As the lock down restrictions continue, and we are not able to gather together in groups, St Thomas More parishioners, along with our sister church of St Hugh of Lincoln in Woodstock, continue to worship together every Sunday morning via ‘Zoom,’ as we have since the end of March. From just a few joining in the first couple of weeks we have become much more ‘tech savvy’ and regularly have well over 80 devices tuning in for the 11 am Sunday morning Mass, with many parishioners contributing through readings, prayers, and music. We have also been delighted to be joined by ex-parishioners who have moved away, and some of Fr Prem’s family in Sri Lanka who have been able to join in for Mass.
There have of course been some teething problems such as working out how best to provide the music, but now members of our fantastic music group take turns in playing or singing verses of hymns as solos, sharing their wonderful talents with us all. For those who are not able to, or prefer not to join the Zoom services they can be watched later, accessed from our parish web site www.catholicparish.kidlingtonandwoodstock.uk. There are many opportunities to join in prayer with others, with a daily Mass and three different Rosary groups through the week.
When in church on a Sunday our children used to go out to their own ‘Children’s Liturgy’ to hear and talk about a Bible story and do an activity connected with it. Now these activities are put on the Parish website for parents to download along with a weekly family quiz to encourage them to learn more about their faith. At the end of Mass there is a chance for children to show their activities, get the answers to the quiz and for adults to share any creative work they have done when reflecting on the Scriptures. It is sad that our children who should have made their First Communion and Confirmation this June have not been able to, but we look forward with hope to them being able to do so next year.
Usually our Sunday Mass time clashes with the Pentecost service which Churches Together in Kidlington hold each year, but this year due to it being a virtual service St Thomas More parishioners were able to record contributions and watch the beautiful service in their own time, so uniting with our fellow Christians in the village.
Margaret King, June 2020