Latest Report from the Church of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady

April/May 2019

Parish Priest: Fr James Evans Telephone: 660592,
The Presbytery (Old School House), Main Street, Aston le Walls, NN11 6UF
Email: sacredheart_alw@btinternet.com
Website: www.sacredheart.btck.co.uk

The Church is normally open daily for anyone to pop in for some peace and quiet, to light a candle, say a prayer, or simply have a look around. We welcome any new people who have arrived in to our lovely Village and we pray that you’re settling in to your new homes!
If you would like us to remember a relative or friend of yours in prayer, do drop a note with any details in through the letterbox at the Presbytery – we are happy to offer our support in this way.

Mass Times: Sunday Mass is at 10.45am followed by tea and coffee in the Presbytery dining room. There is usually Mass during the week on Mondays at 9am, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am. Fr James’s ‘day off’ is usually a Thursday. Do check the newsletter for full details.

Church Refurbishment
It is hoped to soon commence some refurbishment works on our Church which will last help preserve the fabric of the building itself, and refresh renew the inside. This July our church is 192 years old!

Lent lunches
You will have received a flyer, courtesy of residents Vanessa and Martin Mason, advertising the two Lent lunches taking place in the Village Hall: the proceeds of which will support the work of EducAid. This UK registered charity has an educational network comprising of free schools, teacher training, and tertiary programmes in Sierra Leone and which is run by Vanessa and Martin’s daughter, Miriam (whom a number of villagers will have known over the years). EducAid believes that the education of young men and women is essential to: unlock human potential, overcome poverty, improve wellbeing, build democracy, and that it is the cornerstone of stable development. Its vision is a democratic, dignified and prosperous Sierra Leone, where poverty is eliminated by educated citizens who are able to develop their personal, social and economic wellbeing. Do visit www.educaid.org.uk for more information and come along to the final Lent lunch takes place on Friday, 12th April in the Village Hall from 12 noon to 1.30pm

Global Healing
Fr James will be hosting a presentation of “Global Healing” on Wednesday 10th April at c.7.30pm. This is a DVD-led film on how our faith can help us care for our common home. More information and a trailer of this film can be found at www.ourcommonhome.co.uk. If you’re interested, do give Fr James a call, or drop him a note!

Rest in Peace
Following the funeral Mass of Dougie Hodson from Byfield at the Catholic Church in Daventry, his body was laid to rest in our cemetery on Thursday 14th February. We also interred the ashes of Jeremy Catto in our cemetery on 23rd February, and we held the funeral Mass for Jean Avello from Priors Marston in our Church on Friday 22nd March. More recently another parishioner, Carmen Turbett, from Eydon, died and her funeral Mass will be celebrated in our Church – the date is yet to be agreed.

Palm Sunday and Easter Celebrations
The two congregations (and beyond) from Aston le Walls will jointly mark the beginning of Holy Week with the traditional blessing of palms and procession starting on the junction of Main Street and Welsh Road, on Palm Sunday (14th April) morning, c.10.30am. Please watch the general announcements on the Parish website for details of all the liturgies for Holy Week. However the following details provide the key moments:

Mass of the Lord’s Supper – Thursday 18th April – 7.30pm
Good Friday Service – 19th April – 3pm
Easter Vigil – Saturday, 20th April – 8pm
Easter Day/Sunday – 21st April – 10.45am

Baptism Celebrations During Eastertide we will welcome to our church family, through the Sacrament of Baptism, two babies: Finn and Fleur.

Do check the Parish Website or Weekly Newsletter for updates and other announcements!

Feb/March 2019

The Church is normally open daily for anyone to pop in for some peace and quiet, to light a candle, say a prayer, or simply have a look around. We welcome any new people who have arrived in to our lovely Village and we pray that you’re settling in to your new homes!
If you would like us to remember a relative or friend of yours in prayer, do drop a note with any details in through the letterbox at the Presbytery – we are happy to offer our support in this way.

Mass Times: Sunday Mass is at 10.45am. There is usually Mass during the week on Mondays at 9am, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am. Fr James’s ‘day off’ is usually a Thursday.

Christmas Reflections
As a Parish we all engaged with all the usual preparations and celebrations of Christmas which were well-supported. This continued through Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord moving toward the end of Christmastide and the beginning of “Ordinary Time”. During the Christmas period we were delighted to mark one of our altar servers achieving 50 years of dedicated service in this ministry and then we had a lovely Mass to mark the New Year with the School. We look forward to ongoing and deepening connections between the School and the Parish.

