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A Lenten Message From Fr Martin

Dear Parishioner

Greetings and Blessings and a happy Lent and Easter to you. Lent does not normally begin with happiness. We are more used to hearing how hard it will be. The challenge is to see our lives in the light of what we receive from God. This means holding the darkness of our lives up against the light of God’s love. We begin with the ashes and walk to the light.

The Presence of God: Lord, help me to be fully alive to your presence. Embrace me in your love. Let my heart become one with yours. I long for your nearness Lord, because when I turn my thoughts to you, I find peace and contentment.

Freedom: Your death on the cross has set me free. I can live joyously and freely without fear of death. Your mercy knows no bounds. Thank you!

In Conclusion: At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you. I leave aside my daily tasks and worries. I will rest in your presence and I look forward to listening to your Word in the stories of the Old Testament and in the teachings from the Gospel. May the Holy Spirit enlighten my mind and heart this Lenten Season.

Please see attached The Way of the Cross.

Every Blessing

 

Fr Martin

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Lent

This week we have received a letter from Bishop Richard which encourages us to take part in the diocesan Lent Mission which starts on Monday 22nd February.

‘Invited’ has been designed by the Diocesan Formation Team; It is the first year of a five year programme whose aim is to help us to understand better how much God loves us and how we can best respond to his loving initiative. Time-wise ‘Invited’ requires 45 minutes at 7pm each Monday in Lent, and if we wish to join a group, 75 minutes at 7.30pm each Thursday.The sessions will be available via the diocesan website www.abdiocese.org.uk/invited and group sessions via Zoom. Please register on the website to receive an invitation to a Thursday group.

Scripts for the episodes and the reflection questions will be available to print for anyone who is not able to join online. To find out more contact the Parish Office or diocesan Formation Team; Email: invited@abdiocese.org.uk.

Lent is an excellent time for doing something more rather than something less and ‘Invited’ fits that bill admirably. My prayer is that ‘Invited’ will enable us to know our Lord Jesus Christ more clearly, love him more dearly and follow him more nearly, day by day. I recommend it very warmly.

God Bless

Father Martin

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Church Closure

At the time of writing government regulations allow places of worship to open for services. However, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all Masses and close our Church until further notice.
This decision has been made in the light of rising COVID infections in our area and will protect our priest and our congregation from the risks associated with mixing with other households indoors. We understand that this will be a disappointment to many of you but know that you will appreciate our aim to keep everyone safe and well at this time.

Information about the locations of live-streamed celebrations of Mass is available on the Diocesan Website at: https://abdiocese.org.uk/livestream.

Father Martin will continue to say Mass privately and will be praying for you and your families. He is also happy for you to phone him if you would like prayer or a Mass for a specific intention.

The Parish Office will be closed to visitors until further notice. However, emails and phone messages will be dealt with on a regular basis, and if you need a priest urgently please contact Father Martin direct.

The Rosary group can pray for you and your concerns, and the Mother’s Prayers group is meeting by Zoom. Please contact Rosie on 01892 785464, Antonia on 782679 or Grainne on 07841 414689 if you would like prayer for a specific person or intention.

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Masses this week

There will be no Mass on Thursday 7th January or Saturday 9th January 2021. There will be Mass on Sunday 10th January at 10.30am.

This will be celebrated outside weather permitting.

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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

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Christmas Masses and COVID 19

We are pleased to confirm that despite the current restrictions, Communal Worship can continue, so our Christmas Masses can go ahead.

However, if you live in a Tier Four area we ask you you to give serious consideration as to whether you should be attending Mass at our Church in Wadhurst, which is in Tier Two.

 

 

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Christmas Information

MassTimes

We have been very fortunate to celebrate Mass outside in the church grounds. This included Advent and our Christmas Day Mass, which although was very cold it was still well attended.

There will not be Mass on Thursday 31st December 2020 or Friday 1st January 2021.

