Parish Priest : Father Lijo Jose
Telephone Number : 01844 345 578
E-mail Address :
Parish Secretary Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30 to 2.30pm
Help needed - If you feel you are able to help our elderly or vulnerable parishioners with shopping or collecting medication please give your details to one of the welcomers as you leave the church.
My dear parishioners
It is hard to believe that we are already in the month of July-approximately 3½ months since the lockdown began. Fortunately, England is slowly easing the lockdown restrictions, with pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopening on July 4th.
Of course, the wonderful news is that public acts of worship are also able to resume on 4th July. As you all know, churches cannot open until the strictest measures are put in place so that everyone can feel safe and there is a limited risk of infection. Numbers attending mass will have to be limited.
Because of the structure of our church and the very strict measures that we have to follow, very few people would be able to attend mass in St Teresa’s. I have asked advice from the diocese and there is the possibility of having mass in the Walsingham Hall. But it has its challenges too.
Deacon Sean and I, along with the team of stewards, are looking very carefully at these different possibilities. Not every seat can be used and of course the two-metre rule for social distancing must be obeyed. The government has also asked to have a system of ‘Test and Trace’ in place. This will be possible, but challenging.
So I am sure you can appreciate that it will take us some time to work out the best way of managing this difficult situation. The safety of all our parishioners must remain our biggest priority. So I ask you all to be patient. In the meantime, the church remains open on Sundays and Wednesdays, 9:30 – 11:30, for private prayer.
I ask for your prayers for the repose of the soul of Michael Dwyer, one of our parishioners who died on Tuesday 30th June. His funeral will take place on Thursday 16th July. May the Lord receive him into his eternal Kingdom. Let us pray too that his family and friends will find comfort and consolation at this painful time.
This Sunday is the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Gospel is from Matthew 11: 25-30. I just quote from the last two verses. “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
I think this passage has given help and consolation to millions of people- myself included. We all carry heavy burdens- burdens of failure, loss, pain, shame, guilt, illness, depression, hopelessness, worry and fear to name but a few! These burdens can overwhelm us at times, weighing us down, making us feel so tired and weary and robbing us of our peace and our joy.
In this gospel passage Jesus is saying to each one of us- Come, Come to me. It is such a beautiful invitation. An invitation for us to get in touch with our weariness, our heavy burdens and bring them to Jesus.
He comes to each one of us with such gentleness and humility. I have noticed that we often want to hide our real selves from the Lord Jesus. We want to appear perfect before him, as if we are ashamed to show him who we really are. I hope that reading this passage will encourage each one of us just to sit before the Lord and unburden ourselves. Then we will find peace, rest and the protection of God’s love- the joy of knowing that we are never alone.
It could be that the yoke Jesus is referring to in this passage is a double yoke used for pulling 2 oxen together. So it is that Jesus carries our burdens together with us. How comforting that is. Jesus does not promise that our lives will be without difficulties,
setbacks, hurts. But he does promise to be with us, a faithful, loving friend, a friend who will never let us down. So let us hear again that invitation- Come. And let us go to him, just as we are.
I want to share this lovely song with you. A friend of mine shared it with me and I really find the words so comforting and consoling. They fit in beautifully with the gospel and I think can help us just rest in the Lord’s arms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt5dDy4LX-0
Come as you are, that's how I want you. I came to call sinners, not just the virtuous
Come as you are, feel quite at home. I came to bring peace, not to condemn
Close to my heart, loved and forgiven. Each time you fail to live by my promise
Come as you are, why stand alone? .Why do you think I'd love you the less?
No need to fear, love sets no limits. Don't run away, shamed, or disheartened
No need to fear, love never end. Come as you are, why stand alone?
Don't run away, shamed, and disheartened.
Rest in my love, trust me again. Come as you are, that's how I love you.
Come as you are, trust me again.
Nothing can change the love that I bear you.
All will be well, just come as you are.
Have a very blessed and joyful week, resting in the love of Jesus. Fr Lijo
Opening of the Church for Private Prayer
After the recent government announcement and with the approval of the Diocese of Northampton I am delighted to tell you that St Teresa’s will open for private prayer twice a week from Sunday 21 June. We have to follow very strict guidelines in order to ensure that everybody is safe so at the beginning things are going to feel very different. We have a very beautiful church with a unique shape. So in order to meet social distancing regulations of two metres, we will have to limit the number of people who can come in at any given time. That number has to be limited to 12 to 15. I hope that by cooperating together, everybody who wishes will be able to spend some time in private prayer. Please read through the following information very carefully.
How will opening the church for private prayer work?
As we are a small parish, we will open for two short periods per week Sundays and Wednesdays from 9.30 am - 11.30am. This will commence on Sunday 21st June.
Stewards will be present in the church throughout the time it is open for prayer. I must ask to please comply with their instructions for the safety of all - the most important instruction is to socially distance, inside and outside the church, leaving at least 2m between individuals (and household groups) and to sanitize your hands as you enter and as you leave the church. Face masks may also be worn but are not mandatory.
You will be asked to enter the church through the main door and leave through the fire exit door at our Lady’s chapel.
If you are meant to be self-isolating please do not come to the church. Stay at home. Coming to use the church for prayer is wonderful, but the most important thing is your health and well-being.
If you feel at all unwell, or have the symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come - the church will be open regularly and hopefully increasingly frequently, so please do not come if you are unwell. Please do not take risks with your health and that of others.
You are welcome to visit the church whilst we are open, either on your own, or as a group from the same household. If you come as a group from the same household, please may I ask you to come, if possible, from 10.30 am onwards.
Children under 16 years cannot enter the church or associated building at this time without being accompanied by an adult.
As you enter and exit the church, please remember to sanitise your hands. The stewards will be cleaning seats, doors and fittings after each person/household group has left the church and before the next person uses them.
The Stewards will invite you or your family to sit in a specific pew because it meets social distancing and other requirements, and takes into account who else is already there - please do follow what the stewards say. When the church prayer areas are full you will have to wait outside at the stewards’ direction until space is clean and available for you.
There will be signs to explain what you are allowed to do, but please follow the steward's directions both inside and outside the church; they will make sure we abide by the rules. Please do not get cross or annoyed if you are asked to wait before entering the church. We need to show we can comply with these rules so we can progressively move to the next stage of opening and hopefully restore Mass and the Sacraments (when the Government allows).
As you can imagine you must not touch the statues. There will be no Holy Water in the stoup and you will not be able to buy Mass cards. You will be able to light a candle in the candle stands but you will have to light it from another lit candle. Tapers, lighters or matches may not be used.
There will be no toilet facilities available to prevent any risk of transmission of infection. I understand that all these measures may seem daunting. But they are absolutely necessary to ensure that the risk of infection is kept to an absolute minimum. I know that I can count on the cooperation of each one of you to comply with all these regulations.