Churches Together
Fr James led a short Service at the School on Monday 21st January, for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Then on the evening of Sunday, 27th January the Church once again “played host” to a gathering of Christians from our two Village churches and churches further afield as we concluded the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Jointly led by Rev Stevie Cross and Fr James and in a spirit both of friendship between people and a desire to praise to God as one people, we reflected on God as “the fountain of life”. Many thanks to all who attended to Rev Stevie for her reflection and for Fr James’s hospitality in the Presbytery afterwards: it was a lovely evening! To find out more on the work of churches together nationally why not visit www.ctbi.org.uk or contact members of either St Leonard’s or Sacred Heart churches.

Lent begins later this year than last year beginning with Ash Wednesday on 6th March. We will have Mass with St Mary’s RC Primary School from the Village at 9.30am in the Church, and later at 7pm. Lent is the time of spiritual preparation prior to the Easter season, just as Advent is for Christmas. “Each year, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

Lent Activities
To help support our journey through Lent there will be a number of events, both practical and spiritual: from the popular “Lent lunches”, to discussion and faith-sharing opportunities. These events will be shared between our congregations here in Aston le Walls and King’s Sutton. Further details and updates will be announced in the weekly newsletters and on the parish website.

The items below are merely given for information. They do at least give an update as to what we might need to know, be interested to know, or wish to pass on to others who may be more directly impacted.

Preparing for EU Exit
Leaving the EU means a number of changes that will affect businesses and individual citizens. You may wish to visit https://euexit.campaign.gov.uk/ to find out how to prepare and the steps you may need to take.

HS2
You may find https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/high-speed-two-limited of interest, though I am not sure it deals with the more local specifics and activities.

Do check the Parish Website or Weekly Newsletter for updates and other announcements!

Dec/Jan 2018/2019 
The Church is normally open daily for anyone to pop in for some peace and quiet, to light a candle, say a prayer, or simply have a look around. We welcome any new people who have arrived in to our lovely Village and we pray that you’re settling in to your new homes!

If you would like us to remember a relative or friend of yours in prayer, do drop a note with any details in through the letterbox at the Presbytery – we are happy to offer our support in this way.

Mass Times: Sunday Mass is at 10.45am. There is usually Mass during the week on Mondays at 9am, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am. Fr James’s ‘day off’ is usually a Thursday.

Baptism Welcome Congratulations to six-week old baby Tiernan, from the Village, who was baptised here at Sacred Heart Church on Saturday, 24th November. It was lovely to welcome family and friends to this celebration. A further baptism takes place on Sunday, 9th December during the Sunday Mass that day – this baby’s name is Hector!

As part of the celebrations marking this last Sunday of the Church’s Year (Feast of Christ the King) and a special Day of Prayer for young people, our usual Sunday congregation had the pleasure of especially welcoming a number of children, their families and staff from St Mary’s School. A number of the children helped Fr James with the Gospel reflection!

In love and remembrance November is the “Month of the Holy Souls” when as Catholics we remember and pray for those who have died. Aside from celebrating Mass for All Saints and All Souls, the blessing of graves took place on 9th November. Our congregation came alongside St Leonard’s Church congregation and villagers at the war memorial on Sunday, 11th November for the annual Act of Remembrance. More recently the funeral took place of Patricia Hirons on Tuesday, 27th November here at Sacred Heart Church, followed by her burial in our cemetery. May all rest in peace,

Christmas is Coming! Don’t Panic! With the first Sunday of Advent on Sunday, 2nd December, our church enters a time of spiritual preparation for Christmas. We will join in the annual Advent carols at St Leonard’s on Sunday evening, 2nd December and the “Walking Nativity” on Friday, 21st December. On Monday, 17th December our church plays host to St Mary’s School KS2 Christmas reflections at 2pm and 7pm.

Times for Christmas Mass are as follows:

First Mass for Christmas (a family Mass) – 5pm

“Midnight Mass” – 10pm

Christmas Day Mass – 10.45am

2019 and all that! Two key Church feasts are Sunday, 6th January 2019 – Epiphany, and Sunday, 13th January – Baptism of the Lord. We also have the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to look forward to which runs from Friday, 18th to 25th January. Further details will be released in church newsletters and flyers.

Do check the Parish Website or Weekly Newsletter for updates and other announcements!

