Parish Report 2019
The beginning of 2020 has been very difficult for all of us, with much of our lives and our parish life on hold because of the corona virus and lockdown, so I apologise that this report is so late coming to you and that a parish meeting has not been possible.
In order to write this report for you all I looked back through the newsletters of 2019 and realised that we did quite a lot things in our parish life. I thought I would remind you of some of them. In parish life we followed the life of the Church, so, we celebrated Lent with Stations of the Cross, Adoration, soup lunches and a video course entitled The Joy of Hope: in Holy Week we shared a coach with St Ives parish and many of us went to the Chrism Mass at St John’s Cathedral in Norwich, we also took part in the local walk of witness with other Christians on Good Friday morning. At Easter we welcomed two people into Full Communion with the Church through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. During the year 28 children prepared for and received their First Holy Communion and 13 young people prepared for and received the Sacrament of Confirmation; all of this made possible with the help of two very committed catechists. We had a Vigil at Pentecost with the parish of St Ives focusing on the coming of the Holy Spirit. Some attended a Deanery Retreat day for Readers and Eucharistic Ministers at Buckden Towers in June. We celebrated our feast day with Mass and a shared international lunch; we welcomed many families on All Saints’ Eve to a Mass thinking about the lives of the saints and followed it up sharing some pizza. In Advent we had a short course reflecting on Pope Francis’ letter Laudato Si looking at global healing and caring for our shared planet. Members of our Indian community celebrated their patronal feast of St Alphonsa on July 27th with Mass, procession and a shared meal; grateful thanks to them for providing a new statue of St Alphonsa for the church.
We had some fundraising social events during the year, first on Shrove Tuesday a sausage supper which raised £227; next came a raffle and cake sale in July, raising £338, then the parish BBQ later in July making £275 and a cream tea party in the garden in August raising £180. Good social events bringing us together as a community and also supporting our parish. Many went to Walsingham in May either for the Diocesan pilgrimage or for the Children’s Pilgrimage, for some this was their first time to visit the National Shrine of Our Lady here in England. In the approach to Christmas some people enjoyed a very beautiful concert in the church led by “Enchanting” a group of a cappella singers sharing some lovely carols and Christmas songs. We also began to support the local Foodbank during the year.
On the parish development front we had an open parish meeting to share ideas, we started to have coffee after the 11.00 Mass as well as after 9.00 Mass, both of these events give people a chance to meet and get to know each other. We had a ballot about whether to go forward with our building development to provide more room for Mass and improve our facilities the result was 185 in favour and 7 against. We continued to encourage parishioners to support us through Standing Orders and the weekly total rose from £125 to £238 during the year.
This is just a short snapshot of our parish during 2019. You can find more details of all the things we do on the parish website at www.stmichaelrc.org. May God continue to bless our parish and our people.
May God bless you all, Fr Philip