We have been told that St Michael's phone number will be restored either this evening or within the next week. This is not exactly helpful. The sisters can be reached temporarily on 01902 342 380. As soon as the original number begins to work, this temporary number will cease to work. There is, however, a further complication, this number is not working with the answer machine so its not possible to leave a message. Many apologies for all of this at such a crucial time!
Some of you may know that the Sisters' telephone has been paying up for some months. When someone rings, the internet stops working. This has been most unhelpful when someone rings up to book a place at Mass, because the booking system is on the internet! After trying to get this sorted for some months we eventually decided to switch to another telephone company. The switch took place yesterday but we have discovered that they changed the phone number, even though they were instructed to keep the same number. This means that it is not possible to contact the sisters by phone and they can only receive emails if they take a lap top and go and sit in the parish hall! (with no heating!)
We have spend a few hours on the phone today with the telephone supplier explaining how urgently this situation needs correcting because of the booking for Christmas Masses. Hopefully they will rectify the situation as soon as possible. Until then please bear with us!
The Bishops of England and Wales met last week and responded to the IICSA Report by overhauling the Safeguarding Structures across all Dioceses, Religious Orders and other Catholic Organisations in the Country. Please click the button below to read the Statement by the Archbishop of Birmingham and documents of the Bishops’ Conference confirming the acceptance of the independent Elliot Report’s recommendations which lay out the changes to safeguarding structures and procedures within the Church which are necessary to ensure best practice.
This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King and National Youth Sunday. Many thanks to the young people who will be helping take part in the broadcasting of our Masses this weekend. From St Michael's for the 5.30 pm Mass tonight, from SS Peter & Paul for tomorrow morning's Mass at 10.15 am, and from the University tomorrow evening at 7.00 pm.
The bulletin is now ready to download from the 'Mass Times and Bulletin' page, please note that all the information is there for the booking of Christmas Masses. Don't forget the link to the Advent Feast as a way to prepare your family bubble for Christmas, even now during lock-down. Let's pray that the public celebration of Mass may return in time for Christmas!
As you will have seen at Mass this morning, the Diocesan Youth team came to promote their work in the diocese and provided the music and readings for our Mass. At the end of Mass, Lucas mentioned various links so that you can follow up on all that they are doing. The buttons below will take to you straight to all the information you need.
In this Sunday's gospel we hear about the parable of the talents. We pray that despite the restrictions in our lives due to the pandemic, we can encourage each other to to share and develop our God given talents.
In the hope that we may have public Masses at Christmas, we have prepared a new schedule for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day across our three churches. It will be necessary to book seats because the demand will be high and we are not allowed to exceed the set numbers that ensure social distancing. Details of how to book will be available next weekend.
As Advent approaches you may be interested in celebrating the 'Advent Feast' with your family or your extended bubble. For more information, click the Advent Resources button below. Over the next few weeks there will be other initiatives added to this resource page so that we can make the most out of celebrating Advent and Christmas this year.
The Bulletin is now ready to be downloaded from the Mass Times and Bulletin Page. Please do take note of the completely new schedule for Online Masses and the opening times of the churches for private prayer. Please also note that the Cardinal has asked that we pray each day at 6.00 pm for an end to the pandemic. I have printed the Angelus on the bulletin as this is an ideal prayer to pray at this time each day.
You are invited to a series of zoom meetings promoting dialogue, listening and sharing among people of different faiths in the West Midlands. Please click below for more details:
We have now organised the times for private prayer at each of our Churches during this temporary lockdown.
Saturday 5.30 pm - 6.30 pm with Adoration and with Confessions available.
Sunday 12.00 midday - 1.00 pm with Adoration
Wednesday 10.00 am - 11.00 am with Adoration
Sunday 3.00 pm - 4.00 pm with Adoration
Thursday 9.30 am -10.30 am with Adoration
SS Peter & Paul
Monday 12.00 midday - 1.00 pm with Adoration
Tuesday 12.00 midday - 1.00 pm with Adoration
Friday 12.00 midday - 1.00 pm with Adoration
Given the Government regulations for the new lockdown, sadly, apart from funerals, there will be no public Masses in the parish for the rest of November. Our Churches will be open for private prayer at set times and Mass will be celebrated daily Online. Funerals will be limited to 30 mourners.
