Salvation Army, took it in turns to carry the cross during the Walk of Witness on Good Friday.

About 200 walkers, including many of our parishioners, gathered outside Saffron Walden's Baptist Church for readings and prayers before setting off on the walk. Led by Paul and Lee they all processed down the High Street and stopped at the town's Common for more readings, prayers and hymns before continuing the walk which ended at St Mary's Parish Church.

The walk is an annual event which commemorates Our Lord's Passion. It is usually well supported by parishioners from all the town's churches and this year was no exception even though the weather was biting cold. The walkers had a chance to warm up afterwards by trooping from the church to the parish rooms for hot drinks and hot cross buns.

1. Leading the way –– Paul and Lee Watts.

2. Father David with Jean Perkins and Trish Cobby on the last lap of the walk.

3. Some of our parishioners and those from other denominations arriving at St Mary's Parish Church.

 

  • Palm Sunday Procession
  • Plam Sunday team

Palm Sunday 2013

Parishioners gathered outside our church on Palm Sunday for the Blessing of the Palms which recalls Our Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem before His Last Supper and Passion. It was a brief ceremony and many might have thought that was just as well as it was freezing cold and sleeting. After the blessing everyone processed back into the church for the celebration of the Mass.

After all three Masses over the Palm Sunday weekend parishioners had the chance to enjoy a meal in our church hall. In all 110 tickets were sold for the Vigil Mass supper and the Sunday morning brunches. It was the first time that food had been offered after the Vigil Mass –– slow roasted pork rolls and apple sauce –– while on Sunday parishioners tucked into bacon rolls, croissants and jam. As there was a Confirmation class running in the presbytery on Sunday the six youngsters were treated to a bacon roll to keep them focused on their course.

Ben Gill, for the sixth year running, kindly gave up his time to cook while Elizabeth Gill joined members of the Social Group to help prepare the hall and serve the food and afterwards clear everything away. Pictured above are some of the servers: Peter and Jill Walters, Tim Chase, and Susan and Brian Ray.

There were a few absentees on account of the snow over the weekend but a convivial atmosphere pervaded all three sittings which raised £168.50 for church funds.

 

  • Caberet
  • Caberet
  • Caberet
  • Caberet
  • Caberet
  • Caberet
  • Caberet
  • Caberet

Cabaret

Our Social Committee had a wide range of talent to draw on for its very successful Cabaret show staged in the theatre at Dame Bradbury School in November.

The show, which raised over £400 for church funds, was compered by Andy Pryer and included comedy sketches, singing, classic guitar playing and poetry recitals.

1. Solo performance by guitarist Roland Hidalgo.

2. Singing trio: Amy, Blaize and Katherine.

3. Waiting to see the doctor: from left to right, Patrick Draper, Kate Naul, Maureen O'Keefe, Sue Ray, Tony Grosssfield and Ken Lowe.

4. Stone of the Crown band featuring Tom, Rachel and Edward.

5. Soloist Martha delights with a song.

6. Young talent: guitarists Joseph and Tom.

7. Lots of cat calls from Ann Clinton and Pascale Fowell singing Rossini's famously funny Cat's Duet, accompanied by Araceli Valdez-Ramirez.

8. Dressed for the part: Andy Taylor reciting one of two humorous poems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Christmas Vigil
  • Christmas Vigil
  • Christmas Vigil

Christmas Masses

Our church was packed out at both the Vigil Mass for families and children and at the First Mass of Christmas.

There were so many people at the 6pm Vigil Mass that after a while there was no sitting room left in the church so those who came later crowded down the aisles and also in the cloister.

 

Most who attended the 10pm Mass fared better but even so some had to make do with standing room at the back of the church. This Mass was preceded by carols and on Christmas morning at the 9pm Mass religious music was provided by organist John Evans.

1. Our choir was reduced to a handful of members at the 10pm Christmas Eve Mass owing in part to the dreaded norovirus bug but that didn't prevent those who were there from singing in fine voice.

