You will notice the absence of trees in St. Joseph’s car park. The trees were removed for a number of reasons, but the main one is they had grown too big and were now too intrusive on our neighbours. We have our final Parish Council meeting of the year this week and it gives me an opportunity to thank all members of the Council for their support and efforts, which have been immense. The weather has very quickly changed now and our responsibility is greater to keep an eye to the vulnerable. If you know of anyone struggling to cope, can you let me know as soon as possible. Christmas time can also be a very lonely time, so if anyone needs a visit, please let me know. Numbers begin to rise in church attendance again, which is very encouraging – despite recent surveys. Christmas can also be a good opportunity for many to re-engage with the Church. Do encourage this, if you get the opportunity. I don’t say this out of any evangelical zeal, but out of witnessing the life-giving sense of belonging and being valued I see in it. On this point, we hope to begin teas and coffees after Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s. St. Godric’s has already been up and running with it for some time now, with great success. Volunteers are essential, of course, so please let’s get the rotas up and running again. And on the subject of teas and coffees, congratulations to parishioner Caroline Atkinson on winning the Small Business Award for her Daisy Rose café, and even receiving special praise from the Prime Minister in Parliament last Wednesday. Some of our priests in this Vicariate were delighted recently with a celebratory cake for their 60th and 50th anniversaries of Ordination, baked and designed by Caroline.
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