All posts by 3 churches

His prayer – and ours

Prayer is one of the big themes of Lent, and Jesus taught us his own prayer – to be ours. Here are some thoughts about it, bit by bit…

Our Father who art in heaven – We are talking to God who is “dear father” or “ dad” who loves us, not some neutral distant deity

Hallowed be thy name – Jesus starts with praise and worship, not by asking for something, as we so often do. This puts us in right relationship with God,

Thy kingdom come – This is one of Jesus favourite words. But what does it mean? Heaven? The afterlife? Some paradise?

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven The Kingdom is wherever God’s will is being carried out – perfectly through Jesus and in heaven. We are to bring about the Kingdom on earth by following God’s will day by day.

Give us this day our daily bread – As we pray for the coming of the Kingdom, we ask the Lord to supply our daily needs, symbolized by bread. This would also include of course the Eucharist.

And forgive us our trespasses – Now we ask for the healing of our relationship with God through forgiveness, one of Our Lord’s most important themes

As we forgive those who trespass against us – We ask the Lord to help us to forgive others as we are forgiven. Perhaps his forgiveness can only get through to us in proportion to how we forgive others…

And lead us not into temptation – Generally agreed to not be a perfect translation of the original, because God can’t lead us into temptation! “Do not put us to the test” might be better. We are weak human beings, easily tempted and quick to fall, we need help.

But deliver us from evil – Modern scholars tell us that this is personification of evil, perhaps better translated as “The evil one”.

So we can see a beautiful movement in this great prayer. We start from God, then pray His Kingdom down to earth. As it comes, we ask God to support us day by day. We then remember our relationships, with God and with our neighbour, as the Kingdom prompts us. Finally we move out into the future, asking for the Lord’s ongoing protection and strength.

There we have it – the prayer of the Lord, the Lord’s Prayer.

Fr Matthew

Lent – with all your heart

In the Gospel on Ash Wednesday we heard Our Lord speak about almsgiving, prayer and fasting. These are the three traditional practices of Lent. But there are many ways of carrying them out, and we looked at many of them in the newsletter last weekend. Some of those may have surprised you, but here are some more traditional aspects of our annual journey through Lent.

Stations of the Cross

We have two opportunities each week to follow the last journey of Our Saviour, the way to Calvary. Each Friday at 9am we follow the traditional format at St Paul’s. Each Saturday at 9.30am we follow the Stations step by step, a few stops each week, pausing to reflect with thoughts from parishioners, quiet, and music.


In addition to our normal Confession times of Friday 10am at St Paul’s, Saturday 10 at St Brigid’s and Saturday 5.40pm at Christ the King, there will be a Reconciliation Service at St Paul’s on Wednesday 15th March at 7pm.

Fasting and Almsgiving

CAFOD Family Fast Day is Friday 3rd March this year. You may like to support our monthly free Food Market, with a donation, or contribute towards the earthquake fund for Turkey and Syria.

Holy Week

Make sure in good time that you are able to attend the very special services of Holy Week. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be on Maundy Thursday evening 6th April 7.30 at St Brigid’s. The Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion is on Good Friday afternoon 7th April 3pm at Christ the King and St Paul’s. The Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter will be at Christ the King Saturday 8th April.

There are many other ways to observe this season. Do not let it slip by – listen to the plea of the Lord in the first reading on Ash Wednesday “Come back to me with all your heart.”

Fr Matthew

3 churches newsletter

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Lent is coming…

Fast from judging others,
feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences;
feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness;
feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness;
feast on the healing power of God
Fast from words that pollute;
feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent;
feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger;
feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism;
feast on optimism.
Fast from discouragement;
feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress;
feast on verities that uplift.
Fast from laziness;
feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion;
feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken;
feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow;
feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip;
Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm;
Feast on prayer that sustains life.

Earthquake prayer

This prayer for those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria comes from CAFOD.

God of mercy,
We pray for the people of Türkiye and Syria
following the recent earthquakes.
We mourn the death and destruction

And pray for those who have died and those who grieve.

Lord, bring them comfort, strength and renewed hope.

We hold in our hearts those who are injured,
and those who have lost loved ones, livelihoods, and homes.

Lord, bring them comfort, strength and renewed hope.

Sustain and guide all responding to this disaster.
Grant those affected courage and resilience,

As they rebuild their lives and communities.

Lord, bring them comfort, strength and renewed hope.

Inspire us to unite in solidarity,
acting swiftly and generously,

So that help may reach all who need it.

Lord, bring them comfort, strength and renewed hope.