2. Father David reads from the Gospel flanked by servers on either side of the lectern.

3. The altar is incensed, the smoke symbolising the rising to prayer to God.

 

 

 

  • Wednesday Group Christmas

Wednesday Group Christmas

The Wednesday Group hit on a winner for the annual Christmas lunch in December.

This year it was held in our church hall with a buffet feast provided by Waitrose and a superb Christmas cake baked by our star cake-baker, Maureen Hanson. The change of venue proved to be very popular as did the change of menu.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Converts
  • Converts

Three Catechumens

Three catechumens were welcomed into our faith by Father David during the 10.30am Mass on December 2.

The trio were Rebecca Denning, Gary Stevens and Hazel Phipps, who were made welcome at the church door and during this special ceremony filed to the front of the church with their sponsors for the Liturgy of the Word and later a blessing and presentation to each of a Bible. This was the first step towards being received into the Catholic faith and it came after a course of instruction, given by Trish Cobby, which started in April. The instruction will continue until the Easter Vigil in 2013 when they will will be given full participation in the faith and be able to partake of the Holy Eucharist.

1. Father David welcomes the three catechumens at the door of our church.

2. Father David and Trish Cobby with Gary Stevens, Rebecca Denning and Hazel Phipps.

 

 

  • Parish Retreat
  • Parish Retreat

Parish Retreat 2012

Over 20 parishioners took part in our parish retreat at St Mark's College, Audley End, on September 29.

The retreat was led by Monsignor Christopher Brooks, parish priest of Our Lady of Grace and St Teresa of Avila Church in Chingford, whose subject was Creation, Fall and Redemption.

 

After tea and coffee he gave his first talk and, after allowing time for a quiet period, celebrated Mass in the College chapel. He gave his second talk after lunch and this was followed by a discussion session.

 

  • Sister Fiachra
  • St Mary's Abbey in Glencairn

Ann Nutty

Former parishioner, Ann Nutty, made her Solemn Profession as a Cistercian nun at St Mary's Abbey in Glencairn, Ireland, on August 30.

She made her first Profession of Vows as Sister Fiachra in 2009 after completing instruction in theology, early church history and learning how to make altar breads and also to play the organ. Because of her expertise in horticulture Sister Fiachra was mainly responsible for the abbey orchard and gardens and this was the reason why she chose the name Fiachra.

Fiachra, a seventh century Irish saint, is the patron saint of gardeners and his feast day is celebrated on August 30. He created a large garden to provide vegetables, fruit and herbs for pilgrims and also the sick who came to a hospice he had built near the garden.

Family and friends came to the abbey to help Sister Fiachra celebrate her Solemn Profession which made the event doubly special for her.

"It didn't do any harm that Saint Fiachra came up trumps with a beautiful warm sunny day –– a minor miracle in itself considering the non-summer of 2012," she said.

1. Sister Fiachra slices into a cake specially made for her Solemn Profession of vows.

2. St Mary's Abbey in Glencairn, Ireland.

 

 

  • Italian Supper
  • Italian Supper
  • Italian Supper
  • Italian Supper
  • Italian Supper
  • Italian Supper

Italian supper

Our Church Hall became an Italian restaurant on the evening of September 8 where a superb supper was served that could match any rival and even outshine many of them.

The four course Italian meal for 28 guests, who had no idea what was on the menu, was organised by Father David and our Social Committee. The chefs were Theresa Zambit Lupi and Andreas Claas who were as good as any professional. Others in the team were the waiting staff of Maureen, Patrick, Tim,Tricia, Catherine and Fr David. The red or white wine flowed freely though it didn't need alcohol to ensure that everyone enjoyed the event as it was obvious that all were having a great time. Glasses, china etc were organised by Con and the decoration of the hall, which included soft coloured lights and Venetian masks, was headed by Meg.

The team did a magnificent job and in the process raised £470, once expenses had been dealt with, from the proceeds of ticket sales which will go to the Church Repair Fund.

 

 

 

 

 

1&2. Guests above enjoy a cup of coffee after their meal while others toast the organisers with something a little stronger.

