2017 Festival Choir programme

PDF-Download-48

Download for our 2017 Festival Choir programme.

 

First Holy Communion Dates 2017

29th January 2017 – Introductory Lesson Meet and Greet for Parents and Children
5th February 2017
26th February 2017
12th March 2017
26th March 2017
2nd April 2017
7th May 2017
14th May 2017
21st May 2017
11th June 2017
18th June 2017 – First Holy Communion Day (Feast of Corpus Christi)

Lessons will be taking place in the parish hall on Sunday morning at 9am prior to the collection of the children for Mass at 10am.

Registration forms are available at the back of the church or available for download here.

All forms, with copies of birth certificates and recent photos of children should either be sent into the parish office for Karen or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Chana by email or by calling 07443 948189.

Veronica Macmillan RIP

I welcome you all to Veronica’s funeral, not as her friends, not as her fellow parishioners, though both are true, but as her family that is the family of St Johns.

Veronica Josephine MacMillan, known to everyone as Vee, was one of those people that is known by everyone, but not always known to everyone. She was born in Bath on 29th April 1925 to a local GP and his wife.

They moved to 5 Pierrepont St in the 1930s and she lived there with her parents and then her late sister, Audrey, all her life. On her father’s death while she was still quite young, she and her sister looked after her Mother and St Johns became the centre of their lives. After Audrey died in the 1980s Vee lived alone in the top flat at 5 Pierrepont Street.

Vee went to school in Bath then to Bristol University, and then taught Science at Bath Convent for many years until it closed and she went on to The High school. Among her pupils were my wife Sue and Anne Widdicombe, and many other ex-pupils are still living in and around the City. Those that I know speak kindly about her, but sometimes with warm amusement at the way they were taught. One told us this week that she owes her understanding of compound interest to Miss Macmillan.

Vee was a private person and few became her intimates, but she was always referring to ex-colleagues and pupils, so contact was maintained, and I think she is the last but one of her group of teachers, as I know of only one other.

However when she discussed something with you, the conversation was always positive and thoughtful...often tackling me before Mass about something ‘The Government’ was doing, invariably ‘wrong’. Her sharpest comments concerned her taxes. A demand would arrive - Is it right she would say. Yes it is!! ‘oh drat’ would be the reply, with a grimace and ‘I had better pay then’. If it was a refund, then it was a wide smile and ‘jolly good show’. I visited Vee on the Saturday before she died and when I asked her how she as, she said fine, but that the Doctors do not know what they are doing!!

One of her favourite hobbies was Birds. She was a long-time member of RSPB and would take bird watching holidays, well into her 80’s in remote areas of Scotland and similar places, the terrain of which would daunt the best of us. Sometimes these trips took place shortly after broken bones had mended or ‘flu been thrown off!! She bounced back very well from most things.

St Johns was her second home, she loved coming here, usually for daily Mass unless prevented by illness. That seat in that pew (point to pulpit) was hers...one end when Sacristan, the other when past sacristan. In her last few years she would come in with a stick... OK... but then a walking frame. The charge up the aisle was fast and positive... you kept well clear!!!

Most of us remember Vee as sacristan...firstly assistant to Mildred for many years, then she took over, beetling around the sanctuary putting things in place – and woe betide you if you put it in the wrong place or incorrectly. You were told off, firmly but kindly and learnt your lesson. She had to give up about five years ago but by then had served four or five parish priests.

To call her an eccentric would to be unkind but at times, eccentric she could be. Her dress sense was often eclectic, but sometimes beautiful, and I am told she made a lot of her own clothes.

My children remember one snowy morning - about an inch or so - when Vee turned up in green wellingtons and an old brown Mac, and proceeded to sort out the altar.

Her love of St Johns was such that some years ago she offered to fund the re-gilding of our Rood Screen but it was not acted upon. Earlier this year the idea was resurrected by Vee and this time her offer was accepted by the parish. Vee made a donation of £25,000 so that the work could be done in 2017. It is a great pity that she will not see the result of her generosity. BUT it will be a fitting memorial to her and a reminder to us and the church of her love for it , her parish, her friends and her Lord, with whom we are certain she is, possibly even now arranging a heavenly altar (with or without her green wellingtons).

Vee was a one off, a never to be forgotten character, who loved St Johns, and was loved by St johns, who loved life and will be greatly missed by all who knew or were involved with her.

Good night Vee. May you rest in peace.

