Bishop Alan to visit the parish

Bishop Alan is to visit on Sunday 17th September, though it is in fact Bishop Alan’s second visit to the parish this year, since he was kinds enough to join us for the centenary Mass on 25th January.

One of the duties of a diocesan Bishop is to visit the parishes of his diocese. A visitation comes round every three years, alternating between a Sunday or a mid-week visit. Our next visitation is on Sunday 17th September, though it is in fact Bishop Alan’s second visit to the parish this year, since he was kinds enough to join us for the centenary Mass on 25th January.

Bishop Alan is named in the eucharistic prayer at every celebration of Mass, emphasising his role as pastor of the local church, united in celebrating the Mass albeit spread out in different locations. The most important part of a formal parish visitation is a celebration of Mass at which the Bishop is present, preaching and presiding at Mass.

Visitations usually include a celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation. When he visits us in September, Bishop Alan will confirm more than 45 young people (plus at least one adult) at the 11am Mass (for that reason, we encourage anyone who is not a candidate, sponsor or family member to come to the 9am Mass instead). The journey to confirmation has included regular sessions exploring the faith with the help of a hard-working team of catechists, as well as a community day helping tidy and rejuvenate the garden’s at Draper’s Maylands School in Harold Hill, and participating in the Flame 2023 youth congress at Wembly Area last March. As a final preparation they will spend a retreat day at Walsingham House in Abbotswick lead by members of the Sion Community, followed by an evening Reconciliation Service. Please keep them in your prayers.

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