3. Chefs and waiters rightly enjoy congratulations for their role in ensuring that the supper was so successful.

4. After all the fun it's time to do the washing up.

5. One of the masks used to decorate the hall.

6. In appreciation for their hard work Theresa is presented with a bouquet and Andreas with a bottle of wine by Stephanie Gill.

 

  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012
  • Confirmation 2012

Confirmation 2012

1. The seven confirmation candidates with lighted candles at the beginning of the Mass.

2. Bishop Thomas (centre) with the confirmation candidates and Fr David and Fr Pawel.

3. Bishop Thomas confirms the seven candidates.

Seven young parishioners were confirmed in their faith at a Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Brentwood, the Right Reverend Thomas McMahon, assisted by our parish priest, Father David, and also Father Pawel from Poland who is looking after our parish while Father David is away.

Father David interrupted his holiday for the special Mass on July 15 which was attended by family and friends and other parishioners.

The seven teenagers, who had been prepared for confirmation by Mrs Trish Cobby, were urged by Bishop Thomas in his homily to accept the challenge in today's society of being a Catholic Christian. Referring to the many mass protests in several countries, particularly the Middle East, he said it took courage to take to the streets in this way and stand up for what people thought was right.

He reminded them of the Holy Father's visit to the UK in 2010 when he had said the faithful should never ignore their Christian roots. Before his visit there had been many strident voices against religion, including that of the atheist, Richard Dawkins, who had described religion as a 'spent force.'

"I think not," said Bishop Thomas, "because I detect a new confidence among Christians in their belief. There is a God and I know Him through Christ Jesus who walked this earth and He alone answers our deepest needs and yearnings."

He said that when looking for meaning in life it was to be found in Jesus Christ who is both truth and life. Much, however, remains a mystery and that is where faith comes in. He asked the seven if there was something massive in their lives which would lead them to take to the streets. "So take to the streets and don't be ashamed of being called a Christian but rather rejoice in it," he concluded.

After the Mass all parishioners were invited to the church hall for refreshments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • BBQ 2012
  • BBQ 2012
  • BBQ 2012
  • BBQ 2012
  • BBQ 2012

Parish Barbeque 2012

The Parish Barbeque at St Mark's College on June 26 proved to be a great success although the weather threatened a wash-out earlier in the day.

Thanks to a deluge, when the heavens opened and sent rain pouring down, water even managed to find a weak spot in our church roof during the 10.30am Mass. Fortunately the weather cleared in time for the barbeque which was just as well as it meant our three chefs, Chris Cobby, Ramiro Ramirez and Cornelius Shanahan, were able to forge ahead with their cooking.

The children had a great time taking part in a variety of games organised by Trish Cobby and supervised by Patrick Draper and Pauline Shanahan while Julian Hales kept many adults happy with his 'Hop and Soul' brew. Desserts and salads were provided by several parishioners while Trevor Wells and Andy Taylor were invaluable in transporting equipment and helping to tidy up when the barbecue came to an end. A raffle prize of strawberries, cream and champagne was donated by Sue and Brian Ray which was won by Ann Clinton and presented by Father David.

The event was organised by our Social Committee whose members sold 140 tickets. It raised about £375 which will go towards repairs to our church.

1. Taking the heat – Chris Cobby, Ramiro Ramirez and Cornelius Shanahan.

2. Father David and prize winner, Ann Clinton, sampling the strawberries.

3. Blowing bubbles.

4. Older children enjoy a game of football.

5. Taking aim to land the bead bag into a bucket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • First Communion 2012
  • First Communion 2012
  • First Communion 2012
  • First Communion 2012

First Holy Communion - 2012

Twenty children, seen here at the beginning of the Mass, made their first communion at St Mary's Parish Church on May 19. This very special Mass could not be held in our own church because it is not large enough to accommodate so many communicants and their families and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Festival of Flowers
  • Festival of Flowers

Festival of Flowers and Music at St Mary's

Two of our parishioners, Elizabeth Tindley and Berri Wareham, created a wonderful floral arrangement for the Festival of Flowers and Music at St Mary's Parish Church. The Festival ran for a week from June 2 to June 10 to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It featured 40 floral arrangements as well as lunchtime concerts, a gospel choir concert and evening concerts.

