A Video Message From The Staff at St Joseph’s School Aylesham

Please click on the following link https://www.stjosephs-aylesham.co.uk/clubs/ and scroll down after the prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for our children. Lord, we ask for blessings on anything they may do, say and think.  We ask for a hedge of protection around them. Protect them physically, mentally and spiritually.  We pray that you would keep them safe.  Amen

A Message From Fr. Jeff

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

This is just a quick letter to let you know that The Bishops of England and Wales have decided that public Masses will not be celebrated in our churches from Friday Night onwards until further notice.

The Bishops have looked at all the issues thoroughly. We have put together all the email addresses we have and are sending you all the relevant official documents along with this letter. They deal with what to do about marriages, confessions, funerals and pastoral visits so it would be good if you all have a look at them.

We are hoping to have a video camera installed in the church over the next few days. The man is coming on Friday. Once that is properly installed you will be able to take part in the Mass, which will be celebrated most days in our parish behind closed doors on behalf of us all. One server, male or female, under 70 years old, is allowed.

Quite rightly The Bishops are making it clear to the older clergy they must follow the guidelines applicable to their age group. I even had a phone call on Tuesday from John O’Toole, the Episcopal Vicar making sure I was going to toe the line. He was right, I wasn’t. This led me to start taking standing back and not mingling with anyone very seriously. Logically if it is going work you have to really stay at home anyway. That means our lovely Fr Pat, will be the one celebrating the Masses you will be able to watch on our new electronic system and officiating at any private burials or cremations. He and others might be announcing one or two other little services you will be able to watch too.

I want you all to remember I am still available at the end of a phone and if you develop strategies to help people in any way at all I will be delighted.

Look after yourselves.

If you are over 70, do take care, if youth is on your side still be careful.

Keep your chin up in all this and ask Our Lord for help when it is difficult.

May God Bless Us All, Fr. Jeff.

Christmas 2019

Some of the children from St Finbarr’s performing their Nativity during the Sunday morning Mass on 22nd December 2019

People Not Walls

Members of the ‘People not Walls’ continuity group met in Dover on Thursday 24th of October and approved the attached statement relating to concern for the human tragedy that is being revealed in Essex. The meeting concluded with a visit to the plaques on the seafront that remember others who have died when attempting to cross the Channel, especially the previous group of 58 Chinese found dead at the port in June 2000.

Media Statement:

We are French and British civil society, NGOs and Faith groups seeking justice and proper treatment for displaced people and supporting them while they survive in punishing conditions in northern France. The forcible removal of over a hundred people and their belongings from one camp in Calais as we meet is just one more example of the pressures that they face. We are saddened and appalled by the recent discovery of 39 bodies in the back of a lorry in Essex. Ben Bano, acting coordinator of the organisation said “Once again we see the result of a combination of smugglers and a system which denies people the right to claim asylum in the UK without attempting dangerous journeys. As well as the effects of the hostile environment we need to remember that the UK has only 1% of the world’s refugees.” Today, ‘People Not Walls’ partners from both sides of the English Channel unite to ask our governments to honour our common humanity, and to invest in people rather than in expensive and ineffective physical borders. We also support ‘Safe Passage’, who have handed in a petition with almost 80,000 signatures to the Home Office to ask for legal and safe routes of access to the United Kingdom. We need solutions that would negate the need for these dangerous and life-threatening cross-Channel journeys.

Issued at Dover on 24 October 2019.

Andrew left for the Seminary

Andrew left us to join the Beda College in Rome, and began his time in the Seminary. We thank him for all his help and support in the parish this past year.  Andy will return to spend Christmas with us. He was very pleased to receive a statue of Our Lady given to him as a gift from the parish, and he goes with our love and prayers.

Pictures of Andy’s first days at Seminary can be found on the Beda College website:
Homepage: https://bedacollege.org
Album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/137459279@N08/sets/72157711095725051/

St Finbarr’s Barbecue

Music and fine weather contributed to a lovely parish BBQ at St Finbarr’s on Sunday 22nd September 2019.

Fr Jeff’s Jubilee Celebration

A squall hit Dover Castle at 10am on Sunday 14th of July. It did not worry those preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fr Jeff Cridland’s ordination. Confidence proved right. By 11.30 as members of the Syro-Malabar Community led the procession in for the Mass the sun was shining on their beautiful gold cross and colourful umbrellas. Mass was celebrated on the lovely spacious mound below the Keep in front of a congregation of over 1,000 seated on Palace Green. It was a memorable sight. What a good thing we had not chosen one of our lovely churches. We had got led to a place where others would see us and as it turned out pass by either respectfully or often with photos quietly taken by people from all over the world. The Music was provided by children from St Joseph’s in Aylesham, St Richard’s in Dover, a combined choir from our two churches, singers and instrumentalists from Fr Jeff’s former parishes, an African Choir and a soloist (Dana Jarvie) whose rendering of Panis Angelicus wafted round the castle walls. Pupils from St Edmund’s provided a thoughtful mime. Afterwards we all had a well organised picnic. Everyone got a bag of goodies, could sample an Indian curry, have a cup of tea or a glass of beer and listen to the band if they weren’t talking. Nobody went home for ages. A lot of people put their hearts into the planning and worked immensely hard.  It was a day to remember.