Letter to Parishioners from the Churchwardens & Clergy
21st January 2021
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St Michael's,
This letter comes with love and good wishes from the Clergy and Churchwardens of St Michael’s Croydon and to let you know that you are prayed for at Mass every day in Church. We hope that you are safe and well and in good spirits, notwithstanding the lockdown and its impact on our lives.
News from the Church
All is well at the Church. We are continuing to have Mass every day, in accordance with the venerable tradition of the Parish.
During the week there tends to be between ten and twenty people at Mass. Weekday Masses are at the usual times. On Sundays we have gone down to two Masses, at 9am and 11am and typically there is a total of about 50 people. At the 11 o’clock Mass there is an organist and a cantor, to enhance the worship. Church opens half an hour before each Mass and closes afterwards.
We conducted a review of our risk assessment to make sure we were as Covid-secure as could be. People are careful to sanitise their hands, cover their faces and maintain a social distance from each other. There is plenty of room for everyone and it feels as safe as can be.
Our 150th Anniversary
2021 is the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of our Parish. We have planned celebrations for later in the year, including some special Sunday Masses: in July, to mark the anniversary of the legal foundation of the Parish; in September to mark the anniversary of the appointment of the first Vicar, Canon Hoare; and in November to mark the anniversary of the first act of worship. We are delighted that the Bishop of Chichester, the Bishop of Ely and the Dean of Southwark have accepted our invitation to preach at those Sunday Masses.
Meanwhile, Fr Nigel is already at work, planning the production of a new guide book of St Michael’s, to mark this important anniversary. Look out for more details soon!
Other Special Occasions Ahead
There is another anniversary in July. Fr Tim will celebrate his Silver Jubilee as a Priest. There will be a special Mass and hopefully a big party to celebrate that auspicious occasion at noon on Saturday 10th July. And in time for all these celebrations, our new deacon, Fr Luke Demetri, will, God willing, have been ordained. We will be delighted to welcome him. And so there is much to look forward to at St Michael’s later in the year.
Confirmation and First Communions
It has been a long time since we have been able to have a Confirmation and prepare our young people for their First Holy Communion. We are very pleased to announce that Jonathan, our Bishop, will be coming to St Michael’s in September for our Patronal Festival. During the Festival Mass he will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Please do let Fr Tim know if you or your children would like to be confirmed and receive Holy Communion. Preparations will begin for these Sacraments in the early summer.
During the past year we have been able to make some substantial savings in our expenditure by, among other things, re-negotiating our insurance cover, our utility contracts and our refuse collection contracts.
Our collections at Mass have gone down fairly steeply because we have not thought it wise to have collections at services. Too much social proximity and handling of cash! But quite a number of people have been glad to give money to the Church by organising a standing order. We are really grateful to people who have done that. They have kept us afloat!
Please could you consider giving to the Church in this way? You can set up your planned giving really easily on this website by clicking on the donate button. Just follow the instructions from there.
We Look Forward to Seeing You
We miss you all very much. We hope and pray that the virus will soon be brought under control and that it won’t be too long before we can all be together again in Church.
Before that, there are Zoom study groups. Fr Nigel is considering Women Doctors of the Church on Fridays at 5pm. Please contact him if you’d like to take part. Fr Tim will be running a Zoom Lent course next month. Let him know if you want to join the group.
At his inauguration, President Biden quoted Psalm 30. It speaks to us particularly at this moment in time:
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. We look forward to that new dawn.
And in the meantime, please be assured that we hold you and your loved ones in our prayers at Mass every day.
Keep safe and well!
With best wishes from us all,