Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church

A Community based on Faith, Altar and the Word

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Welcome to the website of Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church in Balsall Common. Here you can find details of the parish, our latest newsletter, services and sacraments offered by the Church and, in our parish archive, the events we have held. As a parish we value your privacy. Please follow the link here to learn more about the privacy policy that covers all catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Birmingham,
Weekly Parish Newsletter

We have restarted our weekly parish newsletter. It is available online by clicking on the link 'Latest newsletter' elsewhere on this page
Father Frank writes
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Today in the Gospel we hear how the apostles Peter, James and John were given a glimpse of Christ’s glory on the Mount of the Transfiguration - the same glimpse of glory that we are all given when we gather for the Mass, for in and through the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist we ascend to the heavenly places where, with Angels and Archangels and all the host of heaven, we worship the Beloved Son of God who sits at the right hand of the Father. God, the Holy Spirit, gathers us into the cloud of his glory. We listen to him in the scriptures. We feed on him in the Sacrament of the altar. No wonder the disciples “kept silence.” “Master, it is wonderful for us to be here.”
Holy Week and Easter are the climax of the Christian liturgical year. The time of the Passion and Resurrection is proceeded by Lent, a lengthy period of preparation for these painful and illuminating mysteries. Lent is a time of penitence. It is a time for us to examine our conscience and seek reconciliation with the Lord. Lent is also a time for spiritual growth and enlightenment. In Lent we are invited to listen, and respond, ever more faithfully to the voice of God. Lent also commemorates Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt and their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Lent relates this to our own spiritual journey, to our liberation, our pilgrimage, our feeding on divine manna and of our meeting with God. And, as we see from today’s Gospel, Lent also recalls the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert during which he contended with Satan, the tempter. And our Lent must be a period of fighting against temptation. From this one can see that Lent is a very rich, a very deep mixture of elements which serve to purify and enlighten us. During the time of Lent the Church leads us towards the radiant glory of the Paschal feast. The more serious our Lenten preparation has been, the deeper we shall enter into the mystery of Easter and gather its fruits.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, his acts revealed him as a man of mysterious power, working impressive miracles reaching out and curing people instantly. But miracles were only part of the story - they were signs of the new life of the Kingdom of God breaking in but Jesus knew that those who saw him only as a wonder-worker would miss the real meaning and purpose of his life. Therefore he silences the demons, who know who he is, commanding that his true identity should be kept quiet until the rest of the story could be told - the story which leads to the cross and resurrection. It was not that he wanted to hide his true identity, rather it was that he wanted it revealed fully and that would be possible only after his death and resurrection. Only then could he be seen as much more than a wonder-worker and performer of miracles - only then could he be seen as the Lord and Saviour of the world.
The Gospel today describes the first of many miracles performed by Jesus which reveal his authority and power. Jesus speaks with the same miraculous power by which he acts. This first miracle in Jesus' ministry signifies that Satan's tyranny over the world has come to an end and that the Kingdom of God has broken into human history.
In today’s Gospel reading we see how Jesus begins his public life with an exhortation to repent because the kingdom of heaven, or in Mark’s version the kingdom of God, is at hand. This warning prompted by love is addressed to all, for no one is without sin. Yet no matter how many wounds our human nature has sustained, we are never justified in giving way to despair, for the Lord, in his great love for us, pours out his compassion abundantly on all who need it.
Today’s Gospel conducts us to the River Jordan. This was the holy place where first century Judeans expected to see the Messiah come. It was also at this place that the people, long ago, crossed over into the promised land. Today’s story finds us here at this holy place, where John the Baptist is proclaiming Jesus to be the Lamb of God - the One who takes away the sins of the world, the One we are to follow.
Mark, the earliest of the Gospel writers chooses to begin the story of Jesus, not with the birth of the Christ-child, but with the baptism of the adult Jesus. And this beginning is highly significant for Jesus and the whole of creation. Today Baptism is too often thought of as a family affair - a private ceremony arranged between parents and priest and performed quietly in a corner of the church. But properly understood, Baptism is far from a private affair, For Baptism involves and concerns not only the whole of the Church but also the whole of creation. Baptism is of cosmic and eternal significance.
Our hope is in God, not in the sense of a generic religiosity or a fatalism cloaked in faith. We trust in God who revealed completely and definitively in Jesus Christ his desire to be with human beings, to share in our history, to guide us all to his Kingdom of love and life. And this great hope enlivens and at times corrects our human hopes. [The scriptures] affirm that God is not only the creator of the universe, an aspect common to other religions too, but that he is the Father who “chose us in him before the foundation of the world… He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ,” and that for this reason he even, inconceivably, went so far as to make himself man: “the Word became flesh and dwelled among us.” (Pope Benedict XVI) Our thanks to all the volunteers who have worked selflessly to keep the church open and have made it possible for us to celebrate Mass in this Christmas season. Our hearts go out to all those members of our parish who would usually gather with us at Christmas. We pray that God will bless and protect them and we look forward to the time when we will all be united around the altar once again. Due to my underlying health conditions, and based on medical advice, I will continue to celebrate Mass from behind the glass screen. I realise this is not ideal - as with so many things at present, it is frustrating for all of us. I know that I can rely on your patience and understanding.
The Feast today reminds us that God’s revelation and the outworking of his loving purposes takes place in the context of human families. In today’s readings we see how God begins a new work in the world through Abraham and Sarah, in the Old Testament and through Mary and Joseph, in the New Testament. Both couples faithfully trusted in God’s promises and saw them come to fulfilment - such is the faithfulness and mercy of God. Our thanks to all the volunteers who have worked selflessly to keep the church open and have made it possible for us to celebrate Mass in this Christmas season. Our hearts go out to all those members of our parish who would usually gather with us at Christmas. We pray that God will bless and protect them and we look forward to the time when we will all be united around the altar once again. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your cards, offerings, gifts and for all your generosity. Due to my underlying health conditions, and based on medical advice that it would be unwise for me to celebrate Mass in the same space as a congregation, I will continue to celebrate Mass from behind the glass screen. I realise this is not ideal - as with so many things at present, it is frustrating for all of us. I know that I can rely on your patience and understanding. I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion and reflection on the parish website so that we can still pray together. It has been encouraging to see the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows. Archbishop Bernard has also recognised the diligence and devotion of the volunteers and has asked me to pass on his gratitude and appreciation.
The Gospel of this Fourth Sunday of Advent proposes to us the account of the Annunciation, the mystery to which we return every day in reciting the Angelus. This prayer makes us relive the decisive moment at which God knocked at Mary’s heart and, having received her “yes”, began to take flesh, in her and from her. The Collect of today’s Mass is the same as the one we recite at the end of the Angelus. With only a few days until the Feast of Christmas, we are invited to fix our gaze on the ineffable mystery that Mary treasured for nine months in her virginal womb: the mystery of God who is made man. Our thanks to all the volunteers who have worked selflessly to keep the church open and have made it possible for us to celebrate the Christmas Masses. Our hearts go out to all those members of our parish who would usually gather with us at Christmas. We pray that God will bless and protect them and we look forward to the time when we will all be united around the altar once again. As this is the last bulletin before Christmas, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy Christmas, filled with the blessing and joy of Christ. Due to my underlying health conditions I have received medical advice that it would be unwise for me to celebrate Mass in the same space as a congregation, therefore I will continue to celebrate Mass from behind the glass screen. I realise this is not ideal - it is frustrating for all of us. I know that I can rely on your patience and understanding. I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion and reflection on the parish website so that we can still pray together. It has been encouraging to see the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows. Archbishop Bernard has also recognised the diligence and devotion of the volunteers and has asked me to pass on his gratitude and appreciation.
John the Baptist, who we hear about in today’s Gospel, marks the end of the time of waiting and the beginning of the new age in Jesus. John is the last of the great prophets, For a long time the people had been without a messenger from God but in John the Baptist the people discovered an end to God’s silence. Through John they could hear the word of God. We are told that many went out from the towns and cities to see John - which is testimony to his charismatic power to attract people - such is the powerful attraction of the word of God alive and active in a person. Welcome back to the second week after re-opening for Mass. My thanks to all the volunteers who have made this possible. Due to my underlying health conditions I have received medical advice that it would be unwise for me to celebrate Mass in the same space as a congregation, therefore I will continue to celebrate Mass from behind the glass screen. I realise this is not ideal - it is frustrating for all of us. I know that I can rely on your patience and understanding. I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion and reflection on the parish website so that we can still pray together. It has been encouraging to see the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows. Archbishop Bernard has also recognised the diligence and devotion of the volunteers and has asked me to pass on his gratitude and appreciation. Please see elsewhere on this page details about our Christmas masses and the restrictions we need to follow. If you wish to attend mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, please read the instructions and book your place.