 

 

  • Easter 2012
  • Easter 2012
  • Easter 2012

Easter Vigil - 2012

Our church was packed for the very beautiful Solemn Easter Vigil on Saturday (April 7th) which lasted for two hours.

1. Father David blesses the new fire and Paschal Candle.

2. The choir and some of the instrumentalists.

3. Father David blesses the baptismal water.

Parishioners first gathered outside for the Blessing of the New Fire and the Paschal Candle, the latter having carved in it a cross, the Alpha and Omega signs and five grains of incense symbolising the five wounds of Christ. Father David, holding the lighted Paschal Candle, then led the way into the darkened church which soon afterwards was illuminated by candles held by parishioners. These candles were lit from the Paschal Candle.

The Vigil featured four long lessons from Old Testament prophecies which included the Creation account and the flight out of Egypt. Also blessed was the Baptismal water into which the Paschal Candle was dipped three times to represent the risen Christ. Parishioners then renewed their Baptismal promises.

The choir, accompanied by several instrumentalists, was magnificent and added greatly to the solemnity of the Vigil.

 

  • Brunch 2012
  • Brunch 2012

Palm Sunday Brunch 2012

Over 70 parishioners bought tickets for the two brunch sessions on Palm Sunday and by so doing raised £165 towards church funds.

The annual event in our church hall came after the 8.30am and 10.30am Masses and was organised by our Social Group.

 

1. Balancing act – clutching two cuppas and taking care not to spill any of the contents.

2. Tucking in – one family enjoying breakfast in the church hall after Mass on Palm Sunday.

The brunch consisted of bacon rolls, croissants and tea, coffee or soft drinks. After the first session volunteers help Social Group members with the washing-up and preparing the tables for the second session.

As usual the Social Group did a grand job and gave parishioners a chance to meet up with each other and have an enjoyable time.

 

  • Deanery Day

North Essex Deanery Day of Recollection

A group of our parishioners attended the North Essex Deanery Day of Recollection held on March 10 at St Theresa's Parish Church Centre in Stansted.

It was to have been led by Fr Stewart Foster, a diocesan priest currently at Custom House in London, but he was taken ill and replaced the day before by Monsignor Bill Nix from Braintree. He spoke about Lent as a season of repentance in which we stop and ask ourselves where we are going and if we are going in the right direction.

He said hopefully we were all going in the right direction but it was possible to end up in a cul-de-sac and find ourselves going in the wrong direction during our journey through life. "The more we read the Gospels the more we see that Jesus Christ was always aware of the Father's presence," he added.

He said the Gospels were experiences of the disciples who gave an image of Christ and why He came. "So when we see Jesus Christ we see the Father," said Monsignor Nix.

On the subject of prayer, he said God was everywhere and that Jesus speaks about God being within each one of us. Prayer is when we turn in on ourselves but all too often when we pray every distracting thought comes into our heads and we tend to think of what we have done or will be doing.

God, however, is never passive but always active. He is calling to us and does not make impossible demands. In prayer we enter into conversation with Him and He with us and this means that He is always present in our lives and in the lives of our fellow men.

Before the talk Mass was celebrated by Father Joe and the day also included Exposition and Benediction. Both Father Joe and Monsignor Nix were available to hear confessions.

 

  • Confirmants - 2011

Fr. John Garrett - Farewell Party

Father John was obviously pleased with the gift of a cheque which was presented to him by Pastoral Council chairman, Ken Lowe, at his farewell party in September.

The party was held at St Mark's College, Audley End, and attended by family and friends who gathered to express their best wishes to Father John who, having been our parish priest for nearly15 years, left Walden at the end of the month. He is now parish priest at St Joseph's Church in Upminster which was his first parish as a curate 49 years ago.

 

 

 

 

  • Confirmants - 2011

St Thomas More - Harvest Celebrations

Pupils at St Thomas More Primary School, helped by their parents, donated 100 boxes of food as part of their harvest festival celebrations in October. The boxes were brought to our church and laid out in front of the altar.

