In these strange times when we cannot gather together physically in our churches, our community at St Thomas More has been pulling together to support each other in many ways and developing stronger links and bonds.
Father Prem has been continuing to celebrate Mass each day and while the church building is of necessity empty, we have been able to join in via the Zoom platform, with parishioner responding to the prayers, doing readings and singing hymns in their own houses, but heard and seen by all participants. Using this technology has been a learning experience for most of us, and in the first week of the lock down only a few joined in, but for Palm Sunday Mass there were over 50 devices joining in live and maybe more for the Easter services. We also have a chance before and after the services for parishioners to see each other and chat – which is great for all of us but especially those who are isolated and/ or living on their own.
For those who cannot join in with the services live at the time, for whatever reason, they are available on the parish website so parishioners can watch at a time that suits them, but still feel part of the community.
We will be able to celebrate the Easter services, with the Mass on Thursday, remembering Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, the Good Friday service, remembering Jesus’ death and Easter Sunday Masses celebrating the Resurrection. Times, readings and links are available on the parish website www.catholicparish.kidlingtonandwoodstock.uk
The web site also includes links to other Catholic churches which live stream Masses and links to a Saturday sing along and a Monday meditation class.
Many of us are keeping in touch with family, friends and other parishioners through a variety of means, checking that they are well and have what they need or just having a chat, and here at St Thomas More’s we have made a list of parishioners who are willing and able to help out in practical ways e.g. by picking up prescriptions or shopping for those in isolation, as well as a list of those who might need help, trying to ensure all are looked after.