Parish Magazine

Fr Ray Whelan’s Pastoral Letter for October

Dear Friends

The meteorological calendar would have us think the first day of autumn is always the 1st September; ending on the 30th November. According to the the astronomical calendar this year autumn begins on the 23rd September 2019 and ends on the 22nd December 2019.

Either way, we are now in Autumn. The clocks fall back on Sunday, 27 October 2019 at 02:00: so we turn the clocks back on Saturday night  and there will be more light in the morning.

This brings us to a special season of the Communion of Saints for us at St Wilfrid’s. The Saints are alive to us not only through the mists of time, but in a real and vital sense they are with us in our own time. They are our heavenly friends and companions in our proclamation of the Gospel to the people of Bognor.

Our Christian lives and spirituality are helped and sustained principally by the Holy Spirt but greatly assisted by our fellowship with each other, our ‘koinonia’, that is our community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy – also chiefly through our prayer – for each other.  In some circles it might be called ‘fellowship’. We are ALL called to be saints, but that fellowship with each other is also very powerfully with the Saints in Heaven.

 We will be celebrating – communing – with All the Saints (every day of course) but especially on Sunday November 3rd which we are keeping as All Saints Day transferred from Friday November 1st

I shall be saying a Low Mass or said Eucharist for All Souls on Saturday 2nd November, its proper day, at 11.00am. There will not be a list of names to be read out this year but we will be offering the Eucharist for ALL the departed. Please come along and pray for your loved ones and light a candle in conjunction with your offering.

But in the meantime we have our very special celebration of St Wilfird’s Day, our Patronal Festival (Feast of Patron Saint) or at least Feast of Title.  As such, the celebration becomes a ‘Solemnity’ and we are permitted to transfer it to a Sunday. His Day actually falls on Saturday 12th October, so we will be keeping it on Sunday 13th October.

There is an excellent article later in this Magazine about St Wilfrid so I will not replicate his details here. Suffice it to say we should be seeking his fellowship and help by prayer for the future of our parish and the diocesan pland for an Apostolic Partnership. We have now been in interregnum, without a vicar, for 18 months.

The Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi falls on Friday 4th October. Please come along and rejoice with him in the Eucharist in the ‘Francis’ Chapel at 10.00am. So we follow that Feast with our Pets Service on Sunday 6th October at 3.00pm. The speaker has been planned but yet to be confirmed. It is a fantastic and chaotic Service when we give thanks to God for our best friends the animals and impart God’s Blessing on all of them. As you know, St Francis had a special love for God’s creation and all animals and living creatures.

There is an excellent article later in the Magazine on the visit to St Peter’ Brighton by Roger Holingshead and Peter Green which will give you an insight to what we might expect in the proposed Apostolic Partnership plans.

So at this momentous and critical time of our interregnum and the plans of the Diocese (and hopefully, God) for our future, we need each other’s prayers and more particularly, the prayers of St Wilfrid and All the Saints.  We must be so careful not to grieve or frustrate the Holy Spirit who is leading us onwards and upwards in our future and to our final destiny. (Ephesians 4:30)

With my prayer and Blessing,

Fr. Ray Whelan