After a short service and address by St Vincent de Paul Society member, Andy Taylor, the boxes were distributed among our elderly and housebound parishioners.

 

 

 

 

Parish Retreat

Saturday 1 October - annual retreat for Ministers, Readers and Servers will be held on at St Mark's, Audley End. Our speaker for the day will be the Right Reverend Bishop John Crowley. We will be gathering at 10:00 for a 10:30 start with Mass at 12:00 (Detailed programme) - please remember to bring a packed lunch. Please confirm attendance with Mary Wheatley.

 

  • Confirmants - 2011

Confirmation - 2011

Five young parishioners were confirmed in their faith on Pentecost Sunday. Their confirmation was made in the presence of family and friends during the 10.30am Mass celebrated by Father John. Pictured with the five is Trish Cobby, far left, who instructed the young people. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

  • Walden Quiz team

North West Deanery Annual Quiz - 2011

One point denied our seven strong team victory in the Deanery's annual quiz at Great Dunmow on June 10. Competing against seven other teams from various parishes in the deanery, our team won the first round and repeated their achievement in most of the other rounds. When the quiz reached its close Saffron Walden tied as winners with a team from Braintree. Both scored 80 points and then had to compete in a tie-breaker which Braintree won by one point.

The winners were generous in victory and shared their prize of boxes of chocolates with the Saffron Walden team whose members were Rosemary Taylor, Derek Shepherd, Vivian Barbour, Tony Stuteley, Jean Perkins (pictured) and Lynn Ingamells and Di Pohlmann.

The quiz raised about £400 for Deanery funds. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

  • First Holy Communicants - 2011
  • First Holy Communicants - 2011
  • First Holy Communicants - 2011
  • First Holy Communicants - 2011

First Holy Communion - 2011

A total of 17 young parishioners made their first communion on May 21 in St Mary's Parish Church. Our own church is too small for this event and permission for the special Mass to be held in the Anglican church was given by the Rev David Tomlinson.

The Mass was celebrated by Father John who was assisted by Father Peter O'Reilly from Ireland who is related to one of the first communicants. The children were instructed by Trish Cobby and Pauline Shannahan. (Click on pictures for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Translation - what New Translation?

The translation of the Mass is about to change for the first time since the 1970s. These changes will be implemented in September 2011 - click here for more detail.

 

  • Evander: Fr. Gerald's visit
  • Evander: Fr. Gerald's visit

Evander and Fr Gerald

Our Wednesday Group had a special tea party in April to fete Father Gerald, parish priest of our twin parish in Evander, South Africa, while he was home on leave.

The group, which sends regular parcels of blankets and clothing as well as money to Evander, provided buns and superb cakes to over 25 guests and members.

 

Before tea was served Father Gerald spoke about his work in Evander and the many challenges facing his parishioners. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

  • Confirmation - 2011

Confirmation - 2011

Five young people, aged between 15 and 16, will be confirmed in their faith on June 12, the Feast of Pentecost, in our church. They are being instructed by Trish Cobby and Clea Harman.

Please pray for them. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

  • First Holy Communicants - 2011

First Holy Communicants - 2011

Seventeen of our younger parishioners will be making their first communion next May - they are pictured with Father John in the presbytery garden.

Please pray for them. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Table Top Sale

Table Top Sale - 21 November 2010

Bargains galore were on offer at a table top sale held in our church hall after Mass on November 21.

All the items on sale were handmade by members of the Wednesday Group and included knitted baby clothes, scarves, aprons, Christmas cards and even a wild bird's nesting box. The proceeds will be used to help Father Gerald's work in Evander, our twin parish in South Africa. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

 

 

  • Humpty
  • Grand Old Duke of York
  • Dumpted Humpty
  • Lionel begs forgiveness

Who Dumpted Dumpty - November 2010

The Social Group Players' production of Who Dumpted Humpty Dumpty, staged at Sewards End Village Hall, proved a resounding success.

