Ride n’ Stride for Glouc

Fundraising for Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust and for Church Funds (50% each).

Event: Ride+Stride 2022, on 10 September 2022 Support Fr David who will be walking from St Gregory the Great to Gloucester Cathedral. Others will be taking part in a 30 mile cycle ride taking in ten historic churches and chapels between St Gregory the Great and Gloucester Cathedral. You are welcome to walk, ride and/or donate. 50% of proceeds go to the Gloucestershire Historic Churches fund (which has contributed to the Parish restoration in recent years) and the other 50% directly to the Parish Jerhico fund. If you want to walk contact Martin Davies 01242 244182 or e-mail, if you want to join the cyclists contact John Andrews by email.

Please Donate at the Justgiving page:

Laudato Si’ meeting 9th August Report

Cheltenham Laudato Si' Circle meets ‘face to face’ on Tuesday 9th August

Thanks to Jerry and Sue for hosting our first (for a long while) ‘in person’ meeting yesterday, and to Dr Susan Porter for sparing time to be with us from Worcestershire. We began our time together with the 2022 Season of Creation prayer – see attached – and ended with the Laudato Si’ Prayer for the Earth.

Susan Porter told us how worthwhile she had found the Laudato Si’ Animators training, and about the challenge she set for herself in order to obtain her final Animators certificate – to convene an ecumenical meeting locally, to which she managed to get about 50 to come. It has led onto a Laudato Si’ group meeting regularly in Redditch, and such activities as litter-picking and a public showing of the (freely-available) Global Healing film.

Susan made the point that, though these steps may seem small when there’s a mountain to climb, it was necessary to continue seeking ‘progress not perfection’. She was finding strength through reading Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s book ‘Spiritual Ecology’, and also by learning about the ideas and influences of Thomas Berry.

Susan attends the 9 a.m. daily prayer meetings of Christian Climate Action online (you can register here); and Roger said he in turn had been impressed by the energy and passion of so many young people he was encountering online and elsewhere in the non-violent direct action movement. N.B. The Action Network is organising a peaceful demonstration tomorrow, Thursday 11th when the two candidates for the Tory leadership come to Cheltenham for an election hustings. (They are largely ignoring the climate and ecological emergency, it appears!)

Berry and Sheila spoke also about the need to involve younger people in concern for creation, and Sheila is intending to pull together a session of readings and music under the heading ‘Dare to Hope’, ideally to be held in a church in the Autumn.

Before then, we have the actual Season of Creation, 1st September-4th October, and at the end of the meeting an idea emerged to celebrate with a bring and share evening, hopefully in the open air. We would contribute simple food strictly on a L.O.A.F. basis – see here – and each person too would be asked to contribute a short reading or poem on the theme of creation. This will be on Wednesday 7th September beginning at 6 p.m. Save the date!

In addition there is already ‘in the diary’ at 9.30 on Sunday 11th September a Creation Mass at St Gregory’s. Does anyone know of other Season of Creation plans on foot locally?

Two final points:

·        To remind you once more, a new Laudato Si’ Animators course starts on 24th of August, 2pm BST. Click the "Register" button on this link.

·        In case you’d like to join in, there’s a Laudato Si' Retreat for Animators in Europe
on 26th August, an online event consisting of two sessions – 7-8am and 7-9pm. Email magda.n@laudatosimovement.org to join. It will be a contemplative space where we can experience the power of joint prayer.

Martin

Acolyte – John Andrews

On Friday July 15th, ‘minor orders’ as they used to be called were imposed upon several men in formation to become permanent deacons in our diocese. Amongst them is John Andrews from our Parish who with three others received the ministry of Acolyte. Others are became Lectors – ministers of the Word. Later this year, two more are to be ordained as Permanent Deacons. The Deacon is a minister of the Word, of Sacraments, and of Charity, and during their formation they receive these permanent ‘minor’ orders along the way. This vocation is it seems growing in our Diocese – please pray for all those in formation, and also for those to whom the Spirit may be calling, that they might hear Gods’ loving call.

Lectors have the responsibility to take the word of God to all people – most visibly perhaps by reading at Mass in church, but also as catechists, teachers or wherever in life God asks them to speak. At their ordination they are given a Bible and told to ‘Read the Word of God, believe what you read, and practice what you believe’.

Acolytes take God to the sick and Housebound in communion – as do special ministers of communion. The principle difference is that Acolytes may be asked to take the blessed sacrament to anyone anywhere – special ministers of communion are (formally at least) only to minister within the Parish to which they are commissioned, and only for a set timespan. At their ordination acolytes are asked to ‘show a sincere love for Christ’s Mystical Body, God’s holy people, and especially the weak and the sick’.

You may find out about those who are in the formation program at the diocesan website or ask John Andrews about it (always at 09:30 Mass). 

In the Autumn, John will be organising some additional training for our special ministers of communion: if you are interested in this ministry please contact him or the Parish Office.

Support for Ukrainian Refugees

Conversation Classes held at St. Thomas More Church

Recent months have seen a large influx of Ukrainian Refugees enrolling for the classes, requiring additional tutors, additional classes and additional people to help with enrollment and administration. Our tutors have been amazing in their efforts to accommodate larger classes containing people having a wider mix of English levels.
Members of St. Gregory's Parish have played a significant role by taking on roles as tutors and interpreters, helping with administration and helping to make sure we have enough Covid test kits to allow testing of attendees before classes, as needed.
One of the Ukrainian refugee families has enjoyed attending our weekly Prayers for Ukraine on Wednesday evenings at St. Thomas More.