A full timetable for online Masses and prayer times will be available tomorrow evening (Friday 6th November). In the mean time, there will be an Online Mass Friday 6th November at Midday.
You can download copies of the regulations by clicking the buttons below.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Statement from the President and the Vice-President of the Conference on the National Lockdown
Wednesday 4th November 2020
Today, Parliament passed into law the Regulations governing many aspects of activity in the whole of England until 2nd December. These Regulations prohibit the gathering of people for communal worship in churches and other religious buildings.
Churches remain open and in use for activities other than communal worship, including personal prayer and support for those in need. Funeral Masses and funeral services may be held. Please refer to the Regulations (for places of worship see paragraph 18) and associated Guidance.
Despite profound misgivings it is important that we, as responsible citizens, observe these Regulations, which have the force of law: ‘Remind them to be obedient to the officials in authority; to be ready to do good at every opportunity’ (Titus 3:1). We do this in solidarity with so many others on whom are being imposed restrictions which impact severely on
their lives and livelihoods.
It is also important to recognise that these Regulations are not an attack on religious belief. However, they do demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the essential contribution made by faith communities to the well-being, resilience and health of our society.
At this difficult moment, we ask that, as a Catholic community, we make full use of our churches as places of individual prayer and sources of solace and help. We must sustain each other in our patterns of prayer, joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm, and observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21st November) as a day of prayer
for the ending of this pandemic. And we encourage you all in your practical service and support of each other and those around you in need. This pathway of prayer and service is the royal road we are to take as a gracious witness in our society today.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
The Prime Minister has announced further widespread restrictions in England beginning on Thursday 5 November. The Government have published their New National Restrictions Guidance on their website. Whilst there was no formal announcement on Places of Worship by the Prime Minister, there is clear guidance on this website that places of worship will be required to end all acts of collective worship, except for funeral ceremonies. In response the following statement is issued by the President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference.
"The announcement of a new ‘national lockdown’ in England will, we know, bring hardship, distress and suffering to many. We must hope and pray that this is an effective strategy against a growing pandemic which has tragically taken so many lives already and threatens so many more.
Faith communities have played a vital role in sustaining personal, spiritual and mental health and encouraging vital charitable activities, which support hundreds of thousands of people in all sections of the community, especially the most vulnerable. That critical service towards the common good of all is created and sustained by communal worship and prayer. Part of this selfless giving has been a strong ethic of responsibility in the way in which we have reopened our churches so that essential worship has been enabled. Our communities have done a great deal to make our churches safe places in which all have been able to gather in supervised and disciplined ways.
It is thus a source of deep anguish now that the Government is requiring, once again, the cessation of public communal worship. Whilst we understand the many difficult decisions facing the Government, we have not yet seen any evidence whatsoever that would make the banning of communal worship, with all its human costs, a productive part of combatting the virus. We ask the Government to produce this evidence that justifies the cessation of acts of public worship.
To counter the virus we will, as a society, need to make sustained sacrifices for months to come. In requiring this sacrifice, the Government has a profound responsibility to show why it has taken particular decisions. Not doing so risks eroding the unity we need as we enter a most difficult period for our country.
The Prime Minister has stated that the draft legislation will be placed before Parliament on Monday 2 November. Members of Parliament will have the opportunity to discuss the issues and vote on the proposed national restrictions. In this short timeframe, questions can be raised with our elected Members of Parliament regarding the cessation of public common worship. They are in a position to require the Government to publish the data that drives the decision to cease public worship under these restrictions."
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Malcolm McMahon OP
The Archbishop of Birmingham has asked, if we are able to do so, that we consider emailing our MPs. If you attend Mass at SS Peter and Paul or St Michael, the MP to contact is Stuart Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org). For St Bernadette, please contact Gavin Williamson (email@example.com)
This page page displays the latest announcements. For regular weekly news, please ensure you also read the Parish Bulletin, which is available on the Home page. For previous versions of the Bulletin, click here.