DAA fundraiser quiz
Bath & North East Somerset Dementia Action Alliance
The Big Charity Quiz
Wednesday 19th April 2017
7pm at Bath Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath BA2 4EU
We are seeking to make B&NES dementia friendly but need your help. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to over a million by 2025. Help us to support people living with dementia in B&NES.
Divine Mercy Sunday
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.
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.
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.