St Johns Riverside Garden Project – Spring Update

The Cornerstone Team would like to thank all our sponsors and runners from the Bath Half Marathon who have helped raise nearly £2,000 over the last two years.

Your contributions have supplied the materials required to develop our Garden space for the local community and visitors. Please see the photos and updates on the Posters at the back of the Church.

This is a volunteer based community project and All Are Welcome to help at the weekend in the clean up and building work. Please contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07713 949859 to learn more and get involved!

Thank you for all your prayers which are making the change happen.

You can download the April update here and the May update here.

We are All Called... How are we to Respond?

On Saturday 21st April over 250 people came to the Apex Hotel for the day to hear Michelle Moran speak; including members of Bath Catholic Deanery parishes, other local faith communities and Clifton parishes from Stroud, Swindon, Bristol and South Somerset.

In Michelle’s keynote address “Come Follow Me”; she referred to Bishop Declan’s three year plan, saying that so many things in life can rob us of hope, but the Bishop prophesises A Future Full of Hope. We have gathered here today in a hotel and Canon David Ryan trusted there would be enough people to pay the bills. Doing things differently shakes us up! We are doing something new and different! Encountering each other in a new way for the purposes of the Gospel. God is doing this.

She referred to Bishop Declan’s motif of the anchor saying what a wonderful image this is for us. It does not promise us protection from difficulties. We remain free, but it gives us assurance that the Lord is with us. She applauded the Bishop for beginning with Year of Mission. So often people want to “get ready” for Mission. But the reality is, we will never be ready. The call is to be Mission now, in this place. Mission is about being transformed. God is at work in the world; all we are called to be is a co-worker. What this depends on is not our skills but how open to the Lord we are. If we pray “Come Holy Spirit!” our life will be transformed. She described episodes of encounter with Jesus in the Gospels. The tax collectors, Zacchaeus, the woman at the well. The woman had to put down her jar. We can ask “What do I need to leave behind?” “What is our excess baggage as a Faith community?”

For a group exercise she referred to Cardinal Martini of Milan who said if we want to find a description of evangelisation to focus on three areas. 1) Is the Gospel being celebrated? 2) Is there witness and proclamation? And 3) Is there service given to humanity? She asked us to consider how this happening now in our communities and what more could be done.

In the afternoon during “God’s Holy People” she said that this refers to all of us. It is not about “who” we are but “whose” we are. It is weak people who were chosen to get the Church off the ground. This is very reassuring for us. After Pentecost, the disciples were no more qualified to do their work, but they had the Holy Spirit now. She referred to Pope Francis new exhortation On the Call to Holiness in Today's World. Holiness is for everyone. We each live the path to holiness in our own way; in the ordinariness and the circumstances of our everyday life. Pope Francis told her in a private meeting that we are in a special time of the Holy Spirit. A quickening of the Holy Spirit. She spoke about the two moves of the Holy Spirit. The “CENTRIPETAL” that draws us more into God- through prayer, quiet reflection, meditation and Scripture. And the “CENTRIFUGAL” – the force that send us out into the streets, our neighbourhood and workplace to witness and be a light of the world.

This is what it means to be “God’s Holy People”. It is what Pope Francis meant when he says that life does not HAVE a Mission but IS a Mission. We can say “I am a Mission!”

Michelle Moran is a founder of the Sion Community and has been a member of the Pontifical Council for Laity for 11 years based at the Vatican. Pope Francis has asked her to work on establishing new structures for Mission in the Church.

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Quiz night

We are running a Quiz Night to help support Simona and Andrea Barroero.

This couple recently made the brave decision to leave our parish community, their jobs and comfortable lifestyle, to run a home in Romania for people living in dire poverty and for those with physical and learning disabilities. These people are usually homeless and live on the margins of their society. Andrea and Simona will run the centre on behalf of The Pope John XXIII Community Charity.

The quiz night is in St John’s Parish Hall on Saturday 12th May 2018 commencing at 7.30 pm through to 10pm Tickets £8.00 pp which will include a Ploughmans supper, drinks will be available.

