Newsletter for November 2017
Following the solemnity of All Saints, the Church commemorated all the faithful departed on Wednesday 2nd November. Should anyone wish to have their relatives and friends remembered at all Masses celebrated here throughout the month of November, they are welcome to place their names in the special envelopes provided on the centre porch table and return them to the Rectory.
The word alone spells horror and disaster as we recall the battle of that name fought in 1917, the bloodiest of all battles during World War One where, in only 100 days, almost 500,000 men were killed for only eight kilometres of ground. Europe remembers the Fallen of that terrible conflict this year in particular, as it does all those men and women who lost their lives during the two Great Wars of the last century and in subsequent conflicts. We shall remember them all at the annual Requiem Mass for the Fallen at 11am on Sunday 12th November.
The parish website is in the process of being redesigned and updated. There will be a photographer at masses on Sunday 5th November who may be taking shots of you. Don’t be surprised. He has my permission! He knows not to be intrusive.
This is the successor charity to West London Churches Homeless Concern that I still like to refer to it as. Its vision is “a future where no one has to sleep on the streets of London”. It exists to support people who are homeless and whom no one else can or will help. In partnership with the churches Glass Door brings practical and emotional care and some stability to help people get back on their feet with its three main projects:
The winter shelters, which provide a warm, dry and safe place to sleep for 100 homeless people a night every year from November to April.
A year round drop-in centre and women’s group where Glass Door is able to meet the guests’ basic needs such as food, showers, laundry and access to a GP.
The casework service, which runs all year round in both the night shelters and drop-in centres, helping bring a permanent end to homelessness and more stable futures to the men and women who use Glass Door’s services.
SUPPORTING GLASS DOOR
A number of parishioners took part in the sponsored all-night sleep out last month on Duke of York’s Square. During 2016/17 Glass Door caseworkers supported over 1000 homeless people at least once, 160 guests were supported into accommodation (a 24% increase on the previous year), 98 men and women into employment, 74 people assisted with successful benefit claims and 51 guests helped to open a bank account.
NEW DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
I am pleased to announce that, in succession to David Bevan as organist and Director of Music, I have appointed Mr Ian Coleman. He has extensive experience as director of choirs and organist and as a music teacher. We surely wish him well as he steps into very big shoes indeed! He commences on Sunday 3rd December – the first in Advent. My thanks to Dominic McGonigle for looking after the direction of the choir during the vacancy and to James Bevan for engaging peripatetic singers and organists.
AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED
A Catholic charity working in 140 countries, it seeks to help persecuted and oppressed Christians around the world through prayer, information and action. Currently it is involved in frontline work in Syria and Iraq providing food, medicine and shelter. I have agreed to a retiring collection on the weekend of 4th/5th November. Go to: www.acnuk.org.
SICK & RETIRED PRIESTS FUND
On the weekend of 11th/12th November the annual collection will be taken up as you leave church after Mass. The Diocese has over 70 sick and retired priests to look after. It is a loving concern for all of us. It is not just a question of ensuring they are comfortable in a flat or care home. They are all visited and their needs assessed by those the Cardinal has tasked with looking after them. They are brought together for days of recollection, and trips and holidays arranged and paid for. For those living independently they will have all the domestic costs we all have. Your contributions will help with all that. In some cases the Diocese has to purchase properties to house them. Please be generous. There are envelopes on the centre porch table should you wish to make your gift tax efficient. Always a good idea. Thank you.
PARISH SAFEGUARDING REPRESENTATIVE
I am looking for a mature person to take on this voluntary but important role in the parish. At its core is the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in a parish context. Anyone having a responsibility for both of these categories needs to be cleared by way of a DBS check to ensure all volunteers working with children and vulnerable adults are cleared for this work by reference to a national data base. There is a deal of online preparation to do together with a training day before appointment. I shall be happy to talk over the duties with anyone interested. I do need someone to enable the parish to be compliant with Diocesan policy.
GAS MAINS REPLACEMENT – CHELSEA EMBANKMENT
This immense project, due to start this month, has been postponed until after Christmas. This is to allow more time for the concerns of the local community to be addressed.
Congratulations and our best wishes for their future happiness go to James Hay and Alice Lane, who celebrated their marriage at Holy Redeemer in October.
Congratulations to the parents and sponsors of Ioanna Hughes, Emilia Lowry and Axel von Bohlen und Halbach who were baptised at Holy Redeemer in October.