Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Great Preparation ....

Our church is looking magnificent - beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean thanks to an army of volunteers who turned up this morning. There was a great response to the appeal for extra 'hands' to make 'light work' of the cleaning, polishing etc.

Great preparations have been made for the great event of

Our salvation, when heaven came down to earth.

A very Happy Christmas to all who follow our parish blog.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Our Young Parishioners ...

We are very fortunate at St Ann's to a good number of young boys and girls who wish to become Altar Servers once they have made their First Holy Communion.

Today at the 10 O'clock Mass 5 of our young servers who have been serving Mass for a year or more were enrolled into the Guild of St Stephen.

I was very impressed with the solemnity with which they made their promises and I'm sure they will follow previous servers in serving dutifully and with reverence. I should add that of course much of this is due to the excellent training given them by Kevin, our Deacon.

Congratulations to you all.

Another delightful event took place at the end of the same Mass this morning. The youngest children of our parish, our Children's Liturgy group, performed their Nativity Play.

During an excellent narration of the Christmas story by one of the adults, the children came and took up their positions in front of the altar. I should think many of the mothers in the congregation would have liked to have their own baby delivered in such a speedy, effortless manner - and complete with basket and clothing too when he arrived!

When all were in place they sang 'Away in a Manger' - accompanied by simple actions. I'm sure there was hardly a dry eye in the church! It is so moving to see them tell the story in the simple, innocent way that only children can.

Once again, very well done to all concerned.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Choir and Musicians ...

We are very blessed at St Ann's to have a super choir and some super musicians too.

I'm always very impressed by their dedication and commitment. They spend many hours practising throughout the year and in the run-up to Christmas they have been in church perfecting their art all hours of the day and night.

We look forward to hearing the results of all their labours during the Christmas Masses. They do make a big difference to the liturgy and certainly add a great deal to it.

Well done to all concerned!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Congratulations - 5,000 hits!

We've done the champagne celebration already so I thought we deserved fireworks for this achievement.

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog and a special thank you to all those of you who leave comments. I hope you’ll continue to ‘pop in’ from time to time to see what’s happening in our parish. Now … sit back … relax … and enjoy the fireworks! (Don’t forget to turn your speakers on – there’s music too!)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

The Sacrament of Penance

I was delighted to see so many people at our parish Penitential Service last night, and especially pleased to see some of our Confirmation candidates.

If you were not able to attend last night, you might like to go along to one of the other Penitential Services around the Deanery:

16th December: St Michael's, Ashtead 8.00 pm
17th December: St Clement's Ewell 8.00 pm
19th December: St Joseph's,Epsom 8.00 pm
21st December: St Joseph's, Dorking 6.00 pm

Fire at Waitrose

What a dreadful tragedy for our local community. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this terrible fire last night. We give thanks to God that no lives were lost in the fire.

A video may be seen on the BBC website here.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Tota pulchra es, Maria ...

"Tota pulchra es, Maria .... You are all fair, Mary'

Today, on this feast of the Immaculate Conception, Christians throughout the world fulfill the prophecy of Our Lady herself when she said, "All generations will call me blessed."

Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, said in an address, "Be faithful to the Marian practices of piety that are traditional in the Church - the Angelus, special devotion to Our Lady during the month of May, and in particular, the Holy Rosary."

St John Damascene, an early Father of the Church said, "Our Lady is rest for those who work, consolation for those who mourn, and relief for those who are sick. She is a refuge for those caught in the storm of life, a fountain of compassion for sinners, a sweet relief for the sorrowful, and a source of aid for those who pray."

We ask Our Lady's intercession today for our Diocese and our parish.

Mary Immaculate,

Pray for us.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

A Christmas Extravaganza

We are all looking forward with great anticipation to a "Christmas Extravaganza" this evening in our parish hall.

Weeks of hard work; planning and preparation, rehearsals, meetings, shopping etc. have been going on behind the scenes leading up to a frenetic rush of activity during the last few days.

It's great to see all sections of the parish working together, and having had a 'sneak preview' of tonight's programme, I can assure you there will be something for all ages.

As well as raising funds for St Anne's School Building Fund, it is also very important as a way of bringing the parish together as a community.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

"Let the Children Come to Me ..." (Mark 10:14)

Over the last three mornings I have had the great delight and privilege of confessing over 15o children at our parish primary school, and also some staff.

I was struck, as always, by their openness and honesty and their detail in confessing their sins. Children have none of the hang-ups that hinder some adults when it comes to Confession.

It is a marvellous example to the children when they also see members of staff taking the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament.

I couldn't have expressed it any better myself when one of the children said to me, " I can't explain it; it really is better than a good example to me."

Monday, 1 December 2008

Welcome Home ...

Many thanks to Joanna Bogle for posting this beautiful video on her blog. Do please show it to everyone you know.