X FIRST HOLY COMMUNIONS (May 10th) The First Holy Communions “Welcome and Introductory Meeting” was at Stella Maris on Wednesday - thank you to all the grown-ups and children who came and took part. Classes there will begin on Wednesday at 3.30pm. Sadly, none of the children who want to be prepared at St Joseph, or their grown-ups, were able to be there. Nonetheless, classes will begin at St Joseph’s at 5.00pm on Wednesday, January 29th. Please note that a baptism certificate is necessary if your child has been baptized: if he or she has NOT been baptized, then they will obviously have to be baptized before they take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation or make their first Holy Communion. Dates for that will have to be arranged with Fr Stephen.
X THE WINTER SHELTER IN FOLKESTONE has just released their mid-term report. Numbers have been down and there is a sharp decline in EU nationals), in common with other shelters locally and nationally, but since Christmas have been climbing again. So far, 46 potential guests have been registered, and the vast majority have other issues as well as homelessness. This year, nearly 30% of guests lost their last accommodation due to relationship breakdown - last year, by contrast, the majority did so for financial reasons (rent arrears). Six guests have already been found, and have been moved into, permanent accommodation. The Day Club for guests, run by volunteers at the Rainbow Centre, has been running at 50% capacity. The Shelter continues to work with a variety of stakeholders and agencies to best meet the needs of the guests. There are six venues, with and one venue serving both weekend nights. There are currently 159 volunteers, many of whom have been with the Shelter from its first year (2009), and 34 of whom are new this year. The new staffing structure has proved very successful: a Manager, an Administrator, and a Project Worker based in the Rainbow Centre, and three sessional workers working in the venues during the evening sessions. The use of new Personal Shelter Plans, tailored for each guest, has been very effective. There have been far fewer problems owing to substance abuse this year. And in the background, as in previous years, co-operation with other support agencies remains the key to effective casework. And talking of “other support agencies,” don’t forget, please, to keep the guests and our team of volunteers in your prayers.
X TODAY IS PEACE SUNDAY, and today’s second collection is for Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace. This has been requested by the parish’s Justice and Peace Committee. Peace Sunday itself is a papal initiative, set by the bishops of England and Wales on the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time. Pax Christi, in response to the gospel and inspired by faith, seeks to promote the vision is of a world where people can live in peace, without fear of violence in its many forms. There will be special envelopes at the back of the churches for those who wish to donate and would like to learn more about Pax Christi’s work. There are also Pope Francis prayer cards and colouring cards for children to complete and share.
X A LIFT TO CHURCH NEEDED - a parishioner is seeking a regular lift to OLHoC on a Sunday from Capel-le-Ferne. Her husband is no longer able to drive her here due to ill health. The SVP have temporarily stepped in but please contact the parish office if you can help.
X OUR LADY & ST JOSEPH’S 100 CLUB - the January draw will take place today, January 19th.
X "THE THIRD MONDAY VARIETY CLUB", on Monday 20th January [3rd Monday of the month]: 2.00 - 4.00 pm in St Joseph’s Church Hall. Tea and cake for the wise and mature folks.
X CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATORY MEAL IN ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH HALL on Sunday, January 26th. Main courses include sweet and sour chicken, roast pork in bean curd, deep fried Chinese vegetables, deep fried sprats, pan fried tofu cake, vegetable fried rice, mushroom and cucumber salad and Chinese dumplings. Desserts in this culinary feast include sweet Chinese balls, almond and apricot tart, pavlova, tiramisu and Victoria sponge cake. Lunch will be served at 12.30pm and costs £12 for adults and £6 for children.
X WATOTO CHILDREN’S CHOIR at the Life Church, Bowles Well Gardens, Folkestone CT19 6PQ on Wednesday January 22nd at 7.00pm. The choir is made up of about twenty children who have lost one or both parents to the AIDS epidemic or to war. Their performance is a blend of native African rhythms, contemporary gospel music and creative dance and they have released several albums including Mambo Sawa, Beautiful Africa and Signs and Wonders.
X CTF UNITED SERVICE at 6.00pm on Sunday February 9th at SKCC's Cornerstone Centre, Castle Hill Avenue (the former United Reformed Church).
X A MESSAGE FROM OUR SVP - on Sunday, the SVP did a small appeal at St Joseph's for some children's winter clothes. Thank you to everyone who responded with clothes and also donated money for the young family. The money made it possible to buy not only new clothes, but also nappies and baby milk. It is always humbling to see how kind and generous people are. Thanks Paul (Cross).
X CHURCH DIARIES – lots of people have been asking what’s happened to the Church Diaries this year. Service Publications didn’t contact us in May 2019 as they have every other year. We’ve found out that they are no longer trading. We will look for an alternative supplier so that we have something fixed up for 2021.
X THE EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION are all requested, please, to come to a meeting at 6.00pm on the evening of Candlemas, February 2nd, at St Joseph’s Church Hall This is an important meeting about this important ministry, and all those who distribute Holy Communion at Mass, or take the Blessed Sacrament to people ill at home or in hospital, are urged to come. This applies to Extraordinary Ministers from both churches in the parish.
X HEADTEACHER POST - St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School in Mortlake, London SW14 8HE are looking to recruit a Headteacher to take up post in September 2020. For more information, please see the school website:<https://www.st-marymagdalens.richmond.sch.uk> or contact Evelyn Fernandes at:
<firstname.lastname@example.org> for an application pack.