A New Year Message

A New Year’s Message from the Sacred Heart Church

The name Immanuel means God is with us. Yet how often do we struggle through our lives as though we are alone. Struggling under the weight of our burdens we are afraid to put our trust in others, afraid to try in case we fail, afraid of what we see around us. In this fog of fear and weakness we can barely make out the faces of love waiting for us. It may be that past experiences have taught us not to hope in case of disappointment and not to love in case of hurt.

But all that has changed this past year! We have stood outside our homes clapping the heroic work of the NHS family on our behalf. We keep hearing stories of kindly neighbours doing our shopping for us; people walking or running marathons just to raise funds for others who have lost jobs or fallen on hard times. We hear too of vaccines being rolled out at breakneck speed and fully tested just because we bonded together as the Human Family realising that we have a common purpose.

So with all that positivity maybe we can look forward to a brighter future which will see us all more hopeful, more trusting and more believing and maybe even (re)turning to God. That is my hope and wish for us all as we begin another New Year

With every good wish

Father Martin

 

As the New Year starts we find ourselves in another lockdown. However, this time the rising rate of COVID infections locally brings it home to us that this is a deadly disease, and that we must all increase our efforts to ensure the safety of ourselves and those around us.

You will have heard that current restrictions still allow us to leave home to attend Church for communal worship. Bishop Richard has indicated that priests should continue to say Mass unless they need to self-isolate. However, I’m sure that you will share our concern for Father Martin, and understand that we need to do everything possible to protect both him and our most vulnerable parishioners.

Bearing in mind that there is currently no Sunday Obligation and that many of you will be shielding in the coming weeks, we have decided that Father will only say one weekly Mass. This will be on Sunday at 10.30am and will take place outside,weather permitting. If the weather is bad and we have to move into the Church numbers will be restricted, so please bear this in mind before coming to Mass.

We also strongly urge you to comply with the following safety procedures:

Please sanitise your hands on arrival and departure to/from Mass.

Face coverings are mandatory inside the Church and desirable outside. If you are unable to wear a face covering for health reasons then we respectfully suggest that you wear a face shield or refrain from attending Mass.

No household mixing is allowed so please do not linger to chat to others when Mass ends.

Inside the Church please stay in your seats until called forward by a steward to receive Holy Communion. Those in the front half of the Church should return to their seats via the door from the annexe. If you are in the back half of the Church please exit the annexe and return to your seat via the main Church door.

I hope that you will understand the reasons for restricting our services. It is not a decision that has been taken lightly, but we need to balance the needs ofparishioners wishing to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist, with the need for caution and safest practices. Information about the locations of live-streamed celebrations of Mass is available on the Diocesan Website at: https://abdiocese.org.uk/livestream.

We will review the decision on a regular basis and let you know if anything changes. Please also keep an eye on the parish website for information https://www.sacredheartchurchwadhurst.org.uk.

In the meanwhile please bear in mind that Father Martin is always happy to talk to you on the phone if you have any worries or concerns during the coming weeks.

The Parish office will be closed during lockdown but phone messages and emails will be picked up.

If you need assistance with lifts to a vaccine location, collection of prescriptions, shopping or anything else during lockdown please contact Carillon Cottage who have volunteers to help you.

Tel: 01892 784191/785658​​Email: info@carillon-cottage.org.uk.

Wishing you all a healthy New Year

Toni Buckley

Chair of the Parish Pastoral Committee