Fr. Tim Sheridan's family visit
A special welcome to Fr. Tim Sheridan's relatives from Dublin, Miriam and Sean Connolly and their daughter Mairead. The family attending the 75th anniversary of the Bath blitz.
We remember especially Fr Tim, Kit Keegan, housekeeper and two friends who died on St John's Presbytery bombing in 1942.
Photos from Easter 2017.
Easter week 2017
Easter Message from Canon David
As we approach the greatest week of the Church's year, called Holy Week, we look forward to the great Easter chanting of Alleluia, Alleluia! These chants are meant to be vibrant, enthusiastic and exuberant. They should be as high- spirited as any secular sporting or festival event, even more passionate as the Twickenham roar, the Glastonbury Festival sounds or even the Bath Rec. Cheering! This is because Easter celebrates the greatest of all victories, the triumph of Jesus in his Resurrection over all evil's violence, terror and destruction. By dying He destroyed our death and by rising He restored our life, alleluia, alleluia! During the season of Lent the Church asks us to refrain from singing the alleluia chant to place importance upon the penitential aspect of faith. As Easter Sunday comes the Church now urges us to sing the alleluia chants with all our vigour and enthusiasm.
It's good at this time to remind ourselves of the powerful significance of the word, Alleluia, which means "Praise the Lord" To sing Alleluia means to give honour and glory to God. Easter reminds us of our first duty as human beings to give God our praise, who has made us and without whom life has little meaning. At the same time, the Church reminds us "We are the Easter People and Alleluia is our song." Being the People of Praise strengthens our faith and strengthens the bonds of love between us. Easter is a time for praising the Lord in so many different ways. We can Praise our Glorious and Risen Jesus for his sacrificial love on the cross. We can Praise the Holy Spirit for the Resurrection of Jesus and his gift to us in our Baptism and the Sacraments of the Church. We can Praise God for the gift of life itself, the family that has birthed us, the friends that have comforted us, the creation around us that gives us hope. The opportunities to be People of Praise are endless, yet so important as a remedy to counteract the current wave of negativity that pervades our lives. To Praise the Lord lifts our spirits, it strengthens our inner faith and hope, it brings new energy into our hearts. Praise is the very heart of a true Christian, the very ground of our being, "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall be on my lips continually." Psalm 34.
May this Easter bring you and your family and loved ones much joy, happiness and peace. As we give praise and thanksgiving may God's Holy Spirit bring new life and energy into our lives. May we experience together the victory of love over hate, peace over conflict and the rebuilding and restoring of broken lives for God's glory and praise. Your brother and co-worker in the Easter People,
Download our Holy Week and Easter 2017 booklet containing events and mass times.
Cornerstone Mission update March 18th
Cornerstone @ St Johns would like to thank the Adoration Team, St Johns Runners, Young Adult Group, Fabric & Finance Committee and all parishioners for their donations, please pray for the Cornerstone Mission and its success as it seeks to help those in need.
The March update is available for download here.
St Johns Young Adult Group
Our Young Adult Group (18+) has been growing in faith at St Johns since 2015. We started with helping with the clean up of our Adoration Chapel, writing cards for the sick and praying for our community as established adorers on Fridays at 8pm – 9pm with shared rosary and intentions.
Most recently, we have been leading the Bible Study Series each Wednesday at 7.30pm, as well as enjoying local Ceilidhs (Irish Dances) in Bristol and Bath. We also go to the local Rollerskating rink, play Badminton or go for Walks together.
This spring/summer 2017 we’re looking to help clean up the Church Grounds and Gardens, as well as continue our Social activities around Bath. You can meet us after the 6.30pm Mass at the back of the Church after which we go to a local pub for refreshments.
Perpetual Adoration has begun in Bath. The Devotion was begun by the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist in France and it is hoped that every Diocese in the world will have a Perpetual Adoration Chapel. St John Paul II opened the first Chapel of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at St Peter’s Basilica on 2nd December 1981 where he expressed the words “I hope this form of Perpetual Adoration with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will continue and grow in all the parishes and Christian communities throughout the world”. At St. John’s, Perpetual Adoration starts Sunday at midnight through to Saturday midnight closing with Benediction. At present we have over 150 parish volunteers who have promised one hour per week to spend in silent adoration.
Each Lent begins with the Church signing us in Ashes with the words, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return". As a Pastor of the Community I also like to add the words of Jesus, "Remember, anyone who believes in me, will live forever".(Jn 6.47). I do this because although it is good to be reminded in Lent of the shortness of our human life, Lent's key message is Christ's gift to us of eternal life. The words of Jesus come quickly to my mind," I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full". (Jn10.10). The purpose of Lent is to strengthen our lives and to remind us of the shortness of our life so that we can live our lives to the full, to make the best use of our life, valuing each breath we breathe and celebrate each moment we live. The first Lent began as Jesus, filled with the Spirit, at his Baptism by John is driven into the Desert for forty days and nights. He is empowered by the Spirit throughout his life and Lent is a great season for us to be filled with life in abundance. As the days lengthen and there are more daylight hours so we are invited to experience in many different ways the life of the Holy Spirit.
We can feel and sense the Holy Spirit in nature's new spring-time plants and flowers. We can allow the Holy Spirit to awaken us to prayer allowing God's love to make us more aware of the wonder of our personality. We can use our Lent to form new friendships, to undertake new challenges, to make new choices for healthy living and taking greater care of our well-being. Especially we can reflect upon the abundant life of Jesus that was full of adventure, fun, laughter and dance. To be around Jesus meant that life was always interesting and full of surprises and celebration. So if we invite the Holy Spirit into our life this Lent our life will become much richer in a variety of ways. A sure sign of the Spirit's presence will be a gratitude to be alive, a sense that every day is precious, even our bad days seem not so bad! We have our eyes open to compassion, to be grateful for the inspiration of those suffering more hardship than ourselves. We notice the importance of small acts of self-giving, the happiness that comes from learning to give more than we receive. The Holy Spirit shows us how to be content with less material comforts and how to be at peace in our own company. We can even discover that having less can make us more content. Finally, Jesus in the desert, shows us the way to slow our lives down, to do less that God can do more for us. The Holy Spirit will lead us into silence and rest, taking time out for ourselves in order to have more patience and understanding with our family, friends and neighbours.
May this Lent find us echoing a deep appreciation of life, a daily thank you to God for another day, and a resolution to treasure those who love us. Remember we journey from the Ashes of the beginning of Lent to the Festive Paschal Candle of Easter, a foretaste of Heaven's Paradise and Playground!
Wishing you much joy as a disciple of Jesus, may your light shine brightly this Lent to make St John's a welcoming place, a safe and secure home for our children and a healing sanctuary for all who are hurt and broken.
Your friend, priest and fellow pilgrim, Canon David Ryan.
Download our Lent 2017 booklet containing events and mass times.
2017 Festival Choir programme
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.
If you have any questions, please contact Karen Chana by email or by calling 07443 948189.
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.
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.
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.