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
Christmas 2019 Services

If you are looking for our mass times for Christmas 2019, click
here
Father Frank writes
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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.
There are notable parallels between the Parable of the Unjust Steward, which we hear in the Gospel today, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Each story has a noble master who shows amazing grace to his wayward underling. Both stories have a subject who wastes his master's goods, and, in both stories, the wasteful servant or son wake up to their dire situation and then they throw themselves on the mercy of their master. In these two parables the principal concern for Jesus is not financial propriety, rather, through these stories, he is inviting us to reflect prayerfully and deeply on the weightier matters of God, his grace and mercy, and salvation.
Today's Gospel passage speaks to us of the tender and forgiving love of God. It is the love which is at the heart of Christ and which he reveals through his words and actions. He is the friend of sinners. He seeks out the lost and rejoices over their return to the way of love and life. Those who encounter this merciful life-giving love in Christ are transformed for there is no greater treasure than this. St. Paul says that everything else is like so much rubbish compared to the forgiving love of Christ. And it is in this encounter with the sacred and loving heart of Christ that a religion of the heart is born. Not a religion of laws written on tablets of stone but a religion of love written on hearts of flesh.
Regarding discipleship and following Jesus, today's Gospel makes it clear that it is a choice which each of us has to make. Christ calls us to radical commitment to him and for that reason he asks all those who would be followers to first count the cost of discipleship. The cost is great, it demands are all but the reward is inexpressibly greater. We cannot follow him in our own strength. He leads us, he empowers us, he gives us the strength to follow so that we might increasingly immerse ourselves in that incomparable love of his which was revealed in his Passion and Cross - a love that is stronger than death and the love we were created to know and share in forever.
The Gospel today speaks to us of humility and humility is necessary if we wish to be pleasing to God and find entry into his kingdom. Humility is one of the marks of a saint. Because the saints were close to God and deeply aware of his great holiness, they felt their faults, failures and weaknesses more profoundly. We are to be humble, like Jesus and the saints, if we are to find favour with God and humility is about being realistic about who and what we are in the light of the holiness of God.
The teaching of Jesus is clearly opposed to any kind of elitism or exclusivism. As one who was marginalized and excluded by his own people, Jesus identifies with those who are not members of the "in crowd." Always to be left out, always excluded, is a cause for sadness but always to be counted in can be an excuse for smugness and complacency. It was this instinctive desire to belong that prompted the question in today's Gospel: "Sir, will there be only a few saved?" We have no answer to the question of whether many or few will be saved, what we do know is that we cannot afford to be smug or complacent about our own salvation. We must work to do God's will and cooperate with his Fatherly discipline in order that we might squeeze through the narrow door that leads to his kingdom.
In today;s Gospel Jesus says to his disciples: "I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already." The fire he speaks of is the fire of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist spoke of this when he said: "I have baptised you with water; he (Jesus) will baptise you with the Holy Spirit." Jesus wants us to be baptised - that means literally "immersed" - in the fire of the Holy Spirit, in order that the flame of God's love might transform us, so that we might be like him. Jesus speaks of his own baptism of fire when he says: "There is a baptism with which I must be baptised, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!" Christ's baptism finds its consummation in the Cross where he is fully immersed in love and self-emptying humility. "It is accomplished." He who descended into the lower regions of the earth is the one who ascended far above all the heavens and sends the fire of the Holy Spirit upon the earth.
We must be open and ready to receive the God who comes to us in every present moment. God's name, revealed to Moses, is I AM. He is, therefore, the Ever-Present One. Too often, our minds are distracted by what has been or by what might be - by things past, which no longer exist and by things which may or may not come to pass. God, however, the Great I AM, meets us in real time - the only time which is real, the present moment. Prayer and the sacraments - especially the Sacrament of the Eucharist - can help to make us present to the One who is present to us in the sacrament of the present moment
The Gospel calls us to place all our trust in God and his providence. Through prayer and the sacraments we are to store up treasure for ourselves in heaven. Though we are poor in spiritual things, God makes us rich through his grace, allowing us to be sharers in his life and love.
Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. He was a man of prayer - he knew its value and he wanted his disciples to be people of prayer as well. In our Wednesday evening meditations, we have learnt how prayer is the rooting and grounding of oneself in God. Prayer seeks to open us up to communication and communion with God. It maintains and deepens our relationship with him so that his light and love can flow into us and out into the world in what we say and do. Our meditations on the Christian prayer life will begin again on Wednesday 10th August - All welcome.
The mystery revealed in today's readings is of God in Christ, our friend and companion - the Divine guest who comes to us and we are invited to welcome him, just as Abraham did at the Oak of Mamre and as Martha and Mary did at Bethany. Both Abraham and Martha welcomed their Divine Guest amidst a flurry of activity; whilst Mary sat at his feet and listened to him in the stillness. However we receive the God who comes to us, only one thing is needed - a heart open to love
As followers of Christ, we are all called to be like the Good Samaritan. We are to love our neighbour as ourselves - serving all people without distinction of race, colour or creed and having a special concern for the poor and marginalized. We are to demonstrate our love of God through being reconcilers, peacemakers and healers in a wounded world.
After Mass today we are pleased to celebrate the Baptism of Cormac David Cant. Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are made members of the Body of Christ - the Church and the members of the Church are 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people' called to glorify God, their heavenly Father, by their life. We pray for Cormac, his parents, godparents and family that, together, they will be faithful to their high calling, in Christ, through Baptism.
Masses at Blessed Robert Grissold in Time of COVID-19 - We are reopening for Mass on Sunday 6th December. Click here for important information
Re-Opening for Mass From Sunday 6th December Mass will resume as before the lockdown. 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
Making a Spiritual Communion - 22nd November 2020 - Click here

