Latest Lockdown Update:
Public Mass will resume on Thursday 3rd December at 9.30am, and we shall have our normal timetable restored. Please remember to book tickets for Mass using the button on the right hand side of the screen (on a PC) or scroll down towards the bottom of the screen on a mobile device. Until that time, Masses will still be livestreamed as per our bulletin, and Church will be open for Private Prayer on Sunday (2.00pm – 4.00pm) and Tuesday (6.00pm – 7.30pm) this coming week, but this will reduce to just the Sunday afternoon, once the Church is re-opened. (Of course these plans are dependent upon us having Stewards available to staff the opening of the Church).
This Weekend’s Masses will be streamed live at 5.30pm (Saturday Vigil) and 10.00am (Sunday morning). They are then available at anytime afterwards. To be notified of livestreams as they happen, please subscribe to the YouTube Channel. Please click below to go to our YouTube channel:
Let us keep each other in prayer, and pray also that these restrictions will bring about the desired result in reducing the present levels of Covid-19 infection and transmission throughout our region and country.
Advent is upon us – Come Lord Jesus, come!
Light for the Blind – Help during Advent:
Light for the Blind is the charity St. Joseph’s helped through the Lenten Project earlier this year. Vellore Hospice is now open to our poorest homeless in India and we have a stake in this achievement. Unfortunately the need is growing with the worldwide health crisis and overpowering poverty. The charity needs more resources. Due to the lockdown, the Lenten Project could not be concluded as expected and the intended top-up collection is still to materialise. However our hearts can be fully open even if our churches are not, and human concern is beyond borders. In the spirit of Advent and the “Fratelli Tutti” message from the Holy Father, our help will be gratefully received and make a vital difference. With heartfelt thanks – Agnes Regan
Payment can be made as follows, from the Internet or smartphone using the following details:
Account – LIGHT FOR THE BLIND
sort code – 30 90 57
Reference – STJHADVAPP2020
Alternatively, donations can be dropped through the letter box at the presbytery or at the church in an envelope marked up Light for the Blind.
Below is a short video about the work of Fr Thomas and Light for the Blind.
UK Government wants Christians to rate how well it engages with Faith Groups.
Christians and those from other religious groups have the chance to have their voice heard by the UK Government in regards to how it engages with faith communities. It has launched an independent review to assess how people perceive the Government’s engagement with faith organisations.
Colin Bloom, Faith Engagement Adviser at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is leading the review and has said that the Government knows it has areas to improve in.
“I think government recognises that it can always do better and that in engagement with faith communities, it might be good, but it could be better. We’re going to explore how government can do it better and indeed, perhaps areas that it shouldn’t be doing.”
Mr Bloom said this is the perfect time for Christians to voice their opinions on how they feel the Government has handled the coronavirus crisis with faith communities.
“I want everybody, whether they’re from Church of England, or whether they’re another Christian denomination, or whether they have no faith at all, or whether they’re from another faith to engage with it so that we can really analyse that data. It’s both qualitative and quantitative and it will inform the recommendations that we’re going to make that I’m going to make next year so that government can listen better and can engage better with those communities.”
The open consultation period lasts until 11th December.
Click here to take survey.
First Holy Communion 2020
First Holy Communion – Catch-up Programme
Provisional re-scheduled date is Saturday 12th December 2020 – Thank you to parents and carers of our children for continuing to prepare their child to receive this Sacrament. I will be emailing details of the two Masses this coming week. Please note that these plans are provisional and depend on the restrictions still in place after lock-down.
Updated: Face Coverings Mandatory in Churches from Saturday 8th August
In order to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control, the government has announced that face coverings must be worn in places of worship from Saturday 8th August. This is enforceable by law for all except those who are exempt from wearing a face covering.
Public Health officials have been given extra powers to enforce the wearing of face coverings in public spaces with fixed penalty charges. However, their approach is to educate rather than penalise. It is for the benefit of the common good that a face covering should now be worn by those who are able to do so.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) has now updated Bishop Marcus, who in turn has issued guidance to the clergy, including the following additions to the previous guidelines which are directly relevant to laity attending Mass:
Face coverings will be mandatory in Places of Worship from Saturday 8th August 2020. Parishioners attending churches should bring face coverings with them, and wear them in church unless they are exempt from doing so. This is for the good of all who gather in the church for Mass as it is an enclosed public space where there are people from differing households who they do not normally meet.
Worshippers should limit their interactions with anyone they are not attending church with, i.e. if they are attending corporate worship with one other household, wherever possible they should maintain social distancing with anyone outside of this group.
Readers should sanitise their hands before and after reading and should avoid touching the microphones or the Lectionary during the Liturgy of the Word, apart from page turning. Readers may remove their face coverings at the lectern to read and should replace them before stepping away from it, providing the lectern is sufficiently distant from the congregation
Priests in the sanctuary providing they are sufficiently distant (2 metres or more) from the congregation do not need to wear a face covering except when distributing Holy Communion. Other ministers in the sanctuary should wear face coverings and remain socially distant from the celebrant.
Unless otherwise instructed by the priest or stewards, a communicant should unloop their face covering and with arms at ‘full stretch’ extend their hands as flatly as possible, palms upwards, one of top of the other, to receive Holy Communion. They should then immediately consume the Sacred Host and replace their face covering before moving back to their seat.
Your Giving to Your Parish
A number of parishioners have been in touch to ask how they can continue to make their weekly offerings to St Joseph’s Church here in Bilton. Thank you all for asking!
There are a number of ways, the first might be to consider setting up a Standing Order with your bank, please download the form below, or set it up using the following details via your own Internet Banking Service:
Account Name: Diocese of Leeds St Josephs Harrogate
Sort Code: 40-27-15 Account Number 11017500
(Please fill out this form if you are a UK Tax Payer and would like us to claim back the Gift Aid on your donations – at no extra cost to you. This part of the form would then need to be sent back to the Presbytery, address below)
The second way might be to use the new text service:
To contribute £5 to St Joseph’s Parish Offertory, please text CHURCH BILTON to 70500
**Please note that it is a feature of the text-giving facility that allows for no more and no less than £5 to be given to the Offertory via each text. If your regular weekly parish giving is either more or less than this amount, please feel free either to send more than one text – or maybe use this facility just once a fortnight or once a month.**
The third way is to send a cheque made payable to “St Joseph’s Church” to
St Joseph’s Presbytery,
281 Skipton Road,
Harrogate, HG1 3HD.
Thank you for your continued support during these difficult times, please be assured that I hold each one of you, your families and loved ones in my prayers and Masses each day.
Fr Stephen PP