Mass Stream for 17th Sunday of the year July 25th at 09:30
Please use the form below to make ad-hoc contributions to the work of the Parish.
This system does not yet allow you to set up an account for the Gift Aid system, but is the same payment system as the terminals in church ("tap and go" terminals). You will soon be able to register here for gift aid giving, and then your contributions made on the terminals will also be gift aided.
Most Recent Page Changes
- Newsletter for the Catholic Community in Cheltenham Sun 25 Jul
- Home Page Fri 23 Jul
- Our Parish Mon 19 Jul
- Angal Parish Project Thu 15 Jul
- Supporting Others Sat 03 Jul
Changes in how Church operates.
Guidance for Parishioners
In line with the recent announcements regarding the easing of restrictions, St Gregory’s will adopt the following from Sunday 18th July:
The sanitizing stations will remain in situ for your use at the South Porch entrance and the West Doors (rear exit).
Although not obligatory, it is recommended that the wearing of face masks continue and parishioners should endeavor to position themselves 1 meter apart, wherever possible, from those with whom they are not in a bubble or household.
Parishioners wishing to receive Holy Communion can now revert to forming 2 lines (starting from the front pews). Those who wish to receive “on the tongue” are to present themselves in front of the Lady Chapel. The sacrament of confession will no longer be “open” but will revert to the confessionals. Penitents are requested to keep the door open on the confessional stall they occupy.
SS Joachim & Anne (26th July): Exodus 32.15-24,30-34; Psalm 105; Matthew 13.31-35
When Moses, at the age of 80, was summoned by God to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt, God promised him that the monumental task would be accomplished because God himself would travel with them. “And this is the sign by which you shall know that it is I who have sent you: After you have led the people out of Egypt, you are to offer worship to God on this mountain.” [Exodus 3.12] This mountain, known as Sinai because it is located on the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, is traditionally called Jabal Musa—Moses’s mountain.
The arrival at Sinai is narrated in chapter 19, and the presence of God is attested by a thick cloud of smoke enwrapping the mountain. [19.18] Moses alone goes through the cloud to encounter God, and the laws given by God for the daily and cultic life of this people are detailed in chapters 20-30. Chapter 31 tells of the appointment of Bezalel to construct the sanctuary in which the worship of God is to be offered.
But Chapter 32 begins on an ominous note: an impatient people mob Aaron, Moses’ brother, and insist that he ‘make a god to go at the head of us.’ Moses in anger smashes the stone tablets on which God had written the Torah, the teaching by which God’s people were to live. Moses then offers himself as Mediator between God and his people—as the Psalmist put it, he ‘stood in the breach’—stood like Prometheus, his enormous feet striding the gap between God and humankind, drawing each to the other, manifesting the meaning of true worship.
Tuesday of Week 17 Per Annum (27th July): Exodus 33.7-11; 34.5-9,28; Ps 102; Matt 13.36-43
Friendship can differ in various cultural contexts, but there are common characteristics of it that cut across these distinctions, including affection, kindness, love, virtue, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, loyalty, generosity, forgiveness, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other’s company, trust, and the ability to be oneself and make mistakes without fear of judgement from the friend.
So when the Maker of heaven and earth is described as speaking to Moses ‘as a man speaks with his friend’ something very profound is being proposed. All those characteristics of friendship that we have known with one another are meant to be characteristics of our relationship with God. Over and over the patriarch Abraham is described as the ‘friend of God.’ [II Chronicles 20.7; Isaiah 41.8; James 2.23] Now God extends the promises he made to Abraham to a later generation. He takes Moses as his friend. [cf Numbers 12.7-8] The name of this relationship is faith, not primarily our inevitably faulty trust in God, but God’s immutable intention to call us to himself, to lead us out of slavery into life worthy of the name. That same God promises to speak to us as his friends [cf John 15.15], to hear us when we call to him [cf Luke 11.5-8], to draw us from servile fear into joyful worship.
Wednesday of Week 17 Per Annum (28th July): Exodus 34.29-35; Psalm 98; Matthew 13.44-46
Moses’s face shone when he returned from the presence of the Lord. The holiness of God himself came to dwell in Moses as both affirmation and also as operative strength. [cf Numbers 6.24-26] St Paul reminds us [II Corinthians 3.18] that our own faces ‘reflect like mirrors the brightness of the Lord’ and ‘grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit.’
