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Welcome:



    NEW PARISH LIST

    Over the next few weeks we are asking all parishioners to register on our new Parish List. We would like to update address and contact details and other basic information for all our parishioners so that we can be better prepared for times of immediate pastoral need, strengthen our community and improve our understanding of the needs of our parishioners. This will also enable us to hold your data in a secure and confidential way.

    You can do this either by filling in a secure online form or by completing and returning a paper form, available in all porches from today.

    Why do we ask for this information?

    • It enables priests and others in the Parish, to get to know you better, and thus to be able to better serve your needs;
    • it is helpful for future planning to know the demographics of parishioners;
    • it assists the priests, parish office, catechists and other groups to communicate more effectively with you, with your permission;
    • it aids the Parish Priest when he is asked to complete forms for parishioners such as godparent and school application forms;
    • it gives you and your family the chance to be counted and heard in the parish, and to register your commitment to the faith;
    • it gives you the opportunity to offer your talents; and
    • it will reduce the risk of people missing registration for important things like First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

    Do please complete the online form or return the paper form to the office. Here is the link to the online form

    The information will be kept in a secure database, in compliance with Diocesan guidelines and GDPR.

  • THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:

    Today’s Mass: The BAPTISM of the LORD (Year C)

    First Reading: the prophet delivers a message of consolation and hope: the Lord is “like a shepherd feeding his flock”.

    Psalm: this is the first psalm at the Easter Vigil, the night of Baptisms. It speaks of God the creator and the Holy Spirit the renewer.

    Second Reading: this text is the source of the line “as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ” in the prayer at Mass after the Lord’s Prayer.

    Gospel: in his brief reference to Jesus’ own Baptism, Luke emphasises the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Him and the approval of the Father. He also stresses that Jesus was at prayer.

    Fr. David

    Today

    SPUC White Flower Appeal
    SPUC works to protect unborn babies, and their mothers, from abortion. Since 1967 nearly nine million unborn babies have lost their lives in this country, and in 2019 there is the great danger of decriminalising abortion and imposing it on Northern Ireland. Last year saw the tragic implementation of abortion in the Republic of Ireland. SPUC needs your financial support to continue to alert the public to the dangers, to educate the next generation in our schools and universities, and to assist those affected by abortion. The second collection today is for SPUC.

    Visiting Priests
    We welcome Fr Michael Ezenwammadu, CSSp, to celebrate the 8:00am and Otford Masses today.

    11:15am Mass music
    The Traditional Choir leads our music today.

    First Holy Communion Course Opening Mass
    Today at 3:00pm, the children on this year’s programme and their parents start the course with the Opening Celebration Mass.

    This Week

    Ordinary Time
    The season of Christmas ends today. Tomorrow (Monday) we begin Ordinary Time, which continues until the season of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The readings at Mass this week will be from the First Week in Ordinary Time, ferial cycle 1. In the Divine Office it is psalter week 1.

    Monday: RCIA Course resumes
    The programme for those becoming Catholics at Easter resumes on Monday, 8:00pm in the Upper Room in the Parish Centre.

    Thursday: 9:30am Mass at St Joseph’s
    The new, regular weekday Mass continues at St Joseph’s, Borough Green at 9:30am on Thursdays.

    Thursday: First Holy Communion Course
    The first Children’s Session is on Thursday from 4:00pm to 5:00pm in St Thomas’s.

    Octave for Christian Unity
    The annual Week of Prayer commences on Friday, until 25th January. Let us continue to pray for the unity of Christians.

    Next Sunday

    On the 20th January, Churches Together in Sevenoaks and District have their United Service at 4:00pm in the Vine Evangelical Church, Hitchen Hatch Lane. The theme is ‘Only Justice’, prepared by the churches in Indonesia. Speaker: Duncan Warmington from ‘Embrace the Middle East’.

    The Otford United Service at Otford next Sunday is at 6:30pm at St Bartholomew’s Church of England Church.

