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,
Father Frank writes
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The season of Advent begins today - the season of preparation for Christmas. The prayer of this season looks forward in relation to the triple coming of the Lord: in history, in grace and at the end of time. Its tone is one of anticipation, expectation and yearning. As St Charles Borromeo said: ‘This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced to see. This is the season the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery.’
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 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, for “Christ, by his death and resurrection, has achieved our sanctification.” All we need to do is to place our trust in Christ and so be able to make the words of today’s psalm our own: “You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence.”
Today in the Gospel we hear the story of the “Widow’s Mite.” The mite was the tiniest coin in circulation. In the Temple the rich were giving from their loose change, but the widow, out of her extreme poverty, gave everything she had: two small coins. Although poor and in need of the few coppers she had, she never hesitated, never counted the cost. She gave everything to God. The widow became famous, not because she gave so little but because, in her extraordinary generosity, she gave so much.
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. On Tuesday, the Feast of All Souls, we commemorate all the Faithful Departed when the Church invites us to pray for our beloved deceased.
October is the month of the Rosary and the Rosary is a rich and powerful prayer. Firstly, the Rosary is vocal prayer in that, the fixed words can be prayed aloud, but it also lends itself to meditative prayer as we reflect on each of the mysteries. This enables personal insights that can change our lives and meditation can lead to loving contemplation when our mind is seized by the depth of the mystery we are praying. That’s why Pope St John Paul II wrote: “The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation.” The words of the Rosary also contain prayers of praise and petition and the faithful often offer up each decade of the Rosary for a special intention. Countless believers, down through the ages have born witness to the fruitful results of praying the Rosary. How could it be otherwise when, as Pope St John Paul II says: “To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.”
October is the month of the Rosary and the Rosary is Trinitarian and Christ-centred but it is also a Marian prayer. In the Rosary, we are happy to honour the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the words of the Archangel Gabriel and her cousin Elizabeth: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” And in the Rosary, we meditate and reflect on the important events in Our Lord’s life through the eyes of Mary. Another prayer that makes the Rosary Marian is the concluding prayer - the “Hail Holy Queen.” But the two most important prayers of the Rosary are the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary. As St. Louis de Montfort said: “How could there possibly be any more pleasing prayers more to Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin, or any that are easier, more precious or more helpful than these two prayers?”
October is the month of the Rosary and the Rosary is a rich and complete form of prayer. In the first place it is “Trinitarian.” We begin the Rosary with the sign of the Cross as we invoke the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity: “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” We then recite the Apostles Creed, which calls to mind each of the divine persons in turn: “I believe in God the Father Almighty…and in Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son…I believe in the Holy Spirit.” And each decade of the Rosary concludes with the Trinitarian prayer: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” The Rosary is also Christ-centred for the mysteries of the Rosary upon which we meditate are the mysteries of Christ’s life. And in every “Hail Mary” prayed we honour Christ by saying: “blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus reminds us of God’s original intention in creation and he does so in response to the question posed concerning marriage and divorce. When St Paul speaks of marriage he says: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” He then goes on to say: “This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.” (Ephesians 5:31,32). Christ and the Church is “the great mystery” signified by Christian marriage and by the reference Jesus makes to the book of Genesis in today‘s Gospel, it is also the mystery of God’s original intention in creation.
A reminder that this coming Friday is Family Fast Day on behalf of CAFOD. The Coronavirus pandemic is pushing millions of people around the world into poverty and deepened inequality. The poorest and most vulnerable people in the world are also the ones who are being hit hardest by climate change. Harvests are failing. Cities are flooding. Entire communities are finding it harder and harder to survive in the place they call home. By donating to CAFOD this Family Fast Day, you can help communities affected by the worst impacts of the climate crisis. CAFOD works with local experts to help people around the world to adapt to the changing climate and to protect our common home. What we save by going without for one day can help to save the lives of others. Our offerings should be returned next Sunday 3rd October. There are envelopes available for the offerings.
The Gospel today presents us with a lesson in humility. Whilst the disciples were arguing amongst themselves about who was “the greatest” Jesus was arguing for being “last of all” and “servant of all” and Jesus backs up his words with his actions, for that is exactly what he became. He washes his disciples feet, the work of a slave, and he dies the death of an outcast criminal. And he wants us to share in his way of humility because it is the way of the God who stoops low to gather us into his kingdom.