The 8th-century father St John of Damascus pointed out that the Greek word for God, Theos, is derived from a verb that can mean either to run or to burn. God, that is, is active energy, not impassive being. God is better described as always running to meet us rather than as impatiently waiting for us to turn to him. He works to transform us, to burnish his own image that he implanted within us [Genesis 1.27], to make us his sons and daughters. [John 1.12]
St Martha (29th July): Exodus 40.16-21,34-38; Psalm 83; Luke 10.38-42
Chapters 25-31 of Exodus define the regulations for the worship of God, and Chapters 36-40 describe, in remarkably parallel fashion, the way these regulations were minutely carried out. ‘Moses did exactly as the Lord had directed him’ the text declares.
True worship, though, is more than mere legalism but involves the transformation of our inner selves, our hearts. [cf John 4.23-24] God’s instructions aren’t given to a settled people but to a people on the move. They have been led out of Egypt but have not yet been brought to the land promised to them. [Exodus 3.17] Forty years—more than a generation—the freed slaves would have to wander in the wilderness before their descendants would be able to take possession of that promised land. [Psalm 94.10-11; cf Deuteronomy 8.7-10]
Yet it isn’t the case that we can only worship God when we have reached perfection. The wilderness years were years of formation for Israel, transformation from a motley assortment of enslaved people into a mature nation. The journey is as important as the destination, and even whilst we remain on the road we open our ears to hear the Word of God and we offer in response our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to the God whose glory fills the places where with earnest and humble hearts we seek him.
Friday of Week 17 Per Annum (30th July): Leviticus 23.1,4-11,15-16,27,34-37; Ps 80; Mt 13.54-58
Most of Leviticus consists of speeches of God to Moses. Having directed Moses to build the Tabernacle, Leviticus teaches the people and their priests how to make offerings in the Tabernacle and how to conduct themselves in and around that holy Tent.
Central to these instructions is the naming of the three most solemn festivals of each year: Passover, Pentecost (to use its familiar Greek name; in Hebrew Shavuot, the feast of the 50th day after Passover), and Tabernacles (Sukkoth). Generations later, when Israel had become a settled nation, these three became known as the Pilgrimage Festivals, when all male Israelites were commanded to go to the Jerusalem Temple to sacrifice. [cf Deuteronomy 16.16]
In the Hellenistic and Roman periods, these pilgrimage festivals were a profoundly important social and religious institution, bringing thousands of Jews from all around the Mediterranean to Jerusalem and supporting a vast commercial enterprise including the raising of animals for sacrifices, a complex banking community, and hundreds of inns to lodge the travellers. Since the destruction of the Temple (in AD 70) prayers have replaced the animal sacrifices. These festivals, though, still unite us to God’s ancient people and invite us to see and recognise him at work in the course of our own pilgrimages.
Attending Church: Guidance for Parishioners
- Entrance to the church will be through the St James Square doors.
- When arriving and leaving the church please use the hand sanitising gel provided.
- You will have the opportunity to light a votive candle which is located in front of the font. Please use existing candle as the source of ignition.
- There is no holy water within the stoups.
- Please only use pews with a green tick symbol on them. Once the church is at capacity, you may sit in a non-green pew, but not directly behind other people - aim for a zig-zag approach. Stewards will advise you as appropriate: please follow their advice.
- At very busy times, there will be an overflow facility in the Old Priory. At A mass which is streamed, this will be relayed to the projector and speakers there.
- The direction of entrance into the church will be up the nave, as you depart, you are requested to leave via the side aisles, then in towards the crossing and out of the Clarence Street exit (Sundays) or the side doors (weekday Mass). Stewards will assist as required.
- Face coverings are mandatory other than for children under 11 years of age and for some with particular medical conditions. Signage advising seating limitations will be posted on pew ends.
- Those needing to make use of '2 meter social distancing' (including all those who have exemptions from wearing face masks) should use the individual chairs near to the lady chapel.
- The physical veneration of statues and crucifixes is not permitted.
- The seating areas will be cleaned following Mass when there is another service following on. Your help with this would be much appreciated - please ask the stewards on duty if they need some help.