29th August 2020

Dear Parishioners,

It is good to be able to greet you once again and enclose this weekend’s Newsletter and the Readings for the celebration of Holy Mass, which I am pleased to be able to say is – for increasing numbers – once more taking place in our churches. For others, Mass via the internet and radio continues to be their spiritual nourishment, for which we have all been grateful. The option of attending a Weekday celebration of Mass in either of our churches may help boost confidence in adjusting to a new way of living for those who remain anxious and apprehensive. The invitation is there as will be the welcome when you arrive. At our daily celebrations of Holy Mass, those uniting with us in Spiritual Communion, from their homes, have a special mention in our Prayers of the Faithful.

Whilst for some localised restrictions have been lifted, we must all remain sensible in these difficult days and do our very best to keep others and ourselves safe and well. May the gift of friendship be recognised in the support and encouragement that we offer to one another, not least in practical help given and the voice of friends talking on the ‘phone or meeting up through other means of communication.

Be assured of a continuous remembrance in prayer and affection.
As ever, Fr. Nicholas

22nd August 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Weekend greetings once more as I attach the latest Newsletter and the Readings for the weekend Masses.

I trust that this note finds you well and beginning the process of adapting to a new way of life, even venturing from home to the shops, dining out with family or having an outdoor coffee with friends in one of our local public spaces. Our spiritual family has taken a momentous forward step during the last week with the celebration of a Baptism and a Wedding. Both were very moving and incredibly special occasions. For us all they are signs of the importance that families place on the spiritual dimension of life. With steps being made into secular spaces that are marked by necessary difference I continue to encourage those who have not yet crossed the threshold of churches, to consider doing so. A Mass is celebrated in one or other of our churches every day, and as the Bishops recommend, I would ask you to think about attending a weekday Mass in order to gain confidence, and also see what is ‘new’ about coming to Mass, not least the measures we have put in place to keep people safe.

Whilst we are in our eighth weekend of being open to the celebration of public Masses, there are still a number of churches within the Diocese who have not yet opened for Mass. Some of these are quite close to ourselves geographically. Please continue to pray for those communities who await what we are now taking for granted once more … open church doors.

Be assured that prayerful and affectionate remembrance continues, and in our celebration of daily Mass, those joining us though Spiritual Communion are brought to prayer during our Intercessions.

United in prayer, and grateful for all the support being given in so many ways,

Fr. Nicholas

14th August 2020

Dear Parishioners,

A slightly earlier than usual delivery of this weekend’s Newsletter !

This is in part to let those who may have had thoughts of attending an advertised event – the Royal British Legion’s Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, which was due to take place tomorrow (Saturday) in the Memorial Park at Cleckheaton – that the act of remembrance has been cancelled due to our current localise restrictions. Despite the lack of a formal event, we can still pause for a moment during the morning to remember the sacrifice, and suffering, of those who fought in the Far East during World War Two.

It continues to be a source of joy to welcome ‘returning’ parishioners to our celebrations of Holy Mass both during the week and at the weekend. Hopefully those attending feel reassured by the disciplines in place to keep everyone safe within our two churches. I continue to be enormously grateful to our volunteer Stewards, and to those who, after each Mass, are wiping the benches down and ensuring surfaces that may have been sat upon or touched are sanitised for use by the next congregation.

Be assured of a continuing remembrance in prayer and affection, and let us all hold one another in similar sentiment.
Fr. Nicholas

From webadmin:  Apologies for the delay in posting the update from Fr Nicholas – which was supplied Friday Evening instead of Saturday morning.

This week’s newsletter references an article on the Diocesan website entitled VJ Day 75.  This article can be found here

8th August 2020

Dear Parishioners,

I am pleased to be able to attach this weekend’s Newsletter and Readings for Holy Mass together with a greeting sent in the hope that you are keeping well and safe.

