Dear Brothers and Sisters
My parents weren’t the most, shall we say, positive-feedbackers that there have ever been – indeed we as a family seemed to have more than our fair share of criticism all round. As a child, my natural enthusiasm for things often led me into trouble. I can still hear my mother saying, “David, you’re like a bull in a china shop” when I had just rushed somewhere, oblivious to who, or what, was in the way. I also seemed to have a facility for doing things quickly, as if that was, in itself, a good and worthy thing. I found that applying that extra 10% or whatever it might be just didn’t seem to be worth the extra effort. “David’s work would be excellent if he didn’t always rush it” was a common remark on my school report.
Today’s opening prayer may seem like a bad idea, then, taking into account what I have said above. “we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised.” Why all the haste?
To answer this, we need to try to imagine what Jesus is asking of us, and offering to us. He is offering us a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to receive something very precious indeed. He is offering God’s friendship and an on-going relationship with us in love. Unlike my parents, perhaps, he is less concerned with what ‘was’ than with the future. He has a future full of promise for each of us. Why wouldn’t we want it? What’s stopping us from taking this opportunity? We see that when Jesus presents the Good News of the Kingdom to people He also always offers them a choice – to take it or leave it. He doesn’t push, as it were, but if you are going to accept his invitation then he demands a wholesale response. There can be no equivocating and shilly-shallying around as we debate whether there might be a better opportunity somewhere else just around the corner. Jesus asks us to “throw our lot in” with Him, and in return? He will be faithful to us; He will be with us even to the end of time.
This choice, to follow, and to follow completely, is so important that it overrides other even seemingly essential things that we might be expected to do – burying your mother or father, seeing a new farm you’d just bought etc. But Jesus insists that we hasten to accept this gift from God. Perhaps he knows human nature too well. The enthusiasm of a moment can evaporate very quickly once reality begins to sink in – we can ‘stumble’ – but I think Jesus wants us to ride with our first, and best instincts. To do that we have to hasten and we have to desire. We have to desire what Jesus desires for us – holiness, wholeness, truth and integrity. We must hasten after all these gifts and not look back.
With my very best wishes, Fr David.
Special collection this week for the Retired Priests’ Fund. Gift Aid.
Retired Priests’ Collection – Sunday 4th November 2018
Every year at least £200,000 is needed for the support of our retired priests. The amounts incurred are likely to increase in coming years as more priests reach retirement age. This support ensures that priests do not face financial hardship when their parish ministry comes to an end.
While in active parish ministry, priests’ accommodation and domestic needs are met by the parish and a modest personal income is usually provided from offerings at Christmas, Easter and from baptisms, weddings and funerals.
There is no charge to the parish for pension contributions to fund the future needs for their priest. The Retired Priests’ Fund supplies these needs, whether the priest is able to live independently or whether more care is required.
In recent years, this collection has contributed only a fraction of the amount needed. Please give generously so that we can express our concern and gratitude towards those who have served us so loyally over the years. With love from Bishop Richard
CAMEO – Please come along to the Cranleigh Parish Meeting room on Tuesday 6thNovember to hear a talk for the ladies of the Parish Cameo Group. Gillie Nicholls will be coming to give us an illustrated talk about her charity (Les Amis Burkina Faso) which serves the handicapped girls and women in West Africa.
The Word who is Life – don’t forget to sign up forthe coach to Guildford on the 19thNovember. Transport to this event is being paid for by the Parish. The Coach will leave JCROM at 6pm and travel onto STM and then onto Guildford returning after the event. Seats are still available should you wish to join the coach.
Remembrance Sunday– Please note the Parish Mass will take place in Bramley at 9am. The Remembrance Service in Cranleigh starts at 10.30am at The War Memorial following the procession from St Nicolas Church at 10.10am. There will be no 11am Mass in Cranleigh.
Day of Reflection: 17thNovember, for Extraordinary Minsters of Holy Communion, at Weybridge. Please note that this event is now fully booked. Thank you.
Worth Abbey- Open Cloister Retreats 2019: visit www.worth.co.uk
Justice & Peace Assembly 2019: ‘Slavery On Our Doorstep’‘, Saturday 26thJanuary, from 10 am (coffee from 9.30). Learn about the slave trade hidden under your nose and how you can help those affected. Speakers from the Santa Marta Group and Sussex Police. To book contact Rosie Read, Formation Secretary at email@example.com 01293 651161.
You are warmly invited to a presentation of the third episode of ‘Catholicism – a journey to the heart of the faith’, by the acclaimed author and speaker Bishop Barron, on Saturday November the 24th, 2018. This is a Chilworth Abbey Study Day given by Fr John Seddon OSB, who will con-textualise the episode and then teach and lead discussion about its subject matter. The day begins with Mass at 9.00 am, followed by coffee. The third film investigates ‘The Ineffable Mystery of God‘ and will be shown, chapter by chapter followed by teaching and discussion. Midday prayer and lunch will divide the day and concludes at 4.00 pm. Come to part, or all of the day, as it suits you. Bring a packed lunch and a friend. Tea and coffee is provided. More information at chilworthbenedictines.com
THE BIG ENCOUNTER – DIOCESAN YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT FESTIVAL, NEXT SATURDAY, WORTH ABBEY
It’s happening next Saturday (the 10th) at the Performing Arts Centre, Worth Abbey, starting at 6.30pm and ending at around 9.30. It’s totally free, and there’s no need to book. We’re expecting a few hundred people and we’ve got an amazing line-up for the event. Bryony Wells is our keynote speaker, and the Youth 2000 worship band are leading the music. Bishop Richard will also be with us, for an event with live music, powerful talks, adoration, and more. It’s open to anyone aged 16-35. For more information, search for ‘Catholic ENCOUNTER’ on Facebook.