438 people last Sunday tuned into mass last Sunday morning, and 182 on Ascension Day. During the week May 16th-22nd inclusive we had 1,676 “visits” to the church. Internationally, we’ve had a lot more viewers from Europe and in the USA. - but I’ve spoken to Fr Garry in Liberia a couple of times over the last few days, and our Liberia-based viewer is NOT him - not yet!

Thank you to everyone who has put cheques, or Gift Aid envelopes, or simply cash in an ordinary envelope, through the Presbytery door - and, of course, thanks to the steadfast Standing Order givers. On Tuesday we deposited £???? into the parish account - We are paying our bills and remain in credit!


Mr Mike Wilson, the Principal of our deanery Catholic secondary school, St. Edmund’s, in Dover - part of the Kent Catholic Schools Partnership - has been promoted to a new post within KCSP, to be Executive Principal of St Simon Stock (Maidstone) and St Gregory's (Tunbridge Wells) Catholic Secondary Schools. The impact that Mike Wilson has had on St Edmund's can’t be overstated, and teachers, ancillary staff, parents, governors  pupils and clergy all have reason to be grateful to him. We in this deanery have all benefited from his leadership of our school over the last few years and it is no surprise to me that he has been put in charge of KCSP’s Catholic secondary schools in West Kent. I am certain that he can go with our gratitude and very best wishes.

The Executive Governing Body of the three academies of St Anselm’s, St Edmund’s, and the Ursuline College (each academy has an individual “local” academy committee, but governance is shared) have appointed a Principal for St Edmund’s, Mrs Grainne Parsons, who will join the school in September. Mrs Parsons lives in Dover and was a pupil at St Edmund’s as a girl, and also a member of staff as a younger teacher; maybe some of you will remember her and know her! She is a member of the parish of Our Lady of Dover in Buckland, and has risen through the ranks to senior leadership in Kent schools. She will have considerable influence in the lives of young people, education, and parishes in the Deanery: please pray for her and for St Edmund’s as she prepares to take over the leadership and direction of our deanery secondary. We are looking forward to working with her and welcoming her back to our school.


Dear Fr Stephen and Friends
      of Our Lady Help of Christians & St Joseph's,

A few words of greetings from Liberia during this most challenging time. Many things have happened in the world since I returned to Liberia last November. And I appreciate what you have endured in the U.K., to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19.

Most countries in Africa have seen a rise in infections during the past four weeks. However, Liberia has the least number of confirmed cases in West Africa apart from the small country of the Gambia. In Liberia, there have been so far 233 confirmed cases with 23 deaths.

In Bomi County, there have been no confirmed cases. Only in our neighbouring parish of Bopolu (in Gbarpolu County, 36 miles away), there was a problem. Two weeks ago, when the principal of the Central High School died, it was confirmed by the Lab. that the virus was present in the deceased. On Monday of last week, three ambulances from the capital took five patients from Bopolu with symptoms to the Monrovia, for adequate attention. And this week there is news of a cluster of cases, east of Monrovia, in Buchanan, amongst some company employees.

There is a Covid-19 testing centre at the National Football Stadium, in Monrovia, which is a little distance from the centre of the capital. In the event of a confirmed case, the patient is taken to the newly built Military Hospital, on the way to the airport. There are daily health reports on the Government radio station. An earlier observation of the Health Minister was that people were not coming for testing – and when some patients were brought in, they were already in a critical condition. With increased public awareness, this situation is improving. It is possible that both the Ministry of Health and the general public are now getting on top of the problem, as they did with the Ebola.

A small consignment of herbal medicine arrived from Madagascar several weeks ago; the President of that country has been promoting this, but WHO is advising caution on using untested and unapproved treatment for COVID-19.

It was on Good Friday when President George Weah declared a State of Emergency. Borders were closed with neighbouring countries. Four of Liberia’s fifteen counties which had cases, including Monrovia, were placed under lock-down. The remaining counties, including Bomi, were placed under quarantine: it is prohibited for people to cross from one county to another. However, the government permits vehicles into the capital which are bringing food to the markets.

Before 3:00 p.m. all shops in Monrovia (and here) are closed and people must be off the streets. However, after two weeks, it was necessary to bring in the military to assist the police in ensuring that people comply - that ‘staying at home’ is not ‘advisory’, but an executive order. And the wearing of facemasks is now mandatory in public places

As was the situation the world-over, the doors of St Dominic's Church were closed on Easter Sunday. Fr Firmin, Fr Emmanuel, and I concelebrated the Easter Mass privately, in the oratory within the rectory. (By the way, Fr Firmin is from Côte d’Ivoire, while Fr Emmanuel Ataye is from Togo.)

