We have celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion in which we are reminded of the deep compassion and love of Jesus. In his love he shows the heart of the Father and calls us to show that same love and compassion to a needy world. The difficult and hard events of the last few months have brought out both the worst and the best in human beings. We have been stuck in a new way of living which has meant that we have often been restricted to the limits of the four walls of our homes. For some this has led to many strains in the home, because we do not have the normal “break out” places and it has tested our patience and love; for others it means greater loneliness and isolation. I am sure, for all of us, it has increased our gratitude to God for what we do have: a safe home, a roof over our head and food on the table, loving friends and all those sustaining things that keep us going.
The importance of keeping “in touch” by whatever means has been so highlighted in these times. So please continue to call, write, email etc. I am always delighted to hear from you. I will try to keep in touch with you too as much as possible.
In so many places in our community we have seen the tireless work of a great company of people caring for the sick, the vulnerable, the lonely and the disadvantaged. I have seen this first-hand at the St Cuthbert’s Centre, at St Cuthbert’s School and with St John Ambulance as their Chaplain. This shows us that compassion and love are at work in a lively way in our society.
At St Cuthbert’s it has been a very busy time. Everyday over ninety people get fed by the St Cuthbert’s Centre. It is fabulous work and so important to care for the most vulnerable. Everyday there is queue down the road alongside the Church and each person can take away a substantial cooked meal.
In the Church too we have continued the daily pattern of prayer and celebration of the Mass, we have filmed the Sunday Masses each week and our musicians have offered their musical talents to these “virtual” acts of worship. We are very grateful to Quintin, Seb and the other singers. I have been able to meet with a few people, at appropriate distance in the Church garden for conversation (weather permitting). Some areas of the Church and crypt have had a clean and a clear so there is more order in various parts of the building and my office!
This week the builders have started to install the kitchen/tea area at the west end of the Church. This work should be completed by the end of June. However we will need to raise some more money for the “white goods” – fridge etc. to put into the Kitchen. If you feel you could sponsor some of this please let me know. The kitchen will make a great difference to us, when we can meet and socialise as normal this will be such a great asset. It will mean that the many events that happen in the Church will be better served. We will have a better way to ensure we give better hospitality each Sunday after Mass. Giving hospitality is a way of showing that compassion and love that we have received from Christ and in turn want to share. I am very grateful to all who have helped with the funding and planning.
This week saw the Church opened again. At the moment it is for private prayer. I hope that we will be able to celebrate the Mass in public again. It may be little by little at first. It is not clear as yet how this will happen. We have made plans for a gradual opening up of worship. We await for the government to make it clear what will be permitted. However we have made the first step. I am glad that I am able to share the special oasis of prayer we have at St Cuthbert’s Church. I have been greatly privileged in being able to go in everyday to Church to worship and prayer. I want to share that privilege again. It is a great joy to be able to open the doors after such a long time especially difficult that it came during the whole of Passiontide and Easter.
Like you all, I want to share the joys of Easter and celebrate with others the love we have from our compassionate loving Saviour
With my love and prayers