The invitation to welcome the God who comes to us in Christ and to cast away empty living is repeated in the liturgy of the Second Sunday of Advent. The Opening Prayer of the Mass asks that no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet Christ. And today we hear the lonely voice of John the Baptist who exhorts us to prepare a way for the Lord. May our faithfulness to the spirit of Advent create a space so that the Lord can come to us. Re-Opening for Mass - Welcome back to Mass. My thanks to all the volunteers who have made this possible. Due to my underlying health conditions I have received medical advice that it would be unwise for me to celebrate Mass in the same space as a congregation, therefore I will continue to celebrate Mass from behind the glass screen. I realise this is not ideal - it is frustrating for all of us. I know that I can rely on your patience and understanding. I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion and reflection on the parish website so that we can still pray together. It has been encouraging to see the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows. Archbishop Bernard has also recognised the diligence and devotion of the volunteers and has asked me to pass on his gratitude and appreciation.
The Gospel today encourages to “stay awake” - not to allow ourselves to become complacent in our Christian lives. Advent is a penitential season when the Church invites us to prepare for the many ways in which Our Lord Jesus Christ comes to us. We can be assisted in remaining vigilant through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, that’s why these disciplines are recommended in this season. Like the “doorkeeper” in Mark’s Gospel, Christians have to remain ever watchful and be attentive to what the Lord wants to reveal to us in all the circumstances of our everyday lives. I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion and reflection on the parish website so that we can still pray together. It has been encouraging to see the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows. Archbishop Bernard has also recognised the diligence and devotion of the volunteers and has asked me to pass on his gratitude and appreciation.
The feast of Christ the King, which the holy Church throughout the world celebrates today, brings to a close the Church’s liturgical year. Our image of a monarch tends to be of one who lives a privileged life and lords it over others. Christ our King is not like that. He came to serve, not to be served and he wants us to imitate him in his loving service of others. That is why, as St. John of the Cross said: “In the evening of life we shall be examined on love.” If to love and to serve our neighbour is heavenly, hell is the suffering of one who refuses to love and serve. I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion and reflection on the parish website so that we can still pray together. Due to the current lockdown, Mass at Blessed Robert Grissold church has been suspended until further notice. Please see the bulletin, posted on the parish website, for updates and any news. It has been encouraging to see the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows. Archbishop Bernard has also recognised the diligence and devotion of the volunteers and asked me to pass on his gratitude and appreciation.
I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion and reflection on the parish website so that we can still pray together. Due to the current lockdown, Mass at Blessed Robert Grissold church has been suspended until further notice. Please see the bulletin, posted on the parish website, for updates and any news. It has been encouraging to hear from Joe Martin of the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows. In today’s Gospel we hear of a man who returned everything he had ever been given to his master - and yet he was censured. He was blamed, not for misusing the gifts he had been given, but rather for not having used them at all. This Gospel passage encourages us to reflect on how we use the gifts and talents we have received from God. The Parable of the Talents teaches us that true religion - a true response to Christ’s call to be his disciples - involves risk, adventure and enterprise. To use God-given gifts and talents aright is to share in the joy of the kingdom.
I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances and that you are coping with the new lockdown. You continue to be in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion on the parish website so that we can still pray together. Due to the current lockdown, Mass at Blessed Robert Grissold church has been suspended until further notice. Please see the bulletin, posted on the parish website, for updates and any news. It has been encouraging to hear from Joe Martin of the generous response to the call for volunteers needed to celebrate Mass. Once again I have cause to be impressed and grateful for your selfless dedication and for the love of Christ and his Church which this shows.
I hope that you are all keeping well under these trying and frustrating circumstances. You are in my prayers daily as I offer the Mass. It was good to see so many of you at Mass last Sunday. Once again our thanks go to those who have volunteered to attend to the tasks necessary to keep the church open. It is intended that Mass on Sundays will be celebrated at the usual time of 9.30 a.m. In the first instance attendance at Mass will be on a first-come-first-served basis. There is a maximum capacity of 30. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints when we give thanks to God for all those who are in heaven, both those recognised by the Church as saints and those known only to the Lord. The Church teaches that sanctity is within everyone’s reach and we ask for the intercession of the saints in heaven as we endeavour to follow their example. Tomorrow, on the Feast of All Souls, we commemorate all the Faithful Departed when the Church invites us to pray for our beloved deceased. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion on the parish website and keep you informed of any developments concerning the parish. If you feel anyone would be comforted by knowing that the Church is praying for them, please contact me - I can offer the Mass for them or include them in the prayers of the Mass. With all good wishes and every blessing Fr Frank
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, I trust that you are keeping well. Although we cannot gather for the Mass at the present time, I believe it would be good if we could all be praying together as a community on Sundays, at 9.30 am, the usual time of the Mass praying for one another, for our country and world at this time of disease and sickness. To this end I have suggested below how we might make a Spiritual Communion together. I will say the Mass at 9.30 am on Sundays offering the intentions that have already been requested. I will also offer those intentions that have already been accepted through the week and, of course, it goes without saying that I will be praying especially for our community. Please take the time to read the suggestion below. In this time of quarantine, we might all share in prayer and making a Spiritual Communion on Sunday mornings - joined to the Eucharistic Christ and to one another.
In today's Gospel Jesus speaks of the mysterious water which is capable of 'welling up to eternal life.' This is the life given, in Baptism - a life we are called to cherish and nurture. The elements of Baptism, namely the water of the font and the holy oils, refer us to the stuff of the cosmos - reminding us that everything is caught up in God's loving purposes of making all things new. In the early Church, Baptism took place during the Easter Vigil and Baptism spoke of the new life and the new time of which Easter is the celebration and manifestation. Baptism has always found its fulfilment in the Eucharist which is the sacrament of the Kingdom - the sacrament of the 'eternal life' of the world to come.
Today in the Gospel we hear how the apostles Peter, James and John were given a glimpse of Christ's glory on the Mount of the Transfiguration - the same glimpse of glory that we are all given when we gather for the Mass, for in and through the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist we ascend to the heavenly places where, with Angels and Archangels and all the host of heaven, we worship the Beloved Son of God who sits at the right hand of the Father. God, the Holy Spirit, gathers us into the cloud of his glory. We listen to him in the scriptures. We feed on him in the Sacrament of the altar. No wonder the disciples "kept silence" and then proclaimed "Master, it is wonderful for us to be here."
Holy Week and Easter are the climax of the Christian liturgical year. The time of the Passion and Resurrection is proceeded by Lent, a lengthy period of preparation for these saving and illuminating mysteries. Lent is a time of penitence. It is a time for us to examine our conscience and seek reconciliation with the Lord. Lent is also a time for spiritual growth and enlightenment. In Lent we are invited to listen, and respond, ever more faithfully to the voice of God. Lent also commemorates Israel's liberation from slavery in Egypt and their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Lent relates this to our own spiritual journey, to our liberation, our pilgrimage, our feeding on divine manna and of our meeting with God. And, as we see from today's Gospel, Lent also recalls the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert during which he contended with Satan, the tempter. And our Lent must be a period of fighting against temptation. From this one can see that Lent is a very rich, a very deep mixture of elements which serve to purify and enlighten us. During the time of Lent the Church leads us towards the radiant glory of the Paschal feast. The more serious our Lenten preparation has been, the deeper we shall enter into the joyful mystery of Easter and gather its fruits.
In the Gospel today, Jesus speaks of the nature of God's Kingdom which is breaking into this world even now. This is the 'perfect' life of the heavenly kingdom so we should not be surprised that his words sound strange for they are opening up to us a strange and new reality which is not of this world. This eternal life is that dimension of the kingdom which we pray will come on earth. The power and the glory of this eternal dimension of the kingdom which is breaking into our world transforms and renews all things so that discord, hatred and violence are overcome by the love and peace of Christ. It is this life of the kingdom which we see breaking into this world in the words and examples of Jesus and the saints - in the ones who 'love their enemies' and 'pray for those who persecute them.' And it is into this eternal dimension, that makes such strange new things possible, that God gathers us each time he summons us before him in the Mass. For in and through the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit gathers us and makes us one with Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly kingdom, so that, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of his glory.