The only ‘relaxation’ that the President proposed last Friday, when he gave his fortnightly statement, was that following appeals from some religious leaders, places of worship could be reopened last weekend, but congregations should be reduced to 25% of normal attendance, to comply with social distancing. However, in a letter to priests, the Archbishop directed that churches should remain closed; and the situation will be reviewed in June; it seems that the Methodists and Episcopalians have also followed this line.

To economise, we have reduced the use of the generator from 7:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. During that time, the water-pump is busy filling the reservoir, and there is ample time for ironing, charging of laptops, phones, and flashlights.

With no school, five of the students have been helping in the front garden. We have 90 plantain which occupy considerable space, 300 pineapples, pepper, aubergines, potato greens and other local vegetables. The fruit of the soursop is developing too. Together with papaya, lime, lemon, and ginger readily at hand, we are alright for both fruit and medicine.

Moreover, to provide a means of support for the running of the parish in the future, we now have a parish farm of 75 acres at Beafine, one of the outstations. The land is a gift from the people of the town. For the past few weeks, Mambu and Catechist Emmanuel Boakai have been there working hard with local help. Several months ago, we purchased 500 cocoa pods from Côte d’Ivoire, and we now have up to 15,000 seedlings ‘on nursery’. The 2,000 cocoa seedlings which we planted last year as an experiment are growing well.

The Kru fishermen from Robertsport, managed to send up some dried fish last weekend and we still have thirty chickens scratching around the back garden: so, we are all right for food!

Goodbye for now, and with an assurance of my daily prayers for your intentions.

With kindest regards,

Fr. Garry.


Let us continue to pray during the pandemic, with the whole Church in England and throughout the world:

X  for those who continue to be infected with Covid-19
X  for their relations, families and friends
X  for people threatened by, or in fear of, the disease
X  for the many thousands who have died from the virus
X  for the governments of Britain and other countries where the disease has taken hold
X  for scientists, researchers and academics involved seeking prevention, containment and cure of Covid-19
X  for doctors, nurses, and health and care workers of every rank and function
X  for the mass media, journalists, and opinion formers
X  for the bishops and leaders of the Church
X  for all of us in our society to act together to limit infection and minimise the death toll.

…and see, on the next page, Archbishop John’s lovely litany for what he calls “the great in-between time” from Ascension to Pentecost:
and let’s pray it with him!




Come Holy Spirit of God!

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Overcome the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Restore the life of our communities, local,

national, and global

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Continue to inspire our generous and selfless service towards others, especially the weakest and poorest

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Set our clergy, religious, and laity,

our parishes and schools,

this entire Archdiocese, ablaze with the Gospel

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Bring us wisdom as we discern our mission together,

moving forward in hope

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Call forth vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate,

and the consecrated life

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Raise up husbands and wives as Christian parents

who nurture holy families

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

So that peace and justice might transform our lives,

our society, our world, and our environment,

with respect for every human life

and the beauty of creation

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Breathe God’s life within us to animate and strengthen us

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

With grace and healing for those in pain, in sickness,

in trouble, and in need

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Help us persevere when life weighs heavy upon us

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Make hearts grow fonder in love of Christ

when so many are separated from the Sacraments

Come, Holy Spirit, we pray:

Change us to be more like Christ,

to live and love like Him, to live and love for Him.

Come Holy Spirit of God!


WE need YOU!
Can YOU help?

The effects of the Coronavirus have brought out
the very best in so many people.
Thank You ALL Frontline Workers!

Tens of thousands of people
have become volunteers in many areas.
Thank You ALL Volunteers!

Both nationally and locally, staffs are in school,
or working from home, in order to meet
the needs of their children.
Thank You ALL School Staff!

We are all noticing changes. People are not just thinking about getting involved, but are getting involved, by volunteering.

The Catholic schools in our deanery are:

X St Edmund’s Secondary, Dover
X St Richard’s Primary, Dover
X St Joseph’s Primary, Aylesham
X Stella Maris Primary, Folkestone
X St Mary’s Primary, Deal
X St Augustine’s Primary, Hythe

WE NEED volunteers to become Foundation Governors in ALL our schools (with the exception of St Joseph’s Primary, Aylesham).

A Foundation Governor is someone who is prepared to help the Head Teacher to provide the best possible education for all pupils whilst collaborating with their local parish.

