Watch mass now live from St Brigid’s on this Pentecost Sunday, 31 May 2020.
Dear parishioners and friends of our 3 Churches:
Happy Easter! No, Fr Matthew it’s Pentecost, not Easter… But today is the last day of the Easter Season! We do that double Alleluia again at the end of Mass. Yes, we reach the end of this part of the Church’s year, that we began way back on 26 February with Ash Wednesday. Remember then, the old days, before lockdown? Well, here we are at the feast day of the Holy Spirit, powerhouse of the Church, and the feast of Us as well, who are the Church. Though not together physically I encourage us all to celebrate today in whatever way you can (Fr Andy asked me what I wanted special for lunch!) Reach out to a few members of our parish families with an email or better a phone call or neighbourly shout. Most of all, pray for a renewing outpouring of the Spirit on all of us, wherever we may be.
Don’t forget, I’m celebrating Sunday Mass at 10.30am live streamed via 3churches.org or Youtube channel “frmhj” when we’ll be praying for the out pouring and for the needs of the parishes, including your needs too.
By the way on 3churches.org you will also find Archbishop Stack’s recent statement on the reopening of our churches.
Download our 3 churches newsletter for Pentecost.
This Thursday I found myself at BBC Llandaff, not for my usual few-times-a-year “Wednesday Word”, but as part of a panel to record today’s edition of “All Things Considered”. This weekly programme goes out on Radio Wales just after the 9 o’clock news on Sunday morning.
Appropriately for Pentecost, the topic was “The Holy Spirit”, a subject that I’m very comfortable with. Then I saw that two of the other three panelists were to be a Baptist minister – well I’m OK with Baptists as my father was from that tradition originally – and, uh oh, an Elim Pentecostal minister.
And not any Pentecostal minister, but Rev Christopher Cartwright of the City Temple, currently serving as General Superintendent, i.e. boss of the whole denomination which counts 550 congregations across the UK and Ireland. I’ve known, and on the whole had good relations with, folks from most parts of the Christian Church, but never the City Temple. For many people they would seem to be at the far end of the spectrum from us.
Anyway we got going – and all went well, in fact very well, thank God. Then I noticed that while I was speaking Chris (friends now, see!) was taking notes. I thought ‘Oh, he’s loading his ammunition to fire at me’. But no, as he told me afterwards, he was taking notes because I was using some approaches to this difficult subject that he had never thought of and very much approved of. I have to say I felt a little glow of Catholic pride, that I should be teaching the leader of Elim Pentecostals a few things about the Holy Spirit.
But in reality you could say that we are all Pentecostal – Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, and the Holy Spirit is the very life-force of that Church and of Creation itself. If you would like to celebrate the feast today, I invite you to our Pentecost Praise this Sunday evening. We start at 7.15pm in St Brigid’s Hall with refreshments – bring a bit of finger-food – then move to the Church at about 8.30 to
honour the Holy Spirit in prayer, praise and reflection, ending with a Benediction.
Download our 3 churches newsletter for Pentecost:
Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. After the Ascension, the disciples and Mary did as Jesus had told them – they stayed together in Jerusalem. On this day the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them, and the Church was born! The crowd could hear the apostles in their own languages and Peter went out and preached so powerfully that thousands were touched and converted. And so the journey of the People of God, the Church, began. We, of course, are writing the latest instalment of that history with our lives and words.
While the earliest stages of the Church had no need for special buildings, and was persecuted much of the time, soon greater acceptance and stability came. Numbers grew, requiring buildings to house them and especially the worshipping Church. So a tradition of church buildings began, from mighty cathedrals to simple parish churches.
Care for our 3 Churches buildings and contents is an ongoing responsibility for us all. The project to put a new roof on Christ the King Church was recently completed on schedule. We should be dry and secure for a good period now! We thank new chair of Christ the King Parish Council Chris Stevens for handling most of the responsibility for this project.
Meanwhile, St Brigid’s is gearing up to celebrate 50 years of the church building. We have four aspects to the celebration of this event. On Sunday September 21st, anniversary of the first Mass in 1964, there will be a Jubilee Lunch at the New House Hotel. Tickets for this event will be on sale from next Sunday, at £20 adults £10 children. There will be a choice of two starters, mains and desserts plus vegetarian option on the day. On Monday evening 1st December Archbishop Stack will celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass on the anniversary of the Blessing of the Church by Archbishop Murphy. Between September and November there will be competitions for the children and young people of the churches.
Lastly, new sanctuary furniture has been bought to mark the occasion. Specially commissioned for St Brigid’s, all the pieces have a St Brigid’s Cross carved into them. It will take a little while to find the best arrangement for the furniture, and the lectern will be fitted with a radio microphone, but I’m sure the environment for our worship of almighty God will be enhanced by a “matching set” to mark 50 very special years.