THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Today’s Mass: FIFTEENTH SUNDAY in ORDINARY TIME (Year C)
First Reading: Moses lays down the law (literally) which the People of God must obey. It is interpreting this law which gives rise to the lawyer’s question in today’s Gospel.
Psalm: the psalm (Psalm 68) fits in well with today’s Gospel, with its references to compassion for the poor and needy.
Second Reading: a Christological hymn, thought by scholars to be St Paul’s correction of a hymn in use at
Colossae. It highlights the mediation of Christ, first in creation, then in reconciliation.
Gospel: the parable of mercy we call the parable of the Good Samaritan is one of Jesus’ most provocative
parables. True compassion leads to helping someone in need; as S Ambrose said, ‘Mercy, not kinship, makes someone a neighbour’.
We could read it as Jesus being the good Samaritan. But the Christian community and all individual Christians are also called to be the good Samaritan. Love of God cannot be separated from love of neighbour.
We welcome Brother Zbigniew Fryska, OFM Cap for the 8:00am and 9:15am Mass at St Thomas’s, and Fr Paul Jenkins, O Carm for the Borough Green and West Kingsdown Masses.
On this Sea Sunday the second collection is for the Apostleship of the Sea. More information can be found on the diocesan website. Please also pray today for seafarers, their families, and those from the Apostleship of the Sea who aid them.
The Traditional Choir leads our music today. Today marks the last time Cathie Cairney will be singing with the choir after 45 years; we thank her for her long contribution to this ministry and wish her well in her ‘retirement’.
Monday: Parish Finance Committee
Meets at 8:00pm in the Presbytery.
Monday: Bereavement Support
All who have been bereaved (whether recently or in the past) are invited to come to the monthly Bereavement Support, on Monday from 10:30am – 12:00 noon in the Parish Centre.
Edward Thomas Butler RIP
The Funeral Mass of Edward Butler is on Tuesday at 1:00pm in St Thomas’s, followed by Cremation at the Tunbridge Wells Crematorium.
Because of a Marriage Convalidation at 9:00am on Saturday there is NO Adoration at 8:30am. Adoration will take place after the 9:30am Mass at St Thomas’s.
The Nuptial Mass of Nick Ford and Esther Beugeling is on Saturday at 11:30am at Holy Trinity.
The new Archbishop’s Installation Mass will take place in St George’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Southwark on Thursday 25th July at 12:00 noon. You are strongly advised to arrive early if you want a seat, as available seating will be limited. No car parking will be available at the Cathedral; nearest station is Waterloo East.
St Joseph’s Altar & Ambo
The sculptor has informed us that he plans to commence work on installing the permanent Altar and Ambo on Monday 22nd July. This means that there will be no Mass there on Thursday 25th July. It also means that we shall need to move the chairs etc out of the way after Mass on the Sunday (21st) and have a working party on the morning of Saturday (27th) to dust and clean up and re-instate the chairs etc.
The Pilgrims : Summer Tea Party: Tuesday 30th July at 2.30pm
Mike and Judy Whiddett kindly invite you to a summer tea in the garden of their home in Weald. Limited parking is available so we hope to share lifts. The details and sign up are in the porch. For more information phone Jackie: 01732 450197 or 07535742773
St Edith devotions: Sunday 8th September
The annual Devotions this year will be on Sunday 8th September: St Edith’s Well (next to the Bell pub) at the slightly later than usual time of 3:30 pm, followed by Vespers at St Mary’s Church at 4:00pm, and Afternoon Tea at The Bell at 5:00pm. These devotions are very suited to families and children. There will also be a Pilgrimage Walk from St Thomas’ via Most Holy Trinity. Details to follow.
This year’s devotions will include a new setting of Vespers by the composer Angus McPhee, in memory of Mary Tyler. There will be a chamber choir, Eo Nomine, from London to support the new setting.
St Edith is the right hand saint in the mural behind the Altar in St Thomas’s with Kemsing Church behind her. She was born in Kemsing in 951, the daughter of King Edgar the Peaceful, and became Abbess of Wilton; she was famous for her learning, beauty and sanctity.
Parish Retreats at The Friars, Aylesford
This year’s Women’s Retreat is 6th to 8th September. The theme is Discerning God in our everyday life, facilitated by Rev’d Susanne Carlsson, the Spirituality Advisor for Rochester Anglican Diocese. The Men’s Retreat is 11th to 13th October, led by Fr Kevin Alban, O.Carm (theme to follow).
The cost for full board and the facilitator is £200 or £188.50 if you over 60. The increase in cost reflects the increase in the cost of the accommodation. There are a maximum of 20 places available for each Retreat. Lift shares to Aylesford will be organised. To attend pick up a Registration Form from each church or download it from the website. Please return the form with a non-refundable deposit of £20 (cheques payable to ‘St Thomas’s Church’) as soon as possible. Any queries contact Catherine Rodger (email@example.com or 01732 458852).
Ride & Stride
This annual event is on Saturday 14th September. Charles Sexton is organising the Ride and Stride sponsored walk/bike ride again for Holy Trinity, Otford. Charles will be riding again and will be looking for sponsors after Sunday Masses. If anyone would also like to walk or ride please let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also need volunteers to greet participants on the day: a signing up form is available in Holy Trinity porch.
St Thomas’ School
Congratulations to everybody for the excellent Key Stage 2 SATs results. At the moment these are provisional, but we are sure that they will be confirmed. We thank Mrs Aquilina, the teachers, teaching assistants and all involved.
Parish Garden Party
A big thank you to Hugh, Andrew, Simon & John (BBQ), Aidan and the Catenians (bar), Andrew, Jackie, John & Valerie (Bottle stall), Christopher (Book stall), Caroline & Teresa (entertainment), Sandie, Barbara & Catherine (food), Edmund & Magda (children’s games), Pat, Ronnie & Natasha (bric-a-brac), Madeleine and St Thomas’ School choir led by Michell, Gina and confirmandi (volunteer helpers), and a very big thank you especially to Ben Andradi (grand panjandrum). Also to those who diligently sold raffle tickets at Masses.
This year’s Garden Party was by common agreement the best one yet, and certainly the best attended. A list of prize winners appears on page 10 and some pictures on the back page. The provisional total raised was £3,371.41 an increase on last year.
Parish Bereavement Ministry Training
A one day course at The Friars, Aylesford on 2nd November. Presenter: Elizabeth Partridge, of the diocesan Marriage & Family Life Team. This course is for those presently active in ministry to the bereaved or who see it as a ministry they would like to take on. Participants must be recommended by their Parish Priest; it is not suitable for those recently bereaved. Contact Magda in the office if you would like to register.
For those recently bereaved there is a retreat from 11th to 13th October, run by Aylesford Priory: for details contact The Friars on 01622 717272.