Weekly Mass times are as follows:

Thursday​ 10am

Saturday 6pm

Sunday​ 10.30am

Christmas Mass Times

There will be two  Masses on Christmas Eve at 4pm and 6pm. Christmas Day there will be Mass at 10.30am. There will be no Mass on  26th December. Sunday 27th December Mass will be at 10.30am.

You are reminded that the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy days of Obligation is currently suspended. If you, and your family, could attend just one Mass over this period, it would help to ensure that there is space for everyone.  

As space in the Church is limited due to social distancing we will be asking you to let us know in advance which Mass you would like to attend. Please contact the Parish Office on or after Monday 14th December letting us know your name, contact number, the number of people in your household and your preferred Mass time over the Christmas period. If you can give a second choice of Mass, that too would be very helpful.

You can email parishsecretary.sacredheart@gmail.com or telephone 01892 784311. All emails and phone messages will be dealt with in date/time order and we will let you know if space is available at your preferred time by Monday 21st December.  

We are putting on extra Masses to enable everyone to join us in celebrating our Saviour’s birth. However, we ask for your understanding if your first choice of Mass is not available.

NB. We plan to have Mass outside on Sunday & Christmas Day, weather permitting, so please come dressed warmly and with appropriate footwear.

Christmas Cards

Can we ask you please not to leave Christmas cards for parishioners in the Church or Annexe this year. We have to keep all surfaces clear as part of our infection control measures.

The Mayors Toy Appeal

Runs until Wednesday 16th December so there is still time if you would like to make a donation. Please see the website for details www.twmta.co.uk.  Or call Karen Collins on 07748 074811.

Missio Red Boxes

Catherine Heathcote is now our parish representative for Missio. Your donations for this year need to be counted so please bring your red boxes to Church next time you come to Mass or leave them in the porch of the Priest’s Cottage if that is more convenient.

Nourish Donations

Donations of food can be left at the collection point in Ticehurst Village Store or you can make a financial donation towards local families needing help this Christmas. Please see the website www.nourishcommunityfoodbank.org.uk or call the Parish Office for details.

Dear Parishioner,

We find ourselves once again approaching one of our most important celebrations with the overhang of some incredibly difficult circumstances. We continue to hope and pray that you and your families are keeping safe and well at this difficult time.

You may recall that Easter fell during the first National Lockdown and at that time, given the exceptional circumstances, the Parish Finance Committee (PFC), took the unusual step of communicating directly with the Parish, regarding collections at the Easter services. It is heartbreaking to think, that eight months later and we are still trying to contend with such challenging difficulties. While we will hopefully not be in the same position of a National Lockdown at Christmas, it is very likely that not everyone will be able or free to enjoy Christmas services, in the same manner as would normally be the case.

Therefore, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind parishioners, that the offertory collection, during the Christmas services, is held as our personal offering to Father Martin, to support him and thank him for everything he does on our behalfthroughout the year.

So, for those who will sadly be unable to join in the services this Christmas, due to current restrictions, we wanted to afford you the opportunity to show your support for Fr. Martin, via an alternative route, to that of the church collection plate.

If this is something that you would like to avail of, we would ask you to consider transferring your personal gift directly into the Parish bank account marked with the reference Father Martin”. For convenience, the Parish account details, through which you can make your Christmas gift via electronic payment, are set out below.

Thank you for your ongoing and generous support.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year,

Greg O’Higgins
Chair of the Parish Finance Committee

Account details:  

Account Name: Sacred Heart Wadhurst
Account No: 11077198
Sort code: 400520
Payment Reference:  Father Martin

Note:

If required, the full account name is:

Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, Sacred Heart Wadhurst.

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Remember, tomorrow is Black Friday but…

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Mayors Toy Appeal 2020

The Mayors Toy Appeal for 2020 runs from Monday 9 November to Wednesday 16 December

Please see the website for details of how to donate

|Tunbridge Wells Borough Council | Mayoral A\C | Sort code: 30-00-02 | Account Number: 01397910 | Ref: Toy Appeal |

This year’s Mayors Toy Appeal is going to be more difficult than most and as you have supported in the past I’d like to ask for your support again! This year, I’m afraid, it will be online donations only but if you would like to donate cash online or buy a gift please go to www.twmta.co.uk to find all the details.