"Who do people say I am?" - This is the question posed to his disciples by Jesus in today’s Gospel. But more important is the question he poses to Peter: “But you, who do you say I am?” for this is a question posed to all of us too. So who is Jesus for us? Is he just a fine example of what it means to be a thoroughly decent human being or is there more to him than that? Is he, in fact, divine, the Son of God, the Second Person of God, the Most Holy Trinity made flesh? How we answer this question will determine how we respond to him and his message. It will deeply affect the way we live our lives, for if we truly believe that he is the Messiah and Son of God then why wouldn’t we make every effort to get to know him and his will for us and strive to live accordingly?
St. James reminds us in our second reading today that we should not have a higher regard for those who are well-dressed and well-heeled. For him such an attitude is incompatible with faith in the one who washed the feet of his own disciples and who said: “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your slave.” Discrimination against the poor, or partiality towards the wealthy, is seriously at odds with the teaching of Christ who, though equal with God, made himself poor so that we might be rich.
Jesus’ controversy with the Pharisees, in today’s Gospel, points up his opposition to a cold, formal and exterior religion. Jesus wants us to engage rather with the loving, interior demands of the kingdom of God. Like the prophets of old, he calls for conversion of heart rather than mere conformity to external standards and laws. One way to obscure the joy and truth of the Gospel is to reduce it to a series of formal rules which need to be observed only in an external fashion. The Gospel of Christ, on the other hand, is primarily an affair of the heart.
We see in the Gospel today how Jesus respects people’s freedom of choice. Jesus offers his followers the choice to stay with him or join the ranks of those who turn away from him. But the choice to remain with Jesus has to be kept alive by continually renewing our commitment to follow him. Decisions in faith are never settled once and for all. Like the apostles in today’s Gospel, we must keep on choosing Jesus, the One who has the message of eternal life.
The saints are our models of Christian life. This is especially true of Mary because of the place she occupies in the history of salvation. Mary is the perfect Christian and as such she is the model for the whole Church. She can be seen as the Church in miniature. She shows us that we must be dedicated completely to Christ as she was, that we must be willing to suffer with him, as she did. And she also shows us that loyalty to Christ guarantees immortality, body as well as soul in complete happiness in heaven.
Following Jesus and believing in him mean having eternal life. It is the life of communion uniting the Father with the Son. Jesus is the bread of that life. He nourishes and nurtures this communion by his testimony, his teaching and in the surrender of his life. Death does not put an end to it. The bread of life liberates us from death.
The journey to the God of life is not an easy task. We tend to get lost along the way and we are discouraged by the efforts we have to make. On their way to the promised land, the Jewish people turned against Moses - their difficulties made them yearn for a mediocre but familiar existence. Freedom frightened them, slavery being more familiar seemed more secure. This is the temptation of every believer - to settle for mediocrity rather than the life we were made for. God made us for himself - he made us for life with him for ever and Jesus is the Bread of Life – the bread of eternal life.
Today the Gospel presents the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. The miracles worked by Jesus are truly divine works. They can lead people to raise their minds from the visible sign they have witnessed to the Godhead who is the power behind them. Yet small account is taken of the miracles that occur always and everywhere. Hardly anyone wonders at God’s marvellous creative power revealed in all the most ordinary things of life. Think of the wisdom and artistry revealed in even the smallest seed. And, of course, creating and governing the entire universe is a greater miracle than feeding five thousand people with five loaves.
Our responsorial psalm today is very well known and begins with the words: ‘The Lord is my shepherd’ and so the very first word “The Lord” is the very first word, thought and desire of the Psalmist in this psalm just as it should be the very first word, thought and desire for us. The Psalm goes on to speak of journeying through dangerous territory and, on our journey through life, each of us can feel threatened by valleys of darkness, but the Psalmist has confidence - ‘no evil would I fear’ - even in the most threatening places, because he is accompanied and protected - ‘You are there with your crook and staff - The presence of God leading and accompanying us on our journey through life transforms threatening places and tough circumstances. With the Lord as our shepherd the shadow of the Cross serves to remind us of the light of the resurrection That’s why the Psalmist can joyfully sing- ‘If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear for you are there - you prepare a banquet for me in the sight of my foes - my cup is overflowing.’ That is how it is with the life of faith - where the Lord is first in our heart and minds - where he is our shepherd.
Masses at Blessed Robert Grissold in time of the pandemic

Out of care for the welfare of others please social distance, wear a mask and sanitise hands:

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:
+ In the first instance, attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Once capacity has been reached the stewards will prevent entry
+ Wrap up warm (if necessary) - doors and windows will be left open to increase ventilation wherever possible
The Diocesan Vision: Unfolding God’s Plan
You may recall a Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Bernard Longley was read out at Mass a few weeks ago. It outlined the vision for the Archdiocese as we move forward. Leaflets explaining The Diocesan Vision: Unfolding God’s Plan will be available to take away this weekend. Please pick up a copy for yourself, and take copies for those who are unable to come to Mass. More information on the Vision is available on the Diocesan website here.

