newsletter 16th February 2020


5, Cresswell Park, SE3 9RD

Tel. 020 8852 5420 


Website: www.stmarysbly

Mass times: Saturday: 6.30 pm (first Mass of Sunday) Sunday: 9.30 am, 11.00 am, 7.30 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 10.00 am Tuesday and Thursday: 7.30 am Eucharistic Service: Tuesday 10.00 am Confessions: Saturday 12 to 1.00 pm

Newsletter 16th February 2020

Today is the Sixth Sunday of the Church’s year.

Only another week before Lent – this year Ash Wednesday is on 26th February.

Saturday is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. At one time there used to be two feasts: Peter’s Chair in Rome and Peter’s Chair in Antioch but now there is a single day. The feast recognises the teaching authority of the Holy Father and we pray for his intentions in a special way on this day.

You will have noticed the works to the roof of the Church. It was necessary to re-fix the high-level gutters and also general to check that all the slates were in order.  It is well worth doing this as regular maintenance helps to prevent problems at a later date.

The bell in the tower is not working at present. The problem seems to be debris from birds’ nest which is blocking the mechanism. Nowadays I have to bring in a specialist contractor with breathing apparatus to attend to this. They have to take the rubbish to a special site as it can be dangerous. Once this has been done, I can arrange for the bell to be repaired.

Thank you for your help with the marmalade sale last Sunday. I will let you know the result at Mass today.

We are hoping to arrange a series of Scripture classes.  There is a notice in the porch for you to add your name if you might be interested.

Lenten fare can still be appetising. Here is my dish for Ash Wednesday. Steam a leek, some potatoes and some stalks of broccoli and a handful of frozen mixed vegetables.  When soft transfer to a dish and add some pepper and some olive oil. Serve hot with a sliced hard-boiled egg.

Lent reminds me of the Gawain poet:

After Crystenmasse com the crabbed Lentoun,

That fraystes flesch with the fysche and ode more semple.

I like this prayer from Baron von Hugel:

All human souls are deeply interconnected … we cannot only pray but suffer for each other … Nothing is more real than this interconnection, this gracious power put by God himself into the very heart of our infirmities.

No trains on the Bexleyheath line this week – the embankments beyond Eltham are far from stable and there are landslips from time to time and some major works are required. It would be interesting to go and watch the works, but boys are not allowed to enter the site.

To the College in Spain again for the first week in March. I am looking forward to this. I will ask the Rector if we can come again in October for the Martyrs’ feast.  It is still quite cold in Spain in the early spring – warm in Madrid but there will be some snow on the mountains and the cold winds blow across the plains of Castile.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon  

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