This Week's Messenger


Sunday 23rd July 2017

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time





Gordon Clack, Lourdinah Fernandes, Brian Fessey (priest)



(23) Joyce Shellard, Edna Hunt; [25] Vera Homer, Andrew Blair (priest), Lilian Davis, Roy Edwards; [26] Alfred Ernest Hewlett; [27] Gordon Lewis, James McKinlay, Antoine-Jerome Kevin Fluck; [29] Evelyn Cann;

Flowers are given to the greater glory of God and in memory of Joyce Shellard (SL)



Readings for this Sunday


First reading        Wisdom 12.13,16-19

There is no god, other than you, who cares for every thing, to whom you might have to prove that you never judged unjustly.  Your justice has its source in strength, your sovereignty over all makes you lenient to all.  You show your strength when your sovereign power is questioned and you expose the insolence of those who know it; but, disposing of such strength, you are mild in judgement, you govern us with great lenience, for you have only to will, and your power is there.  By acting thus you have taught a lesson to your people how the virtuous man must be kindly to his fellow men, and you have given your sons the good hope that after sin you will grant repentance.



Psalm                  Psalm 86.5-6,9-10,15-16

Thou, Lord, art good and gracious : and of great mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Give ear, Lord, unto my prayer : and ponder the voice of my humble desires.

All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship thee, O Lord : and shall glorify thy Name.

For thou art great, and doest wondrous things : thou art God alone.

But thou, O Lord God, art full of compassion and mercy : long-suffering, plenteous in goodness and truth.

O turn thee then unto me, and have mercy upon me : give thy strength unto thy servant, and help the son of thine handmaid.




Second reading    Romans 8.26-27

The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness.  For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.




Gospel                Matthew 13.24-43

Jesus put a parable before the crowds, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.  When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well.  The owner’s servants went to him and said, ‘Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field?  If so, where does the darnel come from?’  ‘Some enemy has done this’ he answered.  And the servants said, ‘Do you want us to go and weed it out?’  But he said, ‘No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it.  Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers:  First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.’”  He put another parable before them, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seen which a man took and sowed in his field.  It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches. “  He told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.”  In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables.  This was to fulfil the prophecy:  I will speak to you in parables and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.  Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, “Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.”  He said in reply, “The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels.  Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time.  The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.  Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Listen, anyone who has ears!”





MONDAY - Feria

S. Mark - 6.00 pm Mass

TUESDAY - S. James S. Aldhelm - 10.45am Mass
WEDNESDAY - Ss Joachim & Anne S. Saviour - 9.30am Mass

S. Luke - 9.00 am Morning Prayer
9.30 am Mass

FRIDAY - Feria S. Saviour - 7.30pm Sung Mass
SATURDAY - S. Martha S. Mark - 9.30 am Mass
SUNDAY - Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mass as usual in all three churches





The PCC meets tomorrow night at S. Aldhelm’s at 7.30pm along with the Archdeacon of Malmesbury, the Interim Area Dean, George Rendell - the Diocesan Transition Manager for parishes in vacancy and the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, to discuss the future of the parish.  Please pray that the discussions may be strengthened by the Holy Spirit.



Fr Dexter will be collated, inducted and installed as Rector of S. John’s, Coventry this Wednesday, 26 July at 7.00pm.  Please pray for Fr Dexter & Amy and the people of S. John’s as Fr Dexter begins his new ministry in Coventry. 

Transport has been arranged to this service.  The coach will leave S. Mark’s at 4pm and the cost will be £25.  If you have signed up for transport, please pay either Pat or the Parish Office.



The Funeral for Gordon has now been arranged.  It will take the form of a Funeral Mass at S. Luke’s Church, on Monday 24th July at 10.30am and will be followed by Interment at Kingsdown Cemetery at 11.45am.



An outing has been planned for Saturday 16th September leaving S. Mark’s at 8.30am.  Notices and booking forms can be found at the back of each Church.  For more information please contact Andrew King on 01793 541504.



Today is our first Sunday without Fr Dexter.  We wish him well in his new ministry at S. John’s, Coventry.

