..... 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
..... that was read at all Masses on the Solemnity of the Holy Family is now available on the Archdiocese's Website to download and read.
The holy celebration of Christmas invites us to remember what really matters in life. At the centre of Christmas is the birth of a child, the Son of God, defenceless and vulnerable. This new-born is totally dependent on those around him to provide love, food and shelter.
We share the responsibility of providing for each other, especially for our weaker brothers and sisters.
A big thank you for all your support this year with the Crisis appeals.
The 44 shoe boxes were fantastic! Today your generosity has been exceptional. We have raised £460 from the raffle and coffee morning. This money has helped house 22 people over the Christmas period and also can help get them get a chance to work towards ending their homelessness by advice and training.
Your support for the projects that Bart Seniors embark on is amazing. We would like to wish you all a lovely Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.
The Bart Seniors Team x
'We are now just a few days away from Christmas.
Huge thanks go to the many people who have helped to decorate the church, the trees and the crib. The Carol Concert given by our Polyphony Choir and brass instruments last Sunday was a resounding success.
Everybody has practised their various roles and all is now ready for the Church to welcome Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, as he enters into history in the humble stable at Bethlehem.
A very happy and blessed Christmas to you all.'
Father Deo, Father Innocent, Deacon Ged and the entire Parish Team hope and pray that you will have a wonderfully holy and happy Christmas and that the New Year will be full of all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This year, your offerings at the Crib will go to the Southwark Crisis Fund which was launched in November 2015 by the Westminster Catholic Children's Society and Archbishop Peter Smith. The Fund provides one-off grants to support families living in our Southwark Archdiocese where a relatively small amount of funding can make a big difference.
As Catholics we have an Obligation to attend Mass on Sundays AND on Holy Days of Obligation (of which Christmas is one). The options that will fulfil your Obligations at St. Bartholomew’s are:
Saturday evening Mass of Anticipation at 18:15 OR one of the Sunday morning Masses at 08:30, 10:00 or 11:30 (there is no Sunday evening Mass)
Sunday’s Christmas Vigil Mass at 18:00 OR Midnight Mass at 23:30 OR one of Monday’s Christmas Day Masses at 08:30, 10:00 or 11:30
After 10:00 Mass Confessions will be available all day until Benediction at 19:00. A wonderful opportunity to prepare for Christmas.