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Saturday 11th September– Saturday 18th September 2021



Dear parishioners,


It’s St Edith’s Day again: another year gone as we enter a new school year and autumn to come. On Saturday 18th September, we commemorate one of old England’s most popular saints, a local Kentish saint, St. Edith, a Virgin and nun who was born a princess in 984 at Kemsing near Sevenoaks and died a nun at Wilton Abbey in Wiltshire at the age of 23.

Following her death, St. Edith became the patron saint of her community at Wilton Abbey in Wiltshire and churches were dedicated to her in Wiltshire and in other parts of Anglo-Saxon England and she began to appear to many people in visions. First, she appeared in glory to her mother Wilfrida and told her that the evil one had tried to accuse her during her ascent to the heavens but she struck his head and quickly reached Paradise. Then she came in visions to some Wilton nuns. Various miracles started to occur at her grave through her intercessions.

Veneration for St. Edith in England was nationwide, and she was held as one of the most beloved venerable virgins of the English people. The writer Goscelin recalled that he felt a special presence of the saint in the abbey one hundred years after her death. It was the Wilton nuns who shared with Goscelin many details of Edith’s life and acquainted him with some of her personal belongings, including her notes and written prayer petitions. Reading between the more devotional lines of Goscelin, it is said you can see the real woman. Of course she was a royal princess, and even as a nun she continued to wear fine clothes and would not give them up even when reprimanded. However, Goscelin excuses Edith by saying her clothes were a sign of true humility so that the grandeur hid the hair shirt she wore beneath, a simple lesson in not judging by appearances. She was also young, and that must always excuse a lot.

St. Edith is still venerated at her birthplace, in the lovely Kent village of Kemsing between us here and Sevenoaks. The ancient holy well in the centre of the village bears the name of St. Edith. Its water has been known for its healing properties, especially for eye diseases, and local farmers, apparently, have also used its water to bless fields and for rich harvests. Recently the ancient tradition of annual “well-dressing” has been revived there and the community organizes annual processions to the holy well.

Last year a few of us from St Thomas More made a little pilgrimage to Kemsing ourselves in honour of St Edith and had a great meal in the pub which overlooks The Holy Well. I recall a fine plate of ham, egg and chips, particularly welcome after the previous months of restrictions and lockdowns. Of course, the clouds over hospitality would soon gather again, and we ask St Edith for her prayers again this year, to keep the pandemic with its social distancing, track and tracing, shielding, isolation, bubbles and grim masked faces from us. (In Old Merrie England they knew a thing or two about pandemics too, with the Black Death wiping out vast swathes of the population)

In this land there was great devotion to St. Edith but now many Catholics will know of the French St Therese, but how many remember our own St Edith, the Little Flower of Old England? We gladly join our ancestors on Saturday at mass in commemoration of Edith’s sanctity, and ask her prayers for us as they did. And if you are free on Saturday afternoon or any time, visit Kemsing and say a prayer at Edith’s Well. St. Edith of Kemsing, pray for us at St. Thomas More parish!

Church & Hall Redecoration

Some more will be done this week, but soon the money runs out. In order to complete the repair of the Wall Areas to the rear of the church (the entrance wall) we need nearly another £2,000, including the necessary hire of two men and a tower scaffold. If you can help with this, please make your donation online with reference to Church Redecoration or in an envelope marked the same.


ACC NO. 21361606

SORT CODE 517014


Ref: church redecoration

Next week on Wednesday and Thursday there will be a further finishing touch to the Hall, with new flooring being installed on the stage, making us ready for a very booked and busy autumn ahead.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. SUNDAY 3rd OCTOBER 2021. IN THE HALL. With Coffee, Tea, Cakes, sandwiches, hot snacks, bingo and live music. Come along and support the great work of Macmillan nurses for people with cancer.

Hall Social Evening

The Hall will be open to parishioners on Sunday evening for conversation and card games. Please bring your own refreshments.

