Parish Office

The Parish Office will be closed from 23rd December until 2nd January 2020. The next newsletter will be produced for Sunday 12th January 2020.

Christmas Masses

Christmas Eve St Thomas’ 3pm (Children's) 5.15pm 7:30pm to be recorded/on-line 10pm Chigwell Office of readings with carols 8.30pm. Night mass at 9pm Christmas Day St Thomas’ 8.30am 10am (family) 11.30am St James 9am Chigwell 10am JANUARY 2020 Sunday 5th January The Epiphany of the Lord—Masses at usual times. Thursday 9th January Holy Communion Parents meeting 8pm Bereavement Support group 7.30pm Friday 10th January Assisi Lunch in the Becket Centre

Christmas collections

Your offerings at the Christmas Masses will be for the Friars, if you do not have a gift aid envelope but wish your offering to be gift aided please use the yellow envelope available at the back of church.

Christmas Masses at St Thomas

The rotas for the Masses are displayed at the back of the church, on the left-hand side as you leave. If you have volunteered your services, please check the list on your way out. Some Masses /Ministries were oversubscribed and others left with “vacancies”. On the table at the back of the church is a list of what we still require, in particular: Ministers of Communion for the 3pm, 5:15pm, 7:30pm & 10pm masses on Christmas Eve. Sacristans for the 5:15pm & 7:30pm masses on Christmas Eve and the 10:00 mass on Christmas Day. Ushers for the 3pm, 5:15pm, 7:30pm on Christmas Eve and the 10am Mass on Christmas Day. If you can help, please add your name.

Notice Boards

In January we will be reviewing the contents of the notice boards in the Church porch area. This will involve removing all current posters etc. and deciding what will be placed on the boards in future.


To remind you that from January 2020 the Catholic newspapers will only be supplied by pre ordering/paying for them from the Parish Office. If you would like us to set up a subscription please contact us as soon as possible.

Brentwood Diocese

Have vacancies for a management accountant, safety office and parish support assistant. Please visit their website for more information.


Thank you for the generous donations given to our collection last weekend. The monies will be used to help families in need locally. Sincere thanks for your support, we could not help those in need without it.

Franciscan Vocation Talks Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th January in the Becket Centre

Single Catholic men, 18-43 years of age, interested in the Franciscan Life Are invited to join us in the Becket Centre. Friday: 3rd January 5-5.45pm Franciscan Prayer Saturday: 4th January 12noon-12.45pm Life and Spirituality of St. Francis 2.30pm to 3.15pm Franciscan History 4pm to 4.45pm Franciscan Formation 7.30pm to 8.15pm Franciscan Ministry now + the Future If interested in attending these talks and you are seriously considering a Religious Vocation, then please contact now and by 28 December Br. Donal OFM (Vocation Director), Email -

Prepare ye the way of the Lord

So far you have used the church well in preparation for the Lord’s 2019 coming. A large number came to the Ecumenical Advent service last Sunday. It is well to be reminded that we should value and do more to build our good relations with sister churches in the locality. We are all sharing what Matthew Arnold described as “the long roar of the receding tide of faith”. Carol services usually retell the story of how Christ came in the past. On Sunday six other churches joined us to concentrate on the theme of Advent. We felt something of the cold of a world without Jesus – just so that we appreciate what a gift he is. There are many today whose world has no place or trace of Jesus. At times the

Christmas Masses at St Thomas’

Many thanks to all who volunteered last weekend. However, we still have a long way to go before we have a full complement of Readers, Ministers of Communion, Ushers & Sacristans for all the masses on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Currently we don’t have any volunteers for any of the ministries at the 10am mass on Christmas Day! Also, as we are expecting the church to be full at all the masses, we urgently need more experienced Ushers to assist with the smooth and safe running of each service. If you can help, please add your name to the list, located on the table at the back of the church.

Advent Ecumenical Service

Many thanks to all those who supported the service, particularly to the readers, the choirs and the CWL. The retiring collection raised £850, which will be divided between Mary’s Meals and the Redbridge Cold Weather Centre. Your generosity was appreciated.

A message of thanks from the Parish Council

St Thomas’ thrives because of the large band of volunteers that keep it alive, active and well cared for. In recognition of this the Parish Council would like to thank you all for your contribution to parish life and our community. As a small token of our appreciation, we would like to invite those who can come to a small social event on 25th January 2020 between 7 & 9pm. We would love to be able to embrace you all at this event but alas, numbers have to be restricted to the numbers that can be accommodated in the Henrietta suite. Therefore, on a first come first served basis if you can come along can you please email as soon as possible. Whether you attend

Raffle prizes to be collected

White ticket 54 and pink ticket 200. if not collected from the Parish Office this week we will return them to the organisers.

A message of sympathy

We join in the great surge of sympathy for the family in the death of their son Harley Watson. We pray for them and for all injured or involved in the disaster. It serves as a grim reminder of how brittle is the prevailing climate of celebration. Christmas was the best news that the world ever had or will have. But the crib speaks loudly both of the poverty into which Jesus was born and also the threat to his very existence coming from the people who wielded power at that time. Something similar is much with us this year in all our uncertainties.

Advent Reconciliation Service

Tomorrow Monday 9th at 7.30 we will offer an opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. After a brief scriptural reflection there will be 5 priests for you to choose from. The emphasis of Advent is not one of self-denial. It is rather a time for thought. When December 25th comes we concentrate on God’s gift. You could perhaps think of the postman coming to deliver your presents. You need to be at home to receive them. The opportunity is for you to tease out with the priest’s help what exactly needs to change in you. We are all failing to take in and receive the benefit of God’s grace by the obstacles we are regularly putting in their path. That is what we need to talk about on Monday s

Christmas Masses at St Thomas’

Calling all Readers, Ministers of Communion, Ushers & Sacristans. If you will be attending Mass at St Thomas’ on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, please indicate your availability by adding your name to the lists located on the table at the back of the church.

Bereavement Support Group

Our next meeting will be held in our usual place, in the big room downstairs in the Becket Centre (Henrietta Suite) on Thursday 12th December 2019 at 7:30. This is always a painful and difficult time of the year for anyone who has been bereaved, whether recently or in the past. All of our group understand your feelings and you would find a sympathetic environment to talk about your loss or listen to how others cope with theirs. We talk and listen for an hour and then there we have a cup of tea and a chance to chat in a friendly and informal way. Anyone who has been bereaved and feels that they would like to come to this meeting is welcome. Do phone me, Angela Barnes 020 8505 0356, if you wou

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Parish Office Tel: 020 8504 1686
The Friary  Tel: 020 8504 1688




St. Thomas of Canterbury Church

557/559 High Road
Woodford Green
Essex IG8 0RB

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