Plans are now underway for First Holy Communions 2021
Please complete the online application form to be found HERE which, at this stage, will be taken as an expression of interest in preparing your children for this Sacrament. Dates and times of preparation sessions are yet to be advised and will depend very much upon your responses to the application form. It is possible that sessions may take place online, if they cannot be arranged in person, but this, too, has not yet been finalised. Please note that you will not be able to skip through the form, but you must complete each page fully before proceeding to the next.
For those who may experience difficulty in using the form, or not have access to a computer or other device, hard copies will be made available from stewards at church from Sunday 18 April 2021.
Once we have received all your responses, we hope to be in a position to give further information on the sessions and indeed the dates of First Holy Communions themselves.
We respectfully ask for your patience as we move forward, hampered as we have been for over a year now by COVID and the restrictions which it has caused. Let us hope that restrictions will soon be lifted either completely or in part, so that we can all move forward, not least with our First Holy Communion programme.
If you should have any questions relating to the completion of this form, please send a message to the First Holy Communion Team, via the Parish Office, by using the Contact Form on this Website.
On behalf of the Catholic Community of the Archdiocese of Southwark, I wish to express my profound sorrow at the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
In union with the entire nation, we mourn the loss of not only an esteemed and respected member of the Royal Family, but also a man who exemplified the very best qualities of courage, fortitude and loyalty. Although born into a very different world, his example and witness leave us, here in this present age, with a lasting and enduring legacy of the timeless paradigm of duty and service.
In this season of Eastertide, when we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and his victory over death, we pray that His Royal Highness will rest in peace and rise in glory. We also remember in our prayers Her Majesty the Queen and all members of the Royal Family at this sad time, offering to them our sincerest condolences.
Archbishop of Southwark
The diocesan Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis has partnered with other dioceses to produce to survey which aims to find out about the experiences of Catholics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey will help the Diocese to understand what has been happening whilst churches have been closed, or opened only for limited periods of time, and Catholics have had to practice their faith 'at a distance'.
Please consider contributing to this survey, selecting the 'Archdiocese of Southwark' from the drop-down menu, so that we can hear about what God has been doing and what he wants to say to us about the future of the Church in this part of England and Wales.
The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete and the deadline for submission is 4 July 2021.
Complete the Survey
The Prime Minister has asked for a National Day of Reflection on the first anniversary of the first lockdown this coming 23 March. The President and Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have developed this theme asking all Catholics to hold this day not only as one of Reflection but of Prayer, with an encouragement for all our people to pay a visit to churches and pray for the many needs, hopes and sorrows that have emerged over the last year.
Read the full statement here.
This year, the Celebrations for Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum will be in the presence of Christ’s faithful. This differs from the situation faced last year when acts of public worship were suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more>>>
Catholic Voices was involved in a very successful survey and report during the first lockdown in May-July 2020. Over 2,500 Catholics in England and Wales and Scotland were surveyed, which has given us important insights into how people responded to the arrival of the pandemic.
Since then, a lot has changed, and Catholic Voices would like to hear again from clergy and lay people about their current experiences and, crucially, what they feel about that future, so the survey is being relaunched. Repeating the survey now provides a good comparison moment.
Please go to: www.catholicvoices.org.uk/survey. The survey will be open until late Spring.
It’s important that you fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it’d be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.
In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales, whether it’s through using census information to plan new schools, doctors’ surgeries or bike lanes.
Because these things matter to us all, everyone needs to complete the census. Do not worry, government officials dealing with applications you’ve made or payments or services you receive cannot see it.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.
Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.
Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the census. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, there’s a wide range of support services available.
These include a contact centre that can give you help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print.
If you need help or have any questions, visit www.census.gov.uk
Church leaders in south London have issued a Joint Statement on the Covid vaccine to encourage uptake as the best way to save lives. The full statement is available on their website here.
Looking for a challenge this Lent? Join CAFOD’s walk for water challenge and walk 10,000 steps a day for 40 days in solidarity with all those who do not have access to a safe water source. Hop it, skip it, slide it, run it, jump it, dance it or stomp it. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just as long as you put your heart and soul into it. Sign up now at cafod.org.uk/walk and go the distance this Lent and help to end water poverty.
For a number of years the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have been considering the publication of a new edition of the Lectionary to replace that originally published in the year 1969 (second edition 1981).
After consultation with a number of English-speaking Conferences of Bishops, the Bishops of England and Wales studied the translation of the Catholic Edition of the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible produced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. From this text they have produced a Lectionary for the Church in India which has received ‘confirmatio’ by the Holy See. Read more>>>
The anticipated introduction of the revised readings and psalms at Mass is the First Sunday of Advent 2022, the start of Year A of the triennial cycle of readings.
Further to the news item below of 18 January.
