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1ST WEEK IN ADVENT. 3RD DECEMBER 2023   Psalter week 1
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  • See below for Parish bank account details and collections. 

  • We are looking for some more volunteers to clean Our Lady’s & St Benedict’s – please email if you’re able to help!

Please pray for the sick of the parish: 

David Parish, Coral Harrow, Betty Walford, Joyce West, Barbara Frost, Tony White, Bob Horton, Hilary & Clive Drake,  Jeremy Cusden, Jan Carson, Nigel & Sarah Mackay, Pippa Turnbull 

If anyone knows anyone who is sick or housebound and would like a visit, please let Fr Joseph or the Deacons know

See Christmas Mass Times here


Parish Film Night Tuesday 5th December In the side room at Our Lady's, 6.30 for 6.45 start:. Please come to what is possibly the BEST Christmas film EVER! 'It's A Wonderful Life'. Bring a friend & some Christmassy food to share, mulled drinks provided.

Click to view the Trailer 

A Reflection by Msgr Robert Draper 

‘Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.'    

Is 63:16 - 17; 64:1, 3 -  8 Ps79 1Cor 1:3  -  9 Mk 13:33  -  37


The origin of the word human comes through Latin from the word for earth or soil. So when Isaiah says: “ You  are the potter, we are the clay ”   he is being accurate as well as poetic. And we use the word “ human” so often to emphasise the limitation, the frailty, the weakness of people; that is something Isaiah is so aware of in this most poignant passage. It is the flawed nature of Israel that the prophet draws attention to: they have drifted away, they have forgotten been distracted and no longer recognise the God who is their Father. And now because of this they are lost and, because of their sin, not able to come back. In this hopeless situation Isaiah pleads for God to act because that is the only way: “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down.” Advent is the time of waiting for the coming of the Lord; because ultimately it is only by God’s actions that humans can have any future. The reading from Paul and the gospel both emphasise the waiting – Paul addressing the Corinthians confident in their faith, Jesus challenging his listeners to “to stay awake.” The Christian life is always lived acknowledging the utter dependence on God, but the reason we, like the Corinthians, can live with confidence is that for humans that dependence is rooted in God’s love. Isaiah pleads for God to come down, but for Christians that has already been realised in the Word made flesh who dwelt – and dwells – amongst us.

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Brass Cleaning at Our Lady’s Church on Thursday 21st December after 9.30am Mass

Here is a lovely opportunity to contribute to the beauty of Our Lady’s Church and shine the brass ready for Christ-mas. All are welcome - if you have any queries, please-contact Eileen O’Hare on:

General Cleaning of Our Lady’s 22nd December from 9.30am  Again all are welcome and this is an opportunity for those not on the weekly rota to make a contribution. Con-tact if you need further details.

Day of Faith On Thursday 7th December St Mary’s School will be holding a Day of Faith. This has been running in Advent and Lent for several years, initially planned and organised by parishioners but now planned and directed by the staff in accordance with the Catholic Religious Education Policy of the school. The Deacons and some parishioners help out during the day which usually begins with Mass. You are all warmly invited to join in this Mass and offer it for the school, the children and the staff in the development and strengthening of their faith.

Did you know that Gillingham once had a Carmelite Convent?  John Porter from the Local History Society has written an article on its history - you can find it on this website History Page here

Light up a Life - Weldmar Hospice Care, Gillingham Thursday 7th December at 6.30pm at Orchard Park Garden Centre.

There is a short service with reflection and prayers. People can donate, in memory of family members who have died during the year, but no donation is necessary. Carols will be sung and christmas refreshment provided

For more information:

Churches Together in Marnhull- Advent Service 3rd December at 3.30pm The joint Advent service will take place at 3:30 on Sun-day 3rd of December in St Gregory’s Church, Marnhull. It will be a very special occasion as the Anglican Bishop of Sherborne will be present to inaugurate Reverend Gaenor as rector of Saint Gregory's. Deacon Michael will represent Our Lady’s clergy, and our choir will be singing an Advent hymn. Tea and cakes will be on offer after the service. Everyone is welcome.

Churches Together in Marnhull : Thanks from Gillingham Food Bank. I am emailing to thank Churches Together in Marnhull for the generous donation to Gillingham Foodbank of £240, received earlier in the week. We are so very grateful for all our donors, without whom we would be unable to provide emergency food to those Blackmore Vale residents who find themselves in food poverty. Due to the current cost of living crisis, we are having to meet increasing demand for our services, so the dona-tion from Churches Together in Marnhull is very much appreciated and will be used to purchase food items which are low in stock.