It attracted an audience of about 70 adults and youngsters who enjoyed an evening of fun figuring out who had shoved poor Humpty Dumpty off his wall. Only one team proved they had detection skills but they unfortunately couldn't prove it as they had inadvertently thrown away their answer paper! (Click on pictures for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

The cast was Ken Lowe (Humpty Dumpty), Brian Ray (Old King Cole), Susan Ray (Queen of Hearts), Margaret Baker (Magic Mirror), Stephanie Gill (Grand Old Duke of York), Patrick Draper (Baker), Philippa Whalley (Bo Peep), Rebecca Richards (Little Boy Blue), and Victoria Stevenson (Jack Horner). The bar providing liquid refreshment was manned by Ben Gill and Lynn Ingamells.

1. - A battered and bruised Humpty Dumpty played by Ken Lowe.

2. - Stephanie Gill as the Grand Old Duke of York.

3. - Humpty describes his injuries to King Cole (Brian Ray) and Magic Mirror (Margaret Baker).

4. - Patrick Draper, as Lionel the Baker, begs forgiveness from Humpty Dumpty for pushing him off the wall.

 

  • BBQ chefs
  • BBQ parishioners
  • BBQ Dave Powell and Fr John

Parish BBQ 2010

Phew! Hot work for our chefs, Cornelius Shanahan and Chris Cobby.

Many of our parishioners avoid sunstroke by taking refuge under the umbrellas.

 

 

 

Raffle winner, Dave Powell, receiving his prize of strawberries and champagne from Father John.

Although it was baking hot and there was competition from England's match against Germany in the FIFA world cup, our annual barbecue was a great success.

Held at Audley End College, the cuisine, as ever, was excellent and there were plenty of activities for the youngsters. Although mainly a social event for the parish, the barbecue raised £250 for church funds.(Click on pictures for larger version).

 

 

 

 

  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion
  • First Communion

First Holy Communion 2010

A few of the many photographs taken by Di Pohlmann (who will be making them available to parents), telling the story of the service:

Two Masses for our First Communicants were celebrated by Father John –– the first in our church and the second in St Mary's Parish Church. This was because a change in dates created problems for relatives of two of the boys who had already made long distance travel arrangements for May 15. Father John decided to go ahead with a Mass in our church on that day to avoid disappointment for the two families.

The following weekend all 14 of the First Communicants gathered in the church hall before processing with their instructor, Patricia Cobby, along Castle Street to the town's parish church.

Please pray to The Lord asking Him to bless them and keep them faithful throughout their lives. (Click on pictures for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Convert

New Convert

Tony and Karon Grossfield renewed their wedding vows in our church on May 7 but before then Karon was received into the Church and was baptised and confirmed by Father John.

The couple, who live in Saffron Walden, were married 2005. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cake Stall

Christian Aid Cake Stall

Three parishioners, Maresi Bennion, Phillipa Whalley and Dolores Clew raised over £150 Christian Aid from selling cakes outside Boots the Chemists on May 1st.

Maresi, co-ordinator for the sale, said the final sum came to £168.41 thanks to two later donations. "We sold all the cakes and could have done with many more. We will do it again next year and have a bigger appeal beforehand," she added. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness
  • Walk of Witness

Good Friday - Walk of Witness

Over 100 people took part in the annual Walk of Witness on Good Friday which was organised by the Saffron Walden Salvation Army headed by Major Carol Evans.

There was a short service at the town's Baptist Church before the walk, which attracted people from all denominations, including our church, got underway. The walkers progressed down the High Street following the cross which this year was carried by Paul Watts from the Salvation Army. They made their way to the Common for Gospel readings and hymns before continuing to St Mary's Parish Church for more hymns and readings, one of which was given by Mary Wheatley from the Catholic Church. (Click on pictures for larger version).

 

 

  • Maundy Thursday
  • Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday Mass

Our church was packed for the Maundy Thursday Mass which celebrates the Last Supper and solemnly commemorates the institution of the Eucharist. Father John, who is unable to kneel to wash the feet of people in imitation of Christ's action at the Last Supper, had instead to wash the hands of several of our parishioners. (Click on pictures for larger version).

