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Our parish of St Thomas of Canterbury promotes God's kingdom of justice, love and peace through worship, the proclamation of the Word and prayer. As a community we serve those in need and support God's family in all areas of life.


Click banner below to go to the Universalis website for readings and prayers for the day
lick here>>> for today's readings at Mass incl. Gospel

Recently seven candles were found burning in church and precariously lodged right above the container of 100 more candles. It is an obvious hazard. Our insurers have warned us of this and are unhappy that we allow such risk. Please exercise care.
Only light a candle when there is a
vacant cup where it may burn safely.


Fr Ignatius died last Sunday, having enjoyed almost ten months of wonderful care from our Franciscan sisters in their nursing home in Littlehampton. Raymond had previously cared with great love and dedication till his need grew beyond Raymond’s and our domestic capability here. It was the end of a remarkable life. Ignatius began his priesthood studies here in Woodford in 1946. Soon he moved on to Rome for studies both before and after ordination. He gained a Doctorate in Theology, writing his dissertation on sacramental theology. Rome is not noted for forward thinking but he read extensively and so was thoroughly in tune with up-to-date thinking when Vatican II arrived. He taught and trained generations of students of our English Province in the days of plenty.

More: he dragged us all into the modern understanding of what we are and should be both as Franciscans and pastoral priests. A gentle and humble man, he had wide pastoral influence with religious and lay people. He also served on international commissions in Rome.

His task is not finished. Pope Francis continues to urge us to leave behind old sterile understandings of our faith and practice. We can best honour Ignatius by engaging in this year’s parish programme of searching to know better what God is doing to us in our homes and families, and what he wants of us.

May he rest in peace.


FRANCISCAN VOCATION TALKS - Proposed dates Wednesday, 25th Jan —Friday 27th January at St Thomas of Canterbury. For single Catholic men 18-43 years of age interested in the Franciscan life. If interested in attending these talks and are seriously considering a Religious Vocation then contact by 22nd January Br. Donal OFM (Vocation Director) Email only brdonalofm@yahoo.co.uk

FRANCISCAN MISSIONS - The latest issue of the FMU magazine “The Troubadour” is available at the back of the church. Please take one as well as a calendar for 2017 as you leave.

Alternatively get it online here>>>


Our Communications group are publishing a quarterly newsletter to keep us updated with events and parish news. It will be sent out by email, with a few copies printed for those not having email access. If you would like to be among the first to receive it and keep up to date with what is going on in the parish, please send a mail to parishnews@friar.org or scan in the QR code.

For many months there has been talk of needed repairs to our church, friary and surrounds. Investigations and preparations have been under way quietly in recent months. Already some of the work is beginning. But there are now major decisions to be reached. So this month’s meeting of your Council will be a very important one. Please pray that we be guided in the direction which is truly for the good of All.


The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has decided to launch an appeal for Yemen where there has been a 20-month long bloody civil war between the Houthi ethnic group and supporters of Yemen’s government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

At the request of the Yemeni government, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia, have carried out air strikes across the country against the Houthi. For ordinary Yemenis, the consequences have been devastating. The UN now estimates that more than 10,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict, with 6,000 people killed in 2016 alone.

CAFOD is working with DEC to respond to this crisis. Your questions on the Yemen Crisis Appeal answered here>>>


Who we are, what we stand for, where we work, how you can help. If you are a new or current volunteer, or someone who is just interested in our work, then join us for a highly interesting and stimulating day at St Francis of Assisi parish hall in Stratford on Saturday, 28th January from 10.00am until 3.30pm (a simple lunch will be provided). This is a great opportunity to learn more about us and to meet other volunteers from across the dioceses of Brentwood and Westminster. Click here>>> for more information


We serve Fairtrade tea and coffee after 10.00am and 11.30am Masses most Sundays of the year. Do pop in and join us. A good chance to meet old friends and new people. Click here>>> to find out more about buying Fairtrade.

The exciting Christmas edition of In Touch is now available featuring a personal letter to the parish from H.M. Queen Elizabeth. Price £2.

Francis Room 7.30pm. All are very welcome to study and share the Word of God.