Downside Abbey Holy Land Pilgrimage

Downside Abbey Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

For those aged 18 to 30

21st to 30th July 2017 led by Dom Anselm Brumwell, a Monk of Downside Abbey Bookings are now being taken for a wonderful opportunity to experience the places where Christ was born, lived, died and was resurrected with other young people.

A detailed itinerary and details as to how to book can be found at http://www.downside.co.uk/shop/events/monastery-events/pilgrimage-holy-land/ or contact the organiser This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The group will be visiting the most important Holy Christian places in Israel and the West Bank together with some impressive archaeological sites. They are also spending a night out in the Negev Desert among the Bedouin and experiencing the joy of camel riding! There will be lots of opportunities for exploring places on foot, swimming in the Jordan River, Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee together with kayaking in the beautiful Banias Nature Reserve.

This one-off opportunity to travel at the fully inclusive cost of less than £900 needs to be booked quite quickly as the Easyjet flights will probably be released in the next few weeks.

An update from Benedict

Good News from Seminarian Benedict Skipper.

We are very happy to announce that our young Seminarian, Benedict Skipper received the Order of Acolyte at Oscott College, Birmingham last Sunday.

There are a number of ministries, called orders, on the road to Priesthood and the ministry of Acolyte denotes a cleric promoted to the highest minor order in the Church. The chief offices of an acolyte are to light the candles on the altar, to carry them in procession, and during the solemn singing of the Gospel; to prepare wine and water for the sacrifice of the Mass, and assist the sacred ministers at Mass and other public service of the Church. In the ordination of an acolyte the Bishop presents him with a candle, and an empty cruet and appropriate words expressive of these duties.

In front of members of his family, the Archbishop of Cardiff ordained him as Acolyte, accompanied with six fellow students. Benedict has sent us photos of his special occasion, which are displayed on the Notice Board at the back of the Church.

We are truly grateful for all the Lord has done in Benedict's life, especially for his remarkable recovery of health, that has troubled him in the last eighteen months. Please continue to remember Benedict in your prayers and we look forward to welcoming him home to St John's for the Christmas break.

Advent talks at St. John's

Why fast in Advent?

Fasting is a sign of repentence from idolatry and social injustice. How do we put God first and fight injustice? Christ, the light of the world, sows seeds of truth in all the great religions. How does our faith converge with that of Jews and Muslims?

 

Christ Our Light

Some thoughts for Advent as we prepare for Christ's coming at Christmas.
A meditative talk by Father Yves Dubois, Priest in the Orthodox Parish of St. John of Kronstadt, Widcombe.

 

Monday 5th December at 7:30pm

St. John's Parish Hall, South Parade, Bath

Coffee and biscuits provided.

Family matters training course

The next Family Matters training course will take place on Wed 02 Nov (Part 1) and Wed 16 Nov (Part 2) 09.30 - 15.30. Family Matters recruits trains and supports volunteers to work with families with multiple and complex needs to see positive and significant change in their lives. Most families are referred by B&NES Connecting Families Service. We now have 15 volunteers and are seeing some very encouraging results. The time commitment is for a weekly visit to the family of up to two hours, time to write up a visit report and attendance at a monthly volunteer support meeting.

For further information and an application form please contact Joy Fraser This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call on 01761 433644.

The Simple Pilgrim

Rina Bird is travelling the Camino Portugueses and her little group were given a Pilgrim's Blessing at Downside Abbey.

If you would like to follow their progress, go to http://www.thesimplepilgrim.co.uk and at the bottom of each page is the link to the blog. It might make exciting reading as it is not a foregone conclusion that Rina will make it! Last year, on the same route, Rina's foot gave out and she had to return home. this year Rina has done a lot of painful training and hopes it will pay off.

Rina Bird

Prayer for the World

Prayers for a troubled word to transform it into a place of love and peace, in the footsteps of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every Sunday before the 6.30 Mass starting at 17.45 in The Lady Chapel. Everyone is encouraged to join in and children are most welcome! Volunteers to lead prayer are also most welcome. Bring your rosary with you!

For more information please contact Catherine on 07587596148 or Peter Turner 07715 159511

Adoration Chapel

Adoration Night chapel inaguration

The new Night-time Adoration Chapel based in the lower rooms of the sacristy of St John's Church was opened on Tuesday, 8th December. The Mass of the Immaculate Conception to inaugurate Pope Francis' request for the Year of Mercy was held in the church after which our Night Chapel was solemnly dedicated.