From this weekend there will be a significant change in our coming together for Holy Mass, as it is now mandatory to wear a face-covering (supplied by yourselves) in our churches, and other Places of Worship. There are, of course exemptions. It is advisable that you put your face-covering on before entering either of our church porches, and then go through the, now, usual, process of registration and sanitising your hands. For our Stewards and Ministers of the Word I have obtained Face Shields and these may be collected at the beginning of your next ministry. New guidance has been given for our Ministers of the Word in relation to this new requirement.

Ministers of the Word are to wear a face covering when entering church and making their way to their position on the Sanctuary (where they are seated with members of their household). When preparing to proclaim the Word, they should remove the face covering in order to proclaim the Word. The covering then should be replaced on the completion of each of the two parts of their ministry i.e. (1) The Word and (2) the Prayers of the Faithful. We are only able to do this because our Lecterns are 2 meters away from the congregation and myself, as the celebrant. If the space was less, the face covering would need to be worn throughout. The same applies to myself, behind the Altar, but when distributing Holy Communion, I shall now have to wear a face covering.

In regard to face coverings and the reception of Holy Communion. I shall give instructions about the removal of your face covering for the receiving the Lord in Holy Communion at the appropriate time during Holy Mass.

Hopefully that guidance was relatively clear. No doubt as we get used to these changes, what we are being asked to do will become second nature.

We continue to welcome parishioners back to Holy Mass and it is a joy to do so. One returning parishioner on seeing me asked if I’d managed to find things to keep me busy during Lockdown !!! A number of parishioners (and ‘virtual’ parishioners from far away) have said that they’re missing my letters. With the opening of our churches, and an easing in restrictions initially, I thought that I would be seeing more parishioners face to face, rendering my ramblings void, however, as returning numbers are small and the process gradual, I can only say that my time is now spent in new ways. Incredibly I spend about fives hours a week just at the doors of our churches, welcoming people, engaging with them, and (I’d like to think !) assisting our fabulous volunteer Stewards. Whilst others could do this, I’ve always been a pastoral priest, and being with the people I serve is a priority to me. So, perhaps an odd letter may appear every now and again, but I cannot promise anything ! New times also mean learning new skills. Rather than reading faces, we will all have to learn to read the eyes that we can see above the face coverings.

Wishing you a good week, and continuing good health. Be assured of prayerful support, remembrance and affection,

Fr. Nicholas

1st August 2020

Dear Parishioners,

The beginning of another weekend, and the arrival of the weekly Newsletter and Readings for our weekend Masses, all of which I trust finds you well and in good spirits.

As we are all now aware Kirklees together with other areas has moved into a new phase of Lockdown. In theory it means at a personal level that I can go (not that I ever do) for a pint of beer in a public house, but I am unable to visit the bereaved in their homes or gardens … Rapidly moving on, one impact that the new measures will have on church life is the fact that face-coverings will be have to be worn by everyone attending Mass from next Saturday (8th August), including our Ministers of the Word.

As someone who very rarely mentions the financial state of our churches, at this juncture I really do have to point out that currently we are losing a Loose Plate and social income of at least £1,000 per month from both of our communities. Clearly our social income has dried up for the time being, but offerings to the Loose Plate (i.e. monies contributed to the weekly collection not through the use of collection envelopes) can be donated through electronic means (Text Giving) as highlighted on the Newsletter. Donations may also be put through either of our Presbytery letterboxes as an alternative. Despite our current circumstance bills still arrive, including recently the annual Assessment for each church, paid to the Diocese for the funding of the central services and resources that each parish benefits from. Throughout my years in both churches, this has been paid from our cash accounts, not our reserves, it would be good to think that, perhaps later than usual, we will be able to do the same this year.

Continue to keep the Faith ! Be assured that you are remembered in daily prayer and the Masses that we celebrate, as we all look forward to better times and being united once more around the altar of the Lord to celebrate together the Eucharist.

With prayerful assurances and affection,
Fr. Nicholas