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.
A Future Full of Hope
Bishop Declan has published his document 'A Future Full of Hope' which is available to download here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Festival of Carols and Readings
A Festival of Carols and Readings in preparation for Christmas
Sunday 20 December at 7.45pm
The Carols and Readings will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies.
Parish Archive soon to go live
The core of the parish archive has now been brought together and securely shelved upstairs at the presbytery. It mainly consists of sacramental registers going back to the late 18th Century, six boxes of catalogued documents and photos, and Mass notices for every week in the first hundred years of St. John’s.
The shelving (which was donated) gives scope for adding to the archive. It’s something that should be happening all the time, to give our successors a clear view of the life of the parish. A start has been made on plugging gaps in the record on important subjects such as liturgical music and parish schools.
The intention is to make the archive a valuable information source for non-commercial research. That’s easier said than done as making the archive easy to consult has to be squared with protecting its contents against damage and mis-use. We need some test cases to help work out how it should happen, so if you think the archive as just described could be useful to you in, say, family research please contact the parish archivist, Chris Morrissey on 01225-466799.
Young People Group Adoration
St John's Young People Group will attend Adoration on Friday 27th of November from 8 to 9 pm to say the rosary together and share moments of silent prayer for friends, families and the world especially in this moment of tragic events around the globe.
Anybody is welcome to join anytime from 8 until 9 pm
Contemporary Music Group
We are pleased to announce the successful first meeting of the Contemporary Music Group.
Around twenty people of varying ages and from many nations attended last week's event. They listened to a presentation by Jason Whiley on the vision for how music may be explored together to facilitate worship. Jason is a very talented music leader in the Vineyard Music tradition. He was very encouraged by the range of musical talent that attended the occasion. The aim is to assemble a group that has a variety of musical talent that can grow in confidence in using their skills for the worship of God.
At the next session on Monday May 11th, 7.30 pm in St. John's Church, the musicians were invited to bring their instruments and use their voices in mastering six contemporary songs. It was a very optimistic and joyous occasion.
Congratulations to our new musical lambs!
Jubilee year CD of music from St John's now on sale
Jubilee year CD of music from St John's
To celebrate the great variety of music which is heard at St John's, a special CD was produced for the unique Jubilee year, "A Jubilee in Song". There really is something to suit all tastes and now is your chance to have a permanent reminder of this Jubilee year.
You can listen to samples from the CD by clicking on the following:
In dulce jubilo (St. John's Festival Choir)
Gloria: Mass in Eb (St. John's Sunday Choir)
They'll know we are Christians (St. Gregory's Catholic College Choir)
Salve Regina (Gregorian Chant Choir)
Ego sum panis vivus (St. John's Sunday Choir)
Margaret from Devon wrote, after being given a CD as a gift:
"I would like to say how much I am enjoying it. There is certainly a lot of talent in your parish. It was a wonderful idea to include all the various groups, the children and the parish congregation, too."
The cost is £12 and includes post and packing. Please make your cheque payable to St John's RC Church and send to:
Parish Office (CD Purchase)
St John's Church
Bath BA2 4AF
All money raised from sales will go into the church funds.
Live Bath St John’s Church Peregrine webcam
Our spire has been the home for peregrin falcons for many years now. They have featured on BBC Springwatch and can be seen through the nest webcam.
The St John’s Church peregrines are wild birds and the Hawk and Owl Trust Trust monitors their progress and well being.
26/12/15 An early scrape
29/05/15 Normality returns
18/05/15 Falcons standing guard
03/04/15 Four new eggs at Easter
21/06/13 Falcon news update
15/06/13 Falcon news update
10/05/13 New falcon chicks
11/12/16 Unseasonal Exchange
02/01/17 Falcon checking the nest box
Live Simply: Live in Solidarity with the Poor
In many parts of the developing world, technology has made tremendous improvements to the lives of the poor, many remote from the nearest towns. The poor have instant connectivity. They can watch a movie with an app. They have mobile phones where they can Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp or WeChat family, friends and strangers. Note that these brand names are now verbs widely understood.
And yet, for many in third world countries, what is most basic is sadly lacking. It is the access to water, clean water for cooking, water for washing and sanitation, water for planting and livelihoods, the basics of survival. That is not instant.
Our presentation gives a panoramic perspective on the qualities of water and a glimpse of pressing issues for the future if we do nothing. Catholic Social Teaching provides a moral compass on what ought we to do.
If you have Microsoft PowerPoint, you can view the presentation here.
For a PDF version click here.
We thank you for your support of CAFOD, Monsignor Kelly Fund, SPICMA and the Holy Water Project for India.