News and Events at St Mary Magdalen
Important News about the new National Guidelines
National Lockdown Update: A Message from Fr Adrian on 9th January
I am sure that many of you are wondering how we can open the church amidst national calls for us all to remain at home and how we can open when I am ‘Shielding’, like many of us in the Parish, as a person on the NHS Extremely Critically Vulnerable List.
Archbishop John wrote last weekend that ‘…Unless exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise, it is crucial that our churches remain open [as with] the correct measures in place, our churches are safe places.’ The reason given for keeping churches open is that such a measure ‘is vital to our spiritual health and wellbeing.’ This week there have been calls from the Mayor of London, and some Local Authorities, for places of worship to close. The Archbishop has written a response to this which can be downloaded online by clicking here, stating that the new National Lockdown Guidance (quoted below) is still in force as ‘The Government has not delegated to Local Authorities any powers to amend these regulations’.
I can understand calls of concern for us to meet in church and also those concerns for us to stay away. However, as Parish Priest, I earnestly request that you consider following the Government guidance and that you remain indoors and join us online for Mass, especially if you are shielding or considered in a ‘vulnerable category’.
We rely on being able to open up on the support of a small but dedicated team of volunteers and I would like to thank them again for their help but to stress to them that the care and protection of your own families must take precedence and that you have my full support if you decide at this time that you cannot help at the moment. Given the decisions we all have to make, where we can form a team of volunteers to prepare for Mass next Sunday 17th, we will open for Mass, if we can safely do so. If you are an existing helper or a new volunteer, please email our Part-time Parish Administrator, Clare, via to let us know if you can help or whether you would like to step down temporarily while we are in the current lockdown position.
The Diocese ask me to inform the Archbishop each week whether we can open for Mass, so it will be a decision made each Saturday via the weekly newsletter published online and sent by email to Parish members who have signed up to receive it. If we can open it is because we have a clean church with people socially distant and wearing masks, but do please remember to stay away if you have any symptoms of a cough, a cold or Covid, so that we can remain safe for others. Thank you.
The main points of the new National Lockdown Guidance which relates specifically to places of worship are summarised below:
Communal worship and life events - You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble when attending a place of worship. Weddings, funerals and religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to someone’s death are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend, and weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances.
This means there is no statutory obligation on places of worship to close at this time,
and that the public celebration of the Sacraments, where all necessary stewarding
and sanitisation measures are in place, may continue.
If you would like to sign up to our livestreamed Sunday 11am Mass, please subscribe to
our next newsletter via https://mailchi.mp/c26803e66e8d/stmarymags
Please be sure to check your junk or spam folder for our emails, thank you.
These emails are sent on a Saturday by 6pm the day before the Sunday Mass.
REMEMBERING THE HOLY SOULS
At Mass we pray for all those living and all those who have died, including those whose faith is known to God alone. As well as our daily prayers for the dead, each November the Church takes time to remember those who have died, praying and offering Mass for the repose of their souls. Following this tradition many request Masses for the Holy Souls and write down the names of
family and friends who have died in Lists of Remembrance. Fr Adrian has especially remembered in prayer at every Mass all those who died.
To request a Mass for the Holy Souls please scan the QR code,
click on this link
or drop an envelope into the Parish Office. Thank you.
UK Bishops call for urgent action plan to prevent racial inequality amid Covid-19
The results of a recent survey carried out by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal a significant disproportion in the number of deaths due to coronavirus among ethnic minorities when compared to their number in the total population of the UK. In light of this, the UK government launched an official inquiry last month to investigate the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on people with black and minority ethnic backgrounds. According to the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ), the factors that affect the ethnic minorities include poverty, employment and housing conditions among others. This is further pronounced with the increased numbers of workers from ethnic minorities in essential services like social care, transportation, healthcare and caregiving.
Bishop Paul McAleenan, the President of the Office for Migration Policy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, welcomed the news of the inquiry. He however noted that an inquiry alone is not enough. “The government needs urgently to tackle the known structural inequalities that have left some communities paying such a high price,” he said. “We all have a responsibility to address the long-standing issue of racial inequality in our society that this health crisis has brought to light. The Catholic Association for Racial Justice is also calling for the creation of an action plan to ensure the provision of support for the BAME communities. The association appeals for priority to be given to combating the causes of inequality such as education, income, housing and employment.
The CARJ document can be downloaded by clicking on the PDF document.
Prayers for the Divine Mercy
On the Second Sunday of Easter the Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday.
The message of Divine Mercy is threefold.
It teaches Catholics to pray for Jesus’ mercy, to be merciful, and to completely trust in Jesus.
The chaplet of Divine Mercy is traditionally prayed on Fridays at 3 pm, the hour in which Jesus perished on the cross.
The Divine Mercy prayers are easy to follow and the Chaplet can be prayed on an ordinary Rosary
or on your fingers if you don’t have one. They can be found on the website www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/pray-the-chaplet
A particular way to listen to or join in the prayers is through a sung version
which can be found every day on EWTN.com or via https://youtu.be/p5TGfisOKMM.