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.
30.11.-1Post for Fr FrankPlease hand to one of the stewards at Mass. They will see that I receive all post, including Mass cards, after Mass. I will respond to you during the week.
30.11.-1Lent Breakfasts & TalksThe breakfast talks continue throughout Lent at the Methodist church hosted by local churches. This week (29th) the speaker is Rev Dr Stuart Jennings "The Godliness of the Puritans". Saturday 7th March at 8.30am, Blessed Robert Grissold is hosting the Lenten breakfast at the Methodist church. Cost £2.00 and consists of cereals, croissants, and toast followed by the Lenten talk. The theme this year is "Moving forward by looking back". New visions for the future of Christianity. Speaker Mr Peter Larkin "The drama of Catholicism". All welcome.
09.07.2016Church ConsecrationThis is a very special year in the life of our parish, as our church will be consecrated on 9th July by Archbishop Bernard Longley. Preparations are already underway, both for the consecration service itself, and for various fund-raising activities. Updates on our progress so far are published in our Easter newsletter available online (along with our weekly Sunday bulletin) on this website For more details of how you can be involved, please speak to Joe Martin or Ian Clarke, or email
10.07.2016Candle of DedicationThe dedication for this week is Francis Clements
10.07.2016Prayer LifeThe meditations and instruction on prayer in the Christian spiritual life continue on Wednesday during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
10.07.2016Ethiopia Appeal and CollectionThere is a serious food crisis in Ethiopia. Extreme weather shifts, part of the El Nino effect, mean severe drought has left millions of people in need of emergency food aid. 400,000 children are already suffering from malnutrition and we need to act now to prevent a far more terrible crisis. Please give to the collection today for CAFOD's emergency humanitarian response. And please pray for those who are suffering.
10.07.2016Consecration A huge thank you to all those who worked to make the Consecration of our church such a blessed occasion yesterday. There will be a more in depth write up of the mass and celebrations soon!
10.07.2016Consecration PicturesPictures of the consecration celebration are now available by clinking on the link or accessing the Parish Archive via the menu.
12.07.2016Mass time change for this weekPlease note that this week's Tuesday Mass is earlier than usual and will be at 9.30 am to allow Fr Frank to attend the monthly Deanery Meeting of clergy
17.07.2016Candle of DedicationThe dedication for this week is Richard Brennan
17.07.2016Car ParkThank you to Paul Ryan for his generous donation of time and materials in repairing the gulley in the car park. If anyone would like to talk to Paul about driveways, paving or landscaping please call him on 07831 386621
24.07.2016Candle of DedicationThe dedication for this week is for Jo Nijst
24.07.2016Consecration candlesWe would like to thank those who donated the four consecration candles put up in the church. These are in memory of the following. Bridge and Perry family, Cotterill family, McLean family, Daniel Mark Lester and Amy Pullen
24.07.2016Fr Frank on holidayFather Frank is on holiday this week. There will be a Eucharistic Service at 10.00am on Tuesdays while he is away. There will be no Mass with the Anointing of the Sick in July and no First Friday Mass in August.
24.07.2016Baptism of Eve Elizabeth RyderWe pray for Eve and for her family, godparents and friends as they gather, after Mass today, for her Baptism.CAFOD Collection
24.07.2016CAFOD CollectionThank you so much for the generous CAFOD donations collected in the last two weeks. An exceptional total of £382 was raised and that is without the Gift Aid extra reimbursement which will make the final total well in excess of £400. Thank you especially to all who took the time to fill in their details
31.07.2016Fr Martin Newell CPWe look forward to welcoming Fr Martin who will celebrate Mass here next Sunday.
31.07.2016Candle of DedicationThe dedication for this week is for Jo Nijst
31.07.2016Fr Frank on holiday Please NoteWhilst Fr. Frank is away the only celebration through the week will be a Eucharistic Service at 10.00am on Tuesday. Normal service will be resumed on Wednesday 10th August with Mass, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and meditations until 8.00pm. There will be no First Friday Mass in August
03.08.2016Get-togetherThis Wednesday 3 August. We are off to Harvington Hall on a coach trip. Leaving BRG at 10 o'clock sharp!
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Our next Get-together will be on Wednesday, 8 December in the Parish Meeting Room at 10:30 a.m. Come along and enjoy mince pies and mulled wine and, of course, tea and coffee. Everyone is welcome. We ask for a voluntary contribution to help with expenses. If you need help with transport please contact Fran Lester (01676 530371) or Madeleine Peat (01676 532452).