In the Gospel today, Christ teaches us about the relationships we should nurture and enjoy as members of his Body - the Church. As the baptised we are called to live and act in a way that is caught up in God's love and life. In this way we witness to Christ in the world. We are not to live as those who do not know Christ - those who quarrel and divide over selfish preferences, those who are motivated by self-serving desire. Rather, as members of the Church, we are to live differently, bearing witness to the alternative life Christ brings, for, as members of his Body, we are bound to him in his loving mission to the whole of creation. As co-workers with Christ we are called to enact God's deep love for the world - to get our minds off ourselves and our petty self-interests and to live together harmoniously
In the Gospel today, Jesus teaches that the lives of his followers should have a distinctive quality. Like salt, we should add a peculiar flavour to life because our life in Christ is distinctive and peculiar. This distinctive and peculiar quality of the Christ-life in us should shine like a light in the world, because Christ is the Light of the world. But if we lose our distinctive and peculiar taste - if the light in us is dimmed or hidden from the world - then we are no longer fit for purpose for we are called to witness to the love and light of Christ by our lives so that all may "taste and see that the Lord is good."
Candlemas, which we celebrate today, traditionally concludes the celebration of Christmas. So, with Christmas behind us we look forward to Lent and to that approaching period of prayer when we can reflect on all that is most important to our life of faith in Christ. Simeon and Anna, who we hear about in today's Gospel, are devout and prayerful people who are open to the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Church has always taught that the way we pray and worship is foundational to what we truly believe and to our Christian life. This vital teaching has been expressed traditionally in the words: Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi - As we Worship, So we Believe, So we Live. So the Mass and our life of prayer should not be seen as something we "add on" to our busy lives - it must be seen for what it truly is - as absolutely vital and fundamental to all that we are as the Church and as Christians.
Father Frank’s health continues to improve. Please keep him and his family in your prayers
Thank you for all your prayers, support and kindness. Your generosity to me far outweighs what I deserve. My recovery is slow and I am a poor patient. I am looking forward to being back with you just as soon as possible and I spend my time planning for this - but I am still weak and tire easily. Please continue to keep me in your prayers and please pray especially for Sandra who has to bear the weight of my illness. I miss you all. Be assured of my prayers and love. Fr Frank
Father Frank is unwell and is currently resting. Mass themes will return once he has recovered
In the first reading today, we hear some of the loveliest words in Scripture. The prophet Isaiah, setting aside the fear and gloom of the contemporary political situation, looks forward to a Golden Age when God's salvation will transform every living thing. The barren places of nature will bloom; the weak and the frail will be strong; Jerusalem will be a new centre of creation. And if we listen carefully, we will recognise words used by Handel in his setting of the Messiah - celebrating the God, who comes to us in Jesus, to make all things new.
The invitation to welcome the God who comes to us in Christ and to cast away empty living is repeated in the liturgy of the Second Sunday of Advent. The Opening Prayer of the Mass asks that no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet Christ. And today we hear the lonely voice of John the Baptist who exhorts us to prepare a way for the Lord. May our faithfulness to the spirit of Advent create a space so that the Lord can come to us.
As we begin Advent our thoughts are guided, through the liturgy, to the coming of Christ - his first coming to us in humility and weakness and his second coming in majesty and power. The description of the Second Coming of Christ should not fill us with fear, rather we should look forward to it and prepare for it through prayer and right living. So, let us resolve to stay close to Christ through our daily prayer. Perhaps praying the rosary daily - even if it is only offering up a decade - and meditating on what Christ wants to say to us in the Gospels. In this way we will learn to discern his voice - calling us to follow him in the way we must walk.
The feast of Christ the King, which the Holy Church throughout the world celebrates today, brings to a close the Church's liturgical year. Our image of a monarch tends to be of one who lives a privileged life and lords it over others. Christ our King is not like that. He came to serve, not to be served, and he wants us to imitate him in his loving service of others. That is why, as St. John of the Cross said: "In the evening of life we shall be examined on love." If to love and to serve our neighbour is heavenly, hell is the suffering of one who can no longer love.
Faith in the God of love can bring us great happiness and confidence for "perfect love casts out all fear." The warnings about the end times in the Scriptures are meant to be a source of hope for us, not fear. All we need to do is to place our trust in Christ, who reassures us in today's Gospel, that the Lord will be with us. Jesus tells us that by our endurance we will gain our lives. This is a call to be constant, to persevere and to be steadfast in faith, hope and love. In this regard St Paul gives us an example to imitate. Simplicity of life, hope and loving trust in the Lord will enable us to face difficult situations and to be confident that "the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing rays" and will enlighten us
In the Gospel today, Jesus speaks of the life of the Resurrection and he makes it clear that this is eternal life - a life qualitatively different from our natural life - because 'the children of the Resurrection' 'can no longer die.' We were made children of the Resurrection through Baptism - when we were baptised in the name of God the Holy Trinity in whose eternal life we now share. It is because we are 'children of the resurrection' that we 'dare' to call God 'Our Father' and it is for this same reason that we are presented, at Baptism, with a candle lit from the Easter candle which represents the light and life of the Resurrected Christ, in whose light and life we share. And being children of the Resurrection, we are also children of God - the God who lives and reigns for ever and ever and we are called to shine as lights in the world to the glory of God, our Father.
We welcome Bishop William today. He will celebrate the Mass, preach and Confirm our candidates. He will also bless our commemorative window. We also welcome the families, sponsors and friends of our Confirmation candidates. There will be a reception in the hall after Mass - to which all are welcome. Please keep the Confirmation Candidates; Chloe, Ethan, Carys, Erin and James, in your prayers
Thank you for participating in offering up a decade of the Rosary at each Mass this month. By the end of October, we will have prayed all twenty of the Mysteries of the Rosary as a community and I hope this exercise will inspire us to continue with this prayer at other times. October is the month of the Holy Rosary and so it is fitting that we should reflect on the power of the Rosary as a means of prayer and of the important part it can play in our spiritual life. God's grace comes to us through our praying the Rosary and that is why the saints prayed it faithfully and why Popes have endorsed it through the ages. Our Holy Mother has urged the praying of the Rosary wherever she has appeared in recent times. Surely this should be an encouragement to us to try and pray, at least, a decade of the Rosary daily. To this end, it can be useful to carry a Rosary with us always and to have one at our bedside. If anyone requires instruction on how to pray the Rosary, I will be happy to help.
Thank you for participating in offering up a decade of the Rosary at each Mass this month. By the end of October, we will have prayed all twenty of the Mysteries of the Rosary as a community and I hope this exercise will inspire us to continue with this prayer at other times. October is the month of the Holy Rosary and so it is fitting that we should reflect on the power of the Rosary as a means of prayer and of the important part it can play in our spiritual life. God's grace comes to us through our praying the Rosary and that is why the saints prayed it faithfully and why Popes have endorsed it through the ages. Our Holy Mother has urged the praying of the Rosary wherever she has appeared in recent times. Surely this should be an encouragement to us to try and pray, at least, a decade of the Rosary daily. To this end, it can be useful to carry a Rosary with us always and to have one at our bedside. If anyone requires instruction on how to pray the Rosary, I will be happy to help.
October is the month of the Rosary and we will be praying a decade at Mass through the week as a gentle reminder, if it is needed, of the great riches that are to be had in this form of prayer. Padre Pio, the holy saint who received the stigmata, loved to pray the Rosary. He always kept his Rosary beads in his hand. Because he prayed it almost constantly, he was known as the 'living Rosary.' One day his superior asked him how many Rosaries he had prayed that day. Wanting to be respectful and honest with his superior he told him: "I have prayed thirty-four Rosaries today." On another occasion a follower asked him to teach him a prayer that was most pleasing to our Blessed Lady. Without hesitation, he insisted that none is more beautiful or pleasing than the Rosary. And he further instructed him: "Always say the Rosary. The Rosary is a weapon in our hands." Near the end of his life he didn't talk much and when people sought his advice or help he would simply show them the Rosary. Let us follow St Pio's example and always have our Rosary with us.
We hear in the Gospel today of the apostles' desire to grow in faith, "Increase our faith," they say. Jesus' response is to speak of how faith can accomplish great things, even if it is small. What Jesus seems to be saying is that what really matters is that faith is exercised, put into practice - that is how it strengthens and grows. Our faith increases when we put it into practice and our practice is to be that of disciples of Jesus. And when we have proved faithful servants of Christ, all we can rightfully say is: "We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty."
The Bible is unambiguous concerning economic issues. The Biblical injunctions against the exploitation of the poor and the accumulation of wealth are clear and straightforward. Jesus declared war on the selfish materialism of his day and he speaks frequently in the Gospels to the question of economics. If, in a comparatively simple society, Jesus laid such strong emphasis upon the spiritual dangers of wealth, how much more should we, who live in a highly affluent and materialistic culture, take seriously the Bible’s teaching on poverty and riches.
Masses at Blessed Robert Grissold in Time of COVID-19 - The Church has been closed until further notice due to the current Lockdown - Click here for more information
I trust that you are keeping well. I miss you all and keep you in my prayers daily - especially in the Mass.