Chingford Parish Church Hall 7.30pm for 8pm. Entry £5. Bring your own drinks and nibbles. 7 tables 8—10. Small groups can join up. To reserve tables ring Sheila on 020 8504 3839.

The next Assisi Lunch will be on 27th January 2017.

10.00am until 3.30pm at St Francis of Assisi parish hall, Stratford. See panel above or click here>>> for more information.



The next Jumbulance Pilgrimage to Lourdes will be in April 2017. We have places for anyone wishing to travel as a pilgrim. Please contact the parish office if you or anyone you know would like to travel with us.

Click here>>> to go to new / updated OFM website.

FRANCISCAN MISSIONS - The latest issue of The Troubadour is at the back of the church. Please take a copy as you leave after Mass. Alternatively, download it from the OFM website, link above.

Are you a coffee connoisseur? However you like your coffee, when you choose Fairtrade you know you’re supporting the farmers who grew the beans to build a better quality of life for their families and communities. And that’s not all. Find out more here>>>

The Catholic Women’s League is an international organisation serving the Parish and the wider Church and enjoying spiritual and social activities. Members engage in events to whatever extent is appropriate to them.

Find out more about CWL in our parish



Vocations to the Franciscan Friars Minor are encouraged in our Franciscan Parish! Single Catholic Men 18-40 years, interested?


Need more cash to cover your expenses? If you are a Catholic aged 16-24 years you may be eligible for a grant from the Catenian Association’s Bursary Fund to help with your expenses. Your project must have a clear benefit for others as well as widening your life experience. For full details, eligibility criteria and application form visit www.thecatenians.com and click on "Bursary".


We urgently need more members to help us in our work. For more information please contact Gerry Curran on 07754 100149 or email gerrypcurransvp[at]hotmail.co.uk

he language of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is very theological. Youcat fills a gap for everyone. It is attractively presented with illustrations, interesting marginal quotes, accessible language, and is cross-referenced to the standard “big” Catechism. If you find the standard Catechism a bit too much, buy Youcat without hesitation and learn more about the Catholic faith. £9.95 in the Repository. There is also a youth Prayer book £7.95. http://www.youcat.org/youcat/youcat-the-book/

800 YEARS!

he Friars have donated a book and DVD to celebrate 800 years of the Order of Franciscan Friars and these are available at the back of the church for you to take a copy.

The book celebrates Franciscans with Frontiers since 1209 and the DVD looks at the life and ministry of the Friars in Great Britain since 1224. You are welcome to take a copy of each and any donations would be gratefully received.


If you, or a relative or friend are in Whipps Cross Hospital, please let the priests at Our Lady and St. George parish know 020 8520 5877. Though the hospital staff are very helpful, the priests at St. George’s also rely on being told of people who may welcome a visit.


f you are new to the parish or have moved within the parish, please contact the Parish Office so we can keep our records up to date.

Download the New Parishioner / Change of Address form (pdf file, 312Kb) here>>

Follow this link to see events and notices previously listed on this page.


Any Christian community tries to live out the commandment of Christ to love God and one's neighbour as thyself. Both aspects are inseparable and support for CAFOD enables us to help those in great need.

A recent estimate indicates that we throw away enough food to feed the starving in the whole of Africa. We urge all to review their lifestyle and the effects that a secular and consumerist society have had upon our existence. Live simply so that others may simply live!

Click here to go to the page on this website for details of the Brentwood Diocesan branch of CAFOD. Click here to go directly to the CAFOD Brentwood website, from where you can access the latest newsletter.

Mass Times

St Thomas
Saturday: 6pm (First Mass of Sunday)
Sunday: 8.30am, 10am (Children's Liturgy)
11.30am (Traditional Choir)
Weekdays: 10am (The Rosary, Weds after Mass)
Confession: Saturday, 10.30am, 5pm

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St James URC BuckhurstHill
Sunday: 9am (Children's Liturgy)

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Chigwell Convent
Sunday: 10am (Children's Liturgy)
Weekdays: 6.50am (Morning Prayer), 9.30am
Saturday: 10am
First Wednesday of month no morning Mass
Confession: Saturday, after 10am Mass

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