Carol Service (joint) at the Methodist Church, Gillingham on Thursday 14th December at 7pm

All are welcome to join the Carols by Candlelight service at 7pm on Thursday 14th December at the Methodist Church. There will be the traditional Carols and Lessons along with some lovely organ and piano music and there will be music to please everyone. Admission is free and the service will be followed by mince pies and refreshments.

*CAFOD Israeli-Palestinian Crisis Appeal*.  Donate to CAFOD’s Israeli-Palestinian Crisis Appeal at or call 0303 303 3030 to support those affected and get funds to local trusted experts in Gaza and southern Israel who have been working

alongside communities helping those most in need. Your donation will help support aid workers providing urgent humanitarian aid including food, water and emergency shelter to those in need. Thank you for your prayers.”

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'Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me.' Blessings on all the kind parishioners who donated such thoughtful, generous gifts, collected & packed. 47 lovely boxes will be delivered soon to bring some Christmas cheer to 47 men, women & children in the poorer areas of Eastern Europe.

Please log on the the talk  called 'Hope' given by Pia, one of Jacintha's past pupils from the former St Mary's School,  Shaftesbury.   Click the image to enlarge.

***Parish Evangelisation Group***

The parish evangelisation group meets at Our Lady's parish room every third Thursday evening of each month. This begins at with half an hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in church, then moves to the parish room to discuss encounters and plan activities for the season. We try to limit meetings to one hour.  Everyone is welcome, including friends! Those needing transport, please contact Tony Moore or Deacon James. Many blessings, Tony.

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Silent, Individually-guided Advent Retreats:

`Nov 24 - 26  Friday - Sunday  Weekend Retreat.. Recommended donation:  £140

Nov 26 - 1 Dec:  Monday- Friday :  Midweek Retreat.  Recommended donation: £240

Nov 24 - 1 Dec:  Friday - Friday:  6 Day Retreat.  Recommended donation: £450

Venue:  St Rita's Centre Honition, East Devon.  A well-appointed retreat house with comfortable ensuite accommodation situated in the Vale of Honiton.  Cost includes full board & lodging.  Some of the cost could be offset for individuals who would like to go on a retreat but may have difficulties with the suggested donation.  Please contact Plymouth Diocesan Ignation Spirituality Group at: or phone 01752 769164 or 07823 447637 for further information or booking form

***Advent Retreat Day***

Saturday 9th December 2023 9.30am – 4.00pm


The day will begin with coffee/tea on arrival at 9.30am. The first talk will start at 10.15am. Adoration in silence (with opportunity for Confession) will be at 11.15pm. The second talk will be at 12.10am. Lunch will be served at 1pm. The third talk will start at 2.10pm. Mass at 3.15pm

Cost per person: £25.00 (includes lunch).  For further information & to register your name contact:  St Rita’s Centre Tel: 01404 42635

***Walsingham Pilgrimage: 20th-23rd May 2024*** organised by Our Lady of Lourdes & St Cecilia, Bland-ford Forum—includes half-board accommodation, travel by coach. Cost: £330. Please book by 17th November 2023. Booking forms available. Please phone Marie on 01258 458845 for details.

English tea with scones and clotted cream, jam, strawberries on the white table, copy spac

Click the various links to see news of events in the parish, and the Synod page  with updates.


Caritas and Cafod

Children's Society 

Aid to the Church in Need

And other organisations to put us in touch with those who need our help.

Parish Collections

Parish collections

Thank you for the collections.

The Parish Bank details are: Sort Code   55-61-09   Account  Number 07388381   A/C Name -   PRCDTR Marnhull R.C. Parish Natwest Blandford Forum.   Please make cheques payable to “PRCDTR Marnhull RC Parish”  and send to : The Parish Priest, The Presbytery, Old Mill Lane, MARNHULL, DT10 1JX.     Many thanks, Pam Snell, Parish Treasurer


Sunday Collection.  Please consider donating via Standing Order. Whether you are a tax payer or not this is a simple method, and even better for fundraising is the option of Gift Aid from taxpayers. If you would like applications for either or both of these it would be most valuable to the parish. Please contact the Treasurer, Pam Snell - via:     Thank you,  Pam. 

Online banking payments is another alternative but the REFERENCE FIELD  i.e. your surname and gift aid envelope number, must be completed so that we can identify donors. This is particularly important if you are a taxpayer allowing Gift Aid reimbursements, although non-tax payers can use this method also.  For forms and further information please phone Pamela Snell [ Parish Treasurer] on:  email: 


Forms are available in each church and on the website. Also, a form can be sent to you by email if you contact


Get an advance copy of the newsletter with more parish information by signing up to the parish email group with Tony Moore: 

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