Today’s Gospel reading tells the story of the Visitation – the meeting of two mothers-to-be. The Visitation completes and confirms the angel’s message and bears witness to the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit which is such an important part of the infancy narratives. Mary embarks on the journey to share her joy with her cousin; Elizabeth proclaims Mary as blessed among all women, John leaps for joy . So many simple signs yet they show that from the moment of Jesus’ conception a river of life has begun to flow that will water the face of the earth.
Advent gives way to Christmas when we begin the evening Mass on Monday. May it be a time of joy and grace for all three of our communities.
Christmas Eve: 6 pm. Family Mass at North Walsham
9 pm. Midnight Mass at Aylsham
Christmas Day: 9 am. Mass at Hoveton (Dawn Mass readings)
11 am Mass at North Walsham
The Collection taken at these Christmas Masses is the traditional Christmas gift to your priest. Any regular Sunday collection envelopes for parish funds should be held until the following weekend (Sat urday 29th/Sunday 30th). Visitors may like to use the gift aid envelopes for the collection, available at the back of the church.
Crib donations at the Sacred Heart will be going to Aid to the Church in Need. Please give generously to this very worthy and much needed cause.
Flowers in our church at Christmas. At North Walsham we would be very grateful for any donations you might care to make towards the cost of flower decorations.
There will be NO Coffee Drop-in at St Helen’s in January. The next one will be on Wednesday 6th February.
The Reverse Advent Calendar Many thanks to all those who contributed boxes of food for the Norwich and Cromer Foodbanks this Advent. 38 boxes went to the Cromer Foodbank from Sacred Heart and St John’s and 32 to the Norwich Foodbank from St Helen’s. Please continue to donate food every week throughout the year. There is a list on the notice boards each month of what the Foodbanks particularly need that month together with their letter of thanks.
Epiphany Candlelight Mass – Saturday 6th January at 5.00pm. A celebration for all young people and their families from across the Diocese: this is followed by hot dogs, a bonfire and fireworks. There will be a collection of presents for children who are refugees (please bring wrapped presents and indicate whether suitable for a boy or girl or either, and approximate age). This will be held at The White House, 21 Upgate, Poringland, Norwich and is organised by the Diocesan Youth Service.
An Epiphany Crib Festival, displaying Nativity scenes from around the world, takes place at St Helen’s, Hoveton, on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th January, from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Please let Liz Smith know if you have a crib you would like to include, preferably one from another country.
We pray for all our sick parishioners, including Deacon Ron O’Toole, Mary Johnson, Joe Seely, Tony Seaborne and Maria Wilby.
We pray for all those whose anniversaries occur at this time including: Juliette (Nan) Davies, Nora Slater, Francesco Carlucci, Agnes Webster, John Hall, Patricia Coles, Thomas Proud, June Cole, George Mousley and Raymond Miller.
May they rest in peace.
Fr James and Deacon Ron would like to take this opportunity of wishing Parishioners and Visitors the Peace and Joy of Christmas and every Blessing for the New Year.