Black Lives Matter

It is reported that our bishops have expressed solidarity with this movement. If so: good. Having grown up in Bristol I recall how the truth gradually dawned on me that all the prosperity of my surrounds was the fruit of slavery. Moving on from that I gradually discovered my many unrecognised assumptions and prejudices that needed to be dealt with. Have I finished this journey of self-awareness? I wonder. The demos in support of BLM, neglecting anti-infection, are to be regretted. They can though drive us to question ourselves.

Church visits

An impressive number have come to pray quietly before the Blessed Sacrament while the church has been briefly open. We will open at the same times this coming week. Tuesday & Saturday 10am-12pm, Thursday 2-4pm.

What's next for the Church

On Tuesday we heard the announcement that, from the 4th July, places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services. We welcome this news with great joy. The recent reopening of our churches for individual private prayer was an important milestone on our journey towards resuming communal worship. We have put in place all the measures needed to ensure the risks of virus transmission are minimised. This includes effective hand sanitisation, social distancing, and cleaning. We will looking over the next days as to how we can safely and successfully move to our opening to include services. Next steps – we need your help To move to open St Thomas’s for services is no small challenge. T

Parish register update

We have been updating our parish register, as a result we might be contacting some parishioners through phone or email in the next few weeks to check if the family still worship in St Thomas of Canterbury. It may be that you registered sometime ago and your records need updating, if so, please do let us know if your address or contact details have changed, so we can still communicate with you. Moreover, we are grateful for all replies and updates that we have received. We appreciate your assistance in this matter.


The pots outside the church are now planted and need to be watered on a regular basis. Please consider offering a little of your time to make the front of the church beautiful. If you would like to join the rota please contact the parish office.

Live Mass

To view Live Mass go to

Recorded Mass

To watch a mass or other service which has previously been recorded go to watch-the-mass. Then click ‘Watch Mass Online to view Sunday, Easter or Christmas masses Or click ‘Special Services’ to see other masses, prayer services or events.


To sign up to receive the parish newsletter online go to https:// Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see (on the right hand side) a box headed SUBSCRIBE TO THE PARISH NEWSLETTER To sign up to receive general parish news please mail

Lucky friars

We in the Friary have been specially privileged during the lockdown. Each day we have concelebrated the mass all together. We have time to take it leisurely. Distractions are fewer. For my part it has taken me deeper into the mystery we celebrated last Sunday. That Jesus calls us priests to say together: This is my body. We each have our allotted part to play in bringing Jesus truly present onto the altar, so it is a true statement of fact. Then Jesus comes into me. He is there already in spirit, through sacraments. Lockdown has made it easier to keep a little of this sense of Jesus being with me through the hours of the day. We are privileged. I hope it will not be long before you can again

Gone to God

Peter Hayes died last weekend. With Joan he has been a great contributor to the life of our parish for 60 years. Our sympathy to Margaret, David and Michael. Veronica Wakely, well known and very active in earlier times has also died. May they enjoy life with God forever. "The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all...This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it." Pope Francis

Fr Austin writes Corpus Christi in Lockdown

A wise family will say to itself: We will all be home at regular times, we will try to eat together, and we will be around in the living room at least once a day—even if it isn’t exciting, even if real feelings aren’t shared, even if some are bored, and even if some are protesting that this isn’t worthwhile. We will do this because, if we don’t, we will soon fall apart as a family. To stay together we need regular, straight-forward, predictable, daily rituals. We need the manna of daily presence to each other. Otherwise we’ll die. In the Eucharist, God sustains us in just this way, as his family.

We Pray….

We need to be on fire again for our hope is no longer an easy hope. We live in a culture of despair within which Pentecost can no longer be taken for granted. Hence we must take upon ourselves the burden of the times and refuse to make the Holy Spirit a piece of private property

Head Teacher Vacancy

St Winefrides Catholic Primary School Manor Park, see school website for more information

Church opening

Things are nearly always more complicated than expected. We asked for open churches – though not all deemed it wise. From Monday we can open for individual visits. But Oh - the complications. There are stringent conditions to be obeyed. Chief among them is that at least 2 stewards must be in attendance at all times access is permitted. And after each open period the areas accessed by the public must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised. The Office are well ahead in there preparation of the church, provisions of signage, hand sanitisers and notices. We cannot start until we have volunteers, themselves not vulnerable, ready and willing to spend an hour or more ensuring all regulations are caref

On-line donations

Thank you to those parishioners who have used the Diocese of Brentwood on-line donation website. It is very thoughtful of you to think of your Church in these challenging times. For those who maybe interested the site can be found at

Certificate of Catholic Practice

If you worship at St Thomas’ and require a Certificate of Practice for a mid-year school application, please email the with your family photo, your address, child’s name and child’s date of birth.

Safeguarding of children and vulnerable

The need of vigilance never lessens; in these times of stress it has proved even more necessary than before. The national Independent Investigation of Dr Jay is still on course to publish its findings of the extent of sexual abuse in our national institutions, notably our churches, sometime in the late summer. Meantime our bishops have commissioned Ian Elliott, a man of long and wide experience of the management of the problem to review our church’s practice. His interim report is not flattering.

St Thomas’ Safeguarding Reps

You are aware that Clare Nairne and Emma Smith have been bearing this responsibility for some time. Now Clare’s increased responsibility as Head Teacher makes it impossible for her to give the necessary time to the considerable amount of work involved. I am most grateful to you Clare and thank you for what you and Emma have done so generously and diligently. I am glad to report that Nicky Crowther will take on the responsibility. Unfortunately it is not possible during lockdown to provide her with the necessary training but she is starting to get acquainted with the routines and work to be done.

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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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