Seventh Sunday of Easter

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creation

Homily by Fr Hugh

During the washing up, have you ever looked at a tray of greasy water, and when you drop into it the washing-up liquid, the grease shoots to the side, clearing a space in the middle.  That to me is the opening image of Creation in the Bible.  There is a chaotic mass, turbulent waters, and then the Spirit appears over it and a safe, protected space is suddenly created in which Creation can take place.  In the Israelite prayers they often refer to the danger of the waters just beyond Creation flowing back in if God fails to protect them.  After this the process of Creation begins, and in the early story, in a week.  But the time is not important, what the early story-tellers were trying to express is that it was a process, a development, but always with God present in some way, with God always enjoying it, seeing that it was good, as the Bible says repeatedly.  We would tell the story differently today.  With our modern scientific knowledge, which itself has been and is a developing understanding of the universe, we can say more about the physical start and in the 20th century began to know more about the complexity of time and space, which we could not have imagined before.  No doubt people in years to come will consider our efforts simplistic, but a useful stage.  Evolution goes on in the universe and our abilities are part of that growth…..

Complete Seventh Sunday of Easter Homily by Fr Hugh

 

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LIVESTREAM is now on YouTube

10AM SUNDAY MASS

8 – 8.30PM WEDNESDAY EVENING PRAYER

To watch the Livestream go to CLICK HERE FOR LIVESTREAM ON YOUTUBE at the top of this website. The parish YouTube channel will appear then click on the LIVE NOW video.

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter Mass Readings

 

Daily Prayers Easter week 7

 

Ascension Thursday

ascensionAscension Day Homily by Fr Hugh

There are times we need to celebrate.  One of the things that the Lockdown has done, is to deprive us of that.  Some things can be postponed, open top bus rides through the city if your team have won the league for example.  But for others, like those ending Secondary School or University, getting your results or degree is obviously the main thing you are there for, but what we want to do is celebrate, the Grad Ball or the School Prom.  It is not the end of the world, not to be able to hold them, but psychologically it is a big loss.  It is that moment we come together with all those we have spent years with, and possibly for some, we will not see them again for some time or ever.  It is a rite of passage.  (I remember my University career ended in 1977, a hot summer, not as hot as 76, it was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and pubs in Lancaster were selling beer at 1952 prices, and discos, I do mean discos, Saturday Night Fever came out that year, who can doubt the 70s had the best music?, ended with Brown Sugar.)  Now the Ascension, moving from the ridiculous to the sublime, is the end of Jesus’ time on earth.  It appears at the end of Luke’s gospel and at the beginning of his next book, The Acts of the Apostles.  It is the hinge between the two books.  As the gospel comes to an end, and Jesus rises to heaven, the Apostles rush down to the Temple to celebrate…..

Complete Ascension Day Homily by Fr Hugh

 

MASS FOR THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD WILL BE LIVESTREAMED FROM CHURCH THIS EVENING AT 7PM (THURSDAY 21ST MAY)

To watch the Livestream go to CLICK HERE FOR LIVESTREAM ON YOUTUBE at the top of this website. The parish YouTube channel will appear then click on the LIVE NOW video.

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

Download Bulletin 17th May 2020

 

laudato si 2 - Copy

Homily by Fr Hugh

It is going to look as though I do nothing but watch Netflix all day, which is not exactly true, however I want to begin with another film.  “The Day after Tomorrow” which is one of those that often pops up on TV when they need to fill the schedule.  Why speak about this one?  Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, looking about 15, are battling with another Ice Age, that has been thrown up by Climate Change, and sweeps down from the north engulfing the northern hemisphere, so that in the end the US president has to beg the Mexicans to let them across the border and settle there.  A lot of good Cgi stuff.  But the message is pretty clear.  It is inverting what is happening now, where what we call the South, Latin America and Africa and Asia, are being pushed to move north.  Often by the results of Climate Change.  Especially in Africa, where the climate is changing fast, from the spread of the Sahara (desertification) that is putting an end to people’s way of life and culture and forcing them to move, and the floods, paradoxically, arriving in East Africa now and before in Mozambique are part of this.  When boats arrive at Italian, Greek, Mediterranean ports full of refugees, knocking on our doors, they are condemned often as Economic Migrants, so not our responsibility, but much of what is driving them to leave is because of what comes out of our chimneys and our exhausts.  “The Day after Tomorrow” is trying to give the wealthy nations (US in this case) an image of what it would be like to have the tables turned…..

Complete Sixth Sunday of Easter Homily by Fr Hugh

 

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LIVESTREAM is now on YouTube

10AM SUNDAY MASS

MASS FOR THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD THURSDAY 21ST AT 7.00PM

To watch the Livestream go to CLICK HERE FOR LIVESTREAM ON YOUTUBE at the top of this website. The parish YouTube channel will appear then click on the LIVE NOW video.

