FROM THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE

Catholics invited to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament on 23 March

The President and Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have urged the faithful to make the National Day of Reflection on COVID-19 a day of prayer as well as a day of reflection.

Tuesday 23 March, the anniversary of the first national lockdown, will be marked with a minute’s silence at midday. At 8pm, people are encouraged to create a ‘beacon of remembrance’ on their doorsteps by beaming phones, candles and torches into the night sky. Prominent buildings and landmarks will also be lit up across the UK.

Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop McMahon stress that prayer is an essential part of this reflection and remembrance:

“For all who live by faith in God, reflection and prayer always go hand in hand. Prayer completes reflection. Reflection informs prayer. Prayer opens our life to its true horizon.

“Without prayer we live in a foreshortened world and are more easily swamped by its clamour and tragedy. Throughout this difficult year, so many have been inspired by prayer, so much effort sustained in prayer, in every place. So let us make the 23 March truly a day of prayer.”

The archbishops also invite Catholics to pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament on 23 March:

“March 2020 was the first time our churches had to be closed. It is our hope that on this day, every one of our churches will be open. We invite everyone to enter a church on this day, to reflect and pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

“We know this will involve an extra effort, but this can be part of our important contribution to a significant moment in the life of our country. Indeed, we ask that you might invite a friend, neighbour or colleague to come to church with you as you make this visit.”

LENTEN PREPARATION

LENTEN COURSES  +

For our Parish reflections we are encouraged to follow the ‘Dare to Dream’ programme commended by Bishop Declan.  Each week there will be an on-line reflection accompanied by a video to watch before engaging with the scripture.  This week there is an introductory session.  The reflections and videos appear on the Diocesan Website Please use the link https://cliftondiocese.com/date-to-dream/     Any parishioner who would subsequently like to join as a joint parish group each Friday during Lent and via ZOOM is welcome to do so and you should let Chris Davies or Bridget Durrant know, via one of the parish offices. Phone either Tewkesbury 01684 293 273 or Winchcombe 01242 602412.  The Zoom meetings start on 26th February at 7.00pm   

CHURCHES TOGETHER IN WINCHCOMBE PROJECTS

Check our newsletter this week for details of how you can join in the fun.

The Youth organisation based at Encounter Church in Winchcombe – known as “We All Matter” is also looking for your help to find ‘IT’ equipment for local families. Once again, see the newsletter for full details and contact   Beate: 07827961765 or  Renée: 609393

UPDATE ON MASSES IN OUR PARISHES

Even though many churches are closed in our area, we are lucky that Father Tony feels able to continue to serve Mass. Hopefully as more and more parishioners are vaccinated against the virus, our numbers attending will grow.

Anyone who is still unable to leave home and wishes to speak to Father Tony and possibly arrange a home visit is asked to contact him by email at the address shown on the newsletter