Catholic East Anglia

In a message welcoming the return of the Catholic East Anglia newspaper to parishes, Bishop Alan Hopes issues a call to return to Mass in person.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am delighted to welcome the first publication of our Diocesan newspaper since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a sign that, even if we have not quite returned to ‘normal’, nevertheless we are now able to resume, with the proper precautions, many of the usual activities of our Diocese. Thanks be to God for his abundant mercies!

During this month we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It aptly reminds us of the mystery of suffering and victory in our Lord’s Passion. The Collect at Mass tells us that God has placed the salvation of the human race on the wood of the Cross, ‘so that where death arose, life might again spring forth.’

During this month we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It aptly reminds us of the mystery of suffering and victory in our Lord’s Passion. The Collect at Mass tells us that God has placed the salvation of the human race on the wood of the Cross, ‘so that where death arose, life might again spring forth.’

This promise, of the springing forth of new life after the tragedy of suffering and death, is embodied in the Church and in our Diocese. Many have suffered terribly during the Covid-19 pandemic. We pray for the repose of the souls of those who have died, and for those who mourn them; for those who have been gravely ill, and for those who care for them. We pray too for those who have suffered through loneliness or isolation and financially.

We also give thanks for the extraordinary acts of faith and charity by so many parishes and people throughout our Diocese in their care for and service of those in great need. I thank our priests who never ceased to offer the sacrifice of the Mass for their people and, wherever possible to bring succour to the sick and dying.

We have also seen wonderful outreach through the live-streaming of services from so many of our churches: never empty, never abandoned. This challenging time has also been an opportunity for people to re-evaluate their priorities, and to discern what is really important in their lives.

I now encourage every one of our parishioners to come back to the Mass in person. Our communities need you! Every precaution has been taken to make our churches safe. But above all, it is the Lord Himself who awaits us, to share with us, in the Eucharist, the divine life of His resurrection and His victory over suffering and death.

Let us renew our trust in Him ‘in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection; through whom we are saved and delivered.’

With all good wishes & the assurance of my prayers,

Bishop Alan Hopes

You can collect a free copy of the newspaper from the narthex, or you can read it online here.

Peter's Pence

On 29th April 2020, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, announced that: “Considering the current health emergency, the Holy Father has established that, for the current year 2020, the Peter’s Pence collection, which traditionally takes place around the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul on 29th June, will be transferred throughout the world to the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, 4th October, the memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi". The Peter’s Pence collection is a gesture of solidarity. Through it, every member of the faithful can participate in the activity of the Pope as Pastor of the universal Church. It is an activity that also supports the most needy and ecclesial communities in difficulty who approach the Apostolic See for help. It is an ancient practice which began with the first community of the apostles and it continues to be repeated because charity distinguishes the disciples of Jesus: "From this, they will all know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn. 13, 35). This retiring collection will be taken on Sunday 4th October.

World day of Prayer for Migrants

This year the World Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on 27th September. As the title for his annual message, the Holy Father has chosen “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee”. The message focuses on the pastoral care of internally displaced people, who currently number over 41 million worldwide. As the title makes clear, the message originates in the experience of the young Jesus and his family as displaced persons and refugees. This experience provides a specific Christological grounding for the Christian action of welcome or hospitality. Over the coming months, the theme will be developed in six sub-themes expressed in six pairs of verbs: to know in order to understand; to draw near so as to serve; to listen in order to reconcile; to share and thus to grow; to involve in order to promote; and finally, to collaborate and therefore to build. This for us is an opportunity pray for and support those who suffer more than us in these difficult times

CAFOD Harvest Appeal

Harvest is approaching, but many families are facing chronic food shortages and malnutrition as a result of Coronavirus. More than ever it is vital to come together, even from a distance, and bring hope and help to those who are most in need. To this end, CAFOD is organising a series of online events in support of its Harvest Appeal and while we can't meet face to face, you can listen to inspiring talks about the great work you support. The first online talks will be held on Thursday 17th September. In the morning, from 11:00 to 12:00 am, there will be Prayer and Chat - come together in prayer and reflection, followed by a virtual coffee morning. In the evening from 6:00 to 7:00 pm Stories from CAFOD Partners: Zambia and Debt. As part of CAFOD’s campaign on debt cancellation, you are invited to hear directly from local experts at Caritas Zambia on a growing debt crisis and how it affects their communities and the challenges they face in light of COVID-19. Click here to visit CAFOD’s website to register for these free sessions.

St Pancras Primary School

St Pancras primary school has places available for the current academic year. 2020/2021. If you are aware of somebody who currently looking for a school place for their child in a Catholic primary school setting, thee are places available in Reception Class, Year 1, Year 3 and Year 6.

If you require further information or would like to talk with a member of staff please contact Mrs Lucille Martin - Head of School or Mrs Karen Cork on 01473 742074.

Clergy Changes

As the autumn begins, Bishop Alan Hopes has announced a series of moves and new appointments of priests across the diocese. None immediately affect St Mary Magdalen parish, but those that may be of interest include:

Fr Dick Healey: retires from parish ministry and becomes chaplain to the Montana Nuns in Great Barton.

Fr Pat Cleary: as previously announced in the newsletter, has accepted the Bishop’s invitation to be appointed as a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter.

Fr Paul Spellman: appointed as Assistant Priest of St Mary’s in Ipswich with the Holy Family, Kesgrave.

Fr John Warrington: is taking up the position of Parish Priest at St Felix in Haverhill, vacant since the death of Fr Michael Teader in February.

To see the full list of changes, click here.

Pro-Life Virtual Walsingham Pilgrimage

The annual Pilgrimage of Reparation & Prayer for the Sanctity of Life, this year being the 37th, takes place on Sunday 27th September and will be led by Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, this year the pilgrimage will be virtual, allowing us all to take part from the comfort of our own homes. Details of the programme of the day can be found on the poster in the narthex, or click here to view on-line and also for the live stream links to follow for on-line participation.

First Holy Communion

Fr Mathew will soon be contacting the parents of the children who were supposed to make their First Holy Communion in May this year. The traditional style of all children making their First Holy Communion together in one celebration may not be possible in the current circumstances. Fr Mathew will be happy discuss arrangements with parents and spread out First Holy Communions according to the convenience of the families. We will not be starting a new First Holy Communion group until we receive guidance from the diocese, and such guidance is likely to depend on the way ‘children going back to school’ works out.

Eucharistic Home Visits

The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) has lifted the restrictions on home visits in line with Government relaxation of some of the Covid regulations. Home visits by priests and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may now restart, subject to the guidelines laid down by the CBCEW. If you or a family member is unable to attend Mass due to sickness and would like to receive Holy Communion at home, please let Fr Mathew know and arrangements will be made for a home visit to be made. Any Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion involved in home visits should please download a copy of the Guidance for Acts of Worship – Pastoral Care of the Sick which must be followed.

New Diocesan Ministry

Are you a good listener? Do you have compassion for others in need? The Diocese of East Anglia is initiating a Catholic Listening and Prayer Ministry to provide confidential support to those wishing to share their concerns with a trustworthy helper. Full training and supervision will be given to those who wish to be part of this new ministry after a simple interview process. If you feel you may have the empathy, availability and agreement with Church teaching, please email See the poster in the narthex or click here for further details.