All proceeds of the evening will be sent to the couple to help purchase a vehicle to facilitate their work. Tickets can be purchased after all masses or from Janet in the parish office.

If you cannot come please consider helping with a donation.


The common factor for our leaders is to welcome in the poor, conducting ourselves as a single spiritual family. We will therefore be always present on the margins of existence, as Pope Francis has said.

 

You can read more about the excellent work the are carrying out in Romania by clicking here.

St. John's garden update

A lot of work has been carried out in the St. John's garden and a new ramp has been fitted for the Adoration Chapel. You can see some photos of the progress here.

A Future Full of Hope

Bishop Declan has published his document 'A Future Full of Hope' which is available to download here.

Calling all Builders & Gardeners

We start 2018 with a view to begin the next phase of our River Avon Garden transformation.

If you’re interested in volunteering this spring with simple flower and shrubbery garden work or more intensive building activities please contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07713 949859.

Here is a brief recap of what happened in 2017...

St Johns River Avon Garden - Feb - Sept 2017b from tom on Vimeo.

2018 Festival Choir programme

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Download for our 2018 Festival Choir programme.

 

Accessing the Parish archives

Our parish archive: waiting to be used

A parish’s sense of its own history is at the heart of what it is and how it comes across to the wider world. Where to look for that history can be a challenging question, but part of the answer is normally in the collection of documents, images and objects known as the parish archive.

For the first 70 years of its existence, St John’s was a Benedictine mission church under the charge of monks from Downside. Since 1932 it has formed part of the Diocese of Clifton which like Downside has a thriving, professionally managed archive. The archive being assembled at St John’s will fill a gap left by these and other sources of the parish’s history.

At present the archive consists chiefly of:

  • Registers of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials. Please note that this excludes burials at Perrymead, which are recorded separately. Burial records are available online at the Bath Burial Index which inlcudes a survey of Perrymead Cemetery memorial photos and transcriptions. This information is freely accessible at the Bath Record Office website https://www.batharchives.co.uk.
  • Six archive boxes of catalogued documents and photos relating especially to St John’s anniversaries, bomb damage and mortalities in the Bath Blitz, the opening of Cardinal Newman School and parish affairs as diverse as the authenticity of relics to the theft of the weathercock.
  • Mass notices for almost every week of the first hundred years of St John’s.
  • Records of the Bath Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society 1892-1964.

There are some intriguing one-offs like a list of subscribers for pews in the Catholic chapel that was built following the anti-Catholic riots of 1780 and mission accounts for the period of the Napoleonic Wars.

The hope is to make the archive useful to a wide range of people. The first step is to spell out what the archive contains. So, with the backing of Canon David, the St John’s website is now publishing an up to date, itemised, listing of its contents.

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Download in PDF format here.

 

The archive itself has not been digitised so for a potential user the next step would be to contact the parish archivist (details below) and arrange a visit to the presbytery to consult items of particular interest. There are few rules about how that is done and no charge is envisaged for first-looks or small study projects.

Chris Morrissey
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
phone: 01225 466799

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.

Bottom line…there’s lots to get involved with at St Johns….if you’re interested in learning more or getting involved in group activities, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join our mailing list, or visit the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stjohnsyoungadult/

Montage 2017

Perpetual adoration

SacredHeart171Perpetual 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.

If you wish to join this special form of prayer contact Zosia Mill or Marta de Diego via the Parish Office on 01225 464471 or email the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

 

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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.

A Festival of Carols and Readings

A Festival of Carols and Readings in preparation for Christmas

Sunday 20 December at 7.45pm

St John’s Festival Choir will once again be leading the singing in this annual celebration. The decorated and candlelit church makes a perfect setting. All are invited to join us and reflect on that first Christmas, 2015 years ago. If you would like to suggest a carol or hymn for all to sing, please email your choice to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later Sunday 6 December.

The Carols and Readings will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies.