Today is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life and that all believers will be faithful to their baptismal vocation. To follow Christ is to love him, to trust him, to serve him and to do his will - which is also what it means to be faithful to our vocation. Christ, the Good Shepherd, tells us that his sheep follow him "because they recognise his voice." We have to learn to distinguish the voice of the one true God from the voices of the many false gods and idols which call to us today.
|25.03.2018||Holy Week||This begins next week with Palm Sunday when the Church recalls the entrance of Christ the Lord into Jerusalem to accomplish his Paschal Mystery. Through the Easter Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday we celebrate the greatest mysteries of our redemption keeping, through very special celebrations, the memorial of our Lord's crucifixion, burial and resurrection. I hope as many of us as possible will gather for these key celebrations in the Church's calendar which are central to our understanding, celebration and practice of our faith throughout the year.|
|25.03.2018||Mass times for Easter||Mass times for our Easter services can be found here|
|21.03.2018||Penitential Service||There will be an opportunity to make your Confession before Easter this Thursday evening. After Mass at 7.00pm, when the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick also will be offered, there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, silent prayer and an opportunity to make your Confession.|
|19.03.2018||Mass tomorrow has been CANCELLED||Monday 19th March is the Solemnity of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We had planned to hold a mass at 10.00am but please note that, due to the weather, this mass has now been CANCELLED.|
|18.03.2018||Church Cleaning Blitz||Volunteers are required for church cleaning between 18th and 28th March to ready the church for Easter. Please see Louise Perry for details|
|18.03.2018||Urgently Needed – items for Easter newsletter||For the past 11 years we have produced a colour newsletter at both Christmas and Easter, containing photographs and articles related to parish life. We cannot do this without your help – and despite appeals in recent newsletters, we have so far received no contributions for this year's Easter newsletter. We urgently require your photos and articles (however brief!) as without them the newsletter will not go ahead. Please email your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday 24th March at the latest – but preferably as soon as possible.|
|18.03.2018||Lent talks and discussions||Our Lent talks on Thursdays are completed for this year. Thanks to all who took part and made them such a rich experience|
|17.03.2018||Lenten Breakfasts 1||Breakfast and talks, organised by Churches Together in Balsall and Berkswell; on the theme of ‘What does Christianity have to say about…?’ The The next breakfast is this Saturday, 17th March at 8.30am in the Methodist Hall. See the leaflets in the Narthex for more details.|
|16.03.2018||Women’s World Day of Prayer - New Date||The service has been re-arranged for this Friday, 16th March at 7.00 pm, at St Peter’s Church. Everyone welcome – men, women and children! The service has been prepared by women from Suriname, on the theme “All God’s Creation is Very Good!” All are welcome.|
|13.03.2018||Early start to the Mass this Tuesday morning||Mass this Tuesday will start at 9.30 am, due to a Deanery meeting that Fr Frank has to attend. Stations of the Cross will still follow the mass.|
|12.03.2018||Week of Prayer for Dementia 12th-19th March||Bishop David McGough invites us to join in a week of prayer for those suffering from dementia. Loving Father, You are close to the broken hearted. Look with compassion on those whose lost memories have robbed them of home and belonging. Comfort and strengthen them. May they make their home in You. This we ask through Christ our Lord|
|12.03.2018||Concert 12th May at 7.00pm||We are proud to announce a night of music and fun on Saturday 12th May to raise money for the parish and the charity Alzheimer's UK. The evening will feature our choir, soloists and singing groups from our parish along with special guests The Gridtones, the National Grid UK choir. If you would like to assist with organising the event or help out on the day, please join us at the next parish council meeting on 20th March. For more information contact Ian Clarke on email@example.com|
|11.03.2018||Wednesdays in Lent||After Mass there will be the usual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with meditations and silent prayer for half an hour, leading up to Benediction. The meditations on Wednesday evenings during Lent will be concerned with our growing in the life of Christ. All welcome.|
|11.03.2018||Thursdays in Lent||Lent talks and discussions will take place in the church hall at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday evenings in Lent, after the 7.00 p.m. Mass. We will reflect together on the Parable of the Lost Son (The Prodigal Son), which is a model for the Church’s understanding of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). In preparation for the Easter Triduum, these talks and discussions are designed to help us to go deeper into our appreciation of the love of God. No specialist knowledge is required (just bring a Bible if you can). Why not make attendance a Lenten discipline? Come and enjoy prayerful reflection, discussion, fellowship and a cup of tea - All welcome.|
|11.03.2018||Easter Newsletter||Would you like to see your name or photos in print? You could write an article or send us pictures of parish life or events since Christmas, for inclusion in our Easter newsletter. Please email your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 25th March at the latest. Thank you!|
|07.03.2018||Get-together||We meet on Wednesday, 7th March, at 12 noon in the parish room for soup, rolls and dessert. All welcome.|
|04.03.2018||Preparation for First Holy Communion||Classes take place at 4.15pm on Mondays in the church hall. If you have a child (aged 8 or above) who wants to attend these classes please speak to Fr. Frank today|
|04.03.2018||CAFOD World Gifts||Alternative charity gifts that make a difference to families living in poverty – great for Mothering Sunday and Easter! Search for “World Gifts” on the CAFOD website www.cafod.org.uk|
|04.03.2018||Parish accounts||Bob Jones will present a brief summary of the accounts after mass today|
|03.03.2018||Lenten Breakfasts 2||It is our church’s turn to ‘host’ the Lenten breakfast on 3rd March at the Methodist Church. Volunteers are required – please see John and Louise Perry or Godfrey Chesshire|
Our fundraising concert on 12th May at 7pm is now only 3 weeks away! See the posters in the parish room and noticeboard for more information. Tickets are available after Mass. You can also purchase them from the ticket office on 01676 532475 or email email@example.com. Buy your tickets soon as we are expecting a lot of interest!
We need volunteers to help in various ways in preparation and on the night of the concert. Please see Ian Clarke after mass or contact him on 01676 533 931
An Ecumenical Choral Evensong and Christian Aid Exhibition: St Peter's Church, Balsall Common is hosting an evening service on Sunday 6 May at 6 pm to which all the local churches have been invited. Also attending are the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Stuart Davis and the Mayoress, Mrs Sarah Walker. The service will be taken by Revd Peter Thomas, Vicar of the Parish. Speaking at the service will be John Cooper, Christian Aid Regional Coordinator for Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull. There will also be a Christian Aid photo exhibition in St Peter’s Church which highlights the position of displaced people from Nigeria, Kenya and Iraq. See notice board for more details.
Every last Thursday in the month there is an opportunity for those who are sick to partake of this sacrament. The practice of being anointed with oil as a powerful prayer for strengthening and healing dates back to the earliest Church. Scripture bears witness to this when it says: "Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins their sins will be forgiven them."
Last week we asked you to reject Berkswell Parish Council’s request (via their Neighbourhood Development Plan) to have the field designated as ‘Local Green Space’. If you have not already done so, today being the last day for making a response to the proposal, please go onto their website www.berkswell.org . Thank you. For further information, please speak with Godfrey or Joe.
Whether you want to run a session or just sit in, your help will be greatly appreciated. All helpers need to complete safeguarding paperwork, which we can complete with you after Mass. Please see Kathryn Driffield or Monica Green if you are interested!
The candle is lit this week for Ann Cotterill RIP
1st Chris Mitchell (37), 2nd Nigel Driffield (58), 3rd Eileen Selby (99).
The sale of Easter Cards amounted to £16.38 Thank you to all who bought them. Your generosity was remembered by all in Group 83 in Lourdes during Easter Week
HERO - Heart of England Retirement Organisation is a locally based Trust that may provide financial assistance for the older members of the community in Balsall Common, Berkswell, Meriden and surrounding areas. For more information or an application form, please go to www.balsallcom.com/hero or phone Ann Crossley 01676 533056. Please see the notice board and there are also a few leaflets at the back of church.
A Child Contact Centre is a safe and friendly place, run by volunteers, where a child spends time with a parent (or other family members) with whom they do not live. The role of the volunteer includes assisting with setting out and tidying up toys and games, and welcoming and supporting centre users. For further details please refer to the websites - Hall Green Child Contact Centre or Smith's Wood Child Contact Centre or Phone 0121 777 9873 or 07746 532261. Please also see the notice board.
PCC Special Parish Meeting will be held at church on Thursday 12 April at 7:30pm The main object of the meeting is to plan our Parish Concert on 12 May. If anyone is willing to help please come along to the meeting.
The next meeting is NOT this week, but is postponed until Wednesday April 10th. at 10.30 am in the parish room, for tea, coffee and cakes.
An enormous thank you to everyone who contributed to this year's CAFOD Family Fast Day collection. A total of £372.60 was donated, which the Government has matched, making £745.20. Also £279 of the contributions were Gift Aided, adding on an extra £70 – so the final total comes to over £815 which will greatly transform the lives of many. Thank you!
Please note that there will be no Mass this Thursday but there is a Mass for the first Friday of the month. Weekday mass times are on the back of this bulletin.
Group 83 left Birmingham Airport yesterday morning to spend a week in Lourdes. They return next Saturday afternoon. While they are there, everyone in the Group (9 adults & 4 young people) will remember your love and kindness to them. Please do remember them in your prayers, as they will remember you in theirs. May they all return full of joy and happiness and hopefully bring back a little of Lourdes which they will share with their family and friends.
There are a few of these booklets left for the season of Easter; please take one if you have not already done so. A donation of £1 to cover the cost can be put in the Piety Box.
The walk of witness will start at St Peter’s Church at 10.30 am on Good Friday. The route will include Balsall Common Primary School, Heart of England School, The White Horse Inn, Blessed Robert Grissold Church, the Co-op and village shops – you are welcome to join at any point. The walk will be followed by a simple lunch at the Methodist Church at 12 noon.
After the Mass of the Lord's Supper there is an opportunity to join in the watch before the Blessed Sacrament. If you intend to stay please sign the sheet at the back of the church - in this way we ensure that the Blessed Sacrament is not left unattended. The Watch concludes at midnight.
New special ministers of Holy Communion will be enrolled and existing ministers will renew their commitment, during the liturgy of Holy Thursday.