Volunteers are needed to join those who ensure the printing of the weekly Bulletin for the Mass - full instruction will be given. Volunteers share the responsibility for the printing of parish news and notices for a limited number of weeks. Please contact Fr Frank for further details if you are interested.
Buy a Christmas gift that makes a difference! Help provide emergency support to a family in urgent need this Advent. The World Gifts range will delight the people you give them to and help transform the lives of families living in poverty. Shop online at
This Advent we are going to collect gifts for Father Hudson's. They have asked for Christmas selection packs, Family Biscuit or Chocolate boxes. Family presents eg a family game, and Gifts for adults eg toiletries or winter accessories. Either wrapped (with a label stating who it is for) or unwrapped. If you prefer to give a gift voucher for food or other gifts, that would also be lovely. (Please see the enclosed leaflet for details of this) We will be collecting all gifts /vouchers at church on the 5th and 12th Dec- Just put your donation in the box under the tree. We will also have a box there for food donations for the food bank. Please also see the notice in the Narthex. Thanks for all your donations – Claire.
A Christmas Fayre in aid of “Save the Children” will be held in the Parish Hall on Saturday, 27th November - from 10 am to 3pm. Hand-crafted items, and other goodies suitable for presents, will be on sale. There will be refreshments, including home-made cakes. There is no charge for entry but donations are welcomed. If anyone would like to donate cakes, raffle prizes or can help in any way, please contact Julia Greensall on 01676 530 285.
If you wish for your deceased loved ones to be prayed for by name in the Masses throughout the month of November please write their names on a piece of paper, enclose it in an envelope together with your offering and deposit the envelopes in the tray beside the altar.
Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent
Fr Frank is away next week so there will not be a Mass this Tuesday.
Good news! We are starting our parish Get-together again after a long break. Our first one is on Wednesday, November 10 in the parish meeting room at 10:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy tea, coffee, and cake and a chat. Everyone is welcome, so if you know of friends or neighbours who would like to come they are very welcome. If you do not have transport please contact Fran Lester (01676 530371) or Madeleine Peat (01676 532452).
An invitation to gather, pray and socialise 7.00pm Wednesday 10th November at St Francis of Assisi, Kenilworth. Everyone across the district is invited to an ecumenical service at St Francis of Assisi church, Kenilworth, CV8 1HL, followed by a light buffet in the adjacent Parish Centre. For catering purposes please confirm your attendance by 1st November on 01926 852163 or to
Please keep in your prayers our twelve candidates who are preparing for First Holy Communion.
Please be aware that fake emails in the name of parish priests are being sent out to parishioners. Please feel free to contact me if you are in any doubt about any email purporting to be sent by me. Fr Frank
There will be a second collection for the Johnson Association which looks after retired and infirm clergy.
PLease pray for the repose of the soul of Maureen Franklin, a helper for many years for HCPT The Pilgrimage Trust Group 83 and Group 524 (Hosanna House).
If you wish for your deceased loved ones to be prayed for by name in the Mass of All Souls and at Masses throughout the month of November please write their names on a piece of paper, enclose it in an envelope together with your offering and deposit the envelopes in the collection boxes at the back of church. I will offer the Mass for those named at the Mass on All Soul’s Day, Tuesday 2nd November at 10.00 am. and at the Masses throughout November.
Sunday 31st October is the Solemnity of All Saints
The Coventry Circle is part of the Newman Association and our members are drawn mainly from Catholic parishes in Coventry, Warwickshire and Rugby. The national Association, founded in 1942, is inspired by Saint John Henry Newman and seeks to promote greater understanding of our Catholic faith in the contemporary world. The Circle has approaching 50 members. Each year we organise a series of talks with speakers on a theme related to theology, scripture, spirituality, pastoral life, Catholic culture and history, ecumenism or interfaith dialogue. We also strive to deepen our faith through Circle Masses, an annual Retreat, a reading group, ecumenical outreach and social activities. Click on the link to see the programme of lectures from September 2021 to May 2022. All are delivered on zoom at 7.30pm. In the future, as we emerge from the pandemic, it is envisaged that more of our talks will be delivered in a hybrid form, with some meeting in a physical venue and others zooming in. Contact details are included in the link.
Information available at the back of the Church this Sunday.
Please note that the clocks go back next Sunday.
If you wish for your deceased loved ones to be prayed for by name in the Mass of All Souls please write their names on a piece of paper, enclose it in an envelope together with your offering and deposit the envelopes in the collection boxes at the back of church. Envelopes must be returned by next Sunday 31st October. I will offer the Mass for those named at the Mass on All Soul’s Day, Tuesday 2nd November at 10.00 am.
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