Making a Spiritual Communion *

29th November 2020
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
People of the Parish

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

To you I lift up my soul, O my God.
In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame.
Nor let my enemies exult over me;
and none that hope in you be put to shame.

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)

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.
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 prophet Isaiah, 63: 16-17; 64: 1, 3-8

Responsorial Psalm:

R. God of hosts, bring us back;
let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.

O shepherd of Israel, hear us, shine forth from your cherubim throne.
O Lord, rouse up your might, O Lord, come to our help.
R.

God of hosts, turn again, we implore, look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it, the vine your right hand has planted.
R.

May your hand be on the man you have chosen, the man you have given your strength.
And we shall never forsake you again: give us life that we may call upon your name.
R.

Second Reading:
From the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 1, verses: 3-9

Gospel: A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he come unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection

Today is the first Sunday in Advent and the central theme of Advent is the coming to us of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is, of course, already present to us, he is at hand, in our midst, within us, but the grace of Advent
allows us a more concentrated, vivid and renewed awareness of his presence among us.

During this liturgical season Christ makes himself known to us, in a special way, as the One who is God yet who wants to be with us for he is the God who wants us to know him and love him.
He is the God who comes to us, in Christ, and makes himself one with us, in order that he might wed himself to us in love so that the two become one. Never has there been such a love story to compare with that of the love of God in Christ for us. No wonder the Psalmists praises God by saying: ‘Your loving kindness is better than life’
and elsewhere: ‘I will sing forever of your love O Lord!’

And that’s why Christian prayer during this season of Advent might be summed up in those words which close the last book of the Bible: ‘Amen - so be it - Come to us Lord Jesus.’ And he does come to us, to reveal the otherwise hidden mystery of the Godhead to us. So that we might know God and love him forever. It for this we were made. God made us for himself. We are the beloved bride whom he comes to win in Christ. Mere creatures, yes, but through divine grace to be made one with God through that same Spirit of love working in us which binds the persons of the Holy Trinity in unity. That is why Christ prayed for us saying: “May they all be one, as you Father are in me and I in you, that they may be in us.’

And out of his great love for us, Christ comes to us in many ways every moment of our lives and the season of Advent reminds us to stay awake
so that we don’t miss him. He stands at the door of our lives and knocks
and he graciously waits for us to let him in but if we are distracted with other things, - if our will is divided and our desires dispersed - if our lives are too cluttered and filled with other things - if there is no time for the God who comes to us - if there is no room for him then he will not impose himself on us. He is humble and gentle of heart. He will enter and make his home with us
only when he is invited as our chief love and desire and as he is the
supreme being, infinitely surpassing all others in excellence, it is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation that he should have the first place in our hearts. His loving perfection is such that
it is right and just that he is not prepared to be treated as second best, that he refuses to be an afterthought,
- a life-style accessory, - a comfort blanket, - a God of the gaps. When he is number one in our lives - when we desire him above all else
then he will enter and sup with us, become one with us and we with him.