Thursday Lunch Club

The next Thursday Lunch Club Afternoon Tea is on Thursday 9th September at 2.00 p.m. To all our Senior Citizens, please think about coming along and meet up with old friends or make new ones. Please note there is no Afternoon Tea this coming Thursday due to the work being done on the hall that day (as mentioned above)

If you would like to assist with Afternoon Tea for our senior parishioners (or future lunches) please contact Marian on 0208 3037584 or Joyce on 0208 3032424.

Deaths For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)

Please pray for the souls of:

Helen Gaskin. who died on Tuesday 24th August aged 69. Funeral Requiem at 10.30 a.m. with committal at Hillview Cemetery.

Johannes Franciscus Gerritsen who died on 26th August 2021 aged 94. Funeral at Eltham Crematorium on Monday 20th September 2021 at 2.30 p.m.

Sandra Nourse who died on 3rd September 2021. Funeral Requiem on Wednesday 22nd September at 2.00 p.m. with committal at Eltham Crematorium.

May the divine assistance remain with them always, and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

PARISH GOLF DAY. MESSAGE FROM TONY BROOKE. Saturday 18th September 2021 to be held at Pedham Place Golf Club, Farningham.

Bacon rolls from 11am. First tee off at 12 noon. 18 holes of golf followed by a one course meal and prize awarding. In an attempt to keep the price down we have dropped to a one course meal and bumped into a very gracious sponsor who will hold down the price to £40per contestant. There will be the usual charity raffle attached to the day that parishioners will have a chance to be involved with by purchasing tickets after Mass.

Any enquiries / interest to Tony Brooke 07833707016. Provisional numbers please ASAP so that we can secure tee times.


Psalter week 4 Ferial cycle 1 at mass.

Please come to mass once a week only, on any day of your choosing, to help with numbers and social distancing.

Mass intentions booked for masses cancelled or replaced with a funeral will be moved to another day.

Please note the Sunday 10.30 mass has been moved to 11.00 due to the lack of time after the 9.00 to prepare for the next mass and consequently the consistent late start of the 10.30. We will try this new time for a few weeks and see how it works.


6.00 p.m. Confessions

+ 6.30 p.m. MASS [said] Bill Maloney R.I.P.

Sunday 12th September

8. 30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG MASS. Gladys Adelu T.G. ( on her birthday)

+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS [with English Readings] Denis Basset R.I.P.

6.00 p.m. Social Evening in The Hall for conversation and card games. Bring your own refreshments.

Monday 13h September St. John Chrysostom, bishop & doctor of the church, memorial.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Mary George & K.G. George R.I.P.

Tuesday 14th September The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, feast.

+ 10.00 a.m. Colin Routh R.I.P. ( anniversary)

Wednesday 15th September Our Lady of Sorrows, memorial.

The Daily Rosary at home, in private.


Thursday 16th September Ss Cornelius, pope and Cyprian, bishop, martyrs.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.30 a.m. Funeral Requiem of Helen Gaskin with committal at Hillview Cemetery.

2.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club Afternoon Tea.

Friday 17th September St. Robert Bellamine, bishop & doctor of the church.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Des Leahy R.I.P.

( burial of ashes at Hillview in the afternoon)

6.00 p.m. choir practice

Saturday 18th September St. Edith’s Day: St. Edith of Kemsing.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. [Latin] priest’s private intention.

11.30 a.m. Baptism.

[ + 6.30 p.m. THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME. Jerome Braganza R.I.P.]

SEPTEMBER PRAYER TO OUR LADY, THE SORROWFUL MOTHER: Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to him in his suffering, when he cried out ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’. What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure heart like a sharp-edged sword. In this month of the Feast of Holy Cross on Tuesday 14th and the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows the next day, let us offer to our Sorrowful Mother the mortification of keeping quiet about our pains and discomforts unless necessary, and bearing the small inevitable daily inconveniences and disappointments of life with patience, uniting these with the torments of Mary as she stood by her crucified Son.

Let that offering to God, in union with our Sorrowful Mother, be our September prayer. (Adapted from ‘A Handbook of Prayers’ p 493, Midwest Theological Forum)

God bless,

Fr. Jonathon

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