 

However if you are happy to shop in Tunbridge Wells and buy a gift of £10 or more, you can be entered into a draw by showing your proof of purchase to the Town Hall reception staff and have a chance to win an amazing £500 worth of shopping vouchers. All details on the website or give me a call on 07748 074811.

Wish us luck and thank you

Karen

Missio Red Boxes

Yes. It’s that time of year again. Please bring your overflowing boxes to Church next time you come to Mass or leave them in the porch of the Priest’s Cottage if that is more convenient.

Look forward to seeing you all soon

Chrissie & Toni

 

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Catholic Bishop’s Conference Of England and Wales

Statement on Safeguarding Friday 20th November 2020
The account given in the IICSA Report of abuse known to be inflicted on children in the Catholic Church in England and Wales in the past 50 years is shocking and overwhelming. At our meeting this week, we Bishops have stood together in profound shame. We express our sorrow and contrition before God.
We have reflected on our need to reach out afresh to those who bear the wounds of permanent damage caused by this abuse. We commit ourselves to listen more intently to those who have been abused so as to learn from them and benefit from their wisdom. It is through learning from their testimony that hearts are changed.
We are grateful to those survivors who have come forward, not only to lay before us their experience of abuse, but to help us understand the depth of their pain. We invite anyone who has experienced abuse to come forward, no matter how long ago the abuse took place. We undertake to listen carefully to them with open heart and mind and support them on a journey of healing.
We have carefully considered the recommendations of the IICSA Report and formally accepted them. We have already begun work towards their implementation.
The IICSA’s generic hearings into the Church began last October. Around that time we commissioned an Independent Review of our Safeguarding Structures and Arrangements in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. This was carried out by Mr Ian Elliott, an experienced safeguarding professional who has worked across the world in this area.
This week, alongside the IICSA Report, we have also examined in depth the Final Report of the Elliott Review and fully accepted its recommendations. It is a searching analysis of our safeguarding work, in its weaknesses and strengths. It proposes a number of remedial and forward-looking recommendations, which accord with the IICSA Report’s own recommendations. The work of implementation will begin immediately. It will be carried out in close cooperation with the Religious Orders who play such an important part in the life of the Church.
In all our activities, our desire and resolve is to be a Church in which every child and vulnerable person is not only safe but nurtured into human flourishing. These recommendations present us with steps towards this goal. Key to them is a standards-based approach to safeguarding together with a specially commissioned national body with powers of effective audit and oversight of safeguarding in both Dioceses and Religious Orders. Everyone in the Church will

be required to work to clear, published standards of behaviour and action. Most significantly, the Elliott Report has been fashioned with the participation of survivors of abuse. Their insight and wisdom has been crucial. We thank them for their great courage and generosity in working with us and we look forward to continuing this growing collaboration.
The Elliott Report builds on all that has been achieved in our safeguarding ministry in the past 20 years, achievements also recognised in the IICSA Report. Therefore we thank profoundly all who contribute to the work of safeguarding in the Church today: the thousands of Parish Safeguarding Representatives, the professionals who work in our Safeguarding Offices in every Diocese, the Safeguarding Commissions who oversee this work and give objective and professional advice to guide our decisions, the staff of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service and those who serve on the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission. These, and many others, have contributed greatly to the current work of safeguarding in the Church.
Today, however, we acknowledge without hesitation, our failings, our mistakes, our lack of adequate cooperation. We express our deep sorrow and ask forgiveness, especially from victims and survivors. We affirm our resolve to effect the next step in our work of safeguarding and care for survivors. In prayer we turn to Christ the Good Shepherd, the fount of healing and compassion, asking that this moment of painful truth becomes a time of grace as we strive to fulfil the ministry entrusted to us as bishops in an unshakeable unity of purpose.