Conversation Classes held at St. Thomas More Church

July 2022

English Conversation Classes are held at St. Thomas More for refugees and asylum seekers on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

The make-up of classes is as follows:

Ukrainian Refugees:                              48 (approx)

Syrian, Afghan, Sudanese refugees:   12

Asylum seekers:                                      11

There are 10 Tutors, each qualified to teach English. These are provided by Cheltenham Volunteer Teachers (CVT). 3 of these are parishioners of St. Greg's.

Sue Thompson and Vera Thompson of CVT have been tireless in their efforts to make sure that anyone wishing to attend class has been able to.

There are 9 classes covering 6 levels of English from absolute beginners to those who can hold a conversation.

Two people attend the Friday classes to provide interpreting and translation assistance for the Ukrainian refugees. One of these is a St. Greg's parishioner, the other is the neighbour of a St. Greg's parishioner. 

Attendance at the classes vary for a range of reasons. For example, some of the recent Ukrainian arrivals have found employment and have stopped attending.

The attendance by the asylum seekers will be affected by their well-being, or appointments they have to attend. 

A small number of people attend more than one class; new Ukrainian refugees register most weeks.

We are currently checking which people will want to carry on with classes during the school summer holidays and which tutors will be available to teach during this period.

There is the need for more English Tutors, preferably trained or with experience in teaching English as a foreign language.

The two interpreters attend the Weekly Prayers for Ukraine held at St. Thomas More on Wednesdays to help, again with interpreting and with translation of prayers into Russian/Ukranian.

Donations of Covid Lateral Flow Tests are welcome so that class members can carry out a test before joining the class, when needed.

If anyone is interested in being a tutor or wouild like to help please contact Bill Flynn:

flynn.bill1@gmail.com

The Ordination of Joseph Meigh, June 9th 2022

A large number of parishioners joined with the congregation in a packed Clifton Cathedral this morning, to celebrate the ordination of Joseph to his priestly ministry. Fr Joseph will be celebrating his first masses at St Gregory the Great on Sunday 10th July, at the 09:30 and 11:15 masses. He will offer his blessings after each Mass, and there is a reception to which all are welcome in the Old Priory after the 11:15 Mass (at 12:30 approximately).

Joseph grew up in the Parish, and is well known to many here. We pray for his ministry and look forward to seeing him working in the diocese as Priest.

<h1>The ordination Mass of Joseph Meigh to the Priesthood, 11:00 Saturday 9th July</h1>

The mass was streamed live from the Cathedral. You can re-watch the Mass by following this link: Choose 'Recordings' and scroll down to find the Ordination Mass.

Laudato Si’ group meeting

Columba Timmins from Sheffield joins as a special guest

Cheltenham Laudato Si’ Circle continues its regular meetings online. Between 8 and 9pm on Wednesday 29th, Columba Timmins from Sheffield joins as a special guest: she is one of the environment leads appointed by the Bishop for her Hallam Diocese. To access the meeting via zoom, the link is: Meeting ID 860 0643 5477, Passcode 518210. All welcome. For further details, ring 01242 244182 or email cheltenhamlaudatosicircle@gmail.com.

Senior Youth Group Meets 5th June

The senior youth group, targeted for those who are considering being confirmed in 2023 or who were confirmed in May 2022 has its inaugural meeting on 5th June in the Old Priory upstairs room.

Taize Breakfast, The Holy Spirit, and the Trinity will all be there!

Celebration of Marriage Week:

The Celebration of Marriage Mass this year is at the Cathedral on Saturday the 2 July. Starting on 24 June and in the week leading up to this Mass we are encouraging people to celebrate the gift of marriage together, as a couple, a family and as part of the parish community. The Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation has produced a booklet for marriage week and have ‘Accompaniment in Life and Love’ as our theme for this week- long celebration. In this booklet we offer suggestions on ways to pray together, ways to celebrate as a community and further ideas for couples and families to help nurture their spiritual life and grow in love together. The booklet can be found here.

Celebration of Marriage Mass: Bishop Declan is celebrating Mass in the Cathedral on Saturday 2 July (12 noon) and is inviting all married couples to join him. He will send a personal invitation to those couples who are celebrating significant anniversaries during 2022 or those who will marry during this year. If you are celebrating a 10th, 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 65th, or 70th anniversary during 2022 or getting married this year please email (adult.education@cliftondiocese.com) so that a personal invitation can be sent out, leaving details of your names, address, and the number of years you are both celebrating.

World Youth Day 2023 Information Sessions:

If you are interested or intrigued to find out more about World Youth Day 2023, then join Jason and Simon for one of three online information sessions taking place on the 6, 9 and 15 June at 7pm. In each of the information sessions we will share what we know about World Youth Day 2023 and the pilgrimage we hope to offer. The sessions will allow us to share the exciting plans we have for formation and support before, during and after the pilgrimage. We will make sure there is time for you to ask questions and talk with a group of likeminded young adults. The conversations will take place on Microsoft Teams and start at 7:00pm. Please email wyd2023@cliftondiocese.com and let us know which session you would like to attend.