May our Church Family wish you all a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Oct/Nov 2018
The Church is normally open daily for anyone top pop in, to light a candle, say a prayer, or simply to spend a few moments in quiet and in peace. We especially welcome the new families who have arrived in to our lovely Village and we pray that you’re settling in to your new homes! Do pop in!

If you would like us to remember in prayer a relative or friend of yours, do drop a note with any details in through the letterbox at the Presbytery – we are happy to offer our support in this way.

Mass Times: Sunday Mass is at 10.45am. There is usually Mass during the week on Mondays at 9am, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am. Fr James’s ‘day off’ is usually a Thursday.

Rest in Peace: September saw the funerals for the Parish for two people: Jeremy Catto, a regular attendee here in Aston le Walls whose requiem Mass took place at the Oxford Oratory. Jeremy, an Emeritus Fellow of Oriel College was a Reader at Mass. Vera Sutton, a former parishioner from the other end of the Parish in King’s Sutton died and her funeral Service took place at the Parish Church, King’s Sutton.

Links with St Mary’s School: Members of the Parish joined the School for its Opening Mass for the School Year on Friday, 7th September and will also host our Harvest Mass of Thanksgiving on Thursday, 4th October at 9.30am. All welcome.

“The Good Book” It is planned that both churches here in the Village on Sunday, 21st October will share a common theme on the beauty, wisdom and significance of The Bible as a building block of our Christian Faith and spiritual growth. This sense of shared purpose and mission will not only help deepen our ecumenical understanding and outlook but also hopefully result in then running “Alpha”-type courses for the local parishes which seek to introduce the basics of the Christian faith for everyone! Watch this space!

“For all the Saints…!” On 1st November we celebrate “All Saints Day” and there will be Mass with the St Mary’s School community at Sacred Heart Church, at 2.00pm. Also a Mass will be held at 7pm at Sacred Heart Church here in the village. November is the month our Church especially remembers and prayers for those who have died, sometimes referred to as the “Month of the Holy Souls”. We will have Mass at the Church, with KS2 children from the School community, on Friday, 2nd November 10am for a special Mass commemorating this time. If you would like any deceased family members or friends remembered generally during this month, do drop a note to Fr James. On Friday, 9th November, weather permitting, we will also have the annual Blessing of graves in cemetery after the 10am Mass.

Act of Remembrance  Our congregation here at Sacred Heart Church will join alongside St Leonard’s Church congregation and villagers at the war memorial on Sunday, 11th November.

Sunday 25th November is the Feast of Christ the King and the last Sunday of the Church’s Year before the beginning of the Season of Advent: A Day of Prayer for Young People with a welcome to members of the School Family – and, of course, anyone!

Do check the Parish Website or Weekly Newsletter for updates and other announcements!

August 2018
Looking back… Our First Holy Communion Mass took place on Saturday morning, 9th June here at Sacred Heart Church; a lovely occasion for all concerned. Equally joyful was the celebration of marriage between Oneisha and Ross which occurred on Saturday, 16th June! “Father S. Crow” popped in on us again on the scarecrow weekend of 7th/8th July He appeared perhaps to have put on a little weight and changed his hairstyle somewhat, but otherwise was happy to “sing-a-long” some of his favourite songs and hymns!

Share the Journey! As people flee war, persecution and poverty, Pope Francis together with numerous Catholic Aid Agencies around the world invited us to share their journey by walking with these refugees, in prayer and support. On Sunday 24th June a number of parishioners did just that in a simple way as have many other parishes: people walked around the Village, walked to South Boddington and back from the Village and even from the Village to Woodford Halse. Ours were easy journeys by comparison, even in the summer sun, but it made us think about “who is my neighbour?”

Less is More… Phase one of the ground clearance, reduction and general tidy-up of the Presbytery garden occurred recently, with phase two taking place in the autumn; it’s amazing how much space has been freed up and Fr James’s cats, Moses and Sheba are delighted! There will be other specific remedial and general maintenance work taking place over the next few months or so in the church grounds and Church building itself.

Baptism Celebration The Church is delighted to welcome in to the Christian family 5-month old baby Arabella on Saturday 28th July through the Sacrament of Baptism. Arabella’s parents had been married at the Church by Fr Sean Healy in 2014.

August has a tendency to be a quieter month for the Parish, and no doubt things will pick up again early September once the St Mary’s RC Primary School begins a new School Year: do please watch out for notices and invites. There is planned a Parish Quiz in the autumn – further details to follow; and obviously there will be activities organised and focused at the other end of the Parish which meets weekly for a 9 am Sunday Mass at the Parish Church, King’s Sutton.