newsletter 9th August 2020

St. Mary’s Blackheath

Mass times: 6.30pm Sunday evening 9.30 and 11am and 5 and 7.30 pm Sunday

Weekdays: Tuesday and Thursday 7.30am

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am.

Due to the distancing regulations it is not possible to hold confessions at present

Newsletter Sunday 9th August 2020

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

Saturday is 15th August, normally the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but this year the feast has been transferred to Sunday 16th.

Monday is the feast of St Lawrence the deacon, who appears in one of the stained-glass windows in the Church. Tuesday is the feast of St. Clare, the sister of St. Francis. Thursday is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish Priest who was put to death at Auschwitz: his statue is above the entrance to Westminster Abbey as one of the great Saints of the 20th century.

Generally, our arrangements for the operation of the Church seem to be working well. Please remember to complete one of the attendance cards for each family group before you leave. From this week, masks are  compulsory. I expect that the responses will be muted but do your best. The guidance we received says that Mass should not last more than about 30 minutes, so there are no bidding prayers, we use the shorter Eucharistic prayers and the homily is short.

Please remember to return the forms for the First Communion classes as soon as possible as I will need to order the books by the end of the month.

A familiar poem this week:

Into the streets the Piper stept,

Smiling first a little smile,

As if he knew what magic slept

In his quiet pipe the while;

Then, like a musical adept,

To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,

And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled.

For summer days, here is my recipe for a simple gazpacho soup.  You will need a couple of slices of crustless bread, a green pepper, half a cucumber, a small onion and some large ripe tomatoes.  Liquidize them together and add some wine vinegar and some olive oil. Season as necessary. This is a very basis recipe and there are many variations.

Our prayer for this week: Heavenly Father, grant that by the guidance of the Holy Spirit we may discern your holy will, and by the grace of the same Spirit we may do it gladly and with our whole hearts, for the glory of your Son Jesus Christ Our Lord.

My pots are growing well. There is a pot packed with basils shoots, but this is protected with a grill, as otherwise it would be attacked by the birds.  New spinach seeds are sprouting, and I must plant some more lettuce. The dill and the coriander have done well, but the cress has been more hesitant. Also, there are some tomato plants, and these are beginning to bud.

There were plans to renew the wiring in the hall this summer, but these have been postponed for the time being – probably this will now have to wait until next year. Parts are not available, and it is difficult to work at present.

Once again there are delays with the opening of Crossrail. It is understood that trains are working through the tunnels to test the systems but work on the stations has been delayed. There are elaborate automatic systems for the signalling, and it has been suggested that a simpler system, with the control of the trains remaining with the drivers would have saved a great deal of time and money. I look forward to the day when I can travel from Abbey Wood to Reading on a single train.

Out with one of the nieces recently to visit my brother and my sister-in law at their house in Sussex. For many years, the niece had been working in the theatre, designing and making costumes and even appearing for time to time. This has come to an end and she is returning to teaching.  I understand that the GCSE English course this year includes Much Ado about Nothing and Frankenstein. I am sure that the students will have their distractions – come on Miss, tell us about Maggy Smith. 

The quiz question last week: I am sure that you have worked out that this an abbreviated account of the hymn “Jerusalem”.  (Four question for which the answer is “no”, a battle and a construction site.)

For a little entertainment, I found someone who used the style of Gerard Manley Hopkins to provide the text on a packet of breakfast cereal

Parenthesis-proud, bracket-hold, happiest with hyphens

The writers stagger intoxicated by terms, adjective-unsteadied-

Describing in graceless phrases fizzling like soda syphons

All things crisp, crunchy, malted, tangy, sugared and shredded.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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