Staying awake is therefore also about being aware of all that prevents Christ from entering into our lives, - being aware of all that prevents us from recognising not only Christ’s presence in the sacrament of the altar but prevents us from recognising him as he comes to us in the sacrament of every present moment.

So, through our wholehearted observance and celebration of Advent,
may we learn to stay awake in order that our desire for the God who comes to us in Christ may increase and so drive away all those things in our lives
which are incompatible with our knowing God and loving him forever.

Amen, so be it,
Come to us Lord Jesus.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, have mercy on us

Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, pray for us

St Andrew, pray for us

St Edmund Campion, pray for us

St Francis Xavier, pray for us

St Birinus, 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,
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 First Week of Advent

Mon 30 Nov Feast of St Andrew
Matthew 4: 18-22
Phoebe Stevens (Birthday)
Tues 1 Dec
Feast of St Edmund Campion
Luke 9: 23-26
Wed 2 Luke 10: 21-24
Thurs 3
Memorial of St Francis Xavier
Matthew 7: 21, 24-27
Fri 4 Matthew 9: 27-31
Sat 5
Feast of St Birinius
Matthew 9: 35-37
Sun 6
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Update on Coronavirus restrictions in Solihull Borough as of 11th November 2020
Parish Giving Tree 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
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Happy 75th Birthday Father Sebastian Arikat
Father Sebastian Arikat was our Priest in charge from 2004 to 2010. On the 5th November 2020 he will reaching his retirement age of 75 years and on 5th January 2021 he will beginning his golden jubilee year as a priest. Friends of Father Sebastian in India are putting together a "Appreciation to Father Sebastian Arikat" and we were asked to provide an article remembering his time and ministry with us.

The article is reproduced below and is based on an original article written by Godfrey Chesshire with some additions by Ellie Clarke.

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 15th August 2004 was a memorable day for the parishioners of the parish of Blessed Robert Grissold in Balsall Common. It was on that day that Father Sebastian Arikat became our Priest in Charge. It is possible that few of his new parishioners were then aware of the state of Kerala let alone where about in the Indian Sub-Continent it was.

Soon we had the pleasure of meeting some of the Keralan people who had come to live and work in the UK, as our small but modern church building became a base for some of the prayer meetings, training events and retreats that Father Sebastian organised. In addition to his duties as our priest, and as chaplain to the Catholic secondary school in the nearby town of Solihull, Father Sebastian had come to the UK to be Spiritual Director for the Jesus Youth – a missionary movement that was well-established in India, but which was still in its infancy in the UK when he arrived.

In addition to the events held at our church, Father offered immense support to night vigils, prayer meetings and retreats for Keralans in the UK, often travelling across the country in his tiny car to participate in them. To support the young families in the ministry, for whom travel was difficult, Father Sebastian would drive over and visit them, to offer support. Particularly, he would visit families experiencing sickness or awaiting the birth of a child. In the later years, the ministry required to be registered as a charity, and Father played a vital role in this process as well. Father’s home next to our church was always open to members for personal retreats, meetings and pit-stops on journeys, and he showed great hospitality, cooking meals and praying for and with them.

In our own parish, Father Sebastian also gave an enormous amount of pastoral care and influence. He is still fondly remembered for his inspiring and thoughtful homilies – many of which began with a joke or an amusing story, which Father clearly enjoyed telling as much as we enjoyed hearing them. Many of our sick and older housebound parishioners were deeply moved by the peace and tranquillity he has brought into their homes. We have seen the joy and pleasure in his eyes as he receives the offerings from the children after they have participated in their liturgy group or when our young children’s choir sang at mass.

Under Father Sebastian’s guidance, the parish thrived. His ministry included “CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) courses to get small groups of Catholics thinking, talking and praying about their faith, house masses during Lent. A parish website was created, and Seasonal newsletters at Christmas and Easter were produced, featuring news and photos from the parish, and always started with a seasonal message from Father himself. Father was even a podcaster before it became fashionable! – his Advent and Lent sermons were recorded, along with the gospel reading, and made available to download from the parish website.

