In evangelical circles there used to be a question that was commonly asked as a kind of test of one’s Christian credentials – “Are you saved brother (or sister)?” I’m sure there was a proper answer, almost like a liturgical response but I forget and anyway that isn’t important. What was being emphasised in the question was the understanding of Jesus as my personal Saviour and my individual response to Him. That is all good but it leaves out a huge part of the “being saved” equation which is to say the community aspect.
In catholic spirituality, we are “saved” because we are members together of the Church which is the company of the redeemed; the people of God; the Body of Christ. We are members, one of another, and also individually members of the Body of Christ. We are “saved” because we have been transferred at our baptism from an old way of life into a new way of life joined to Christ. As St Paul says somewhere “It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me.” And of course Christ enlivens and invigorates the whole Church – His people.
That our life in Christ is best experienced together is attested to by some of the words in the Gospel today. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I shall be there with them.” This does not deny the personal element of faith but rather sets it inside a new, richer, context – that of community. Faith is best experienced and expressed together, in relationship with one another. Where two or three are gathered reminds us, of course, about the inner life of God himself where the divine life of the Trinity reflects God’s inner life as a community of persons united in love.
Love is, of course, the supreme Christian charism, or way of life, reflecting our belief that God is love and that love needs to be expressed in words and actions rather than remaining as merely an emotion or ideal. In a way, we cannot love God on our own. We can only love God from within a community of love and that is why being part of the Church, taking our part in its worship and work, praying within it and for it and for each other is the supreme mark of being part of the community that is saved. Even though the Church can be vexing and weak it is still the Body of Christ and we, together, make up that Body.
With my love and prayers, your priest, Fr David
Dear Brothers and Sisters
After a long and courageous battle with cancer Katie Moran passed away early in the morning of the 7th September with her husband and other members of her family by her side. We as a community offer our sincere condolences to Matt, Rose, and Emma and also to Katie’s parents John and Sue and sister Jo. Katie has been at the heart of our parish life for many years bringing joy and hope to many and I know that many of you are part of her and Matt’s personal friendship circle. Her determined dignity in the face of her illness gave encouragement to many too. Please keep all of us in your prayers.
We also say goodbye to Ineka Keogh this coming Tuesday with a funeral at 1pm followed by an interment in Cranleigh Cemetery, and still to be arranged as I write the funeral of Colin Kennedy who lived with his wife Naomi on Smithwood Common. Naomi passed away quite a few years ago now so now they are reunited as are Ineka and Paul Keogh.
Eternal Rest Grant unto them O Lord, and may eternal light shine upon them and may they rest in peace.
There is a Care Group meeting in Cranleigh Parish Room on Friday 15th September at 10.30am.
BRAMLEY LUNCHES start again this month and the and the first one is on Tuesday 26th September in Bramley Church Room after the 11.30 a.m. Mass. Come and enjoy a home cooked lunch in cheerful and good company. If you would like to come please ring either Anne on 274466 or Felicity on 273083 or sign the notice in the both church porches. We look forward to seeing you on the 26th.
Please come and join us on Tuesday 12th September at 7:30pm until 9pm in the hall at St Mary’s Rydes Hill Guildford GU2 8BP. This year’s Harvest Fast day is focussing on El Salvador and the challenges facing farmers there which is quite fitting as it is 100 years since the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero. Everyone is welcome for more information please contact Martin firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01483 898866
Rediscover Your Marriage:
The Retrouvaille programme offers the chance to rediscover yourself, your spouse and a loving relationship in your marriage. Countless couples have successfully saved their marriage by attending the Course and using the tools provided. Retrouvaille is a not spiritual retreat, a sensitivity group, a seminar nor a social gathering. For confidential information or to register for the next programme – commencing with a residential weekend 15th / 17th September in Welwyn Garden City – email: email@example.com; call or text 07887 296 983 or visitwww.retrouvaille.org.uk.
On Sunday 17th September the Parish welcomes Fr John Seddon from St Augustines Abbey in Chilworth to offer Mass.
Father David will be on holiday from 17th September returning on 3rd October. The office is open as normal.
Secondary school SIF forms can be left at the office for Fr David’s signature during the week beginning 16th October but please remember there is a half term holiday 23rd-29th October and school applications closing date is 31st October.
The First Holy Communion Course will start September 16th. Please visit the Parish website Parish Events page to sign your child up to join the course or contact the Parish Office if you would like to know more.
Dates from the Diocese
21.09.17 Grandparents Reflection Day at Worth Abbey
6-8th.10.17 A Beginning Experience West Wickham, Kent
15.10.17 Pontifical Mass of St Philip Howard Arundel Cathedral
19.11.17 World Day of the Poor Arundel Cathedral
11.11.17 The Big Encounter Newman School, Hove
All details can be found on www.dabnet.org
“Missio Red Boxes
I and the team of parish promoters would like to collect the monies from the Red Boxes during September. Most box holders should be contacted by their promoter direct but if you are not, could you leave your box in the Sacristy at Bramley or Cranleigh. Please ensure your name is on the bottom of your box for identification.
Many thanks for your support. Fran Pickett. Tel. 01483 276614 Email firstname.lastname@example.org”
Diocesan Dialogue and Unity Day
Come along to the Diocesan Dialogue and Unity day – share with other Catholics
Saturday 23 September 2017 10am – 4pm at Christian Education Centre (DABCEC) 4 Southgate Drive, Crawley RH10 6RP
Bring a friend from a church near you!
We are pleased to welcome representatives from two Roman Catholic Communities, both with a charism for Unity, to inspire us in our work for Dialogue & Unity in the Diocese.
Rev. Tim & Kate Watson, members of the Chemin Neuf Community will be help us to:
‘Explore how the Holy Spirit is opening new ways to work for unity.’ We will welcome Ann Gavin from the Focolare Movement, who will offer us ‘Tools for Dialogue’.
We will also hear from the Association of Interchurch Families regarding their mutual support and guidance materials.
Tea & coffee available from 9.45am and throughout the day, with cake for afternoon tea. Please bring a packed lunch.
Book your place now online using the green button, or by phone to Ruth Gerun 01293 651164 or email email@example.com
ADORE (Alton Day Of REnewal) – Saturday 23rd September 11.00-4.00
You are warmly welcome to a mini-retreat day (or morning/afternoon) of spiritual refreshment and renewal, focussing on the Charisms or gifts of the Holy Spirit. At Alton School, Anstey Lane, Alton GU34 2NG. 11.00am Rosary; 11.30am Mass; 12.15 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; 1.00pm Shared lunch; 2.00pm Praise & Worship; 2.30 Talk “Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues” by David Matthews; 3.30 Prayer for healing. We end about 4pm. There is no need to register in advance, and no charge (though a collection will be taken to cover costs).
For more information and directions, see poster or website: www.altonrenewal.com
Or telephone Deacon John Foley on 07769 251747.
The following month, on Saturday 28th October, our guest speaker will be Fr Anthony Meredith talking about the Gift of Faith.