    Notices

    Crib Offerings
    The Crib Offerings at the cribs in all the churches will be sent to the Beit Jala Catholic School near Bethlehem. The ‘all-through’ school, from Infants to the VIth Form and run by the Latin Patriarchate (ie the local diocese), has 60% Christian and 40% Moslem pupils, and is in desperate need of new desks and chairs. Part of the purpose of the school is to help Christians remain in Bethlehem, the place of Our Lord’s birth.

    Bereavement Support Group
    This group next meets on Monday 21st January in the Parish Room, 10:30am – 12:00 noon. All those who have been bereaved, whether recently or a while ago, are invited to join,

    Christian Unity Gathering
    We are hosting Weekday Prayers for Unity on Monday 21st January, 2:30pm – 4:00pm in the Parish Room, including refreshments. All welcome.

    New Twitter account
    The parish now has its own Twitter account: @7oaksCatholic. We hope to include updates on parish activities, re-tweets of relevant tweets from Catholic organisations, as well as providing our parish newsletter each week. If you are a Twitter user do please follow us, and encourage other to do so! Thanks very much.

    Volunteer counters wanted
    We have had one volunteer for this, but require at least one more. If YOU can count and are free once a month on a Monday morning, please contact Fr David or Ingrid.

    Altar Servers needed
    We need more Altar Servers generally, and will be commencing another training course shortly. In particular, we need more Servers for the 11:15am Mass on Sunday at St Thomas’s. This is the principal Mass, and the one at which things should be done in their fullness, but we are hampered by lack of Servers. Altar Servers are not restricted to youngsters; any adults who can serve, or who would be prepared to learn how to serve, and who could help at the 11:15am Mass, please speak to Fr David.

    Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
    The Archdiocese has issued a Code of Conduct for all Extraordinary Ministers. This will be emailed to our Ministers; those who do not have an email address please collect a paper copy from the Sacristy of the church in which you act as a Minister.

    Advance Notice: Parish Pilgrimage 2019
    The Parish Pilgrimage this year will join the Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. You can travel by air or by train, and the dates are 23rd August to 30th August 2019. Further details from Canon Edward Perera (020 8303 4422 or welling@rcaos.org.uk).

    Preaching the Faith through Photography and Beauty
    Thursday 31st January, 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start at the CCF, Tooting Bec: a talk by Fr Lawrence Lew, OP. Free admission; book at office@ccftootingbec.org.uk.

    Galilee Groups: Vocational Discernment
    These are open groups for men discerning their vocation, meeting for Holy Mass, faith formation and an opportunity to search for the will of God in their lives. The Kent Area group meets in the Presbytery of St Thomas’, Canterbury (59 Burgate, CT1 2HJ) at 6:30pm on the second Friday of the month (ending with supper). More info: southwarkpriest@gmail. com.

    Quiz Night at St Joseph’s, Borough Green
    There will be a Quiz Night at St Joseph's on Friday 15th February starting at 7:30pm. Tickets cost £10 and include a ploughman's meal. Bring your own drinks, glasses and nibbles.  There is a maximum of 6 persons per table. Either make up your own team or join with others on the night. All profits go to Church Funds. Tickets from Julie 01732 883819, June 01732 672602 or Marie 01732 762525.

    Help needed with cleaning
    One of our cleaning teams is down to 1 member. If you could help cleaning St Thomas’ Church once a month on a Wednesday morning please contact Pat Harman on 01732 453902, bobandpat.harman@gmail.com. Thank you.

    Situations vacant
    The Centre for Catholic Formation of the Archdiocese has the following vacancies:
    Adviser for Catechesis & Adult Formation in Kent: this is a full-time post, involving some evenings and weekends;
    Resource Assistants: 2 part-time (15 hours per week in term time) posts at Tooting Bec;
    Ongoing Formation and Centre Secretary: 4 to 5 days per week, located at Tooting Bec.

    For full information and details about how to apply, visit the diocesan website at http://www.rcsouthwark.co.uk.  The closing date for applications for the last position is 18th January; the closing date for the other posts is 1st February.



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