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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.


LENT DISCUSSIONS - “A wide gap has developed between the church’s teaching concerning marriage and the family, and the lived convictions of many Christians. The church’s teaching appears, even to many Christians to be out of touch with the world and with life” So wrote Cardinal Kaspar in 2014 charged by Pope Francis to prepare for the 2 Synods on marriage and family life.

By his practice and especially his letter The Joy of Love Pope Francis has provided the way to resolve this apparent impasse. During Lent we hope to explore what he has done and is offering us. When thoroughly grasped it opens a new depth to our personal and community life. Come and help us to stretch our minds to take in his direction. - Wednesdays 6th, 13th and 29th March and Thursday 22nd.

ASH WEDNESDAY - Not one of the traditional “holy-days of obligation” (a horrible expression. We come to Mass because we love it, not bullied by threats). But always our Catholic instinct draws us to Mass on this day. We begin Lent with good intentions. When I face seriously my need to take stock of where my life is going, what I need to change, a sense of relief and peace follows. Make your own resolutions. Choose how you will take more notice of God and be helpful to others. Mass in St Thomas at 10 am and 8 pm. Also Trinity school in church at approx. 1.30 and 2.15pm.

CENTENARY CELEBRATION 22nd March - I have invitations for five of our parish to join in this celebration with Cardinal Nicholls, the Papal Nuncio and reps from all parishes on Wednesday 22nd March. The Mass will be in the Cathedral at 7 pm followed by a reception. At present I still have three tickets. Last Sunday I gave tickets to two ladies who expressed their wish to attend, but I failed to note their names. Will you please contact me? I need to tell the organisers the names of our representatives.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS - Through Lent we will provide the mediation for this devotion each Friday evening at 8pm. Also the stations will be said every Friday in Lent after the 10am Mass. You are always welcome to “do the Stations” yourselves at any time either individually or in a group.

SMILE PLEASE - The very observant will have noticed a few changes around the Church and Friary recently. The Parish Council and Friars have upgraded the CCTV cameras we previously had in the Church area and extended them so the Car Park and Becket Centre are now covered. This we feel will provide increased security in these areas without being too intrusive. The intercom system on the Friary door has been upgraded as part of the same package.


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>>>

When we come together we can change the way people think about trade and the products on our shelves - the Fairtrade movement is made up of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities for Fairtrade. Your actions help shopp
ers to make choices that change the lives of farmers and workers. Click here>>> to find out more.


Parishioners are invited to an afternoon tea at the Becket Centre on Sunday, 12th March 3pm - 5pm to discuss the issues raised in today’s Bishop’s pastoral letter and co-ordinate the parish response to it. Since our future plan requires more active participation of the laity, the discussion will be stimulated and moderated by leaders of our parish groups. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and join in the activities of these very active groups.


JUMBLE SALE - Thank you for your huge quantities of jumble up to last weekend. Please take note the sale is passed, and we really do not want more jumble to tarnish the beauty of our porch until the Autumn. The sale raised well over £1000 for the Chigwell Sisters’ foreign missions. It was also, surprisingly, much fun for the organisers who beavered for days beforehand and through Saturday.

ACROSS JUMBULANCE - An amazing £2.166 was raised last Sunday. Grateful thanks to parishioners for their generosity.


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.

AGM 2016 Questions and Answers click here>>>

Parish Council meeting minutes click here>>>

Following Fr Quentin’s recent sermon about the laity’s contribution to parish affairs, this is an appeal to you all.

The Parish Council, of which I am the current Chair, has a number of sub-committees (below) which need more members if they are to achieve what they should. If you have an interest and might like to be actively involved, please contact me for an informal discussion (kit.tranmer[at]btopenworld.com)
  • Liturgy – anything and everything pertaining to our regular and special services
  • Maintenance – especially if you have DIY or professional skills
  • Becket Centre – it does not manage itself, and is an invaluable asset which we need to look after and use fully
  • Caring – many of our charitable activities, within and outside the community
  • Communication – it is crucial that we communicate effectively, with all sections of the Parish not just those who collect a Newsletter –that too needs effort.