It has been good to hear the positive feedback from those who are joining in prayer together around the online Mass. I am hoping to provide more opportunities for prayer and reflection together during Lent.

A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

Please find below a prayer which you can join in praying during the Mass online as you make your Spiritual Communion:

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. We make this, and all our prayers through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Take care and stay safe.
With all good wishes and every blessing
Fr Frank
Making a Spiritual Communion - 28th February 2021 - Click here

Making a Spiritual Communion *

Sunday 28th February
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
Mavis Bailey (RIP)

Create a prayerful setting through the placing of a crucifix, Bible, statues, icons, etc Then follow this order of service:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Read the
Entrance Antiphon

Of you my heart has spoken:
Seek his face.
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face from me.

In silent prayer call to mind your sins then make the following penitential act:

You were sent to heal the contrite of heart: Lord have mercy
You came to call sinners: Christ have mercy
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:
Lord have mercy

Pray the Collect (the Opening Prayer of the Mass of the day)

O God, who have commanded us
to listen to your beloved Son,
be pleased, we pray,
to nourish us inwardly by your word,
that, with spiritual sight made pure,
we may rejoice to behold your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

First Reading: From the book of Genesis 22: 1-2; 9-13; 15-18

Responsorial Psalm:
R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord
in the land of the living.

I trusted even when I said:
‘I am sorely afflicted.’
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
R.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
I will call on the Lord’s name.
R.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
R.

Second Reading:
From the letter of St Paul to the Romans 8: 31-34

Gospel: A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

As they came down the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

Reflection

When one has the grace to live a strong experience of God, it is as if one is living an experience similar to that of the disciples during the Transfiguration: a momentary foretaste of what will constitute the happiness of Paradise. No one, however, is permitted to live “on Tabor” while on earth. Indeed, human existence is a journey of faith and as such, moves ahead more in shadows than in full light, and so is no stranger to moments of obscurity and also of complete darkness. While we are on this earth, our relationship with God takes place more by listening than by seeing…And so, this is the gift and duty for each one of us during the season of Lent; to listen to Christ, like Mary. To listen to him in his Word, contained in Sacred Scripture. To listen to him in the events of our lives, seeking to decipher in them messages of Providence. Finally, to listen to him in our brothers and sisters, especially in the lowly and the poor, for whom Jesus himself demands our concrete love.

(Pope Benedict XVI)


Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us

Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, pray for us

St David, pray for us

St Chad, pray for us

Blessed Robert Grissold, pray for us




Pray the Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen

Offer up Prayers of Intercession for the Church, for the world, for our community, for the sick and for those who have died - and offer up your own intentions.

A Prayer in time of sickness and disease:

All powerful and merciful God,
our refuge and our shield,
bring healing to all those suffering as a result of sickness and disease.
Guard and protect us from all harm
and assist those whose skill and art can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.

Ask for Our Lady’s prayers, saying the Hail Mary…

Pray the
Lord’s Prayer: Our Father…

Pray the Agnus Dei:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Make a Spiritual Communion* - asking Our Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and feed you with heavenly grace so that you might be one with Him. You can use the following prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori:

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Ask for God’s blessing and protection:

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Make the sign of the Cross saying:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Finish with the Prayer to St Michael:

Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down into hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen




+++


* A Spiritual Communion can be made if one has a deep desire to receive Our Lord and to be one with him - even if one cannot, for whatever reason, receive him sacramentally. Spiritual Communion is an act of love and desire to be united with Christ and is a means of drawing on the life of the Holy Spirit dwelling within our souls.

The Church teaches us that we can receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in spiritual communion if we have a great desire to receive him and to feed on him, the spiritual heavenly bread, through our longing for the Blessed Sacrament. In spiritual communion we invite Our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts.

In this way we can receive the graces and blessings of the Blessed Sacrament even in those circumstances where we are unable to receive Christ in Holy Communion. And the good news is that we can make a spiritual communion several times a day. Indeed, St Maximillian Kolbe endeavoured to make a spiritual communion - asking Our Eucharistic Lord - to come to him every fifteen minutes - every time his clock chimed.

St Teresa said: “Spiritual Communion is very profitable, therefore do not omit it for by it the Lord learns how much you love him.”

I will post the Sunday Collects, and Readings week by week on the parish website.

I hope this has proved helpful. Please don’t feel bound by these suggestions
- if you have your own better way of staying in prayerful and close spiritual communion with Our Lord then, of course, follow it.

Be assured of my prayers - please keep me in yours. Remember that the Rosary is a most powerful means of prayer.

With all good wishes and every blessing

Fr Frank

***



Weekday Spiritual Communion

You can use the format for Sunday’s Spiritual Communion for daily worship and prayer. The Sunday Collect and scripture readings can be used throughout the week but if you prefer you might like to use the Gospel of the day - I will supply the scripture references for these. Also, please don’t forget the supreme value of praying the Rosary daily.