 

Sixth Sunday of Easter Mass Readings

 

Daily Prayers Easter Week 6

 

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Download Bulletin 10th May 2020

 

george-hiles-sIStm4lm1Co-unsplashHomily by Fr Hugh

The Westmorland County Show, one of our annual highlights, as you know, was a mud bath last year. Diving from tent to tent, skipping the outdoor events as the Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling (the embroidered strips have to be seen), and for me it was no loss to miss the horses, and alpacas, or the Australian with performing sheep, we did get to the educational tent with our Primary School, Dean Gibson’s display, which is always good. And hovered under canvas with soggy coffees and hog roasts.

But I did get to see the dry stone wall display, which I always enjoy. You see the walls stretching over fells and wonder how they ever got the stone up there, over Helvellyn’s crags. But when you see the builders in action, the care needed to choose the right stones, different for each part of the wall to make it strong enough to resist all weathers and sheep, it is amazing…

Complete Fifth Sunday of Easter Homily by Fr Hugh

 

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LIVESTREAM is now on YouTube

10AM SUNDAY MASS

8-8.30PM WEDNESDAY EVENING PRAYER

To watch the Livestream go to CLICK HERE FOR LIVESTREAM ON YOUTUBE at the top of this website. The parish YouTube channel will appear then click on the LIVE NOW video.

 

Fifth Sunday of Easter Mass Readings

 

Daily Prayers Easter Week 5

 

Photo: George Hiles http://www.unsplash.com

 

 

 

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Download Bulletin 3rd May 2020

 

bishopA PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP OF LANCASTER for Good Shepherd Sunday:

My dear People,  It would be easy to begin by focussing on the problem dominating the news, but that temptation must be resisted. Not long ago the news was dominated by another subject; BREXIT. We got tired of it, made a joke of it, prayed for it to go away, and now look! Living in the world we are affected by the course of current events to a greater or lesser degree, but, as people of Faith, our roots are found in richer soil.  I am writing this as we approach the end of Easter Week. My news is dominated by the fact that Jesus is risen from the dead, and has come back to us. He has not brought a detailed description of ‘life on the other side’. Rather, He brings a simple, one-word message, ‘Peace!’….

Download complete Pastoral Letter for Good Shepherd Sunday

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10AM SUNDAY MASS

8-8.30PM WEDNESDAY EVENING PRAYER, MUSIC AND NIGHT PRAYER

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Third Sunday of Easter

Download Bulletin 26th April 2020

 

3rd Sunday imageThird Sunday of Easter Homily by Fr Hugh

John Bradburne, was a Cumbrian, from Skirwith near Penrith. In 1979 he was shot near Mutemwa Leper Station in what was then Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. After years of searching, with a break for the Second World War, after which he became a Catholic, he ended his life serving those with leprosy, until he was killed in Zimbabwe’s war of independence. His cause for canonisation, being recognised as a saint, began officially last year. When we look at the great saints, Damian of Molokai, again serving lepers, Maximilian Kolbe in Auschwitz, St. Terese in her convent, at the heart of the cause for canonisation is their giving of their lives for others. Saints come in many different shapes and sizes, not all are or have to be recognised by the Church…

Download Complete Third Sunday of Easter Homily by Fr Hugh

 

LIVESTREAM

10AM SUNDAY MASS

8-8.30PM WEDNESDAY EVENING PRAYER, MUSIC AND NIGHT PRAYER

To watch the Livestream go to Click Here For Livestream at the top of this website

 

Download Daily Prayers Easter Week 3

 

St George’s Day

st georgeMessage from Fr Hugh

Tomorrow is St. George’s Day, which has only comparatively recently become a big event in England.  I am not sure that this is a good thing as it can move from patriotism to nationalism to jingoism to xenophobia very quickly.  But at its best it encourages us to dwell on what is good about our country and there is much that is.  What is good to remember is that St. George was a foreigner.  He came from the Middle East as far as we know. He was a Roman soldier who travelled widely.  He became a patron of many countries at the time of the crusades, and was seen as the epitome of chivalry by many knights, famously, if a little legendarily, rescuing the maiden from the dragon.  Chivalry may often have been more of an ideal than a way of life, but at its heart was living a good life and serving others, defending the weak.  He is  treated as a martyr in Islamic tradition as well, and one who lived with people who knew the disciples.  

