News for Sunday 4th December: Second Sunday of Advent

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December 2022: Second Sunday of Advent

Dear friends,

I begin this week's message with the sad news of the death on Monday morning of our dear friend Fr John Metivier, who served as an honorary assistant priest here at St Mary's for over twenty years. Canon John died peacefully, and we now hold him, Elizabeth and their family in our prayers. He will be received into St Mary's at 4pm on Thursday, 29 December: all welcome. His funeral will take place at 12 noon on Friday, 30 December at St Michael's Church, Tokyngton.

It is surely fitting for as faithful a priest as Fr John to have concluded his earthly journey at the start of the great season of Advent, a time of expectation and hope, a time in which with particular focus we look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. We must be always ready, as he was, to meet the Lord: our hearts must be always prepared, as his heart was prepared, to welcome the coming of the Saviour. As we mourn Fr John, and pray for him, so let us draw from his example a gentle trust in the living God, and let us commit our lives to His praise and service.

We look forward to welcoming you to Mass this weekend, on the Second Sunday in Advent: the Saturday Vigil Mass returns at 6pm (after a week's pause last weekend, to allow us to join our friends in Kingsbury for their Patronal Festival) – and the Parish Mass will be celebrated, as usual, on Sunday at 10.30am.

Please make a note of our Christmas Services, including the Christingle for Families and Children, on Christmas Eve at 4pm (poster attached). Advance notice likewise that we will need all hands on deck to clean and decorate the church for Christmas on Friday 23 December, after the 9.30am Mass. Come for an hour or for longer: hot drinks will be provided throughout the morning! Please likewise collect a set of Christmas invitations, to deliver to households locally.

If you wish to attend the parish Christmas Dinner on Saturday 17, please return your booking form by this Sunday coming, at the latest. Please likewise sign up in church for the bring-and-share lunch on New Year's Day, after the Parish Mass.

A new way to support our mission and ministry is by playing the local lottery, Harrow Wins, using this link (https://www.harrowwins.co.uk/support/st-mary-the-virgin-kenton). For just £1/week, you can be in with the chance to win the £25,000 jackpot – with 60% of your ticket price going to local good causes in Harrow (50% to St Mary's). Every ticket has a 1 in 50 chance of winning a prize – better odds than the National Lottery and the Health Lottery. Simply choose your six lucky numbers, and start playing – and start raising money for St Mary's at the same time!

Hope and expectation – the central themes of Advent: we have much about which to be excited as we look forward in faith.

With my love and prayers,

Fr Richard