Takehomenews Sunday 5 December 2021
2ND Sunday of advent (C)
The message that echoes through our liturgy today is ‘prepare a way for the Lord’. Our Advent task is to prepare for the Lords coming on the last day. Later in Advent, we will be reflecting on the coming of Christ at Christmas but today we turn our minds to the time people were awaiting for Christ’s appearance 30 years after his birth. It was John the Baptist who urged the people to prepare, indicating that it was a major task. John used the prophecy of Isaiah to describe the preparation which poetically describes as filling in the valleys and laying low every mountain. In other words, we have to remove every obstacle, every sinful path, in order to encounter the Lord.
Rite of Acceptance
At the 12Noon Mass today (Sunday) those candidates in our RCIA programme, preparing for Baptism and Confirmation, will take part in the Rite of Acceptance. Please pray for them as they journey towards receiving the Sacraments next Easter.
ANNUNCIATION INFANT & JUNIOR PTA CHRISTMAS FAYRE
On Friday between 3.30 and 6.30pm there will be a Christmas Fayre in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre, organised by the Annunciation Infants and Junior Schools PTA. Everyone is welcome to come along. There will be Santa’s Grotto, Tombola, Toy stall, Raffles, Food/Drink, Fun and Games and much more. Donations can be left at the school or in the parish office—opening times of the office is on the front page. Please no clothing, bedding, duvets or electrical goods.
SENIOR CITIZENS CHRISTMAS LUNCH
This takes place next Sunday, 12th December, in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre at 1.pm.
Today (5th December) is the final day for receiving applications.
There will be carol singing around the streets on Sunday 19th December. Please Gather in the Parish Centre at 6.30pm. We will return later for refreshments.
WESTMINSTER YEAR BOOK 2022
The 2022 edition of the Westminster Year Book is available in the porch priced £4.50. It gives useful information about parishes, priests, schools and organisations in the Westminster Diocese together with a liturgical calendar for the year.
Lord Jesus you are the light of the world COME LORD JESUS
You are the light in our darkness COME LORD JESUS
Son of God, save us from our sins COME LORD JESUS
Bring hope into the lives of all people COME LORD JESUS
Give your peace to all nations COME LORD JESUS
Be the joy of all who love you COME LORD JESUS
Bless us as we gather here in your name COME LORD JESUS
Lord Jesus, stay with us. COME LORD JESUS
The next session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised will be on Sunday 16th January at 4.pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.
Meeting for new altar servers
We are blessed with excellent servers in our parish who give faithful service throughout the year, but we are always on the lookout for other parishioners who would like to join our ‘team’. The Ministry of Altar Server is open to all who have received their First Holy Communion and demonstrate a wish to uphold the aims and objectives of the Guild of St Stephen.
If anyone who meets the requirements is interested in becoming an Altar Server, they are invited to attend a meeting in the church on Saturday 11th December at 11.00am. All under 16s must be accompanied to the meeting by a parent/carer.
Weddings in 2022
Couples who wish to be married in this church next year or require us to prepare them for their marriage elsewhere, please get in touch with Fr Colin or Fr David.
Next weekend we will be issuing a card with all the Christmas arrangements. Please note that the late Mass on Christmas Eve this year will be at 10pm and not Midnight. There will be no need to book for Mass this year
CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2022
Application forms for those who wish to be confirmed next year are available on the table at the back of the church. They are in a blue colour. Please return the form to the presbytery by today (Sunday). The programme starts in January and Bishop John Sherrington will minister the confirmation on Thursday 12th May at 7pm, with the following Thursday as a reserve date if numbers are high.
CAFOD WORLD GIFTS
As in previous years, we are encouraged to send a Christmas gift to share the peace and joy of Christmas with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Catalogues for this are available in the porch. There are several suggestions such as PPE for a Health Worker, Trees for Life, Water for a Family, A Goat, Chirpy Chickens, an Energy Saving Stove, Emergency Food and many others.
FOODBANK FOR THE COMMUNITY
Items for the local foodbank can be left in one of the boxes in the porch. Many thanks to those who have donated already. It has been very much appreciated.
FIRST COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2022
Application forms for parents who wish their child to receive 1st Holy Communion next year are available on the table at the back of the church. Children should be in Year 3 or above. Please return the form to the presbytery by today (Sunday). They are in a yellow colour. There will be a meeting for the parents of those who apply on Tuesday 11th January at 7.45pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. The first of seven sessions for the children will be on Sunday 16th January at 9am, also in the Parish Centre. The dates of the First Communions will be Saturdays 11th and 18th June, at 2pm and 3.30pm. The allocation of these dates will be revealed at the first parents meeting on 11th January.
Many thanks to all those who have responded to the questions posed relating to the synodal pathway—those who have answered on the coloured post-it notes and to the questions on the boards on the other side of the church. Thank you too to those who came along to the meetings we held in the Parish Centre. On the table at the back of the church, there is a sheet entitled ‘share your thoughts’. Please take one of these if you have not done so already and return it by 15th December. We will then have a very good idea of the feelings of the community. Your answers and ideas will be processed and sent on to the diocese, who will then in turn co-ordinate all the responses and send them to Rome for the Synod.
Meanwhile, we will channel your ideas and feelings towards the Parish Council who will put into action some of the suggestions you have made. Again, very many thanks.