Gospel readings for the Second Week of Lent

Sun 28 SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
Mark 9: 2-10
Mavis Bailey (RIP)
Mon 1 March
Feast of St David
Matthew 5: 13-16
Tues 2
Feast of St Chad
Luke 10: 1-9
Wed 3 Matthew 20: 17-28
Thurs 4 Luke 16: 19-31
Fri 5
First Friday. Women’s World Day of Prayer
Matthew 21: 33-43; 45-46
Sat 6 Luke 15: 1-3; 11-32
Sun 7
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
John 2: 13-25
Maureen O’Gorman (RIP)

Coronavirus News for Balsall and Berkswell Parishes as of 23rd January 2021 - Please Click here to read


2021 Feb 26th Coronavirus update

Car sharing is not permitted with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless your journey is undertaken for an exempt reason. For example, if car sharing is reasonably necessary as part of your work. It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys. Where it is essential to car share, you can reduce the risk of transmission by:

  • • sharing the transport with the same people each time
  • • minimising the group size at any one time
  • • opening windows for ventilation
  • • travelling side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • • facing away from each other
  • • considering seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • • cleaning your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • • asking the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

Re-Opening for Mass

Update: First of all, I would like to thank all the volunteers on the various rotas for their support and hard work in keeping the church open for Mass. As a result of the current prevalence and high transmissibility of the virus a significant number of volunteers have decided to stand down for the time being and stay away from gathering for Mass. This means that, in order to keep one another safe, the remaining volunteers will have to take up the slack, for without sufficient volunteers to open, close, steward, clean and serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion etc at each Mass, we will be forced to close. Although I have felt a growing pressure this week to close the church during this lockdown, I am happy to continue to open for Mass as long as we have the requisite number of volunteers each week to ensure health and safety for all.

The Sunday obligation is currently suspended and Masses are streamed on-line. No one should feel pressured to attend Mass or to volunteer at this time. This applies especially to those who are most vulnerable to the virus. I am sure we will respect what each person is comfortable with in dealing with the virus and show each other understanding and support. I will continue to post a weekly spiritual communion on the parish website in order that we can still share in prayer together.

With all good wishes and every blessing
Fr Frank

Guidance re: Mass It is especially important that all those attending Mass during the time of the current lockdown adhere to the guidance given below.

Take care and stay safe Due to the prevalence and high transmissibility of the virus at present those who are clinically vulnerable are advised to avoid gathering in enclosed spaces with other people. The Sunday obligation has been suspended and Masses are streamed on-line. I will post a weekly spiritual communion and reflection on the parish website in order that we can continue to pray together as a community.

Thanks Our thanks to all the volunteers who work so selflessly to keep the church open and have make it possible for us to celebrate Mass during this challenging time. Our hearts go out to all those members of our parish who would usually gather with us. We pray that God will bless and protect them and we look forward to the time when we will all be united around the altar once again.

Attending Mass during COVID pandemic Due to my underlying health conditions I have received medical advice that it would be unwise for me to celebrate Mass in the same space as a congregation, therefore I will continue to celebrate Mass from behind the glass screen. I realise this is not ideal - it is frustrating for all of us. I know that I can rely on your patience and understanding. Please observe the directions given below.

Masses at Blessed Robert Grissold in Time of COVID-19
+ Attendees must wear a mask
+ Remain 2 metres apart
+ Sanitise hands on entering and exiting the Church
+ Follow the signs
+ Always follow the stewards’ instructions

Holy Communion
+ All responses during the Mass to be whispered
+ Single file queue for Holy Communion (in one kind only) - please follow Steward’s guidance.
+ The Host to be received in silence, on outstretched hand
+ Masks to be worn to receive the Host
+ Leave the church immediately after consuming the Host
Please do not congregate in the car park after leaving the church

During Mass there will be no:
+ Altar servers
+ Readers
+ Children’s liturgy
+ Offertory procession
+ Sign of peace
+ Parish missals, misalettes or hymn books
+ Singing
+ Passing of collection bags
+ No flowers

Please stay at home if...
+ You are feeling ill or show any symptoms
+ You suspect you may be ill or have been exposed to Covid 19
+ You have a sick family member at home
+ You have come into contact with someone who is infected

Those attending will be asked to supply contact details for track and trace

Please Note:
+ The Church will be cleaned after each Mass
+ In the first instance, attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Once capacity (30 persons) has been reached the stewards will prevent entry
+ Wrap up warm - doors will be left open to increase ventilation wherever possible
+ All areas of the church, apart from the narthex and hall area during Mass, are out of bounds until further notice

Toilets in the church In order to avoid possible spread of infection and to reduce the need for further cleaning we are trying to keep the toilets closed, but the toilet may be used in the case of emergency. If you need to use the toilet, you are asked to carefully clean and wipe down all surfaces you have touched.
MASS ONLINE
So that we might continue to pray together during this time of pandemic and restrictions I will be sharing the Mass with you on-line. In addition, I will continue to post a weekly spiritual communion and reflection on the parish website. Also, if there is a call for it, I am happy to produce opportunities on-line for teaching and devotions during Lent. I hope that our participation in these acts of worship, reflection and devotion will go some way to drawing us together as members of the Body of Christ in this place at this challenging time. It is vital that as members of Christ’s Church that we should be united with Him and one another in prayer. News of Masses, other events and any developments will be published in the on-line weekly bulletin.

In order to join in with the Mass online each week please click on the YouTube link below to open the Parish YouTube channel and you will see the latest Mass with the date as the title. -
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-jl7rCVWalEI8W4aBn6pUw

Lent Online I hope that our participation in the variety of acts of worship, reflection and devotion listed below will help in drawing us together as members of the Body of Christ during this challenging time. It is vital that as members of Christ’s Church that we should be united with Him and one another in prayer. News of Masses, of teaching courses and other activities in Lent together with any developments will be published, here, in the on-line weekly bulletin.

Stations of the Cross: Various versions of the Stations of the Cross will be posted online during Lent. This week it is the meditations on the Way of the Cross written by St Alphonsus Liguori. Please use the same link as the Mass (see above) to access Stations of the Cross and other activities posted for Lent.

Lent Course New material for the Lent course on the Holy Scriptures will be posted online on Thursdays - use the same link as for the Mass (see above) to access the Lent course.

You can also watch this week's mass below.
Fit My Video Tag
Fit My Video Tag
Fit My Video Tag
Offertory Collections
Although there have been no services during lockdown, the usual expenses of maintaining the church have had to be met. Having been unable to attend church during this time, it has not been possible for those of us using envelopes or loose cash to contribute in the usual way. Standing orders have, however, continued as before and we are very grateful to those contributors for their ongoing support.

Envelopes/ Cash
When church attendance is possible again you may wish , but only if your circumstances permit, to catch up on missed offertory donations. You can do this by putting your cash/ cheque in your envelope or the loose plate. If you prefer you can pass a cheque to any of those listed below or post it in the church post box. If you bank on-line you could catch up with a one-off transfer on-line using the bank details shown below.

Standing Orders
In view of the continuing uncertain times and possibility of further lockdowns, you may consider switching to a standing order and not have to worry about having cash etc when coming to church or if ,perhaps, we are again unable to attend Mass. If you bank on-line, then it is probably easier and quicker to set up a standing order on-line. The parish bank account details are:

  • Natwest Bank
  • Sort Code 60- 19 – 14 Account No. 05960711
  • showing Blessed Robert Grissold (236) as recipient.

