Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

On Tuesday we heard the announcement that, from 4th July this year, places of worship will be able to reopen for prayers and services. We welcome this news with great joy. Since the lockdown began, members of all faiths have faced restrictions on how they have been able to celebrate...... read more

Public Masses and an End to the Eucharistic Fast

The government is easing lockdown rules from 4th July. The guidelines from the Bishop’s Conference allow us to celebrate public Masses and other services from Sunday 5th July under strict conditions. Though the official social distancing rule is for one meter plus, we shall try our best to maintain the two-meter rule. Fr Mathew will be personally setting up for all masses with no other person touching the sacred vessels or the bread and wine. Readers are asked to read from their own missals or from the newsletter. Everybody should take the newsletter home as these will be for single use only. Hand sanitiser dispensers have been fitted either side of the inner entrance door. The Holy Water stoups will be empty.

We cannot have a sensible one-way system in church due to the way it is designed. Therefore, regarding communion, Fr Mathew will follow the second option for the distribution of Holy Communion given by the bishops. After the prayer "Behold the Lamb of God..." and its response "Lord, I am not worthy..." Fr Mathew will elevate the host to the congregation and say "The Body of Christ" to which the people respond "Amen". In a similar way Fr Mathew will then elevate the chalice and say "The Blood of Christ" to which the people again respond "Amen". Fr Mathew will then receive Holy Communion himself using his own host and chalice. After cleaning the sacred vessels, there will be a short period of reverent silence before the Prayer after Communion, blessing and dismissal. Those not receiving Holy Communion themselves should then leave the church, observing the 2 metre social distancing rule as they do so. Those who are to receive Holy Communion will then be invited to come forward to the altar by the central aisle, again maintaining 2 metre social distancing, receive the consecrated host from Fr Mathew in their hands with palms upwards one on top of the other and with arms at "full stretch" to maintain a good distance. Once they have received Holy Communion, each communicant should immediately leave the church by either side aisle observing the 2 meter social distancing as they depart.There will be no blessing for children or adults not receiving Holy Communion.

On Sunday, 5th July we will follow our usual Mass times of 8.00 am 10.00 am and 6.00 pm. Each Mass will be shorter than usual with a very short homily and no bidding prayers. There will be no offertory procession and no hymns will be sung at the 10:00 Mass. There is no upper limit for numbers as long as we keep the social distancing rules. Members from the same household can sit together. If congregation size demands, an additional Mass can be celebrated either on Saturday evening or Sunday at 11.00 am until the pandemic is over.

There will be no collection taken, but an offertory box will be at the back of the church where people can place their offering either as they come in or when they leave.

As you know, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is currently suspended and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future. This will help those parishioners who feel vulnerable, who may choose to come to Mass on a weekday when there are far fewer attendees than there are on Sundays.

The church will be open from 10:00 am until 12 noon each day for private prayer and you are welcome to telephone to make an appointment for any other time for private prayer and Fr Mathew will be happy to open the church for you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please use the contact form to submit your comment.

A Prayer For Those Affected by Covid-19

God our Father, Creator of the world, almighty and merciful, out of love for us You sent your Son into the world as the doctor of our souls and our bodies. Look upon your children who, in this difficult time of confusion and dismay in many regions of Europe and the world, turn to you seeking strength, salvation and relief. Deliver us from illness and fear, heal our sick, comfort their families, give wisdom to our rulers, energy and reward to our doctors, nurses and volunteers and eternal life to the dead. Do not abandon us in the moment of trial but deliver us from all evil. We ask this of Thee, who with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
Mary, mother of health and hope, pray for us!

Parish Communications

During the lockdown period, an email distribution list was created and regular news updates were sent out to people who had registered their email address with the parish. However, the total number of registered emails was only 89 and as this lockdown showed, when we are not meeting at church, then this is one of a very few ways in which we can keep in touch. If you have the capability to receive emails, you are encouraged to register your address with the parish so that you can be kept updated in these sorts of situations.

We also established a parish WhatsApp group for information sharing and updates, but only 16 people registered for that, perhaps because they did not know about it as we had no way of getting in touch to advertise it!

Finally, the parish web site was kept up to date and the Facebook page (@marymagdalens) was used to provide information and updates.

If you would like to register your email address, or would like further information on the parish social media platforms, please speak to Fr Mathew or use the contact form.

Parish 150 Club

Thank you to all subscribers who have paid their subscriptions direct to the Club bank account during the lockdown period, and a special thank you to those who have increased their number of shares in response to the appeals made for increased membership. We are still down on last year’s total membership number, which was itself down on the previous year, and further new members would be welcome. Due to the lockdown restrictions, the prize draws for April, May and June have not yet been made. Now that things are beginning to be relaxed, these will now be organised as soon as possible.

The Ipswich Blessing

Dozens of people from churches across Ipswich have come together to sing a song about unity and hope. Members of 43 Christian church denominations from the town have recorded themselves singing along to the song The Blessing by Elevation Worship.
Performers who were involved in the project include members of Hope Church Ipswich, Rushmere Baptist Church, Trinity Praise Centre, Waterfront Churches and Holly Lodge Baptist Church, and our own Lucy Pakes among many more.
The project was organised by Rev. Amy Key and her husband Matt, of St Augustine’s Church in Ipswich, and aims to bring hope and comfort to the community during the Coronavirus lockdown. Matt, who previously worked in music production, said: “We were hugely inspired by The UK Blessing which quickly went viral. It has had more than three million views. There was lots of talk about churches working together and being there for their community, so we thought it would be wonderful to replicate it in Ipswich as a message of hope to our town’s residents".
You can listen to the Ipswich Blessing on YouTube here.

Ignite Virtual Festival

Last weekend saw the Ignite Youth Festival which took place on-line due to the Coronavirus restrictions. You can read about the event on the Diocesan web site and see videos of some of the sessions.

Side By Side

The Spring 2020 edition of Side by Side, the CAFOD magazine, is out now. This edition contains some interesting reading including an update on CAFOD's Lent 2019 appeal, an article on climate change, saving for a "no rain" day in Kenya, traditional healing power in Columbia and tips on living a simple life.

Click on the image left to read the magazine.

Parish Finances

We now have about 21 parishioners making their offering via standing order, an increase from the pre-lockdown total of 8. However, the offertory total for April came to £900 compared to a normal monthly average of £2000. Enough said! If you are able to change your offering to standing order its not too late. Details of the parish account are as follows:

St Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Parish
Barclays Bank plc, Ipswich, Princes Street branch
Sort code: 20-44-51
Account number: 70777323

Children's Liturgy During Lockdown

If you have children or grandchildren, there is a nice Facebook page you can visit which offers short services aimed at children for the Sundays during the lockdown. The page can be found here. The latest video, for the 4th Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday, can be found here.