As the patron saint of our parish, the other patron being the Holy Trinity, what can we learn from him?  Firstly that he lived in times when where you came from was less of an issue.  As part of the universal Church, borders, boundaries, assessment of others on a ‘use’ basis, can never be right.  The figure of St. George stands, or rides, in defiance of any such narrow vision of our world.  Also, however sorry we may feel for the dragon, St. George represents campaigning against and defeating what is not right, ‘hungering and thirsting for righteousness’ as the Beatitudes say.  In the legend it is of course the damsel in distress he saves, but she represents all those in need, the poor, the disabled, the weak, whoever it is that finds themselves at the mercy of powers around them, those without a voice.  Then St. George meets his death refusing to deny his faith.  Given many a chance to go back to his old beliefs and be safe, he chooses his faith and continues to speak out. 

In these times it can be easy to forget that much is hidden by the current crisis which needs to be remembered.  There are long-standing injustices and inequalities to which we can be tempted to say, ‘Well, we will deal with that later.’  But we have to be alert to the suffering of others and speak out, even if it is unpopular.  There is always a tendency to say, ‘We need to look after ourselves first.’  Natural, but not the line St.George would have taken.  Let us ask for his intercession in these times, that we may have his courage, his faith.

 

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10am Sunday Mass

8-8.30pm Wednesday evening prayer, music and night prayer

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Second Sunday of Easter

ResurrectionSecond Sunday of Easter Homily by Fr Hugh

Netflix is now worth more than some of the big oil companies, as a result of our having to stay indoors.  And it looks as though now they will benefit from another three weeks.  I have to admit I do enjoy an old film, but find it hard to believe that ‘Pretty Woman,’ which I was watching again the other night, is over 30 years old.  For me the Roy Orbison theme tune still sounds good.  So indulge me for a moment as I go over the story. 

There’s two main characters.  Julia Roberts, a young woman who finds herself earning her living on the streets of Los Angeles.  She didn’t intend to end up there, she’s bright and is aware that she could have done better, but that is where she is, and she is in charge of her life in many ways.  She has a flatmate she likes, who is far less capable, spends their rent money on her addiction, but Julia knows that that is just how she is, she forgives her, and takes care of her. She doesn’t judge, she accepts people for who they are. She has her dream, but buries it as impractical…

Download Complete Homily Second Sunday of Easter

 

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10am Sunday Mass

8-8.30pm Wednesday evening prayer, music and night prayer

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 Download Bulletin 19th April 2020

 

Easter Wednesday

Easter WedMessage  for Easter Wednesday by Fr Hugh

The Church treats the whole of this week as Easter Sunday, the octave, the eight days of Easter.  That is not the end of Eastertide of course that goes on till Pentecost. So throughout this week and beyond the greeting is still, ‘Christ is risen, Alleluia!’ although by the end we tend to feel that it is getting weaker, the chocolate eggs were all eaten a while ago.  But we should not.

The fact that Christ is risen should influence all our life. While we read through the accounts of the risen Jesus’ appearances at Mass in the gospel, the first reading is always from the Acts of the Apostles, the story of the early Church. These small communities are experimenting with what it is to be an assembly based on Christ and it does us no harm to look and see what they tried to do.  Essentially to come together to praise God, to break bread together, to care for each other and to share their possessions in a very radical way. To meet together for this as equals even if in the wider world they were not seen as such.

As the Church grew it became harder and harder to live up to these early ideals, but throughout the centuries groups of Christians have tried to refind those early roots, some with Church approval and some not, some in a way that would not be recognised by Jesus and some that would. 

In each era the Church finds itself in a different place, with a different society around it, but the example of the early communities will undoubtedly speak to us. Some of us are more radical and will search for that radical way of life, others less socially radical perhaps might not go so far socially, but might want to find the simplicity of worship. For others the question is simply, when Jesus left us his message of peace, of forgiveness and healing, of respect, of eternal life, what does that mean in my, our, life, lives. 

Perhaps the simplest way to put it is, as Peter found out when he said, ‘I have neither silver or gold, but I give you what I have in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,’ to discover what have we been given by Jesus to offer others today?

Easter Sunday

empty tombEaster Sunday Homily by Fr Hugh

Many people don’t believe in the resurrection. Some are just not interested, for some it simply isn’t rational – it doesn’t make sense. Some, Christians included, don’t see a need for it. Surely Jesus’ message was enough. He taught us how to live and love each other, and as human beings, rational ourselves, we can manage that if we choose to – he was a good man.

As Christians we have a problem with this though. The New Testament, our guide book on ‘How to be a Christian’ has four accounts of Jesus’ life and death and they all end with his resurrection. And at three vital points in particular during the gospels, Jesus tells the disciples quite clearly that he is going to rise again…

Download Complete Easter Sunday Homily by Fr Hugh

 

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