Dear Brothers and Sisters
Welcome to Advent!
Today we begin a short season of preparation for the Nativity of Christ – we reflect on Jesus’ historical birth, his continuing presence with us in the Church and in the Sacraments, and, importantly, his coming again in glory to reign over his Kingdom and reward with eternal life those who have been faithful.
Of course, we, like most people in the church and outside it are preparing for something called Christmas which, in its contemporary form is not the same thing as that which I have described above. There has been an increasing divergence in the celebration of Christmas within the Church and without it – without in the widest possible sense. Even though many people will come to our Christmas masses – some of them regular parishioners, some not so regular parishioners and some, others, just responding to a certain “something” calling them to worship; to the ‘mystery’ that is the Incarnation – a huge majority will still give gifts, go to parties, get drunk at office parties and generally ‘celebrate’ Christmas without the slightest thought for the baby in the crib, or the Virgin birth, or the wise men and shepherds. And, to top all that, a desperate retail sector will be advising us all that the proper way to do Christmas is to spend large amounts of scarce money on gifts – the perfect gifts.
But, let us not fall into that trap. By all means mark Christmas as a special time, and time of wonder and excitement, by marking the event with an exchange of gifts. But don’t think that presents are a substitute for presence. The Incarnation celebrates God with us – or Emmanuel – this is God’s most wonderful gift to us – Himself. So why not emulate his style? Give yourself to each other this Christmas tide. Be your best, most generous, most loving that you can be. Be joyful and let your faith radiate from you – then perhaps all those people caught in the cycle of endless stress and worry about what to give and to who might be inspired to copy us. Let us witness to the presence of life and love and truth in our midst.
But let’s prepare for it properly – spiritually, that is. By reflecting on our need for Christ in our lives to heal, strengthen and reconcile. The Christ who came humbly into the world and who still knocks on the doors of our hearts. Will you answer? Or will Christ be left outside this coming Christmas?
With fondest best wishes
Please book your place for the Christmas lunch which takes place on 18th December in Bramley. Numbers are limited but we would very much welcome some Cranleigh parishioners who have been largely absent at the lunches in 2018, please ring Bev on 892712 (mark.bev@ btopenworld.com) or Dinah on 271241 (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 15th December. Many thanks, Dinah
The Finance Committee would like to remind you that all Christmas monetary gifts for Father David should be placed in an envelope clearly marked with “Father David”. This includes cash or cheques made payable to “David Osborne”. Pre-addressed envelopes will be available at the back of both Bramley and Cranleigh churches. Any loose cash or unmarked envelopes placed in the collection plate will be assumed to be a gift to the Parish funds.”
CAFOD World Gifts – the true spirit of Christmas Giving
Give a gift that will change a life . There are gifts for every budget from Happy Queen Bee at £4 to Help a Refugee child at £46. Each CAFOD World gift has been chosen for the real and lasting difference it makes to families living in developing countries . Catalogues are available at church or you can buy online at cafod.org.uk/worldgifts
You are warmly invited to a presentation of the fourth episode of ‘Catholicism – a journey to the heart of the faith’, by the acclaimed author and speaker Bishop Barron, on Saturday December the 15th, 2018. This is a Chilworth Abbey Study Day given by Fr John Seddon OSB, who will contextualise 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 ‘Mary, the Mother 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. St Augustine’s Abbey, Sample Oak Lane, Chilworth, Near Guildford. GU4 8QR Online information: www.chilworthbenedictines.com
CAFOD Memorial Mass at Jesus Christ The Redeemer, Cranleigh 23 November
Book of Remembrance
Thank you so much to Fr David Osborne for celebrating our CAFOD Arundel and Brighton Mass of Remembrance for volunteers and supporters who have passed away at Jesus Christ The Redeemer of Mankind, today.
Many thanks also to Roger Morton our Campaign Volunteer Coordinator for organising the Mass, Jane and Tracy for all their help with the logistics, Steve Rowden our Office Volunteer for preparing the CAFOD Book of Remembrance, Marion for serving at Mass, Jane and Win for being Eucharistic Ministers, Isobel for reading with Roger, Joan and Mary for helping with the offertory and Chris and those who provided and helped organise the refreshments afterwards. It was a tremendous team effort.
It was lovely to meet some of our supporters and volunteers from other parishes in the local area and thank you all so much for coming to the Mass. This occasion was particularly special as it was my first CAFOD Mass and quite by chance, held in my home parish on what would have been my father’s 90th birthday! I told the congregation The Memorial Mass is such a moving occasion remembering all those CAFOD supporters and volunteers who have helped CAFOD reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable people in our world and who are now enjoying their reward in Heaven.
‘A light giving light others.’
Speaking personally, I have been so impressed with the CAFOD legacy team who helped me set up a Candlelight Fund in memory of my father especially Roisin Beirne.
If you would like to host next year’s Memorial Mass in November 2019 in your parish, then please let me know by calling 01483 89886 or email: email@example.com
Jenny FinlaysonCPC Arundel and Brighton
World Meeting of Families: The Best Bits!
Did you attend World Meeting of Families in Dublin? Do you wish you had been able to attend? Would you like to learn more about sharing your faith as a family?
If so – we have the event for you!
Open to all families – this is a chance to revisit some of what we learnt at The World Meeting of Familie 2018 and explore some practical ways to gently experience what it means to be the ‘Domestic Church’. There will also be mince pies and mulled wine!!
So pop it in your diary – 15th December at the St Philip Howard Centre, Crawley. Please let us know by 10th December if you would like to attend, by emailing Lizzie Wakeling firstname.lastname@example.org that we can let you know the details.
New Name for DABCEC: The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Christian Education Centre, 4 Southgate Drive, Crawley, RH10 6RP, is now known as the St Philip Howard Centre for Education, Formation & Mission.
National Board of Catholic Women: Day with Bishop Richard on Saturday 23rd February, From 10 am to 1 pm, at the St Philip Howard Centre (formerly DABCEC). Explore ways to engage with ‘The Word who is Life’. Book at email@example.com
Retreat for Doctors: At Worth Abbey from Friday 1st March to Sunday 3rd March. The Spiritual Director is Fr Stephen Ortiger. Theme “Love Thy Neighbour as Yourself”. £150 full board. For details and bookings please email the organiser, Dr Joe O’Dwyer, (adding Doctors’ Retreat in subject) firstname.lastname@example.org
Wintershall are offering 20 free tickets to our church congregation for the performance on Wednesday 7pm 12 December.
Please email the parish office for more information. The Nativity at Wintershall 12-16 December 2018 www.wintershall.org.uk
A member of our Parish is selling his yellow Dawes bike with panniers for £50 ovno with a donation to the Parish Meeting Room, if you would like more information or more photos please contact the Parish office.