It does help if you let Bob Jones, Ciaran McSorley or John McLellan know what you have done, to make sure your standing order is reaching us alright. Alternatively you can download and complete the Standing Order/Gift Aid form
here. Only complete the Gift Aid section if you pay income tax and you are not already registered for Gift Aid Donations. When completed please pass the form to any of us listed below.

Finally
If you have any questions about church giving whether by envelope ,cash or standing order or if you need more information about Gift Aid, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us. Thank you for your past support of the parish and in anticipation of the future!
John McLellan (07908 089816)
Bob Jones (01676 532475)
Ciaran McSorley ( 01676 534784)
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Bethany Food Bank Appeal

Please find below information about an appeal from G&T SVP. Can you please bring it to the attention of all the parishioners you are in contact with, and if they can donate any food etc it would great. It can be delivered to Lesley Murtagh at 36 Arden Close Balsall Common. If they can't get there if they let Joe Martin know he will go and collect it and take it around. There is also a collection box in Tesco in the Village. Please help us to help disadvantaged families in the area.

The Bethany Food Bank Appeal has produced a weekly newsletter showing their progress. You can find there below:





OTHER MASSES ARE STREAMED ON THE INTERNET

Mass can be streamed directly from the internet. A number of churches in England and Ireland are available. Please visit this link to find out more.