We now begin a new chapter in the life of the Parish and we must face the future with prayer and confidence that during our interregnum and then, with a new parish priest, all our churches become numerically and spiritually stronger.

Our churches all have different characteristics and we have many holy and hardworking people to enable us to go forward.

We fortunately have several clergy who are willing to minister to us, in particular Fr David Woodhouse, Fr John van der Linde, Fr John Hawthorne and Fr Alastair Stevenson.  Our aim is to maintain the current level of services that we have experienced during the last incumbency.

We are sure you all recognise that without these wonderful hardworking priests, it would be impossible to continue the work of the parish in its present form.  It is important that we all work together to support and encourage each other, trying to increase our numbers and striving to bring out the best qualities of each of our congregations. 

During the last interregnum, the parish was much closer and united than it is today,  It is important that we all work together to provide a firm base, so that when we welcome a new incumbent he will commence his ministry with a strong and vibrant Parish.

If you have any issues you would like to discuss, or views on the way forward, please contact us.

God bless you all and please pray for the future of our parish.

Alasdair, Sandy and John



Today will be the last meeting of the Junior Church until the first Sunday in September.  We hope that our children and teachers will have a good break and come back suitably refreshed.  We do, of course, invite the children to come and join us and their parents at mass each Sunday during the break.



For the immediate future the closing date for items for inclusion in the Messenger will be at 12 noon on Thursday of each week.  Your co-operation with this would be very much appreciated.  Please send items for inclusion to




Amy and I would like to say a big 'thank you' for the farewell we received last week, and for the generosity of so many who contributed to a leaving gift.

Several people have asked for our new address, which is:

St John's Rectory
9 Davenport Road

Tel. 024 7671 1687

Please be assured of our prayers for this parish as it looks to the future.

Fr Dexter



From Bishop Jonathan … To all the lay faithful

After last year’s tremendous success, when 500 people came together, there is another opportunity – before the summer ends – for us to share a festival day at the EBBSFLEET LAY CONGRESS 2017

Last year’s Congress was a great success. Coventry Cathedral full of people from across the Ebbsfleet area. The Congress is a key event for all churchwardens and PCC members – new and old; and for all active lay people — young and old; and of course the clergy: to help all our parishes think and pray together about our  future.

Last year—with Bishop Rowan Williams and Archdeacon Morris Rodham—we thought about what makes a parish healthy and how Catholic communities grow. This year the theme looks outward. Any parish that has the Eucharist at its heart—as all Ebbsfleet parishes do—should overflow in mission. The clue is in the word: the Mass – ‘Go in peace, glorifying God’. Our title is a word of encouragement from Pope Francis in The Joy of the Gospel: 


This year’s main speakers will be  Bishop Philip North and Fr Damian Feeney

COVENTRY CATHEDRAL— Saturday 2 September 10.30 am – 4.00 pm

If anyone from the Parish is interested in attending,
please contact the Parish Office




Norma Allum, Elaine Baker, Muriel Avenell, John Vittles, Tiffany Stephen


Peter Dance, Tamsin Davis, Shirley Driver, Jane Shrimpton, Robin Langton


Constance Groves, John Glass, Jean Holley, Helen Robinson, Gail Royle, Sheila Maslin, Evelyn Hart


Betty Mitchell, Barbara Tomkins, Doris Rumming, John Wilson


Preston, Donald Thompson, Fr Robert Pitt


Terry Venn-Adams, Clive Viner, Sam Slade.



Next Sunday's Readings

2 Kings 3:5, 7-12; Psalm 118;  Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52






Our Regular Weekly Services


The Parish Church of S. Mark

Sundays at 10.30 am (Sung Mass)

Mondays at 6.00 pm (Mass)


Saturdays at 9.30 am (Mass)


1st Monday of the month at 6.30 pm​ (Prayer of the Rosary)




The District Church of S. Saviour


Sundays at 9.00 am (Sung Mass)

Wednesdays at 9.30 am (Mass)


The District Church of S. Luke


Sundays at 10.30 am (Sung Mass)

Thursdays at 9.00 am (Morning Prayer)


Thursdays at 9.30 am (Mass)



The Chapel of S. Aldhelm


Tuesdays at 10.45 am (Mass)


And special services by announcement