Our parish benefitted in many ways from Father’s work with his Keralan community. It was a pleasure to welcome some of his many guests to our Sunday masses, and, on occasions, to enjoy music provided by some of the members of Jesus Youth. Several Keralan priests (mostly former students of Father Sebastian) celebrated with us, and we were even honoured with a visit from Father Sebastian’s bishop. When Jesus Youth needed to undertake fund-raising, Fr Sebastian organised popular “curry nights” for our parishioners, with food and entertainment provided by the Keralan community.

Of course, combining all of these different responsibilities was a great deal of work, but Father Sebastian undertook his duties with joy and enthusiasm, focussing on pastoral care and delegating other tasks where he could. He enlisted many willing helpers – as one member of our parish commented “When Father gives you a job to do, he does it with such grace that you’re not only happy to do it, you feel honoured that he chose you!”

At the end of 2010 Father Sebastian was called back to Kerala by his bishop, and Father Soji Olikkal took over his duties at our church and for the Keralans in the UK. We were delighted to welcome Father Sebastian back to our church for a visit in 2014, and the joyful mass he concelebrated was a tribute to the gratitude and great affection our parishioners still feel for him.

Ellie Clarke, October 2020 (based on an original article by Godfrey Chesshire)
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:





MASS 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
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.
16.02.2020Tom Green's Cake sale fundraiserA huge thank you to everyone who supported my cake sale last Sunday. The response was fantastic, and I raised an amazing £282. This money will all go directly towards my projects in Tanzania. I am volunteering with Christian charity 'Go Make a Difference Tanzania' for 3 months from the 21st March. I will be working on rural community projects such as a reforestation scheme and building goat sheds. Many thanks again. Tom
09.02.2020Two volunteers required for Church CleaningDue to the resignation of two volunteers for church cleaning a vacancy has arisen for two people to join our dynamic team. The honour of cleaning our lovely church comes around every 8 weeks. No previous experience needed. Please apply in person to Louise Perry.
05.02.2020Get-togetherGet-together this Wednesday 5th February. We meet in the Parish room at 10.30am for coffee, cakes and a chat. All welcome.
02.02.2020Parish AccountsThere will be a Finance Committee meeting after mass next Sunday, 2nd February, when the 2019 accounts will be presented.
01.02.2020Father Frank and his recoveryI am grateful to you for all for the support and kindness, shown both to my family and myself during my recent period of illness. Until I have regained more strength, I will only be celebrating Sunday Masses and the Baptisms that I have agreed to. After the regular daily round of prayer, meditation and study, I have more than enough to keep me busy at my desk and in the seemingly endless task of unpacking after our recent move. I look forward to returning to celebrating the weekday Masses, visiting and other parish duties when I am sufficiently recovered. I would like to give special thanks to Joe, Bob and Chris who made repeated trips to the tip in order to dispose of the mountain of waste which built up during the move. Also, to those of you who have ensured on-going prayer, during the week in the church. Thank you all for your patience and continuing prayers. Fr Frank
01.02.2020BaptismWe pray for Milo Kristian McKeever who is to be Baptised after Mass here today - we pray also for his parents and godparents, friends and family.
26.01.2020Choir returnsOur choir practice begins after Mass next Sunday 26th January. If you have ever thought that you would like to join our choir, this is an ideal point to join in! We are going to start work on music for Lent and Easter. Everyone is welcome!
19.01.2020100 ClubThank you for your support each year, which contributes at least £600 towards church funds. Subscriptions for 2020 are now due and Chris and John will be in the hall for the next few Sundays to collect your subscriptions. The cost is £15 for the year, with the chance to win £75, £45, or £30, each quarter. You may take out more than one subscription, thereby increasing your chances of winning! New members are always welcome. If you can, it helps our admin if you set up a standing order. We can provide the necessary form. Good luck for 2020!
19.01.2020New diary for Candle of dedication is now available for 2020If you would like to have the Candle of Dedication in remembrance of a loved one or in thanksgiving for a special occasion for a week of your choice, please find at the back of church the diary and envelopes for your name and donation (suggested amount is £5) for you to fill in. You may select to have the candle in front of our Lady (OL) or Sacred Heart (SH)statues. Please give your envelope to the Warden, Ann Ostler or Bridget Harrison.