Parish Events

Looking for the rest of the Parish Event List? We have archived the list from our old site but you can still view them here.
Date
TitleDescription
26.02.2021Family Fast DayCAFOD Family Fast Day is on Friday 26 February 2021. This Lent in lockdown, we can help transform lives! Abdella has to walk ten hours a day to find water to keep his family alive. Please watch the short film by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/x8NOXN45t_A. More information about CAFOD’s work and their Lent 2021 appeal, including how to donate, are available on their website: www.cafod.org.uk.
17.02.2021Ash WednesdayI will also post the Mass for Ash Wednesday this week. Please use the same link above for both the Sunday and Ash Wednesday masses.
14.02.2021Lent – Teaching and DiscussionIf there is sufficient interest, I am happy to prepare talks and discussion, online, for Lent. These would provide a regular opportunity to reflect on our faith. Please contact Fr Frank if you are interested in taking part. I will publish any details of these events in this online bulletin
14.02.2021A Prayer for Spiritual CommunionPlease find below a prayer which you can join in praying during the Mass online as you make your Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. We make this, and all our prayers through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
08.02.2021COVID 19 vaccination newsflash for the over 70sAre you over 70 and not got a Covid vaccine appointment yet? The Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group have vaccination spots available to all those over 70 years of age who have not yet had their covid vaccination and who do not yet have an appointment. You will probably have to travel outside of Balsall Common to have the jab but you might gain several days. To book an appointment then do one of the following 1. Copy this address into your browser: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ and follow the instructions or 2. Call 119
07.02.2021Fr Sebastian 75th Birthday and Golden Jubilee as a PriestThis year Fr. Sebastian celebrates his 7th birthday and his golden jubilee as a priest. Read more about it here
03.01.2021Post for Fr FrankPlease hand to one of the stewards at Mass. They will see that Fr Frank receives all post, including Mass cards, after Mass. Fr Frank will respond to you during the week.
03.01.2021“Giving Tree” CollectionThank you to everyone who donated to our parish collection before Christmas to replace our usual Christmas Giving Tree. The total of money and vouchers donated was £410 – a wonderful result, especially with current restrictions on numbers able to attend mass. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to deliver a small gift and Christmas card to 21 of our older, more isolated parishioners, as well as a gratefully received donation to Father Hudson’s Care, which will be used to help those in need in our diocese. If you missed our parish collection, you can still donate to Father Hudson’s directly, via bank transfer, cheque or online – see their website for details: https://www.fatherhudsons.org.uk/getinvolved/donate/3.htm.
03.01.2021Focus Group volunteers neededThe Joint Working Group of Balsall Common and Berkswell Parish Councils has invited local churches to form their own focus group to provide their views on the future development of Balsall Common centre, as part of their project to obtain community input. The group would consist of one or two people from each church who regularly use Balsall Common centre, and would “meet” via Zoom for a session of about 2 hours in January – probably in the early evening. If you are interested in representing Blessed Robert Grissold in this way, please email Ian Clarke at iehclarke@btinternet.com. This “Churches Focus Group” is just one of a number of groups that the Joint Working Group hopes to establish to discuss plans – there is a link to their general request for volunteers for focus groups especially on the home page of our parish website. The general groups are open to everyone – the Parish Councils are particularly keen to see that the views of all age groups are represented.
03.01.2021Thanks from Fr. FrankFr Frank would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your cards, offerings, gifts and for all your generosity and support and to wish you and your loved ones a happy and blessed New Year.
20.12.2020Christmas offering for the Parish PriestIt is traditional for the offering at the Christmas masses to go tothe Parish Priest. This year, there will be a box at church on the next two Sundays and at the Christmas Masses for your Christmas offering to Fr. Frank. Alternatively, you can drop it off at 12 Priors Close Balsall Common CV7 7FJ and Joe will ensure that Fr Frank receives it.
13.12.2020100 Club DrawJohn McLellan and Chris Burleigh have just done the final 100 club draw for the year, over Zoom using a random number generator. here are the results: 1st, £75 No. 99 Eileen Selby, 2nd, £45 No. 62 Jean Henser and 3rd, £30 No. 40 Megan Westall. Congratulations to the winners!
29.11.2020Parish Giving Tree 2020Our annual giving tree has to take a different form this year.  Rather than buying and wrapping gifts for different age groups, Fr Hudson’s society has asked that we donate cash or store vouchers instead.  COVID has hit us all this year but, as with any crisis, the people who were already disadvantaged will have been most affected.  We are therefore asking the parish to come together, in a safely socially distanced way, to make a Christmas offering for this.  We will be collecting cash, cheques, or store vouchers (please include a receipt with these) outside the church between 9.00am and 9.30am on Sunday 6th and 13th December. There will be an additional collection in the car park on Saturday 12th December 10.00am-11.00am. Some of the funds collected will be used to send Christmas cheer to members of the parish who are unable to come to church during the pandemic.  If you would like to help with distributing a local gift please leave your contact details for Kathryn Driffield  at one of the collections
22.11.2020Normal Weekly OfferingThe Finance committee would like to let any parishioners who wish to catch up with their normal weekly offering know that this can be done safely and easily by dropping a cheque payable to Blessed Robert Grissold Church to Bob Jones at 58 Balsall Street East or give it to one the Finance team who will pass it on. Bob will always ensure that you have a receipt. If you prefer to provide cash that is no problem.
04.11.2020Sunday Mass will not be available for the next four weeksAs I am sure you now realise with the latest government announcement, we will not be holding Mass for at least the next four weeks. We would like to thank all members of the parish for offering to help with the cleaning and opening the church for mass for the last two Sundays which went very well. We had over 20 helpers and considering the size of our congregation we so lucky to have so much help thank you. We will keep you all informed what is happening as soon as more information becomes available. A weekly Spiritual Communion will be available on this website if you wish to use it.
31.10.2020Balsall Common Coronavirus Community HelpPlease be aware of the following service available in Balsall Common. Please use the phone number or email address if you need any support.
17.10.2020St George and St Teresa Catholic Primary School Virtual Open DayNotification of virtual open mornings at St George and St Teresa Catholic Primary School in Bentley Heath, Solihull. You can find out more at www.stgandt.solihull.sch.uk
10.10.2020Midland Charities Association Christmas card shopsDue to the ongoing Covid19 situation, we have reluctantly decided not to open the Midland Charities Association Christmas card shop in Balsall Common or Allesley Park libraries this year. We are hoping to be able to sell cards from home for a limited number of charities as well as some sundry items such as wrapping paper, gift tags, money wallets etc. In order to do this, we would need to take orders in advance. If you would be interested in buying your cards in this way, please speak to Janice or Bob on 01676 534407 or email mcacards20@yahoo.com. I would like to thank both volunteers and customers for all your support over the years. We will make every effort to open the shops as normal in 2021 if the situation allows. Best wishes, Janice
06.09.2020100 ClubJohn McLellan and Chris Burleigh have just done a Zoom draw for the 100 Club, the results of the 3rd 100 Club draw for 2020, conducted using a random generator on a Zoom call with John McLellan, as follows: 1st 19 Tracey McAtammney (£75), 2nd 78 Kathy Jones (£45), 3rd 82 Judith Gibbs (£30). Congratulations to the winners!
17.03.2020Solemnity of St JosephOn Thursday at 10:00 am we celebrate the Feast of a very great saint of the Church: St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 11:00am.
15.03.2020Coronavirus Diocesean response - please readPlease make every effort to read about the changes that the Diocese have asked us to make in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can click the link to the left or use the one at the top of this page.
15.03.2020100 ClubThank you to all who have renewed or taken out a subscription this year. The first draw of 2020 will take place after Mass today. Prizes are £75, £45 and £30.
15.03.2020Please pray for Eleanor Rose Orme Please pray for Eleanor Rose Orme who is to be baptised here today, for her parents and godparents, her friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises.
12.03.2020Mass and Stations of the CrossThere will be a Mass at 10:00am on Tuesday 17 Mar morning (Feast of St. Patrick) followed by Stations of the Cross.
12.03.2020Parish meetingThere is a parish meeting next Thursday 12th March in the parish room after Mass to plan events for the coming year. All are very welcome to attend
11.03.2020First Holy CommunionsMeeting in the parish room on Wednesday 11th March at 4.30pm for parents who would like their children to make their First Holy Communion this year. Contact Chris Mitchell if any queries - 07742288722
08.03.2020Please pray for Brian Bernard Stokes Please pray for Brian Bernard Stokes who is to be baptised here today, for his parents and godparents, his friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises
08.03.2020Thanks from Solihull Cooperative Funeral CareOur visitors from Solihull Cooperative Funeral Care were overwhelmed by the welcome and support which they received here last Sunday and by your generosity. With your help they raised £165.00 for Dementia UK. They have asked me to pass on their thanks.
08.03.2020Thanks from Father FrankFather Frank would like to thank those who are responsible for cleaning the church.
06.03.2020World Day of PrayerWomen's World Day of Prayer on Friday 6th March at 10.30am, St Swithin's Church, Barston. Prepared by the Christian Women of Zimbabwe. All welcome, please contact Louise Perry if you can take part in the service.
04.03.2020Get-togetherGet-together on Wednesday 4th March at 11.30am in the parish room for soup and dessert. All welcome.
01.03.2020Kneelers - Safety ConsiderationsFollowing a recent incident in the church, a risk assessment and inspection of the kneelers has been carried out (by the Parish Maintenance Committee). While the kneelers are in good condition and did not require repairs, the inspection concluded that keeping the kneelers in the 'down' position is more hazardous than in the upright position. The Committee would like to remind everyone to take care when entering and exiting the pews.
01.03.2020Second CollectionThere will be a second collection on Sunday 1st March for Cathedral Maintenance
01.03.2020March 'Prayer Calendar' for VocationsWe have been invited by the Deanery again, this year, to contribute a month of prayer for vocations to the priesthood. We are each asked to choose one day in March and to commit to saying on that day, a prayer - short or long - for increasing numbers of vocations. If you would like to support this, please sign your selected day on the sheet at the back of church. We hope to have one or more people praying this every day of the month. For further details, see Bysshe Gibbs.
26.02.2020Ash WednesdayLent begins this week with Ash Wednesday with the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes. The Church orders the season of Lent to our preparation for the celebration of Easter. The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to, but excluding, the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday. We are encouraged to participate fully in the Lenten preparation for Easter, approaching the Sacrament of Penance and making our confession during this season. The season of Lent also presents us with an opportunity to reflect on our prayer life and to give ourselves over to meditation upon the scriptures or some other spiritual reading.
23.02.2020Thank youThe sale of Christmas Cards, Advent Calendars and Candles in 2018 and 2019 amounted to £139.70. Proceeds went to HCPT Group 83. Thank you for your support, it was much appreciated.
23.02.2020Lately deadPlease pray for the Repose of the Soul of Columban Father Joe Flanagan, who died recently in Ireland. Fr Joe celebrated Mass for us here on many occasions before we had our own Parish Priest. And also, for Peggy Anderton, a neighbour, friend & supporter of Group 83
