News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th November 2021: The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Tomorrow, 6th November, is the Feast of Saint Leonard. He was born in the Val de Loire region of France towards the end of the 6th century and he is the patron saint of prisoners, political prisoners, prisoners of war and captives. When the Parish of Kenton was founded in 1927, it was dedicated to Saint Leonard and a temporary church erected where the Church Hall stands today. We therefore still observe Saint Leonard as the secondary patron of our Parish and the side chapel in our Church is known as Saint Leonard's, with a beautiful stained-glass window above the altar, and a statue of Saint Leonard, who is depicted as an Abbot holding chains and manacles. See if you can spot those on your next visit to the church, together with a photograph of the original Mission Church of Saint Leonard. It is therefore most apposite that our concerns and prayers for those held captive continue, especially through the work of ACAT Harrow and their Prayer Cases of the Month. This month's prayer case is Father Marcelo Perez Perez, a Parish Priest in Mexico, who has been subjected to death threats for defending the rights of the indigenous people and migrants.
With the COP26 summit still in progress in Glasgow, it is easy to think that this is something far removed from our day-to-day lives. But this 26th Conference of the Parties (hence COP26) of the United Nations to tackle Climate Change affects each and every one of us. We are steward's of God's Kingdom here on earth, and if we do not change the way we use the precious resources we have been given, or alter certain practices in order to save our environment, then we are not being effective stewards. Whether that is changing the fuels we use to heat our homes, or eating less meat … or defending the rights of indigenous people to stay on their land which is being taken over for intensive farming: we each have a part to play in the solution (just as we are all, regrettably culpable in the state that we are in today!) Perhaps one small step would be for us, as a Parish, to find someone who is willing to take on the role as our Environmental Champion? You will be pleased to know that you won't be expected to camp out in one of the trees in the Memorial Garden, or stop the traffic cutting through Saint Leonard's Avenue, but just encourage all of us to play our part in being good stewards of God's Kingdom here on earth, but particularly here in Kenton.
Our readings this Sunday speak of generosity and the lead article on this week's Sunday Plus contains a staggering statistic, that “According to Oxfam half the world lives on less than £4 a day.” The article reminds us that “Generosity is an essential part of the Christian message.” Let us pray that we can be generous in our giving, and generous in our response to COP26 and willing to change our ways to save our world.
The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 6th November at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 7th November at 10.30am.