Today, Friday 22 January 2021, a parishioner most generously paid for St. Bartholomew's to receive a full deep-clean. Otherwise, it is our stewards who clean the church after each and every use.
We have come to rely on a small number of people to act as stewards, and we really need more of you to come forward, where you feel confident in doing so. Indeed, without stewards we cannot open and, if need be, planned Masses may be cancelled at short or no notice where they are not present. To be a steward, you must be aged 18 or over, not shielding or be from a household shared with anybody who is shielding, and you should not have any symptoms of COVID, whether actual or suspected. You should also be willing and able to help clean the church after Mass and Confessions as appropriate.
Please do contact us if you are able to assist, even if it is occasionally.
Due to a parishioner having reported symptoms of COVID and subsequently tested positive, having attended the 18:15 Mass on Saturday 8 January 2021, the decision was taken to shut down for a short time. Following consultation and advice received, we have decided to reopen this Saturday 23 January 2021 with 10:00 Mass and Confessions, with the 18:15 evening Mass and other Sunday Masses following (the 10:00 remains on hold).
All Mass times remain subject to review, and we shall continue to follow any restrictions which may be laid down by government from time to time.
It is crucial that everybody continues to follow COVID guidance, adhering to hand washing, hand sanitising, wearing masks and other face coverings correctly and maintaining social distancing. Please come warmly dressed, as we are obliged to keep the church well ventilated at all times. Before leaving your bench, please check to ensure that you have not left anything behind.
It is crucial that we continue using Track and Trace forms on every single visit to church, even if we attend twice in one day, for instance on Saturdays. It is only because we have adhered to use of these forms that we were able to contact everybody concerned.
Should you have or suspect you have symptoms, and you have attended St Bartholomew's (or indeed any other church), it is vital that you report to Track and Trace to obtain a test and to provide details of those with whom you have come into contact, and this includes the church - it is critical that you tell them that you have been here, so that they can contact us directly and thus speed up the process of tracing everybody who needs to know.
Before we open, stewards will be coming in to thoroughly clean the church. Without stewards we cannot open and, if need be, planned Masses may be cancelled at short or no notice where they are not present. We have come to rely on a small number of people to act as stewards, and we really need more to come forward, where they feel confident in doing so. To be a steward, you must be aged 18 or over, not shielding or be from a household shared with anybody who is shielding, and you should not have any symptoms of COVID, whether actual or suspected. You should also be willing and able to help clean the church after Mass and Confessions as appropriate.
We are grateful to all who have cooperated and continue to cooperate with us in keeping St Bartholomew's as COVID safe as possible.
With the commitment of all, we hope that, unless rules change, we can continue to hold Mass here.
Please keep an eye on our Home page for updates.
Due to a parishioner having reported symptoms of COVID and subsequently tested positive, the church is now closed until further notice. We have set a date of Monday 1 February 2021 to reopen unless otherwise advised by the Archdiocese of Southwark that it is safe to open beforehand.
The Mass affected was the 18:15 on Saturday 9 January 2021. If you attended that Mass, Father Deo will have contacted you, using the information provided on the Track and Trace forms completed each time anybody attends Mass. This highlights the importance of those forms, no matter how inconvenient they might be. Without them, we could not have informed those present.
Please keep an eye out on our Home page for updates.
..... that was read at all Masses on the Solemnity of the Holy Family is now available to download and read from here.
I wonder what might be your overriding sense of 2020? It has been a year unlike any other we have known in peacetime. Locally, nationally and globally, we are marked by the impact of Covid 19 and the measures imposed to try and curtail the pandemic.
For some, 2020 has been devastating, with loss of life, loss of loved ones, loss of livelihoods, and even loss of hope. Yet, through uncertainty and sadness, we have also witnessed the triumph of kindness, in great and little things alike. Our NHS and caring professions, our emergency services, our food and utility providers, to name just some, have ensured support in essential ways. To all those who have sustained the life of our communities, we extend an enormous ‘thank you.’
Despite the challenges, the past year has brought forth so many remarkable examples of the very best in our humanity, and not least from within our Catholic community. Our parishes and schools have served with distinction, something we can rightly be proud of.
Even in restricted circumstances, Christmas 2020 recalls again the great kindness God has shown humanity in Christ. A Saviour is born for us, for you and me. God’s loving kindness placed a foot on our planet in person, through the tiny imprint of the baby of Bethlehem. Forevermore, we share news of great joy, a joy of God’s love for every person, and for the whole world. God is with us. We are never alone.
May the Christmas gift of God’s kindly love fill your heart as we step forward with hope in Christ. May God bless you, and those you love, this festive season and throughout the coming New Year.
+ John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales reports on Pope Francis' proclamation of a Year of St. Joseph.