Aged 18-30?
Passionate about social justice?
Apply for CAFOD's Step Into the Gap gap-year programme now!
The deadline is 13 March 2017.

Click here>>> to find out more.

Read the blog here>>> from those currently taking part in the programme, share their experiences of meeting an inspirational business woman in her bustling Ethiopian café.

'In the life of an artisanal gold miner, every day is a lottery, but no one ever seems to win.'

We know that gold isn't a regular on our shopping list?  it’s not like tea or bananas!
For many, it’s a very special, once in a lifetime purchase.

Where gold comes from is not something we think about very often, which is why the terrible reality of small-scale gold mining is not well-known. Up to 16 million people work in small-scale gold mining worldwide, often due to poverty and a lack of alternative options. The dangers are endless and often unavoidable from pit collapse and mercury poisoning to child labour and exploitation.

Recently, photographer Ian Berry visited Africa’s first fairtrade certified gold mine and also documented the worst conditions of non-fairtrade artisanal mines in Uganda. The visit and his striking images were featured in the Telegraph's magazine.
So why not make yourself a Fairtrade cuppa and read it here now>>>


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.

Monday, 27th February - Sunday, 12th March - FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT

Tuesday, 28th - TUESDAY CLUB
We welcome LINDA BEWLAY, who will be talking about "BARNARDO's". Everyone is welcome to the Becket Centre at 2pm. on the 28th.

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th March - CAKE SALE
Sinead McVeigh is running a marathon to raise funds for sufferers of Alzheimer's and will be holding a cake sale in the Becket Centre on 4th March after 6pm Mass and after Masses on Sunday, 5th March.

Saturday, 4th March - CATHOLIC FELLOWSHIP
Are having their Annual Quiz at Trinity School, Upper Hall at 7.30pm for 8pm start. Please bring your own drinks. Ploughmans Supper will be provided. Cost £10.00. Tables of 8. Don’t worry if you can’t make a table of 8, we will put smaller groups together to make a table of 8. Tickets available from Ann on 020 8989 9032.

Meeting 7.30pm on at Maureen’s house.

Tuesday, 7th March - LENTEN LUNCHES
Beginning 7th March and every Tuesday until 11th April in the Becket Centre from 12.15pm to 1.30pm. Come and join us for home-made soup and French bread with butter, all for £3. All proceeds will be sent to Mary’s Meals to provide lunches for schoolchildren in Haiti.

Wednesdays, 8th, 15th, 29th & Thursday, 22nd - LENT DISCUSSIONS
Becket Centre.

Our next meeting will be at 7.30pm. Please note it will NOT be in our usual location owing to the Confirmation Programme but will be held in the William Scott Room upstairs. Come to the usual entrance and you will be directed to us.

Thursday, 9th March - EAST LONDON CITIZENS
The East London Citizens Organisation is celebrating 20 years on at York Hall, Bethnal Green 6.45pm—8.30pm. If you would like a ticket contact gemmabourdillon3@hotmail.com or leave your name and no. with Parish Office.

Sunday, 12th March - PARISH AFTERNOON TEA
3-5pm Becket Centre.

Tuesday, 14th March - BE PART OF THE TRAIDCRAFT BIG BREW 2017
During Fairtrade Fortnight St. James URC, Palmerston Road are holding a coffee morning from 10.30am—12Noon. Fairtrade coffee and refreshments will be on offer, games, a Traidcraft stall (including Fairtrade Easter eggs) and a raffle. Price £2.50 includes coffee and a raffle ticket. All are welcome.


Sunday, 15th April - JOURNEY OF FAITH
At the Easter Vigil on three candidates will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church here at St Thomas’. More of them later. Next Sunday they will meet the Bishop at the Rite of Election and be formally welcomed by him into our Diocesan community. This year the event will be at Forest Gate as the Cathedral is not yet re-opened.


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.


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>>>

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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