Newsletter 29th December 2013.
Thank you all for sharing in the Christmas services in the Church in such a joyful and prayerful way. I hope that you have been able to enjoy some days with your family and friends.
Thank you also for your many presents, your cards and your generous Christmas offerings which were much appreciated.
Today, the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.
Next Sunday is kept as the feast of the Epiphany – the 5th rather than 6th January this time. The children will perform the final part of the cycle of mystery plays at the 9.30 Mass. After this the costumes and the props will be put away for another year.
Monday, 1st January, is kept as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. It is not a holy day but many people like to come to Mass at the beginning of the New Year. There will be a Mass in the Church at 10am.
At the end of the year, it is time to thank so many people who help with the life of the Church – at the Sunday Masses reading, serving, Eucharistic Ministers, organists and choirs and helping with the collections. Also those who help with the maintenance of the Church, cleaning, polishing and washing the linen – and those who help look after the children with the various classes – and those who help with the garden – and especially the Parish Council for their wise advice. Then also the editors of the magazine – which provides us with a lot of fun. I hope that I have covered everything – but if I have left you out, please excuse me.
You might just remember an elaborate anagram a couple of weeks ago – did you work it out – in fact it works out as “ While shepherds watched their flocks by night all seated on the ground.”
I am pleased to tell you that a student from the College in Spain will be coming to say during January – Alex Taylor. He is due to arrive on 6th January.
Fun with the children at the school the other day – we were able to work out the names of the three kings – but who brought which gift? There is nothing in the gospel to help with this – in fact the names – Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar come in legend rather than from the gospels. Next week you can give names to each of the kings in the crib and you will be able to attribute the gifts.
A prayer for the New Year:
Lord of creation, in whose power are all times and seasons, bless this year and crown it with y our goodness. Keep your Church in peace, grant us every blessing and lead us to our eternal home, where you reign for ever and ever.
Time once again to complete the accounts for the year – I am able to download the figure from the Bank late in the afternoon and if all goes well, the main balance will be agreed by the early evening. I then have to wait a few weeks for some data from the Diocesan Finance Office in order to complete the accounts. I am moving the accounts from an ancient computer to a lap top for the coming year – so I hope it will make life easier.
The new buses – now known colloquially as Boris buses – have become a familiar part of the London Scene. Good design sometimes includes echoes from the past. I think that the dome at the front of the upper deck is similar to the lines of the classic post war RTs and the curved staircase at the back offers a nod to some of the earlier vehicles – the K and the S classes and the NS with their outside staircases.
We have never had Swinburne before but you might like this:
When the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces,
The mother of months in meadow or plain
Fills the shadows and windy places
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain;
And the brown nightingale amorous
Is half assuaged for Itylus,
For the Thracians ships and foreign faces,
The tongue less vigil, and all the pain.
Just room for a quick recipe – I tried this the other day and it worked well. Cook some pieces of fennel in some lightly boiling water. At the same time make a smooth sauce with some flour, butter, milk and some grated choice. Pour the sauce over the fennel, bake in a moderate over until it is slightly browned and serve piping hot.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon