Bishops' Guidance on the Coronavirus

There is guidance on dealing with the Coronavirus on the website of the Diocese of Northamoton:

Bishop Peter has moved parishes of the Diocese to Stage 2 of the advice. 


Pastoral Day of Reflection on Saturday 8th February 2020

St Francis Pastoral Area Reflection Day, Saturday 8th February 2020

– summary for St. Peter’s, Biggleswade, written by Neil Spencer

There was a great turnout from all the parishes in the St. Francis Pastoral Area (Biggleswade, Shefford, Flitwick, Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable/Houghton Regis), especially from St. Peter’s (15-20 people). Many thanks to all who were able to attend, to Bob Emmett for arranging for and driving the Ivel Sprinter, and to everyone for their prayers and other input.

Introduction to the day

Our hosts at Sacred Heart, Flitwick provided welcoming teas and coffees and Canon Bennie (President of the Pastoral Area Council) opened the day in prayer. We then watched a video of Bishop Peter outlining his vision for the future of the Diocese, needing to thrive and not just survive with fewer priests available.

Session 1

Splitting into parish groups, we looked at what we could be proud about in our parish, with a view to seeing what we could build upon for the future. We were very pleased to come up with a long list of things to be proud about, covering many aspects of parish life from spiritual to charitable to practical. A number of these could be built upon, including the successful courses of faith exploration (e.g. see the bulletin notice for the upcoming “Let It Be” course) and the valuable faith development activities for children (colouring sheets, Children’s Liturgy, First Holy Communion classes, Confirmation classes).

With all parishes back together, each shared one thing about which they were especially proud. We chose to talk about music – our parish has long had a tradition of excellent music with dedicated and talented musicians enriching our worship in a way that is unusual for a parish of our size.

Session 2

Back in parish groups, we were asked to look at what needs we had in our parish to grow our mission activities and come up with some practical first steps. At the end of the session the parishes shared their discussions and plans with each other.

Following on from our discussion in the first session, we talked about how we could improve our mission to the youth of our parish, moving from the current situation (where we have activities during Mass, for First Holy Communion each year, and for Confirmation every few years) to where we are helping our young people to develop their faith on a more regular basis, from baptism to adulthood. We decided that it would be a good idea to try and form a “Youth Ministry Team”, or similar, in some way.

We also discussed how we operate in a practical way as a parish. We have lots of people undertaking various roles, many of which are not well known to the clergy and laity. This is, on occasion, causing confusion, and we are sometimes having difficulty in operating as we would like, let alone being able to build and grow activities. The ways in which other parishes organise themselves was discussed with many having a Parish Council, Advisory Group or other body which helped the clergy and laity work together. Canon Bennie suggested that a group along these lines could be created at St. Peter’s.

Session 3

After lunch, we heard about the new “Mandated Ministry” roles being suggested by the Diocese. With fewer priests being available in coming years, it will not be possible for each parish to have a parish priest (even shared with other parishes) who can adequately look after the pastoral care of the parish on their own. Looking worldwide, we have been very lucky in this country in the past, having enough priests to look after relatively small parishes. In other countries, the laity have long taken a greater role in the pastoral care of parishes and this has led the Diocesan group set up by Bishop Peter to suggest two new roles for the laity: “Pastoral Coordinators” and “Pastoral Leaders”. Elsewhere in this country, the Archdiocese of Liverpool already has people undertaking similar roles.

The possibility of merging parishes and closing churches in the Diocese had been considered. However, it was felt that this would inevitably lead to the weakening of Catholic communities and was to be avoided if at all possible (although some very small Mass centres, served by current parishes, might be unsustainable and a number have closed in recent years).

At this stage the Diocese is still exploring how these new roles would work. One of the purposes of the Reflection Days taking place across the Diocese is to help identify what is needed in parishes and thus how these roles can be more closely defined. Both roles of “Pastoral Coordinator” and “Pastoral Leader” would be open to men and women alike and involve several years (probably three) of (part-time) training provided by the Diocese. A “Pastoral Coordinator” would probably be unpaid and would coordinate the pastoral care of a parish under the direction of a parish priest who might have responsibility for several parishes. A “Pastoral Leader” would operate under a “Priest Supervisor” who would not be the parish priest. He/she would probably be paid and would take an even greater responsibility for the pastoral care of the parish than would be expected of a “Pastoral Coordinator”.

After having these new roles explained, we met again as parish groups to discuss how they might work in our own parishes. In our discussions, there was much understandable unease about the potential weakening of the relationship between parish and parish priest, with the new roles perhaps not being able to provide the same degree of spiritual direction. However, in the eventuality of not having a parish priest located near Biggleswade, the group thought that it would be good to have someone trained and appointed by the Diocese to look after the pastoral care of the parish. It was pointed out that we have had Lay Chaplains looking after pastoral care in hospitals, prisons, schools, etc. for many years and that the Second Vatican Council allowed for the creation of positions such as these almost 60 years ago. The extension of these roles to parishes is unusual in this country but perhaps not such a great leap. Exactly how these roles would operate at St. Peter’s was a source of uncertainty, in particular the extent to which a “Pastoral Coordinator” or “Pastoral Leader” would also be involved with the practical administration of the parish. Current parish income might not be sufficient to pay for a dedicated “Pastoral Leader” but perhaps these roles could be shared between parishes. The way in which “Pastoral Coordinators” and “Pastoral Leaders” were themselves co-ordinated was an area of concern but the fact that they were to be “Mandated”/appointed by the Diocese was thought to be important. The roles also provided exciting opportunities for the laity to become more involved in pastoral work in a formal manner.

Conclusion of the Day

Following discussion of the suggested “Mandated Ministry” roles in parish groups, we joined together and each parish shared their thoughts. A question and answer session took place at which it was emphasised that this is part of a genuine consultation exercise and, as such, many of the finer details of the positions were not settled. Indeed, with Bishop Peter retiring, it was possible that Bishop Elect David Oakley might wish to advance things in a different way. However, Bishop Elect David has encouraged these Reflection Days to continue to take place and will be meeting with Pastoral Areas on 28th March 2020 at Thornton College to discuss next steps.

Canon Bennie closed the day in prayer. Many thanks must go to Catherine Davies and Avril Baigent from the Diocese who were our facilitators for the day. We were also very grateful to our hosts at the Parish of Sacred Heart, Flitwick for the efforts they made to make the day a success and for their hospitality.

At St. Peter’s we will keep the parish up to date with future developments and explore how to advance with the ideas discussed in session 2.


Notes from Canon Bennie

Thank you everybody who kept things going while I was on Holiday.

I had a great break, thank God. I spent all of my time in County Cork after travelling to see friends in the Dublin & Leinster area.

May God reward you who give God and His Church of your time.

Praise indeed! From our Local Authority.

Bishop Peter, a few years back, asked us to question ourselves….. what impression do our Churches give to outsiders who do not worship in any Church ?

A few weeks ago there was a By-election in Biggleswade. In recent years our Church has been used as a Polling Station. During this By-Election the Returning Officer had occasion to visit as part of her duty. She was fulsome in her praise of us. Compared to many such Election Day venues we stood out for our facilities (clean toilets, kitchen etc. Enthusiastically we have been booked for the Local Elections next May!). So well done folk who help in any way to give a very, very positive response to Bishop Peter’s query.

[Extracted from the 12 Aug 18 newsletter by Chris]

A Lovely Request

A REALLY Lovely Request came my way this week!

The request was in the form of a Question “Why do we not have any of the tickets that are out at Shefford for the Summer Fete?” I was, I need hardly say, overjoyed. So, this weekend there are plenty of our Tickets. Here are some Details of our Summer Fete.

    Each year we have 2 big fundraisers in Shefford: Our Church is a Grade 2* Listed Building. It is perhaps the nicest Church in the Diocese – indeed one of the nicest Catholic Churches in the whole Country!

    But these Lovely Listed Buildings need constant high maintenance. In recent years we have had to pay out £200 thousand (yes! – not me pressing a wrong key!) for compliance and necessary Repair. Now we are being hit with a new list of NECESSARY repairs which will set us back another £50 thousand (yes, my fingers are not touching the wrong keys!).

    So thank you folk who have come forward to ask this Question. It has, I assure you, warmed my heart. Well done.



    Pray for our Confirmation Children and for all who helped them.

    We had a lovely Ceremony during the week. Both our and the St Francis’ Parish united wonderfully for the Evening…… thank you Will and the Servers & your Parents who arranged to get ye to Shefford, Nick and the Singers.

    A great Big Thank You to all involved in the Formation of the 21 Candidates – especially Liz Carey-Sheill, Deacon Peter Hyde, Eddie O’Callaghan and Neil Spencer. Thank you too to those who did Sessions, particularly Deacon John and Sue Armstrong.

    And a huge “gratias” also to our Social Committee for taking on the task which would have been done normally by our Union of Catholic Mothers (they were in Swanwick for the UCM annual National Conference – this year it was the turn of OUR Diocese to lead the National Annual Event, which very much involved Bishop Peter and our own Diocesan President – who happens to be a Parishioner at Shefford. And – bless them – the Shefford Ladies went to support their local Lady as she ensured the National Committee and various Diocesan Committees got a welcome at Swanwick for their AGM!

    So thank you Social Committee – it was a huge relief to Liz when ye selflessly answered her call to help in the Catering for the Confirmed and for their Parents, for their Sponsors and for their Guests.

    Bishop Peter was effusive in his compliments to me as he left the Evening. Deo Gratias.

    May God reward everybody who can give of their valuable time to evangelise our Young.

    Canon Bennie

    From Canon Bennie

    I want to repeat my thanks of last week for the lovely Easter Liturgies that we had.

    “He who sings prays twice” said St Augustine. Certainly, our Music here was outstanding for both Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The latter lasted well over 2 hours. Normally I would notice when a Liturgy ‘drags’ (and just goes on for too long). When I hopped on my scooter (to get back to Shefford) I was sure the clock on my bike had lost its brains…… I just could not believe it lasted for so long and yet I had never noticed. Thank you all our Musicians. AD MULTOS ANNOS.

    Both of our Parishes – at Shefford and here – thoroughly enjoyed joining each other. Obviously, it would have been much lovelier if we had the usual complete Masses and Liturgies in each Parish. But, as with many areas in the Dioceses, nowadays, Parishes are increasingly having to share a priest. Thank you very, very much to those of you who came across for Holy Thursday to St Francis. And thank ye too for the great welcome that you gave folk from St Francis at the Holy Saturday Liturgy. Our Servers – just like the Musicians – made a huge contribution to the “feel great” factor that was present during and after both Thursday and Saturday.

    And – finally – thank you…. each and every person for the very generous Easter Collection. ***


    I hope you all have a lovely Easter. I pray especially that God will bless, with Joy, your Family, your home, your concerns.

    I thank everyone who made our Holy Week and Easter Liturgies. Musicians, Servers, Extraordinary Ministers, Readers, Commentaries, Flowers, Cleaners, all enhance our Liturgies. I thank God for you and for the time that you are able to give to Him and His Church. These lovely occasions never just happen, as if almost, by accident. May God reward you all for the time that you devote to Him.

    It was so pleasing to see the wonderful turnout for our Liturgies. Shefford Church, on Holy Thursday, was like a wedding ceremony – bride’s family on the one side of the Church and the groom’s clan on the other side. The turnout was so pleasing and amazing. Again – well done everybody.

    Comments (1)

    From Father Bennie

    I hope that, for you, Lent is going well. Already we are in the second week! Please do look around for Villages’ Lent Courses and Hunger/ Frugal Lunches going on.

    This Monday our own Course begins. It will run for 5 Mondays. It is based on Our Lady and how she carried out God’s will and how she can help us do just this.

    Looking ahead, we will all be affected by the Parish having to share me with Shefford – especially in Holy Week. I am hoping that parishioners at both St Francis and here can share my services during Holy Week.

    I hope to do the Holy Thursday Mass at Shefford (8.00pm) plus Watching until Midnight. Then I hope to do the Easter Vigil here at St Peter’s (8.00pm Saturday). Good Friday is easy because Deacon Peter Hyde can lead the Afternoon Liturgy (3pm) at Shefford while I am leading here at St Peter’s (3.00pm).

    From Father Bennie

    Lent is the special Season when the Church gives us the opportunity to deepen our Catholic Faith. It is a season of amazing possibilities for grace.

    We had an excellent start to Lent with a full Church for the Ash Wednesday Mass. Deo Gratias. Well done everyone who was able to make it………. on a cold and miserable evening.

    Looking ahead, we will all be affected by the Parish having to share me with Shefford – especially in Holy Week. I am hoping that parishioners at both St Francis and here can share my services during Holy Week.

    I hope to do the Holy Thursday Mass at Shefford (8.00pm) plus Watching until Midnight. Then I hope to do the Easter Vigil here at St Peter’s (8.00pm Saturday). Good Friday is easy because Deacon Peter Hyde can lead the Afternoon Liturgy (3pm) at Shefford while I am leading here at St Peter’s (3.00pm).

    This year the annual Lenten Course is on the role that Our Lady plays in the life of the Catholic. It runs on Monday evenings. Coming along will not only enlighten you but also it will help you meet other people and to discuss with them your Faith.

    And do not forget that Ecumenically there are Lenten Meetings. Going along to these ecumenical events would be a great way of sharing with your fellow Christians.

    Fr. Bennie

    From Father Bennie

    Thank you for your patience.

    Since you became a Parish without a resident priest many things have had to change. I thank all of you for your patience.

    An especial thank you who regularly used the 8.00am as your weekly Mass. Also thank you for accepting the change of timing for our main Family Mass from 10.30 to 11a.m.

    Fr. Bennie

    From Father Bennie

    The Census is going very well.

    A great “thank you” to you all who have given us your Details. Thank you too to those who enabled the Operation.

    You are now on our Parish Register. This is very important for us. And it is vital for you too to be on our Books – that we know you exist and who you are! It is so important for your Children – for the Sacraments (First Holy Communion and Confirmation). Furthermore, it can be a tremendous help for our Catholic Schools and their Admission requirements.

    While many people in St Peter’s are well established and here for years, many do come and go within a few years. The Census helps to keep our Parish Register up to date.

    If you have not yet filled in a Form please pick one up. Fill it out. And let us have it.

    Many, many thanks INDEED.
    Fr. Bennie

    Letter from Father Bennie

    Since Thursday – until next Thursday – we pray for all our brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we share Baptism in common.

    During the week of Prayer for Christian Unity we ask God to bless us all who believe in Him and we also plead that He will enable us all to spread the great news of His Kingdom.

    Please do sacrifice some of your valuable time to attend a Service in your Local Village Church during this very special week each year (18th to 25th January).

    Fr. Bennie

    Letter from Father Bennie

    Thank you all who are helping: me to settle into life at St Peter’s. Thank you especially for the welcome you gave me at the weekend. It was wonderful to be able to meet you, if only in passing.

    Now that you no longer have a Resident Priest it is obvious that I will need much help so that essential routine tasks and jobs are carried out. I thank especially Alban Macdonald who has filled in so many gaps in my first week.

    Hopefully more of you will be able to give God some of your time in helping the Mission of our Parish

    Fr. Bennie

    Letter from Father Richard

    Retirement Party – Last Sunday

    I cannot thank God enough for the wonderful afternoon that was my retirement party. I will begin by thanking Carolyn Blake and Ian Bond who co-organised the event. A lot of work went into the invitations, and who to send them to, and the general management of the event.

    Ian and his wife Marilyn gave the venue for free. Marilyn was that lady at the party dressed in blue, who seemed to be organising things.

    I did say that I would be paying for the catering, but in the event Ian and Marilyn bore the main cost as a gift. Thank you Marilyn and Ian.

    Carolyn, thank you for sticking with it, getting the invitations printed etc. What an afternoon! The stars were all of you who came. How wonderful you are.

    You have no idea how grateful my family were. My sisters, brothers-in-law – my nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was lovely to see so many people from previous parishes there, including 4 people from Kettering whom I hadn’t seen for 30 years. Quel surprise!

    Thank you again.

    Fr. Richard


    Letter from Father Richard

    Dear Parishioners,

    At the time of writing, I am trying to find a supply priest for this coming weekend. For a number of weeks now, I have been unwell with infections in my teeth or now, an infection in my sinuses. I am on a course of antibiotics again, but feel really drained and unwell. I think too I have an underlying anxiety about my future. Although I stated to the Bishop that I intended to retire about October time (in February), as yet I have no certainty about future accommodation. I do have a meeting about this on this coming Monday. Please pray for a successful outcome.

    Just as the future is uncertain for me, so it is uncertain for you. All I want to do is hand over St. Peter’s in good working order to you parishioners and your new Parish Priest Canon Noonan.

    To this end could you please be aware of tidiness. Crayons and clipboards are given out to parents for use by their children. Could parents please make sure all the crayons their children use are gathered up and not left on the floor. There are always some to be cleared up after Sunday Masses but last Sunday was particularly bad. The best assumption to make is that this is a household without servants. This also applies to those who use the kitchen. Just lately, people are leaving used cups on the side of the draining board. There are loads of tea towels.


    I am in the process of tidying up the cupboards in the Meeting Room. Please bear with me during this process. I have also been attacking kitchen cupboards and drawers.

    I hope to see you next week on the 17th September at Shortmead House.

    At the moment, I am uncertain about weekday Masses.

    Fr. Richard


    Parish Census

    We will have to work out how best to run the Parish after Father Richard has left; we need to know who is in the Parish and what they can do to help with that organisation.

    Please would one member of each family complete the
    survey at this link. We promise to keep your information safe and private.

    webmaster and IT bod . . .

    CHANGE by Father Richard


    Changes are coming. From the end of October Canon Noonan will become Parish Priest of Shefford and Biggleswade. Father John Danford will become Parish Priest of Leighton of Buzzard and Flitwick. There will be ‘ordinarily’ one Mass on Sunday in Shefford and Flitwick and two Sunday Masses here in Biggleswade. The two Sunday Masses for Biggleswade will be 6:30 pm Saturday and 11.00 am Sunday. To continue to maintain and enhance the fabric of the Parish is vital if the Parish Community is to survive, and survive as a living witness of God’s presence among the people of Biggleswade. Programs of Baptism Preparation, R.C.I.A. and Holy Communion and Confirmation will be worked on between the Parish Priest and the Deacons.

    So far maintenance and improvements to the property has been a shared responsibility between me, the Parish Priest, Alban Macdonald, Chris Barker (The Finance Committee), various voluntary gardeners, Michael Brett, Alison and Harry Grundy, Alban Macdonald etc . . .

    Lots of people have helped along the way. Carolyn Blake, Rosario DiMarco, the people of the cleaning rota, Flower Ladies, Pat Smyth, John Lang etc.

    Sue Lang has been a vital help in setting up the Office.

    Maria Leer and Jackie Hardy are kingpins in the catechetical programme.

    Maria Bullock, who has been cleaning here for 20 years, both in the house and the church deserves a special thank you for her tremendous help and constancy throughout the years. Maria is our only paid employee; her service to the priest and people have gone far beyond what could be paid for.

    Thought has to be given as to how to continue both improving and maintaining the material ’plant’.

    Suggestions will be invited at a later date. Please think about providing a present and a future for our community of faith.

    Father Richard

    Parish Council Meeting on Wednesday 2 September at 7:30 p.m.

    The next meeting takes place on Wednesday, after evening Mass. Here are the Minutes of the last meeting and the Agenda for this.


    Minutes PCC 15.07.15

    PCC Agenda 02.09.15

    Parish Council Meeting on Wednesday next week

    The meeting will take place at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 29th April. Here are the minutes of the last meeting, held on 14th January.


    Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 14 January 2015

    Father Richard's Anniversary Mass

    Father Richard's Anniversary Mass went wonderfully, helped in no small part by Bishop Peter's presence to bless the proceedings and to tell us a bit about our Parish Priest :-)

    Here are a few photos from the event. Let me know if you want the image file for any other use.


    D2015_DSF4031 Richard

    D2015_DSF4032 Richard

    D2015_DSF4029 Richard

    D2015_DSF4046 Richard

    Parish Meeting on Wednesday 15 October 2014

    The next Parish meeting will take place on Wednesday 15 October, starting at 7:30p.m., in the Club Room at the church. The minutes of the meeting on 7 May 2014 are below, as is the agenda for the next meeting. Remember that all parishioners are welcome; come along and enjoy the company and help to run your Catholic community.


    PCC Minutes AGM 07 05 14

    Parish Council Agenda 15 October 2014

    Thank you from Claredon St. Night Shelter

    The following card was revived from the Claredon Street Night Shelter in Bedford and Fr Richard wanted this to be shared amongst the parish....


    Celebrating the Feast of Saint Benedict

    11th July is the Feast of Saint Benedict
    and another opportunity for getting together after the 9.30am Mass.  
    Father Richard cut the cake, which was decorated with a medieval image of Saint Benedict - quite a remarkable achievement by Gunns Bakery.

    Do visit the Meeting Room when you are next in church, as there is an exhibition of text and images related to the life and works of the saint.


    Minutes of the Parish Meeting on 19 March 2014

    The next meeting of the Parish will be at 7:15 pm on Wednesday 7 May 2014; this will be the AGM.

    The minutes of the last meeting, kindly put together by Babs, are below.


    PCC Minutes 19 Mar 14

    Father Richard's Induction

    Bishop Peter Doyle presided over the induction of our Father Richard as Parish Priest at St Peter's on Tuesday 25 February. It was well-attended mass and the social gathering afterwards, fuelled by small eats that all had brought, was a great Parish occasion. Congratulations to Father Richard, and thank you for being our priest.

    Here are some photos of the occasion, by Carolyn and Peter.


    D2014Trio Induction

    D2014DSC00139 Induction

    D2014Bishop Peter & Fr Richard Signing Induction

    D2014DSC00137 Induction

    D2014_DSF2316 Induction



    There will be a survey sheet on each chair at each Mass this weekend. If you can't get there, or if you would prefer to complete the survey online, please go to this link:

    St Peter's Welcoming Survey

    God bless


    Confirmation photos

    The photos from the recent Confirmation are here.


    Parish Meeting tomorrow

    The next meeting will be tomorrow. The minutes of the last meeting are below.


    PCC Minutes 250913

    Mass times over Christmas 2013

    These are the planned times for Masses over the Christmas period this year:

    Christmas Eve:
    Children’s Mass – 5 p.m.
                    Carol Service – 11:30 p.m.
                    Midnight Mass – midnight
    Christmas Day:
                    8:30 a.m.
                    10 a.m.
    Boxing Day:
                    11 a.m.


    Fr. Richard's 1st Anniversary Mass and Celebration at St. Peter's.

    The church was filled with family, friends and parishioners, celebrating Fr. Richard's 1st year at St. Peter's.



















    Meeting of the Parish Council on Wednesday 25 September 2013

    The next meeting of the PCC will take place in the Clubroom at 7:00pm. Below are the Minutes of the last meeting and the Agenda for the next.

    All are welcome to attend to help with running the Parish and Church.


    PCC Minutes 17 Jul 13

    PCC Agenda 25 Sep 13

    Information leaflet – from Father Richard

    At this Sunday's Mass there will be a folded leaflet of information from Father Richard to all his parishioners. I have included it with the Parish Bulletin.


    Minutes of Parish Council Meeting 2 May 13

    As a matter of record, though the next meeting has already been held, here are the Minutes of the meeting from 2 May 2013:


    PCC Minutes 02.05.13

    Parish Council Meeting on Thursday

    The Parish Council will meet on Thursday 2 May 2013, this week. Here are the Minutes from the last meeting and the Agenda for the next.


    PCC Minutes 31.01.13
    PCC Agenda 02.05.13

    Pope uses Twitter - Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St Peters Catholic Church Biggleswade. Last Sunday’s gospel coincides with The Epiphany of the Lord on 6th January (the 12th day of Christmas), the Feast day that concludes the Christmas story when The Three Wise man followed a bright star to the place when Jesus was born. On route they visited King Herod a rich powerful cruel ruler, who felt threatened by the stories of the coming of the Lord who would be the shepherd/leader of the people of Israel. Herod told the Three Wise Men to return to tell him where they found this infant. Needless to say when the Three Wise Men discovered Jesus they did not return to Herod., but chose another way home. Over two thousand years later, the world is still plagued with ruthless rulers who manage to cause hardship to the less rich and powerless and start wars with those who either try to take over their rule or peacefully object to their reign. In his new year’s message His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the ‘expectation we all have at the beginning of a new year for of better world and calls for inspiration to end the war in Syria, stop the growing instances between rich and poor by breaking away from selfish and individualistic mindset, which finds expression in financial capitalism; the peacemakers are many but not loud enough.’  He prays that everyone can play a part on the path to peace in our families, communities and countries to lead to peace in the world. As part of the Year of Faith in December 2012 the Pope took a huge step in drawing the world together by opening an account on twitter. He can be found @pontifex which means ‘builder of bridges’, so far he has over 700,000 followers. On the 20th January is World Peace Day we have the opportunity to reflect on Pope Benedict's World Peace Day message. Links for this and future information on The Year of Faith can be found at at .
    Pastoral Area council meeting will be here on Tuesday 15th January.
    Quiz night Friday 8th February tickets on sale NOW, with a choice of Fish, Chicken or veggie option. An ideal opportunity to meet old and make new friends of the Parish.

    New Year Message-His Holiness The Pope


    1 JANUARY 2013  
    1. EACH NEW YEAR brings the expectation of a better world. In light of this, I ask God, the Father of humanity, to grant us concord and peace, so that the aspirations of all for a happy and prosperous life may be achieved.
    Fifty years after the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, which helped to strengthen the Church’s mission in the world, it is heartening to realize that Christians, as the People of God in fellowship with him and sojourning among mankind, are committed within history to sharing humanity’s joys and hopes, grief and anguish, [1] as they proclaim the salvation of Christ and promote peace for all.
    In effect, our times, marked by globalization with its positive and negative aspects, as well as the continuation of violent conflicts and threats of war, demand a new, shared commitment in pursuit of the common good and the development of all men, and of the whole man.
    It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism. In addition to the varied forms of terrorism and international crime, peace is also endangered by those forms of fundamentalism and fanaticism which distort the true nature of religion, which is called to foster fellowship and reconciliation among people.
    All the same, the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind. Man is made for the peace which is God’s gift.
    All of this led me to draw inspiration for this Message from the words of Jesus Christ: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9).
    Gospel beatitude.....

    the rest can be found at Pope's New Year Message


    Pope Benedict's Christmas Homily

    Saint Peter's Basilica
    Monday, 24 December 2012

    [Video] Spoken in Italian
    Dear Brothers and Sisters!
    Again and again the beauty of this Gospel touches our hearts: a beauty that is the splendour of truth. Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me.
    I am also repeatedly struck by the Gospel writer’s almost casual remark that there was no room for them at the inn. Inevitably the question arises, what would happen if Mary and Joseph were to knock at my door. Would there be room for them? And then it occurs to us that Saint John takes up this seemingly chance comment about the lack of room at the inn, which drove the Holy Family into the stable; he explores it more deeply and arrives at the heart of the matter when he writes: “he came to his own home, and his own people received him not” (Jn 1:11). The great moral question of our attitude towards the homeless, towards refugees and migrants, takes on a deeper dimension: do we really have room for God when he seeks to enter under our roof? Do we have time and space for him? Do we not actually turn away God himself? We begin to do so when we have no time for God. The faster we can move, the more efficient our time-saving appliances become, the less time we have. And God? The question of God never seems urgent. Our time is already completely full. But matters go deeper still. Does God actually have a place in our thinking? Our process of thinking is structured in such a way that he simply ought not to exist. Even if he seems to knock at the door of our thinking, he has to be explained away. If thinking is to be taken seriously, it must be structured in such a way that the “God hypothesis” becomes superfluous. There is no room for him. Not even in our feelings and desires is there any room for him. We want ourselves. We want what we can seize hold of, we want happiness that is within our reach, we want our plans and purposes to succeed. We are so “full” of ourselves that there is no room left for God. And that means there is no room for others either, for children, for the poor, for the stranger. By reflecting on that one simple saying about the lack of room at the inn, we have come to see how much we need to listen to Saint Paul’s exhortation: “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12:2). Paul speaks of renewal, the opening up of our intellect (nous), of the whole way we view the world and ourselves. The conversion that we need must truly reach into the depths of our relationship with reality. Let us ask the Lord that we may become vigilant for his presence, that we may hear how softly yet insistently he knocks at the door of our being and willing. Let us ask that we may make room for him within ourselves, that we may recognize him also in those through whom he speaks to us: children, the suffering, the abandoned, those who are excluded and the poor of this world.
    There is another verse from the Christmas story on which I should like to reflect with you – the angels’ hymn of praise, which they sing out following the announcement of the new-born Saviour: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.” God is glorious. God is pure light, the radiance of truth and love. He is good. He is true goodness, goodness par excellence. The angels surrounding him begin by simply proclaiming the joy of seeing God’s glory. Their song radiates the joy that fills them. In their words, it is as if we were hearing the sounds of heaven. There is no question of attempting to understand the meaning of it all, but simply the overflowing happiness of seeing the pure splendour of God’s truth and love. We want to let this joy reach out and touch us: truth exists, pure goodness exists, pure light exists. God is good, and he is the supreme power above all powers. All this should simply make us joyful tonight, together with the angels and the shepherds.
    Linked to God’s glory on high is peace on earth among men. Where God is not glorified, where he is forgotten or even denied, there is no peace either. Nowadays, though, widespread currents of thought assert the exact opposite: they say that religions, especially monotheism, are the cause of the violence and the wars in the world. If there is to be peace, humanity must first be liberated from them. Monotheism, belief in one God, is said to be arrogance, a cause of intolerance, because by its nature, with its claim to possess the sole truth, it seeks to impose itself on everyone. Now it is true that in the course of history, monotheism has served as a pretext for intolerance and violence. It is true that religion can become corrupted and hence opposed to its deepest essence, when people think they have to take God’s cause into their own hands, making God into their private property. We must be on the lookout for these distortions of the sacred. While there is no denying a certain misuse of religion in history, yet it is not true that denial of God would lead to peace. If God’s light is extinguished, man’s divine dignity is also extinguished. Then the human creature would cease to be God’s image, to which we must pay honour in every person, in the weak, in the stranger, in the poor. Then we would no longer all be brothers and sisters, children of the one Father, who belong to one another on account of that one Father. The kind of arrogant violence that then arises, the way man then despises and tramples upon man: we saw this in all its cruelty in the last century. Only if God’s light shines over man and within him, only if every single person is desired, known and loved by God is his dignity inviolable, however wretched his situation may be. On this Holy Night, God himself became man; as Isaiah prophesied, the child born here is “Emmanuel”, God with us (Is 7:14). And down the centuries, while there has been misuse of religion, it is also true that forces of reconciliation and goodness have constantly sprung up from faith in the God who became man. Into the darkness of sin and violence, this faith has shone a bright ray of peace and goodness, which continues to shine.
    So Christ is our peace, and he proclaimed peace to those far away and to those near at hand (cf. Eph 2:14, 17). How could we now do other than pray to him: Yes, Lord, proclaim peace today to us too, whether we are far away or near at hand. Grant also to us today that swords may be turned into ploughshares (Is 2:4), that instead of weapons for warfare, practical aid may be given to the suffering. Enlighten those who think they have to practise violence in your name, so that they may see the senselessness of violence and learn to recognize your true face. Help us to become people “with whom you are pleased” – people according to your image and thus people of peace.
    Once the angels departed, the shepherds said to one another: Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened for us (cf. Lk 2:15). The shepherds went with haste to Bethlehem, the Evangelist tells us (cf. 2:16). A holy curiosity impelled them to see this child in a manger, who the angel had said was the Saviour, Christ the Lord. The great joy of which the angel spoke had touched their hearts and given them wings.
    Let us go over to Bethlehem, says the Church’s liturgy to us today. Trans-eamus is what the Latin Bible says: let us go “across”, daring to step beyond, to make the “transition” by which we step outside our habits of thought and habits of life, across the purely material world into the real one, across to the God who in his turn has come across to us. Let us ask the Lord to grant that we may overcome our limits, our world, to help us to encounter him, especially at the moment when he places himself into our hands and into our heart in the Holy Eucharist.
    Let us go over to Bethlehem: as we say these words to one another, along with the shepherds, we should not only think of the great “crossing over” to the living God, but also of the actual town of Bethlehem and all those places where the Lord lived, ministered and suffered. Let us pray at this time for the people who live and suffer there today. Let us pray that there may be peace in that land. Let us pray that Israelis and Palestinians may be able to live their lives in the peace of the one God and in freedom. Let us also pray for the countries of the region, for Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and their neighbours: that there may be peace there, that Christians in those lands where our faith was born may be able to continue living there, that Christians and Muslims may build up their countries side by side in God’s peace.
    The shepherds made haste. Holy curiosity and holy joy impelled them. In our case, it is probably not very often that we make haste for the things of God. God does not feature among the things that require haste. The things of God can wait, we think and we say. And yet he is the most important thing, ultimately the one truly important thing. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us? At this hour, let us ask him to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to Bethlehem, to the Lord who today once more comes to meet us. Amen.

    © Copyright 2012 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St Peters Catholic Church, Biggleswade. 
    Last Sunday’s gospel Luke 3: 1-6 tells us about repentance, repentance being a door that opens to allow God to visit any soul. Luke goes on to tell us how in the Kingdom of Heaven God tells us that He has throne in the highest heaven, surrounded by majesty, glory and splendour, but His dwelling on earth is in the perfect humble and contrite heart.

    Chrtistmas Bazaar-A huge thank you to all those who supported the Christmas Bazaar with a few totals yet to be added we can announce that we raised a huge amount £1,870. 

    Christmas Mass & Services- Volunteers are needed to help with these please see the forms in the porch. First Holy Communion, forms in church porch, please complete and hand into Parish Office by 16th December. Classes commence Sunday 13th January 2013. 

    Sacrament of Confirmation, if you wish to be considered please complete forms in the church porch and return to Parish Office.

    Notices in Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    HELP Needed for Christmas Bazaar see Chris's post below

    St.Peters Church,Biggleswade.
    Last Sunday’s gospel Mark 13:24-32, Jesus said to his disciples: "In those days, after the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory;” At this time early Church Fathers believed that rather than meaning ‘their generation’ that this gospel referred to the age of Christianity and compared it to the ‘old testament’ and ‘new testament’ being different generations. Although the meaning may have changed down the ages two questions remain unanswered When will he come? And how will he come? Sceptics now refer to the worlds television cameras showing that the world is indeed passing away when we see/hear of nations brandishing nuclear weapons; others starve as society’s economies fall in times of another brandished saying ‘austerity cuts’. When there is so much that we can have little control over maybe time would be best spent concentrating on our inner strength - faith, in turn our developed relationship with God will build courage to deal with life’s’ burdens. From then we can feel reassured that when earth passes away God’s love will not. We must not be preoccupied with predictions of the day or hour that the Lord will come, these matters far less than how He will find us living on his arrival.

    First Holy Communion, forms in church porch, please complete and hand into Parish Office by 16th December. Classes commence Sunday 13th January 2013.

    Sacrament of Confirmation, if yu wish to be considered please complete forms in the church porch and return to Parish Office.

    Carmel in Beds- Carmelite Prayer group next meeting Wednesday 28th November commences at 6.30 pm. Parish Room. Everyone welcome, the aim is to further the cause of the Church by prayer and good works.

    Christmas Bazaar Saturday 1st December 11-2pm, help required for setting up etc, baking, donating gifts, sell Grand Draw raffle tickets.

    -Grand Draw ticket stubs need returning on 25th November


    Christmas Bazaar

    See Brenda's post below as well . . .

    The Christmas Bazaar is almost upon us and the Social Committee have worked hard but they could do with a hand. To begin with they need stuff to sell and raise money:

    • Good quality "preloved" items.
    • Cakes, bottles and other luxury consumables.
    • Items that you would like someone to give you.

    The Committee also needs help with setting up, manning the stalls and taking it all down. Please contact Claire on 222572 to volunteer for part (or all) of this endeavour.

    And don't forget to come and enjoy the Bazaar on the day. There will be delicious snacks, including jacket potatoes with lovely fillings that you won't want to miss!

    God bless


    Christmas Bazaar


    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St Peter’s Catholic Church Biggleswade.

    In one week we experienced a huge contrast, we joyfully watched firework displays then within 7 days solemnly remembered those who fought in all wars from the First World War to those in Afghanistantoday. Another contrast was seen in the gospel last Sunday Mark 12:41-44, where rich people donated large amounts of excess money they had to the Country’s Treasury and the widow women who gave only two small coins; all the money she had. In biblical times, sadly Widows were usually very poor. This was because it was the Husband’s position to work and provide money for his wife and family, so if he died there was no benefit system to help for rent or food. Jesus knew that the Widow had given all the money that she needed to live on and told His disciples that she had contributed more than all the other people put together, because she had given everything she had. The Widow had put her trust in that God would provide what she needed to live on. So, in the Lord’s eyes she was much more generous than the rich people because she had nothing left over. She gave all she had. God wants us to be able to give a lot too. He wants us to allow sharing to be more important than keeping.

    November 17th Saturday 10.30-11.30 Coffee Morning to meet new Parish priest Fr. Richard Moroney and chat with friends.
    November 22nd Thursday 7.30 pm Parish council meeting, All parishioners welcome.
    Altar Servers – required for Saturday Evening 6.30pm CONTACT Andrew & Caroline Kluth.
    Christmas Bazaar 1st December, donations required for Grand Draw, box in church porch. Please contact Parish Office for further details 01767-312023.


    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St.Peter’s Catholic Church Biggleswade.
    Last Sunday’s gospel Mark 12:28-34 tells us about a scribe who puts this question to Jesus “What is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied in two parts the first part that one must love the Lord our God with all your heart and strength, the second part to love thy neighbour as yourself. This is a well known commandment that we all believe in and practise every day to the best of our ability. When writing this each week I look at what scriptures have written over the past 2000 years together with homilies written by modern day people to try to arrive at a meaning for that week’s gospel. Sometimes the actual meaning is so profound it goes straight over my head! And is only fully appreciated by the very educated catechists amongst us. Today we have a connection between the gospel and the Year of Faith (Oct 2012 to Nov 2013). This gospel reminds us that faith has to be put into action. It is difficult, but by dedicating time to learn more about our faith, loving God through the prayer and the sacraments we can then put this into practise by loving our neighbour as ourselves; this is a part of what the Year of Faith is about.

    November 11th Sunday-Remembrance Day, please note Mass will start at 9.45 am and not 10am. This is to enable Fr.Richard to reach the Cenotaph in the Market Square for 11am.

    November 14th Wednedsday 7.30 pm Social Club meeting, All welcome.

    November Sacred Heart Flitwick 15th 7.30pmThe Common Good, exploring the way social teaching works in the real world.

    November 17th Saturday 10.30-11.30 Coffee Morning to meet new Parish priest Fr. Richard Moroney and chat with friends

    November 22nd Thursday 7.30 pm Parish council meeting, All parishioners welcome.

    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St.Peter’s Catholic Church Biggleswade, Last Sundays gospel was from Mark 10:46-52. This gospel informs us of the miracle that Jesus performed when He restored the sight of the blind beggar. All through this scripture unlike previous gospels Jesus did not correct the disciples; there was a reason for this. The gospel says, Jesus is heading for Jerusalem, he had just left Jericho that was about 15 miles north east of Jerusalem a major crossroads where travellers and beggars to meet from all other directions to lead into Jerusalem, and although not mentioned, Jesus was heading towards His Passion (the crucifixion and resurrection). Jesus knew this but the Disciples were not aware of how close they were to this event or fully comprehended what it meant. There are several reflections within this text. One being the referral to a beggar, an image of great faith, a faith that overcome huge obstacles; in this instance the Disciples who prevented him from reaching Jesus. The beggar was Bartimaeus, being the son of Timaeus; Mark used this name and linage as a metaphor for all of those outside of the faith, those who did not have the full insight into Jesus, the model of all those who are marginalized, forced to beg for mercy while the great ones of the world pass by. This was endorsed when Mark mentioned that the beggar was found sitting ‘by the way’, in this time people who believed in God and Jesus called themselves ‘members of the way’. Therefore, as Bartimaeus was found beside ‘the way’ this meant that he (or they) were not yet members.  Through this metaphor it can be perceived that there was also a contrast between Jesus ‘The Son of David’ from royal lineage and Bartimaeus being the son of Timaeus being of no importance or statue. Therefore through Jesus’ mercy by reinstating Bartimaeus sight  He transformed Bartimaeus life rather than just solving a problem.

    November 11th Sunday-Remembrance Day, please note Mass will start at 9.45 am and not 10am. This is to enable Fr.Richard to reach the Cenotaph in the Market Square for 11am.

    Shared Supper & Social Evening-Friday 2nd November 7.30pm, please bring a plate of food (1 plate only please & indentify to ensure its returned). An opportunity to meet with our new priest Fr. Richard Moroney and with old friends, entertained by local choir T.A.G.S.

    Sponsored bike & hike Many congratulations to Andrew Kluth who raised £343 for the Beds & Herts. Historic Churches, ½ will go to St Peter’s. Thank you to all those who sponsored.
    Coffee Morning Saturday 17th 10.30-11.30 am Invitation to meet Fr. Richard and chat with friends.

    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St.Peters Catholic Church Station RoadBiggleswade

    Last Sunday’s gospel Mark 10:35-45 calls for great reflection on why we aspire and need for respect and admiration? Two of the disciples James and John wanted to sit on either side of Jesus in His Kingdom so that those who saw them would be in awe by the influence they had. But Jesus believed that these positions were not his to give, as this decision belonged to God. Jesus’ viewpoint was that being self-centred or for any reason for us to be perceived as powerful amounts to nothing and was not important. What was important to Jesus was to humbly follow the will of God; it was this that leads Jesus to sacrifice his own life on the cross. To feel so powerful leads to others feeling inadequate and powerless which was the opposite of what Jesus taught. Last week we said good-bye to Fr.Jude who has been our priest for the past weeks. Our grateful thanks and prayers travel with him to his new Parish in Bedgrove Buckinghamshire. We are please to announce the arrival of our new Parish Priest Fr. Richard Moroney from Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire. Please join us at Mass & pray this weekend to welcome and support him through this transition.

    Friday 2ndNovember 7.30pm, Shared Supper & Social Evening-please bring a plate of food (1 plate only please & indentify to ensure its returned). An opportunity to meet with our new priest Fr. Richard Moroney and with old friends, entertained by local choir T.A.G.S.
    Help needed for two parishioners
    -the first lady has dementia she needs help for 1 hr on Sat/Sunday mornings to help wash and prepare for the day.
    -The second requires a lift to and from Sunday’s morning 8.30 Mass please contact the Parish office on 312013.

    Sacrament of Confirmation, if you wish to be considered please complete the forms in the church porch and return to Parish Office.

    Marriage-The parish with to congratulate Theresa Home & James Blunden who married recently at St. Peter’s we pray for there happy and fulfilled marriage.




    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    Apologies for error in the chronicle that read 'it is harder for a camel '... it should have read
    " it is easier for a camel "
    St.Peters Catholic Church. Biggleswade.
    Last Sunday’s gospel Mark 10:17-30 calls for a profound understanding into the meaning of the word ‘wealth’. When this gospel was written nearly two thousand years ago a wealthy man was described as one who owned many animals, lived in a large basic building and had servants and maybe owned a large area of land, if he was very wealthy he may have artefacts and pots of gold, but what use was this? Back in these times there was no electricity, central heating or television; no fast delivery service to bring them the latest dvd, cd or tablet pc. In this period technical knowledge was limited therefore even natural resources were left within the earth. As man developed he changed his surroundings and wealth, his money, purchased the finest things from food, clothes, and houses to armies to gain control over weaker populations. Now in the twenty-first centaury the people of the developed world have numerous riches that include computers, cars, holidays, mobile phones. In the undeveloped word there are still populations that live very basically sometimes in a crowded room and long for the food, sanitation & medicines that will save the lives of their young children. Many people of the developed world share their wealth by generously donating money to help the undeveloped world as they feel that their own society supports them in times of need through benefits, free health care and charitable organisations. There are very special people who have time and share this by undertaking sponsored events to raise money for good causes. In this gospel Jesus speaks about a wealthy man who approached him to ask what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus replied “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven”. In our society today we have many riches that are taken for granted. Often we hear of situations where volunteers are needed urgently to ensure facilities, clubs for the children, elderly or disabled can remain open. Perhaps we can consider ‘time’as a wealth that we may be able to give freely to help others in our society today?
    Shared Supper & Social Evening
    Friday 2nd November-, to welcome Fr Richard, please bring a plate of food,entertainment supplied by the TAGS choir, further information in the church porch.
    Christmas Bazaar Saturday 1st December-, please donate gifts for the raffle, there is large tea chest in church porch.
    Operation Christmas Child-Please donate Shoe boxes full of gifts for children from deprived areas world wide. This year the boxes from the post code SG will be going to Kenya. Leaflets are available in the church or information can be obtained from a yearly event which was originally set up by Mr David Cooke after watching a news broadcast on TV in 1990 that showed the horrors the children in orphanages in Romaniahad to endure. David's aim was to fill one lorry with gifts and drive it to Romania. The response to his appeal was overwhelming and on the 12th of December a convey of vehicles including lorries donated by local companies set off for Romania.


    Apostleship of the Sea

    Apostleship of the Sea collection raised nearly £350 for this very important charity that supports all foreign people working on merchant ships to make contact with their family and loved ones back home and ensures that fair and decent working conditions are maintained. Considering that 95% of all British trade is carried by sea the physical and spiritual needs of the seafarers is paramount; thank you for your contribution.

    Biggleswade Chronicle Church Notices

    Last Sunday’s gospel was from Mark. There are four gospels in the New Testament that narrates the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This chapter ascribes the time that Jesus returned to his native town after a long absence. Sadly, he was rejected by his old neighbours and townspeople, they could not accept his wisdom nor the rumours about the miraculous healings that he had performed.  To do so they would have had to accept that they had somehow been blind to the prophet in their midst and they would have to admit this to one another. Maybe they were afraid of doing that. Who was this man to challenge the status quo?  This shows how apt people are to undervalue what is familiar to them, and brings into play the proverb ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ written by  prose writer  Apuleius who lived c125-180 AD.  

    St Peters is very glad to welcome Fr. Tad (a visiting priest from Poland) who will be here for the next 3 weeks to take Mass at weekends and during the week whilst Fr. Eamon is taking his summer holiday. 
    Volunteers are required to organise refreshments after 10am Sunday Mass.


    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Biggleswade.
    Last Sunday celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi. The festival of Corpus Christi celebrates the Eucharist as the body of Christ. The name 'Corpus Christi' is Latin for 'the body of Christ'. This jubilant festival is celebrated to proclaim the truth of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ during Mass. 1.The human person cannot live without the experience of divine love and human love.  The human person cannot live without the experience of divine intimacy and human intimacy.  The human person cannot live without communion.  Man becomes fully realized in communion because he is created for communion by a God who is the most perfect communion (1.From the Vatican website).

    Sixteen children took their First Holy Communion on Saturday 9th June. The church was packed with their families, friends and parishioners to celebrate with the children in receiving the Holy Sacrament. Please pray for them and the Catechists who gave their time freely for several months to ensure the children were fully prepared for this wonderful day and for those who worked extremely hard to ensure that everyone enjoyed refreshments thereafter.
    Saturday 16thCarmel in Bedfordshire – Visit to Monastery of Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Ware, Hertfordshire. Start time has been brought forward from 10 am to 9.30, all places now taken.
    Also, on the 16th  at 1pm a Mass of thanksgiving at Northampton Cathedral for 50thAnniversary.
    Royal Race night Friday 22nd June, 7.30pm - Fun night with Wine Tasting, Ladies Fancy Hat & Gents Waistcoat competitions.
    Further details see church porch or email

    Website Update

    I'm going to streamline the website, removing pages which I think are out of date or are not used. If you have any suggestions or requirements for a page (or more) on this website, do let me know.


    Biggleswade Chronicle

    St.Peter’s Catholic Church, Biggleswade.Last Sunday was Trinity
    Sunday,it is celebrated a week after Pentecost Sunday also known as
    Holy Trinity Sunday and is one of the central mysteries of our faith.
    We can never fully understand the mystery of the Trinity, but we can
    sum it up in the following formula: God is three Persons in one. The
    three Persons of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are all equally God,
    and They cannot be divided. We do believe in one God, just as we say
    in the Creed, but He is three persons.

    Saturday 9th June St Peters Market Stall, scrumptious home-made cakes
    for sale. 

    Saturday 16th June Carmel in Bedfordshire - Visit to
    Monastery of Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Ware, Hertfordshire. To
    celebrate Mass, lunch and a talk by the Nuns, car share; 9.30am start.

    Friday 22nd June, 7.30pm Royal Race Night- Fun night with Wine
    Tasting, Ladies Fancy Hat & Gents Waistcoat competitions.

    Further details see church porch or email

    Biggleswade Chronicle Village News

    St.Peter’s Catholic Church, Biggleswade.
    Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, after Easter Sunday, Christmas is the second-greatest feast in the Christian liturgical calendar, but Pentecost Sunday is not far behind. For that reason, it is often called the "the birthday of the Church”. Like Easter Sunday Pentecost is a moveable date but the earliest possible date for Pentecost Sunday is May 10; the latest is June 13. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter and 10 days after the Ascension of Our Lord, and marks the descent of the Holy Spirit/Ghost on the apostles. The Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent nine days in prayer between The Ascension of Our Lord and Pentecostal Sunday waiting for the fulfilment of Christ's promise to send His Spirit. This was the origin of the Novena, or nine-day prayer, to ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit and to prepare us to receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude (or courage), knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. On this day St. Peter, the first pope, was already the leader and spokesman for the Apostles.
    Diamond Jubilee Fun Day on Tuesday 5th June 2-6pm, organised by Churches Together Biggleswade & Biggleswade Town Council to be held at Eagle Farm Road Field. Many free activities including Fairground rides-Games & Competitions - Arena Events - Live Music. St.Peter’s is organizing and cooking the BBQ, your help is needed to set up, cook, serve and clean up.
    Homemade Cakes needed for Market Stall on Saturday 9th June.
    Royal Race Night-Friday 22nd June Hat competition for Ladies & Waistcoat completion for Gents.
    For information on all events please see Church Porch for further details.

    Father Raphael

    Here's a typical photo of our visiting priest Father Raphael chatting outside St Peter's after Mass today.


    Priest and parishioner

    Improving the Website

    Do let me know if you want to put something on the website, or if you would like to see an addition to the information displayed (or, indeed, how it is displayed). The website is a resource for the Parish, for all of us, so use it if you wish.

    God bless


    Help needed with Christmas Bazaar

    Here's a message from the Entertainments Committee:

    I am sure that you have noticed the sheets of paper spread about the Church, asking for help with the Christmas Bazaar, but perhaps you feel that you wanted more details before volunteering to help.
    Let me give you some dates and times, and then perhaps, you can allocate some of your time.

    On the evening of Wednesday, 23rd November, at 7pm, people will be in the “Basilica” (the long hut beside the car park), to sort out donations.

    On Thursday, l 1st December, after the 9.30am Mass, we will move the chairs and kneelers, and bring in the big tables, and that evening at about 7pm, we will be filling the tables.

    On Friday 2nd December, Mass will be celebrated in the Sanctuary behind the folding doors. After Mass is finished, we will continue to sort, separate and prepare for the next day as well as decorating everything, while the Market Square lights are being switched on.

    On Saturday, 3rd December, about 9am, we will tie the Bazaar notices to the railings nearby, prepare the potatoes and other food in the clubroom and wait for the fresh cakes to be brought in.

    At 11am our local MP, Alistair Burt, will open the Bazaar, which is when we will need help behind the stalls.

    At the end of it all, some unsold items will be put back in the “Basilica” prior to recycling. The floor has to be swept, the money counted, and all the furniture replaced ready for the 6.30pm Mass. We would be very grateful if you would talk to us about helping, even If it is something you have never done before!


    Farewell Fr Tad

    Thanks to Fr Tad for again visiting us and giving us a different view of the world and of witness from a different perspective. Fr Tad left a couple of documents on the Parish noticeboard, documents relating his work in Russia. He sent them to me a few days ago to put on the website and this seemed to be the best place for them.

    I hope that you enjoy reading them, but let me know if the format is difficult, or if the documents won't open on your computer.

    God bless


    Brief history of Russia – Fr Tad

    Fr Tad's memories

    Over this weekend and the next, we will be conducting a parish census. It is more than four years since the last census was taken and our parish records need to be updated. Accurate and complete information about who is living in the parish and pastoral area is vital to strengthening the Catholic community.
    You will find a Census card on your seat together with a pen/pencil; would one representative of each household please complete the card and hand it to an usher as you leave the Church after Mass.
    The Census is collecting basic information including name, address, telephone and email. Please be assured that the Census information will be used for Church-related activities only. This includes mailings in the parish and Together in Faith, a parish and diocesan fundraising campaign.


    The next meeting will be in the front room of the church on Wednesday 13 October. All are welcome, and if you want to influence the running of the Parish you should come and take part.


    The Parish Calendar is a way to see all the fixtures and events in the Parish's year. I update it from the Bulletin or when someone tells me about an event, so please do let me know if something needs to be in there.

    But if you have frequent updates, why not do it yourself? I can help you to share the calendar and give you permission to insert events etc ... It's reasonably simple to learn how and I should be happy to provide a bit of coaching. You would just use the programme that you use to access the Internet and there you.


    The Sanctuary looks wonderful with the palms.


    Altar and Sanctuary with Palms

    Here is a copy of the paper in the back of the Church, Walking Humbly with our God. Please read and comment to Canon Michael.



    Over the past few weeks, as part of the “Walking Humbly with Our God” programme, a series of conversations has taken place in which parishioners were asked to think about the strengths and weaknesses of the parish.

    Thank you to all those who gave their time and thought to this process.

    The following is a summary of the common themes that emerged:


    Blessing of weekday Mass
    Good liturgy
    Good music: musicians & choir
    Thriving Family Mass.
    Lots of Altar Servers.
    Good parish administration.
    Good co-operation among
    parish organisations/groups. .
    Good social activities.


    Poor take-up of the Sacrament of Confession
    No provision for parish teenage youth.
    Weekend parish – many only attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days.
    No Catholic school in the parish.
    Because we have managed without a priest in the past, there is the worry that we might be left without a resident parish priest.

    Further feedback would be welcome. If you wish to add any further comments, please put them in writing and hand them to Canon Michael.

    The next Parish meeting will be next Wednesday, after the 7:30pm Mass. Here is the agenda; feel free to come and help run your parish.


    PCC Agenda 27.01.10

    blue health and safety helmet pictureThere's a new person responsible for ensuring that all the Parish's fixtures, fittings and activities comply with Health and Safety rules: me.

    I'll be checking around the fabric of the buildings and generally looking at activities with a critical eye, but please help me out by keeping your own eyes open for potential risks to anyone using the buildings or facilities of the Parish.

    You can contact me using the link at the bottom of each page of this website.


    The next meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday 11 November; do come and make your contribution to running the Parish. The Minutes of the last meeting are on the Parish Meetings page.


    Thanks very much to Father Tadeusz for his ministry while Canon Michael has been away. Here's a photograph to remember him by (sorry about the quality, it's a mobile phone photo; I'll use a proper camera next time).



    Thanks to Babs Gurney for the minutes of the last Parish meeting (on 18 February). You can find them on the Parish Meetings page.

    The next meeting will be on Wednesday 13 May 2009 at 8pm, after the 7.30pm Mass.


    Thanks to Canon Michael and all his organisers for a wonderful Easter Triduum. The servers did a wonderful job, I enjoyed listening to the readers and the decorations were just right. The joy of the resurrection at the Easter Vigil was almost palpable, and I gather that the Sunday 1000 Mass was completely packed. Wonderful!

    Happy Easter, everyone.


    A great time was had by all and £250 was raised for charity. Well done to the Social Club and to all who attended.


    (Photos courtesy of Alban Macdonald)
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    The next meeting of the Parish is at 8pm (after 7.30pm Mass) on Wednesday 18 February in the Club Room; why not come along and help to run the Parish for Canon Michael and the whole community?

    The Minutes, kindly typed up by Babs Gurney, are available on the Parish Meetings page.


    The next Parish Meeting will take place on Wednesday 26 November; as usual it will be at 8.00pm, after evening Mass.


    The next Parish meeting will take place on Wednesday, 2 days’ time. Here are the minutes of the last meeting. Do consider attending to meet our new Parish Priest and to help him find out more about his new parishioners.


    PCC Minutes - 25.06.08

    We welcome Canon Michael to St Peter’s Biggleswade. I have updated the front page to show him (and his smile!).


    Since we must say farewell to Father Joe, an informal function has been organised for next Friday evening at 7.30pm. Fr Joe has worked very hard for us in rather trying conditions as first the “administrator” and latterly our Parish Priest. Let’s see him off with warmth and good wishes for his continued work in the Lord.


    The next Parish Meeting will take place on Wednesday 17 September at 8.00pm, after the evening Mass. If you wish to take part in the decision-making in the Parish do make sure that you are there ...

    I’ll attach the minutes of the last meeting when I receive them.

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