12.01.2020Christmas giving treeThank you so much for all your generosity in giving the lovely gifts you donated to Fr Hudson's Society and local parishioners this Christmas, via the giving tree. They were gratefully received. A big thanks also to all the families who delivered the local gifts. Claire
08.01.2020Get-togetherGet-together this Wednesday, 8th. January. We will meet at 10.30am in the parish room for coffee, cakes and a chat. All welcome.
05.01.2020Christmas RaffleMany thanks to everyone who donated prizes or who bought/sold tickets, resulting in an outstanding result of £1,051. Most particular thanks to Tracey
First 1 of 18 Last Show: 20, 40, 60, All
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.
16.02.2020
A huge thank you to everyone who supported my cake sale last Sunday. The response was fantastic, and I raised an amazing £282. This money will all go directly towards my projects in Tanzania. I am volunteering with Christian charity 'Go Make a Difference Tanzania' for 3 months from the 21st March. I will be working on rural community projects such as a reforestation scheme and building goat sheds. Many thanks again. Tom
09.02.2020
Due to the resignation of two volunteers for church cleaning a vacancy has arisen for two people to join our dynamic team. The honour of cleaning our lovely church comes around every 8 weeks. No previous experience needed. Please apply in person to Louise Perry.
05.02.2020
Get-together this Wednesday 5th February. We meet in the Parish room at 10.30am for coffee, cakes and a chat. All welcome.
02.02.2020
There will be a Finance Committee meeting after mass next Sunday, 2nd February, when the 2019 accounts will be presented.
01.02.2020
I am grateful to you for all for the support and kindness, shown both to my family and myself during my recent period of illness. Until I have regained more strength, I will only be celebrating Sunday Masses and the Baptisms that I have agreed to. After the regular daily round of prayer, meditation and study, I have more than enough to keep me busy at my desk and in the seemingly endless task of unpacking after our recent move. I look forward to returning to celebrating the weekday Masses, visiting and other parish duties when I am sufficiently recovered. I would like to give special thanks to Joe, Bob and Chris who made repeated trips to the tip in order to dispose of the mountain of waste which built up during the move. Also, to those of you who have ensured on-going prayer, during the week in the church. Thank you all for your patience and continuing prayers. Fr Frank
01.02.2020
We pray for Milo Kristian McKeever who is to be Baptised after Mass here today - we pray also for his parents and godparents, friends and family.
26.01.2020
Our choir practice begins after Mass next Sunday 26th January. If you have ever thought that you would like to join our choir, this is an ideal point to join in! We are going to start work on music for Lent and Easter. Everyone is welcome!
19.01.2020
Thank you for your support each year, which contributes at least £600 towards church funds. Subscriptions for 2020 are now due and Chris and John will be in the hall for the next few Sundays to collect your subscriptions. The cost is £15 for the year, with the chance to win £75, £45, or £30, each quarter. You may take out more than one subscription, thereby increasing your chances of winning! New members are always welcome. If you can, it helps our admin if you set up a standing order. We can provide the necessary form. Good luck for 2020!
19.01.2020
If you would like to have the Candle of Dedication in remembrance of a loved one or in thanksgiving for a special occasion for a week of your choice, please find at the back of church the diary and envelopes for your name and donation (suggested amount is £5) for you to fill in. You may select to have the candle in front of our Lady (OL) or Sacred Heart (SH)statues. Please give your envelope to the Warden, Ann Ostler or Bridget Harrison.
12.01.2020
Thank you so much for all your generosity in giving the lovely gifts you donated to Fr Hudson's Society and local parishioners this Christmas, via the giving tree. They were gratefully received. A big thanks also to all the families who delivered the local gifts. Claire
08.01.2020
Get-together this Wednesday, 8th. January. We will meet at 10.30am in the parish room for coffee, cakes and a chat. All welcome.
05.01.2020
Many thanks to everyone who donated prizes or who bought/sold tickets, resulting in an outstanding result of £1,051. Most particular thanks to Tracey
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