Parish Garden

With the warmer summer weather on its way (!), our thoughts turn to the wonderful garden that the parish is blessed to have available. Chrissie and Paul Riches work tirelessly to maintain this for us and do a fantastic job for which we should all be very grateful.

We want to encourage greater use of this tranquil space, and to that end if anybody has, or knows of, any garden benches that are, or are about to become, available, and could be donated to the parish, we would love to receive them to provide additional seating in the garden.

Please speak to Paul or Chrissie, or email [email protected] if you can help.

Alpha Course

A new Alpha course will commence soon. This will be held in St Mark’s church hall on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm. The course is an eleven-week programme with each session beginning with a shared meal, followed by a talk and then a group discussion. Alpha is held in an open, friendly and relaxed environment and is designed to allow members to explore the basics of the Christian faith without any pressure and is recommended for us all. The first session will be on 8th May, and a sign-up sheet for this is available in the porch.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham

This year’s Diocesan pilgrimage will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May. It will begin with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Church of the Annunciation, Friday Market, until 11.45 am. At 12 noon there will be the Regina Caeli and the Crowning of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham by Bishop Peter Collins in Friday Market. A procession will then make its way down the Holy Mile to the Shrine reciting the Rosary and singing hymns. On arrival there will be a brief Penitential Service and the opportunity for Confessions at the Crosses around the meadow, followed by a break for lunch and private visits to the Shrine in the Slipper Chapel, and at 3 pm, Bishop Peter will celebrate Pontifical Mass which will conclude the pilgrimage.

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Sunday 21st April is Vocations Sunday, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. It marks the 61st Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, a day when we are called to fulfil the Lord’s instruction to Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest. (Mt 9:38, Lk 10:2). While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries: priesthood and diaconate, consecrated life in all its forms: male and female religious life, societies of apostolic life, consecrated virginity, secular institutes and to the missionary life. To support vocations in our Diocese, there will be a second collection after all Masses next weekend for the Diocesan Priests’ Training Fund.

There is a special message from Pope Francis to mark this day - Called to sow seeds of hope and to build peace can be read here.

International Evening

A big thank you to everybody who supported the recent Quiz Night, where £184.10 was raised but, encouragingly, the feedback we got was amazing. Thank you to the chefs who provided the delicious food, and everybody who helped with the clearing up after the event. From the two functions we have held so far, over £500 has gone into church funds, but more importantly it is great to see our church community coming together.

The next event will be on Saturday April 27th, there will be an International Evening in the parish hall, starting at 7:00 pm.

This event will allow you to partake of food provided from the many nationalities in our parish congregation.

Tickets will be on sale soon, and must be purchased in advance to allow numbers to be reckoned for catering purposes. The hall is not licensed for the sale of alcohol, so you will need to bring any drink you want to consume with you along with your own glasses.

The evening will also feature music and dancing and should be a great night to socialise with your fellow parishioners, and celebrate the multicultural nature of our parish community.

Tickets will be available after Masses next weekend - 13th/14th April, or you can ring 07722 871188 to get your tickets.

Easter Flowers

Many thanks to our skilled team of flower arrangers who worked so hard to make the church look spectacular for Easter

Parish 150 Club

The final draw of the 150 Club year took place on Easter Sunday after the 10:00 am Mass. This draw included the end of year bonus prizes – the major prizes of the year. A full list of the prize winners can be found here, and a complete list of all this years winners can be found here.

As the Club’s financial year end is 31st March, we are especially on the lookout for additional members to bolster the membership as the new year starts. Some of our supporters have sadly passed away during the past year, others have moved away from the parish and so there is plenty of room for new joiners just to make up the numbers. If you are not a member, why not sign up today and help support your parish. Application forms are available in the church porch or, you can sign up on-line here.

Existing members will shortly receive annual renewal instructions by email, or new payment envelopes if you have not registered your email address. If you have any questions about your subscription or payment method, please contact the secretary by email at [email protected].

St Albans Roman Catholic High School

The school is very proud to say that it has a full intake of year 7 pupils this September with a substantial waitlist. With the deadline for applications for September 2025 intake October, there is not a lot of time and decisions will need to be made soon. In order that parents of prospective students can make informed decisions, the school wants to make sure that all of our Catholic families know when they can come and visit the school before the summer holidays. There will be two open mornings at the school which will provide an opportunity to visit the school and experience it as a live learning environment, see the outstanding facilities and talk with key staff. These open mornings will be between 9:10 and 10:25 am Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th of July, and places can be booked on the school web site - just scan the QR code in the image left or click here.

Help Required

Are there any ladies, or indeed gents, out there who are good at needlecraft? We have a need for some help in making some new veils for the tabernacle in church, and some covers for some of the altar ware.

Also, as you all are aware, we sadly do not have a resident organist in the parish, but our organ has the capability of playing pre-recorded music which we use each week at 10:00 Mass and on other feast days. Currently we have only two people who are trained to operate the organ, which is not particularly difficult, and we desperately need some more volunteers willing to be trained in its operation so as to relieve the burden on the two and provide more cover. Full training and initial "shadowing" will be provided.

If you can help with either of these two requests, please get in touch by email or use the contact form and select Contact from the drop down list of recipients.

Catholic East Anglia

The April edition of Catholic East Anglia, the Diocesan newspaper, is available in the church porch. This is free – please do take a copy home and read it.

The edition includes a report on Bishop Peter welcome at the Rite of Election, and a picture of his meeting with Pope Francis.

Also included is a story about the second Caritas East Anglia Festival in Ipswich, Lenten Station Masses across the Diocese, a three-church Ipswich mission and a first-ever Day of Prayer for Engaged Couples..

The newspaper is also available to read on-line here on the parish web site - click the cover image to do so.