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Parish Newsletter 3rd Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Cards with times of Christmas services now available – take one home.


The Funeral Mass for Kathleen Connolly will be held at 11 am on Thursday 15th December here at St Mary’s. May she rest in peace. The late Mrs Connolly was not a parishioner here, but had requested that her funeral service take place in St Mary’s.

There will be no 10 am Mass that day.

Confession in preparation for Christmas

In place of a penitential service this year we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and a visiting priest on Thursday 15th December. The visiting priest is a Dominican, Fr Leo Edgar OP. He and Fr Terry will be available 8-9 pm on that evening (and later if necessary). There will be a prayerful atmosphere, a warm church, occasional background meditative music, and an opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation.

Ministers of Communion and Readers

We do not put readers and ministers on a rota for Christmas. Instead we rely on you to sign up. The sign up sheets are in the sacristy. Please go and sign up for a time that is convenient to you.

Nativity Set Exhibition 18th December

Many families have a beloved nativity set. Sometimes these show us how to understand the Holy Family in the setting of another country or culture – and remind us that the infant Son of God comes to all people and all places. Do you have a nativity set? Would you like to display it for others to enjoy? If so we welcome you

- to set up the nativity set on Saturday 17th December, between 4 and 5 pm. There will be a social atmosphere, with a film shown for small children, and refreshments.

- the sets will then be on display on Sunday 18th December, from 9.30 am-1.30 pm, with visitors encouraged after each Mass. Bring your nativity set and share the joy.

Christmas Raffle Draw

Join us in the parish hall for teas/coffees after the 10am mass today and find out if you are the lucky recipient of one of our many prizes. Raffle sellers – please return unsold tickets to sacristy.

Thank you

To everyone involved in organising our Christmas Fair from the months of baking and knitting to preparing the carol singers; decking the halls & grounds; running the many stalls & refreshments; selling raffle tickets; setting up; dressing up (Ho Ho Ho) and clearing away, please come along to our special thank you teas/coffees in the parish hall after the 10am mass on 8 January 2017.

Children’s Nativity Play for Christmas Eve

A fantastic group of children started rehearsing for this year’s nativity play last Sunday, many thanks to all who came. Next rehearsals: Saturday, 17th December, 3 – 4 pm, Parish Centre; Friday, 23rd December, 4 – 5 pm, dress rehearsal in church; Saturday, 24th December, 5:40 pm, meet in church. Please return your permission slips re filming to us by 17th December.

Altar Server & Incensed Secret Santa

Please speak to Sandra or email her, if you’d like to take part in this year’s Altar Server Secret Santa Presents to cost £2 max. from North London Hospice Charity Shop or any other charity shop, gift exchange with film and festive nibbles on 17thDecember, 4 – 5 pm in parish centre. All servers and youth group welcome.

Advent Activity for Children: Guess the Name of the Sheep & Win It!

Help! Father Terry has lost one of his sheep. Visit North London Hospice Charity Shop in East Finchley (123 High Road) and see if you can spot it on one of the bookshelves. Pick up a flyer with instructions from the shop. Deadline for entries: Saturday, 17th December 2017. Find out if you have won on 18th December, in the parish centre from 11 am. Sandra,

Advent Activity for Children: Nativity Scene Competition

Create an arts & crafts nativity scene out of a material of your choice (egg cartons, cardboard, Lego,...). Deadline: Saturday, 17th December. Win book tokens for Muswell Hill Children’s Bookshop! Sandra,

Grassy Area between the church and the parish centre

Please note that you must not let your children play on the steps or the strip of lawn immediately behind the church. If they play on the lawn above the steps please make sure that there is at least one parent present at all times.

Confirmation Enrolment

We are now enrolling young people aged 13+ (Year 8+) for preparation for Confirmation in 2017. Forms are available from Fr Terry or Sandra ( Preparation will begin next year.

Room for One

Can you help? Kristy Bradnum, the chair of our parish council, is looking to rent a one bedroom flat (without stairs ie ground-floor or with a lift) in East Finchley or nearby. If you are in a position to offer accommodation or know someone who is, please speak to Kristy ( or leave a phone message for her via the parish office: 0208 883 4234.

Parish Diaries available – donation suggested. Also 2017 Westminster Year Book for £4.50 – last year we sold out, so hurry if you want a copy.

CRISIS at Christmas Carol-Singing – 23rd December 2016

Helen Tierney writes: Every year I organise the carol-singing at the opening of the CRISIS at CHRISTMAS day centre based at Westminster Kingsway College ( near Kings Cross).It has been great to have singers from St Mary's joining the group in the last few years. This year the session is from 6-7pm on Friday December 23rd. It is completely informal so no rehearsals and open to all adult singers, (You have to be over 18) however experienced or inexperienced. We sing traditional carols and Christmas songs as the clients arrive to use the centre's services. If you are interested in taking part then get in touch- email is or 02088832851.

Diocesan Accounts

The 2015 Annual Report and Accounts for the Diocese of Westminster are now published, and a copy can be inspected at the back of the church. They are also available on the diocesan website at

Applications for Reception and Nursery - Our Lady of Lourdes School

Applications are invited for the Reception Class for September 2017 - for children born between 1st Sept. 2012 and 31st August 2013. You must also complete a CAF (Common Application Form) from Barnet - the on-line system is already open. Deadline is 15th January 2017. Applications are invited for the Nursery for the Academic Year starting September 2017 – this is for children born between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015. Deadline is 27th January.

CAFOD Office Volunteer required to help co-ordinate workshops/sessions in Secondary Schools

CAFOD are looking for a computer-literate volunteer with good admin skills - ideally with some experience of working in a secondary school or college. You would be liaising with a team of experienced school volunteers and full training will be given. Our CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) Westminster Volunteer Centre is based at the Catholic Church of Christ the King, Oakwood N14 4HE. To find out more telephone Joanna Jarvis at the Volunteer Centre on 0208 449 6970 or email

St Martha’s School – Invigilators required for Friday 6th January 2017

St Martha’s School will be holding their entrance tests for prospective pupils on Friday 6th January 2017 and are looking for invigilators to assist from 8.30am-12.30pm. Previous experience preferable but not essential. Please contact Mrs Naismith on 0208 449 6889 for more information or email:

CAFOD World Gift Catalogue

Stuck for a Christmas present? CAFOD World Gifts offers a great alternative for friends or family who don’t need anything, but might appreciate a gift which helps poor communities to access services like basic healthcare, clean water, and education. CAFOD provides you with a certificate detailing a gift that has been given to a community overseas on your behalf. Please take home a CAFOD World Gift Catalogue after Mass.

Advent at the Niland Centre – Rosary Priory, 93 Elstree Road, Bushey Heath WD23 4EE

Celebrating Christmas in Song with Sister Avril OP and friends on Friday 16th December at 7 pm, followed by seasonal refreshments. Suggested donation is £10.

Tel: 0208 950 4000.

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