 

Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel
Adoration C...
Adoration Chapel Adoration Chapel

St Johns Young Adult Group, an update

Our Young Adult Group at St Johns has been growing in strength and number since its inception in May 2015. 

The group is united in the hope for the forthcoming Year of Mercy to keep growing in faith, friendship and to be able to help each other, tesifying Jesus in their everyday lives and amongst their friends, families and people of the Parish. 

If you are interested in learning more please join us for our Holy Hour on Fridays at 8 pm in the Adoration Chapel or after at 9 pm for our social outing.

For even more details please visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/stjohnsyoungadult or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and join the weekly mailing list for an update on our the latest activities.

CAFOD 2016 research update

Thank you so much for taking part in CAFOD’s supporter research last autumn about the next steps for our ‘One Climate, One World’ campaign. We really appreciated you giving up your time to talk to us on the phone, and for sharing so many insights about how we can develop our campaigns in future. Of course, not everyone had the same opinions, but there were many areas of consensus which gave us a clear steer about where to focus going forward.

Here are some of the ways in which we have used the research so far:

  • The message which focused on Pope Francis and the inspiration to care for our common home was the most popular. We are using this language and content to inform our campaign communications for the year ahead, making sure that we root everything we say in this positive vision. We are also drawing the most popular ideas and phrases from the social justice messaging to reinforce this call.
  • We have noted your concern that ‘lifestyle’ actions should not replace political actions, and that actions should always include a political dimension. This means that we are now exploring how campaigners can influence UK government or business investments in fossil fuels, instead of how they can change their own pensions or investments. We are aiming to develop this as a campaign focus in 2017. We have also trying to build in a ‘political’ dimension into our lifestyle actions (for example, encouraging livesimply award parishes to invite their MPs when they receive their awards, or people who switch to renewable energy to use this an example to call on the UK government for support for renewables).
  • We have noted the actions which achieved widespread support were: walk to church Sunday, eating less meat/local food, and switching to renewable energy at home. As a result, we are launching a renewable energy switch promotion next month, and we are exploring how we develop the other two ideas next year.
  • We have noted the enthusiasm for a parish energy switch, but also your concerns that this is impractical, would meet resistance or hard to understand how to make it happen. As a result, we have started conversations directly with the Dioceses about a structural approach to overcoming these barriers, rather than asking each parish to try and switch to renewable energy by itself. There will be more information available about this later in the Spring.
  • We have ruled out taking forward some of the more unpopular actions, which the research showed you saw as unrealistic or impractical, such as asking people not to take flights.
  • We have noted the desire to integrate our fundraising and campaigning and lifestyle actions at Lent, and are looking for ways to improve.
  • We have noted your concern that ‘lifestyle’ actions should not replace political actions, and that actions should always include a political dimension. This means that we are now exploring how campaigners can influence UK government or business investments in fossil fuels, instead of how they can change their own pensions or investments. We are aiming to develop this as a campaign focus in 2017. We have also trying to build in a ‘political’ dimension into our lifestyle actions (for example, encouraging livesimply award parishes to invite their MPs when they receive their awards, or people who switch to renewable energy to use this an example to call on the UK government for support for renewables).
  • We have noted the actions which achieved widespread support were: walk to church Sunday, eating less meat/local food, and switching to renewable energy at home. As a result, we are launching a renewable energy switch promotion next month, and we are exploring how we develop the other two ideas next year.
  • We have noted the enthusiasm for a parish energy switch, but also your concerns that this is impractical, would meet resistance or hard to understand how to make it happen. As a result, we have started conversations directly with the Dioceses about a structural approach to overcoming these barriers, rather than asking each parish to try and switch to renewable energy by itself. There will be more information available about this later in the Spring.
  • We have ruled out taking forward some of the more unpopular actions, which the research showed you saw as unrealistic or impractical, such as asking people not to take flights.
  • We have noted the desire to integrate our fundraising and campaigning and lifestyle actions at Lent, and are looking for ways to improve.

Susie Mullen and Sarah Hagger-Holt  

Catholic online dating

Catholic Online Dating is a free to use, modern Catholic Dating website for the UK and Ireland. After launching the site in mid 2015, it has been blessed with a great run of success over the last few months, reaching just under 600 active UK users and recently been featured in the Catholic Herald (the magazine w/s Feb 12th 2016) and the Independent Catholic News (Feb 13th 2016).

For more details visit www.catholiconlinedating.co.uk.

2016 Festival Choir programme

PDF-Download-48

Download for our 2016 Festival Choir programme.