Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

First of all, thank you to all of you who have offered to help the isolated and vulnerable. We have had many more offers of help than requests for help, but this may change in the coming weeks so we have kept your name ‘on the books’ and will contact you if anything changes.

It's good to see you have found the website.You will find lots of resources at this time of crisis to help you here.  It also directs you to the live streamed Masses and the latest information from Bishop Philip.


For some of you this crisis may involve financial hardship. It will also significantly affect our parishes. We thank those who are continuing to contribute by Standing Order or Direct debit. For those who use the envelope scheme or give cash each Sunday, perhaps you will consider setting aside an amount each week that you can afford. You could put the contribution in a marked envelope and keep it until such a time when it can be handed in.

There are also Special Collections that need our support too: The Clergy Assistance Fund (22/03/20);

and support for the Holy Places (Good Friday)

Keep safe & well. God bless.

Fr David

Please pray for

Anniversaries this week: William Mate (28th), Palatiano Russell (30th), Tiffany Read (31st), Margaret Monica Light (2nd), Charles Cull, Doris Smith (3rd)

Sick and Housebound: Jane Rayner, Sr Rosaleen, Gerry Heneghan, Anne Nyland, Deacon Anthony Cairns, Johnny Flood, Simone Cluett, Ramona Heath-Saunders, Concetta Losanno, Mai Wilson, Den Walker, Brian Choules, Len Harley, Marie Smith, Patricia Mate.

Prayers please for Jane Rayner, Tom & Eileen’s daughter – who is receiving on-going treatment in Salisbury hospital after hip joint surgery. And also for Patricia Mate who is very poorly.

Gerry Heneghan is now home after his operation and is making a good recovery. He thanks everyone for their prayers and get well wishes.

From Keith Stuttaford: Thank you to in the parish for your prayers and wishes following my heart attack. I was fixed with a stent within three hours at Southampton General Hospital. The treatment was excellent and I am now almost fully recovered, although still on light duties for a couple more weeks.


If we want to grow in our faith understanding we need to start “joining up the dots”. It took me a long time to wake up to this. Its like having all the ingredients of a cake and cooking them separately and NOT enjoying the result! Once you mix them together and cook them in the oven of “pondering & treasuring” as Mary did, the results are rewarding. For example, the 2nd Vatican Council (1960s) reminded us that Christ is present in creation, in all people, in the Word, in the Sacraments, in the ministers of the word & sacraments, in the gathered People of God, in all the baptised etc. Start connecting all these dots and suddenly one is enveloped and filled with the loving, creative presence of Christ in every possible way.

I want to concentrate here on some other “dots”, which taken together will help us appreciate the wonderful work God has done in Christ. It will also help to allay our fears and root us more confidently in trusting God’s great love and mercy. So what are the “dots”? No.1: “… for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest – declares the Lord – since I shall forgive their guilt and never call their sin to mind.” (Jeremiah 31:31 re: the New Covenant, nearly 600 yrs before Jesus). No.2: “worshippers, when they had once been purified, would have no consciousness of sins” (Heb 10:2). No.3: “(we are ) ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter (of the Law) but of the Spirit, for the letter (of the Law) kills but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor 3:6). No.4: “ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.” (1 Cor 15:56). No.5: “…so that by his (Christ’s) death he could set aside him who held the power of death, namely the devil, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” (Heb 2:15). No.6: “I watched satan fall like lightening from heaven.” (Luke 10:18). And finally, No.7: “..the accuser (lit. satan) of our brothers and sisters, who accused them day and night before our God, has been thrown down.” (Rev 12:10)

So cooking all these ingredients in the oven of pondering and treasuring, what do we get? In the New Covenant, i.e. the new relationship, God forgives our sin and indeed has no consciousness of it. (cfr. John 5:22 –“Nor does the Father judge anyone;.”.). Our consciousness of sin is about a sense, experience or conviction that having broken the “Law” we are thereby judged and condemned.

It is an experience of separation or alienation from God, a sense that the relationship has been broken from our side and we are helpless. In our consciousness we have an “accuser” a satan or devil, who is constantly accusing us and burdening us with a sense of guilt. From this experience arises the fear of death, in the spiritual sense. (This is different from the instinctive fear of danger & death which is natural to us as sentient beings. Jesus was so afraid in the garden, he sweated blood, and sadly some other people have suffered similarly.) Now from God’s side there comes not condemnation but justification. The judgement is a judgement of forgiveness and mercy. God looks on us not as rejected children but as loved children. We are wounded yes, and the divine Physician only wants to heal and restore.

So what of our sins, our selfish, angry, destructive behaviour? Of course, God not want that! God wants only our good and the good of everyone else. So, does God punish us for our sins? No, God weeps over the wounds we inflict on ourselves and others. We are punished BY our sins not for our sins. Acknowledging responsibility (confession) is not self-condemnation but the necessary precursor to healing and restoration. So behaving justly, wisely, lovingly is an imperative. We must do what is right for the right reasons. Our future, our planet depends on it. But let us explore further. The accuser (satan) has been thrown out of heaven. But where is heaven? Like the kingdom of God it is both within us (Luke 17:21) and beyond us. To experience heaven is to experience “it” within the consciousness of our own being. Yet because heaven is relationship with Divine Love it is also from beyond our being. In the consciousness of our being is heaven, purgatory and hell. The angel with a flaming sword that was placed by God at the gates of Paradise after Adam and Eve were banished from it (Genesis 3:24) has been cast out. The gates of heaven are now laid open. Learning from trusting children, as Jesus bade us, we are changed by love and can run joyfully into the arms of our lovinng Father. (Matt. 18:3).

“Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed own, shaken together, and overflowing will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.” (Luke 6: 36-38). (DMA)



"Other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship must also close immediately."

PM Boris Johnson 23rd March 2020






Please let us know if you are self-isolating or God forbid have contracted COVID 19.

Contact Fr David by telephone

01590 676696

OR email





Pope Francis has said that these crisis conditions now permit Bishops to authorise General Absolution when it is needed. And he has also said, in effect, that if it is not possible or advisable to access a priest we should pray to God directly expressing our sorrow for sin and our desire for forgiveness and then trust confidently in God’s mercy.

Fr David will to be available on the phone for counselling and reassurance. He will also be on call to administer the Anointing of the Sick in urgent cases.