 

 

  • Eddie the Penguin
  • Eddie the Penguin

Eddie the Penguin Saves the World

Infants at St Thomas More Primary School treated fellow pupils and parents to a performance on March 31 of Eddie the Penguin Saves the World. (Click on pictures for larger version).

 

 

 

The story, enacted in words and songs, told the story of how Eddie, accompanied by his wife, children and grandparents, travelled the world to encourage people to prevent global warming by recycling waste. The infants put on a great show which was performed for the school in the morning and for parents and friends in the evening.

 

  • Brunch

Palm Sunday Brunch

One hundred tickets were sold for the annual Palm Sunday Brunch which, although largely a social event, raised just over £130 for church funds.

The event, held after the 8.30am and 10.30am Masses, was organised by our Social Group whose members were helped by volunteers with the washing up and setting of tables. Among those who did their stint with the washing up were Ken and his seven year old son, pictured above. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 10th Anniversary

Wednesday Group - 10th Anniversary

Over 30 members and guests of our Wednesday Group attended a special party on February 3 in the church hall.

They were there to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the group which since its formation as a social organisation has raised hundreds of pounds for church funds and for our twin mission in Evander, South Africa. The money was raised by members putting to good use their skills in making articles for sale. Parcels for essential items have, in addition to cash, been sent to Evander.

A feast of food was laid out for those at the party at which Father John cut into the specially baked birthday cake. (Click on picture for larger version).

 

 

  • Father Adrian Graffy
  • parishioners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parish Retreat

Father Adrian Graffy gave an illustrated talk on St Mark's Gospel at the annual retreat for parishioners at St Mark's College, Audley End, on September 26.

Father Graffy, who has written a book on this Gospel, is director of the Brentwood Religious Education Service and was formerly professor of Scripture at St John's Seminary in Wonersh. His talk was entitled 'A Journey through the Earliest Gospel.'

The retreat began with Mass being celebrated in the chapel at St Mark's College and, after coffee, the talk was given in the College's new River Barn which overlooks a meadow. Also pictured are some of the parishioners who took part in the retreat.

 

  • Football
  • Outdoor chess
  • Lunch
  • Young Tobitt

Deanery Fun Day

Downpours and frequent showers failed to put too much of a damper on the annual Deanery Fun Day.

Held on July 19 at St Mark's College, Audley End, youngsters braved the rain and enjoyed all the activities on offer which included football, jumping up and down on the trampoline and playing outdoor chess.

The fun day is open to adults and children from parishes in the deanery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Year of the Priest

The Parish Pastoral Council has agreed, as part of our commitment to mark the Year of the Priest, that the following prayer for vocations will be said at the end of each Sunday Mass.

  PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

	God Our Father,
	You sent your Son Jesus into the world
	And he in turn,
	Through the Holy Spirit,
	Sent the apostles and their successors
	To continue your work
	As teacher, Priest and Shepherd.
	We ask you
	To choose from among us
	In our diocese
	Priests, Deacons, Brothers and Sisters
	Who will willingly give their lives
	In your service
	And seek to make you better known
	  and loved.
	We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord.
	Amen.

 

  • BBQ at St Mark's
  • Andy and family
  • Araceli and Ramiro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parish BBQ - June 2009

Who says prayers are not answered? At Sunday's first Mass on June 21 Lynn Ingamells (parish secretary), reminded fellow parishioners that the annual barbeque at St Mark's College would start at 12 noon. Lynn concluded by urging everyone to pray that the sun would break through and disperse the grey clouds and, lo and behold, shortly after 12 noon the sun did break through and it turned out to be a lovely summer's afternoon.

Over 100 people bought tickets for the barbeque at which there was a fine choice of food and drinks for everyone. The event coincided with Father's Day and Andy Taylor is pictured receiving presents from his family.

There was plenty of fun and games for youngsters and two are pictured playing with the giant chess pieces. There was also a raffle prize of champagne and strawberries and cream which was won by Araceli and Ramiro Valdez-Ramirez.