So if you are an active member of the Catholic community, want to uphold the faith and beliefs of the Catholic church, and want to support education in a Catholic school then why not, while you have unexpected spare time, find out more by contacting one of chairs of governors, who are also foundation governors, as well as looking at the web sites.

Thank You Potential Governors!

St Richard’s Primary School Dover: Deacon Barry Barton; 07715 546938

St Edmund’s Secondary School, Dover: John Philpott; 01303 258962, 07956 433004,

Stella Maris Primary School, Folkestone: Fr Stephen Bould; 01303 252 823, 07584 411475,

St Augustine’s Primary School Hythe: Rebecca Plested; 07568 144 669

St Mary’s Primary School, Deal: Karen Riddell; 07786 0626477 or 01304 375046,

X  THE FOOD BANK have issued a new update that will be very useful to people, as the usual collection and distribution patterns have been very interrupted by the Lockdown. Here is a list of what is particularly needed, of what is NOT needed at the moment, and of all the places in Folkestone where gifts of food for the Foodbank (and Foodstop) can be delivered:

NEEDED RIGHT NOW: Tinned meat, tinned potatoes, custard, chunky soup, long life milk and toilet rolls.

NOT REALLY NEEDED RIGHT NOW: normal soup, beans, teabags, baby milk and tin/jars of baby food and sanitary towels - not at the moment, thanks!

DONATIONS can be made at:

·  Waitrose in Hythe

·  Sainsburys in New Romney

·  The ASDA in Folkestone

·  Morrisons in Folkestone

·  The Nationwide Building Society in Hythe

·  The Nationwide Building Society in Folkestone

·  The Halifax Building Society in Folkestone

·  Pets at Home in Folkestone

·  Paydens Pharmacy in Hawkinge

·  Cheriton Post Office in Cheriton

And also, the Foodbank is now taking donations at the Methodist Church in Sandgate Road between 2.00pm and 3.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.

X MONEY - not always a welcome subject at the best of times, which this certainly isn’t. But this week all the Gift Aid envelopes are being sent out to the parish’s Gift Aid givers, (other than those who give by standing order), and it seems incumbent on me to say that the closing of churches across the diocese could well plunge the parishes (and the whole diocese) into a financial crisis. Soon after the close-down was announced, the bishop sent us a questionnaire about the parish’s capital, its expenditure, and its income: and it became clear that, if the lockdown continues, this parish - which is normally pretty sound financially - will see its bank balance plummet from its normal level of about £50,000 to about £11,000. So I must urge all Gift Aid envelope givers to please put their normal offering in the envelope each week, and hang on to the growing pile of envelopes - and let’s all keep praying the pile doesn’t grow very high - till we can open the church once again - or of course you can always put Gift Aid envelopes (or money or cheques as well) through the Presbytery letter-box, and we’ll put it safely in the safe. Anyone with a bank account can consider setting up a bank standing order - and if you do that, please fill in a gift-aid form. It’s is a good idea at ANY time - it’s what I do, and it’s pretty painless! And if you neither use a gift-aid envelope, nor make your offering through the bank, please DO remember that we are getting shorter and shorter of money week by week, and that it is only from the generosity of the faithful that the parish pays for its two employees (Dylan and Sr Mary-Joseph), its heat, light and water, its insurance, its bills for repair and maintenance, council tax, the phone bill, the costs of running the office, and a hundred and one other expenses, let alone the relatively small cost of paying the clergy. I don’t like going on about money, and nobody appreciates more than me that Catholic people are very generous to the Church (and the clergy) - but now is going to be (and is!) a time of financial crisis for the parish as it is for many parishioners, and I just want to come clean about it and ask you to think about it! I know some people HAVE done, and have asked how to put money into the parish bank account. This how you do it - transfer the amount you want to give, by internet or phone banking, to:

The Parish of Our Lady & St Joseph, Folkestone

NatWest Bank Folkestone

sort code 52-41-42

account number 08605556

 Thank you! And keep safe! And God bless you!

 Fr Stephen
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

MASS INTENTIONS: Please note: mass intentions that have been promised will be offered. Times and places, however, cannot be guaranteed as they originally might have been (e.g. next Sunday’s masses will be offered during the coming week), and the single Sunday mass that will be celebrated from next weekend onwards must, and will be, offered pro populo: for the people of the parish.

PRIEST: Fr Stephen Bould BD AKC

DEACON: Dr Gehad Homsey MB, BCh

SECRETARY: Mr Dylan Jeffrey BA MSc


Telephone: 01303 252823


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