January is not always an easy month and for many, 2023 begins unnervingly with so much uncertainty around the cost of living, food prices, keeping warm and safe. There is so much to preoccupy us!
I would like first like thank you all again, on behalf of Abbot Dominic, the monastic community and the Parish Team, everyone who sent cards and has been so generous in their gifts this Christmas. Your thoughtfulness and generosity is so overwhelming and humbling! Thank you all! We are extremely grateful and very appreciative. Mass will be offered for you all and your intentions.
As a Parish, 2023 will be one of considerable change, saying good-bye and learning how best to continue to be true disciples and to be in community together, supporting each other to live out our Christian vocation as a community of Faith.
2023 is the year when our Parish Team is changing quite dramatically and taking on a new identity. As previously mentioned, Deacon Gordon has moved away from Ealing and begun a new phase of his life in Buckinghamshire. We will mark his contribution to parish life and thank him for it, with Susanne, his wife, on Saturday evening 28th at 6pm mass & a reception afterwards.
Our Parish Secretary, Maggi Curtin, is leaving us. Maggi finishes on Tuesday. Her successor, Robert Ewan, began on Monday, 23rd January and as a result has spent this week shadowing Maggi. This is enabling a smooth transition. Maggi has contributed so much to the life of the Parish and continued to make the Parish Office a welcoming, warm place, always going that extra mile to support people who call at the door and need help. Maggi’s hard work and commitment especially with the administration and that of Parish Safeguarding and supporting our Parish Safeguarding Representatives has been invaluable.
On behalf of the Parish, I thank her so very much and wish her well and every blessing in the years ahead!
Krysia Carr our Parish Pastoral Coordinator since January 2008 is also leaving and finishes on Tuesday too. Krysia made the role her own and developed it beyond what was imagined. She has contributed so much, and in so many different ways, to the life of the Parish, to our Parish outreach and to the lives of so many people who have called at the Parish House door needing help and support. As well as this, her hard work every week putting the parish bulletin together. She also shared her incredible creativity in many different ways, by challenging us with her cribs at Christmas and Easter ‘Garden’ spaces. She had a key input into our Parish Liturgies for those with Special Needs; for Families and Friends of Deceased Parishioners and for those affected by Suicide! She has given so much of herself, her time, care and gifts. She leaves a huge vacuum.
For all of this I thank her very much for the impact and difference she has made to the lives of so many in the Parish and the life of the Parish. We wish her well and every success in everything she does in the future!
Our Sacristan, Kumar, had an accident in December. So we have been without a Sacristan since then. Thank God he is recovering well! But it will be a while before he is back with us. I would be very grateful if you could keep him and his family in your prayers.
This means February 2023 begins a period of transition and adapting to these changes. I would like to welcome Robert Ewan who comes to us with a wide and varied experience having worked closely with the Chaldean Church mission based in London.
He is the new face of the Parish Office. I ask you all to please make him feel welcome, as I know you will, as he takes on the role of Parish Secretary and takes over from Maggi.
As we embark on this new stage of our parish pilgrimage of bringing about the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, May God bless you all and keep you safe! And if you would like to get involved and support any aspect of parish life, please contact the Parish Office or talk to me or Fr Timothy after mass. With the assurance of my prayers and those of the monastic community.