 

  • Walking up Castle St
  • Walking up Castle St
  • Tommy enjoys a buscuit
  • Lunch

Brentwood Childrens' Society Sponsored Walk

Nearly 20 parishioners completed a sponsored five mile walk around the perimeter of Saffron Walden on June 6 to raise funds for the Brentwood Children's Society which helps disadvantaged families.

It was the first time that the annual walk had been organised by diocesan parishes and our walkers have raised at least £800 for the Society. One 6 year old pupil from St Thomas More Primary School was sponsored to the tune of £110 by fellow pupils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The walk started outside our church, where Father John led prayers, and two hours later the walkers returned to the starting point. They all trooped into the church hall where volunteers were waiting to provide them with a well earned meal which included a choice of three delicious home-made soups, fruit and a variety of cakes, plus hot and cold drinks.

1. First group of walkers arrive at the church hall.

2. Minutes later a second group winds it way along Castle Street.

3. Tommy, a 12 year old cross collie Jack Russell, enjoys a biscuit after the walk. Tommy shares his home with a rabbit, called Harry, who was found in the garden of his owner, David Smith, a couple of years ago. The two are great friends and often play together.

4. Some of the walkers enjoying their lunch.

 

  • Relieved helpers

First Holy Communion 2009

The relief shows on the faces of some members of the instruction / support team following a wonderfully successful and moving service, when twenty-one of our young people celebrated their First Holy Communion in the presence of their families and friends.

Thanks are due to Fr. John, the instruction team of Patricia Cobby, Rachel Williams, Veronica Shiels and Pauline Mullins, ably supported by musicians and many others from the parish community.

We also thank David Tomlinson, Rector of St Mary's, for the use once again of St Mary's Parish Church; and to the bellringers of St Mary's who rang the bells following the service.

 

  • Walking up Castle St
  • Outside the entrance
  • Communion
  • Communion
  • Group picture
  • Impromptu dancing

First Holy Communion 2009

A few of the many photographs taken by Di Pohlmann (who will be making them available to parents in the near future), telling the story of the service:

1. Patricia Cobby leading the way along Castle Street to the church;

2. First communicants arrive somewhat windswept at St Mary's Parish Church;

3 & 4. Children receiving their First Communion;

5. Group picture of first communicants with Father John and instructors Rachel Williams, Veronica Shiels, Patricia Cobby and Pauline Mullins;

6. A group of girls dancing for joy outside the church after making their first communion.

 

Please pray to The Lord asking Him to bless them and keep them faithful throughout their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Comfirmation

Confirmation 2009

Four teenagers were confirmed on March 25 in our church at a Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by the Right Rev. Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood, who was assisted by Father John.

The four were Christian Eady, Della Helwig, Candela Marquez and Andrei Ramirez-Valdez who were instructed over the past few months by Mary Wheatley. Family and friends attended the Mass to support the confirmation candidates who were presented by Bishop Thomas with a certificate designed by Mary's husband, Terry.

 

 

 

  • Bishop Thomas at the school

Bishop Thomas' Visitation

Bishop Thomas, who retires in two years time, made his last Visitation to Saffron Walden on March 25.

After lunch he and Father John spent a couple of hours at St Thomas More Primary School where he was greeted by two pupils (pictured below) before meeting all the children and staff in the main hall. Bishop Thomas, who celebrates his golden jubilee as a priest this year, brought with him his mitre and crozier and explained the significance of both as well as that of his ring and the meaning of the word cathedral. After his talk the children took the opportunity to as him questions and he ended his visit to the school by meeting staff and the school's governors.      

 

 

  • First Communicants

First Holy Communion 2009

Twenty-one children will be making their First Communion on May 16 at St Mary's Parish Church.

The Mass is being celebrated at the Church of England's parish church because our church is too small for so many first communicants who will be accompanied by their family and friends.

The children, aged between seven and eight years, have been instructed since last October by Patricia Cobby, Rachel Williams and Veronica Shiels.