23.02.2020Walk with MeWalk with Me Booklets for Lent £1 each will be available this weekend. Please put your donation in the wall box. Thank you
16.02.2020Warwick Deanery Parish Visitation 2020This weekend we welcomed Bishop William Kenney for the Warwick Deanery Parish Visitation to our parish. Click on the link to learn more about it and read the parish report presented to the Bishop
16.02.2020Welcome to Bishop William Welcome to Bishop William who is carrying out his Visitation this weekend. He will celebrate Mass and preach today.
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26.02.2021
CAFOD Family Fast Day is on Friday 26 February 2021. This Lent in lockdown, we can help transform lives! Abdella has to walk ten hours a day to find water to keep his family alive. Please watch the short film by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/x8NOXN45t_A. More information about CAFOD’s work and their Lent 2021 appeal, including how to donate, are available on their website: www.cafod.org.uk.
17.02.2021
I will also post the Mass for Ash Wednesday this week. Please use the same link above for both the Sunday and Ash Wednesday masses.
14.02.2021
If there is sufficient interest, I am happy to prepare talks and discussion, online, for Lent. These would provide a regular opportunity to reflect on our faith. Please contact Fr Frank if you are interested in taking part. I will publish any details of these events in this online bulletin
14.02.2021
Please find below a prayer which you can join in praying during the Mass online as you make your Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. We make this, and all our prayers through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
08.02.2021
Are you over 70 and not got a Covid vaccine appointment yet? The Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group have vaccination spots available to all those over 70 years of age who have not yet had their covid vaccination and who do not yet have an appointment. You will probably have to travel outside of Balsall Common to have the jab but you might gain several days. To book an appointment then do one of the following 1. Copy this address into your browser: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ and follow the instructions or 2. Call 119
07.02.2021
This year Fr. Sebastian celebrates his 7th birthday and his golden jubilee as a priest. Read more about it here
03.01.2021
Please hand to one of the stewards at Mass. They will see that Fr Frank receives all post, including Mass cards, after Mass. Fr Frank will respond to you during the week.
03.01.2021
Thank you to everyone who donated to our parish collection before Christmas to replace our usual Christmas Giving Tree. The total of money and vouchers donated was £410 – a wonderful result, especially with current restrictions on numbers able to attend mass. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to deliver a small gift and Christmas card to 21 of our older, more isolated parishioners, as well as a gratefully received donation to Father Hudson’s Care, which will be used to help those in need in our diocese. If you missed our parish collection, you can still donate to Father Hudson’s directly, via bank transfer, cheque or online – see their website for details: https://www.fatherhudsons.org.uk/getinvolved/donate/3.htm.
03.01.2021
The Joint Working Group of Balsall Common and Berkswell Parish Councils has invited local churches to form their own focus group to provide their views on the future development of Balsall Common centre, as part of their project to obtain community input. The group would consist of one or two people from each church who regularly use Balsall Common centre, and would “meet” via Zoom for a session of about 2 hours in January – probably in the early evening. If you are interested in representing Blessed Robert Grissold in this way, please email Ian Clarke at iehclarke@btinternet.com. This “Churches Focus Group” is just one of a number of groups that the Joint Working Group hopes to establish to discuss plans – there is a link to their general request for volunteers for focus groups especially on the home page of our parish website. The general groups are open to everyone – the Parish Councils are particularly keen to see that the views of all age groups are represented.
03.01.2021
Fr Frank would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your cards, offerings, gifts and for all your generosity and support and to wish you and your loved ones a happy and blessed New Year.
20.12.2020
It is traditional for the offering at the Christmas masses to go tothe Parish Priest. This year, there will be a box at church on the next two Sundays and at the Christmas Masses for your Christmas offering to Fr. Frank. Alternatively, you can drop it off at 12 Priors Close Balsall Common CV7 7FJ and Joe will ensure that Fr Frank receives it.
13.12.2020
John McLellan and Chris Burleigh have just done the final 100 club draw for the year, over Zoom using a random number generator. here are the results: 1st, £75 No. 99 Eileen Selby, 2nd, £45 No. 62 Jean Henser and 3rd, £30 No. 40 Megan Westall. Congratulations to the winners!
29.11.2020
Our annual giving tree has to take a different form this year.  Rather than buying and wrapping gifts for different age groups, Fr Hudson’s society has asked that we donate cash or store vouchers instead.  COVID has hit us all this year but, as with any crisis, the people who were already disadvantaged will have been most affected.  We are therefore asking the parish to come together, in a safely socially distanced way, to make a Christmas offering for this.  We will be collecting cash, cheques, or store vouchers (please include a receipt with these) outside the church between 9.00am and 9.30am on Sunday 6th and 13th December. There will be an additional collection in the car park on Saturday 12th December 10.00am-11.00am. Some of the funds collected will be used to send Christmas cheer to members of the parish who are unable to come to church during the pandemic.  If you would like to help with distributing a local gift please leave your contact details for Kathryn Driffield  at one of the collections
22.11.2020
The Finance committee would like to let any parishioners who wish to catch up with their normal weekly offering know that this can be done safely and easily by dropping a cheque payable to Blessed Robert Grissold Church to Bob Jones at 58 Balsall Street East or give it to one the Finance team who will pass it on. Bob will always ensure that you have a receipt. If you prefer to provide cash that is no problem.
04.11.2020
As I am sure you now realise with the latest government announcement, we will not be holding Mass for at least the next four weeks. We would like to thank all members of the parish for offering to help with the cleaning and opening the church for mass for the last two Sundays which went very well. We had over 20 helpers and considering the size of our congregation we so lucky to have so much help thank you. We will keep you all informed what is happening as soon as more information becomes available. A weekly Spiritual Communion will be available on this website if you wish to use it.
31.10.2020
Please be aware of the following service available in Balsall Common. Please use the phone number or email address if you need any support.
17.10.2020
Notification of virtual open mornings at St George and St Teresa Catholic Primary School in Bentley Heath, Solihull. You can find out more at www.stgandt.solihull.sch.uk
10.10.2020
Due to the ongoing Covid19 situation, we have reluctantly decided not to open the Midland Charities Association Christmas card shop in Balsall Common or Allesley Park libraries this year. We are hoping to be able to sell cards from home for a limited number of charities as well as some sundry items such as wrapping paper, gift tags, money wallets etc. In order to do this, we would need to take orders in advance. If you would be interested in buying your cards in this way, please speak to Janice or Bob on 01676 534407 or email mcacards20@yahoo.com. I would like to thank both volunteers and customers for all your support over the years. We will make every effort to open the shops as normal in 2021 if the situation allows. Best wishes, Janice
06.09.2020
John McLellan and Chris Burleigh have just done a Zoom draw for the 100 Club, the results of the 3rd 100 Club draw for 2020, conducted using a random generator on a Zoom call with John McLellan, as follows: 1st 19 Tracey McAtammney (£75), 2nd 78 Kathy Jones (£45), 3rd 82 Judith Gibbs (£30). Congratulations to the winners!
17.03.2020
On Thursday at 10:00 am we celebrate the Feast of a very great saint of the Church: St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 11:00am.
15.03.2020
Please make every effort to read about the changes that the Diocese have asked us to make in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can click the link to the left or use the one at the top of this page.
15.03.2020
Thank you to all who have renewed or taken out a subscription this year. The first draw of 2020 will take place after Mass today. Prizes are £75, £45 and £30.
15.03.2020
Please pray for Eleanor Rose Orme who is to be baptised here today, for her parents and godparents, her friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises.
12.03.2020
There will be a Mass at 10:00am on Tuesday 17 Mar morning (Feast of St. Patrick) followed by Stations of the Cross.
12.03.2020
There is a parish meeting next Thursday 12th March in the parish room after Mass to plan events for the coming year. All are very welcome to attend
11.03.2020
Meeting in the parish room on Wednesday 11th March at 4.30pm for parents who would like their children to make their First Holy Communion this year. Contact Chris Mitchell if any queries - 07742288722
08.03.2020
Please pray for Brian Bernard Stokes who is to be baptised here today, for his parents and godparents, his friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises
08.03.2020
Our visitors from Solihull Cooperative Funeral Care were overwhelmed by the welcome and support which they received here last Sunday and by your generosity. With your help they raised £165.00 for Dementia UK. They have asked me to pass on their thanks.
08.03.2020
Father Frank would like to thank those who are responsible for cleaning the church.
06.03.2020
Women's World Day of Prayer on Friday 6th March at 10.30am, St Swithin's Church, Barston. Prepared by the Christian Women of Zimbabwe. All welcome, please contact Louise Perry if you can take part in the service.
04.03.2020
Get-together on Wednesday 4th March at 11.30am in the parish room for soup and dessert. All welcome.
01.03.2020
Following a recent incident in the church, a risk assessment and inspection of the kneelers has been carried out (by the Parish Maintenance Committee). While the kneelers are in good condition and did not require repairs, the inspection concluded that keeping the kneelers in the 'down' position is more hazardous than in the upright position. The Committee would like to remind everyone to take care when entering and exiting the pews.
01.03.2020
There will be a second collection on Sunday 1st March for Cathedral Maintenance
01.03.2020
We have been invited by the Deanery again, this year, to contribute a month of prayer for vocations to the priesthood. We are each asked to choose one day in March and to commit to saying on that day, a prayer - short or long - for increasing numbers of vocations. If you would like to support this, please sign your selected day on the sheet at the back of church. We hope to have one or more people praying this every day of the month. For further details, see Bysshe Gibbs.
26.02.2020
Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday with the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes. The Church orders the season of Lent to our preparation for the celebration of Easter. The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to, but excluding, the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday. We are encouraged to participate fully in the Lenten preparation for Easter, approaching the Sacrament of Penance and making our confession during this season. The season of Lent also presents us with an opportunity to reflect on our prayer life and to give ourselves over to meditation upon the scriptures or some other spiritual reading.
23.02.2020
The sale of Christmas Cards, Advent Calendars and Candles in 2018 and 2019 amounted to £139.70. Proceeds went to HCPT Group 83. Thank you for your support, it was much appreciated.
23.02.2020
Please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Columban Father Joe Flanagan, who died recently in Ireland. Fr Joe celebrated Mass for us here on many occasions before we had our own Parish Priest. And also, for Peggy Anderton, a neighbour, friend & supporter of Group 83
23.02.2020
Walk with Me Booklets for Lent £1 each will be available this weekend. Please put your donation in the wall box. Thank you
16.02.2020
This weekend we welcomed Bishop William Kenney for the Warwick Deanery Parish Visitation to our parish. Click on the link to learn more about it and read the parish report presented to the Bishop
16.02.2020
Welcome to Bishop William who is carrying out his Visitation this weekend. He will celebrate Mass and preach today.
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