Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Our Lady of Guadalupe

After the parish Mass today I headed off into central London to celebrate a second Mass for the Good Counsel Network. Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the pro-life movement and the Good Counsel Network had invited all mothers and their babies to come to the Mass. Most people contact the Good Counsel Network because they are looking to terminate a pregnancy. The Network offers pregnancy tests and counselling services. Through its tremendous work many mothers change their minds and decide to keep their babies.

These are some of the mothers the Good Counsel Network has helped in recent months. They are all with their beautiful babies. One mother is due to give birth next week. Please keep her in your prayers. Without the help and support of the Good Counsel Network these babies might never have been born and their mothers would have been left with a terrible emptiness. It was wonderful to see how happy they were today and how proud they are of their children.

The Good Counsel Network helps mums in all sort of different ways. Today there was a practical lesson in budgeting. Helpers were given £20 each and asked to see what they could get at various shops. Needless to say the corner shop was the most expensive. Marks & Spencers fared unexpectedly well. Asda was quite good but by universal consent the best value for money was Morrisons!


Sorry if it's a bit noisy in the Church this week. Once again we have the workmen in to polish the marble. After a big restoration a couple of years ago, when it was as if a film of tracing paper had been lifted from the marble, I now get a company in every six months to bring it back to a full shine.
The Church stays open for prayer but it might be a little distracting.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Fayre

On Saturday we had our Christmas Fayre. Once again the weather was kind to us and, as you can see from the photo, we had a great turnout.

"Now, how do I explain to my wife I won them all on the bottle stall?"

"Lalage betrays her experience on the racecourse by signing to other vendors to fix the price of her plants"

"I'm not a sunflower. I'm a tiger"

As always a magnificent craft stall!

Father Christmas gets asked whether Rudolf's carrots are organic.
Sr Chiara just can't resist that glorious pink icing!

Holy Ghost Advent Party

This is Kathleen Ryan whom I first met in the early 1990s when she came to the parish I was in at the time to borrow some crockery for the Holy Ghost Old Folks' Party! Little did I think that one day I'd be at the Holy Ghost and Kathleen herself would be enjoying the fun at an elegantly re-branded Senior Citizens' knees up!

Now who else do we see? Ah, yes. Here's Alice who never fails to do her bit on a Friday morning and ensures that everything we have in the Church glistens and gleams at all times. Thanks, Alice!

And then there's Princess Norah of Balham, here seen displayed in all her regal splendour. It's good to see her on her feet again!

This year we have some special guests. Fr Marcus' parents have just celebrated their wedding anniversary and have come over for the weekend. Tomorrow Fr Marcus is taking them to France on the Eurostar. They'll be back Tuesday night. Meanwhile here they are picking up tips to take back to Tenby!

The Advent Party wouldn't take place at all without the hard work of Helen, Maxine and all the helpers. Yes, that's right - the same ones who worked so hard to put on yesterday's Christmas Fayre.

Now what's going on here...

"So let's work this out. 170 people needing to be fed, and all we've got is 4 Christmas puddings. Oh well, not to worry. I'm sure it will work out in the end"

"Listen lads, I hear there's a magician coming. He can cut one in half, and make another one disappear, but one of us is going to have to go home with his wife"

"The Fr Marcus fan-club just couldn't be kept under control..."

"Ahem. Sorry ladies, did you carry out a risk assessment before doing that?"