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4th Week of Easter   21st April 2024        Psalter Week 4
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  • Our Lady's & St Benedict's Newsletter with the parish news.  Click image (left) to download

  • If anyone would like to help with any other aspect of parish life, please see the Parish Life page for ideas and contact details.

  • See below for Parish bank account details, collections & Sweepstake info

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

  • Please scroll down for Events, Retreats & Pilgrimages

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, Brian White, John Graham


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

Vocations/Good Shepherd Sunday 21st April 2024


Today is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. It is an opportunity to pray for vocations and to encourage those who may be considering ordained or religious life. The Diocese of Plymouth also asks for your assistance in supporting our seminarians through their training and formation, both through prayer and financial support. If you are able to contribute to our Seminarians’ Fund, either as a single donation or through regular giving, please pick up a leaflet or go to




Fr Michael Cole, much-loved priest of this Parish from 1989 to 2002, died peacefully at 9am on Monday 8th April.


One of our parishioners remembered Fr Michael as loving a good party – he was often the last to leave and would regale everyone with Cornish folk songs. Every Shrove Tuesday he hosted a pancake party for Parishioners, he arranged several pilgrimages, one of which was to Lourdes with disabled children from the area. He was a wonderful priest and an incredibly kind and generous man.

Funeral Arrangements

Fr Michael Cole had requested that his funeral should be at the cathedral. His family are the oldest family at the cathedral, and he was ordained there.

Reception into Plymouth Cathedral Tuesday 14th May, 4pm & Vigil Mass at 6pm

Requiem Mass: Wednesday 15th May, 11am Burial afterwards at Weston Mill cemetery.

Parking may be limited on the day of the Requiem. Please park at the St Luke's Western Approach Address: Stonehouse, Plymouth PL1 1AJ

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr Michael and keep his family in your prayers at this time.


Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.



Church is a Holy Place

The Real Presence of Our Lord in a church is what differentiates the Catholic Church from all others. Sometimes we can forget the awesome nature of that Presence. In order to help us all it would be good to maintain a respectful silence at all times when in church, both before and after Mass. Attending Mass is a wonderful opportunity not only to pray together in common but also to actively care for those around us, so a desire to chat with and support friends and newcomers is understandable, but let us do so not in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. At Our Lady’s the side chapel is always available and at Gillingham the new church will offer a wonderful opportunity to develop our respect for the Real Presence, but until we move it would be good to return to a habit of silence in that reality. Fr Joseph


Big Diocesan Quiz Join us and bring your friends Friday 10th May at 7pm for 7.30pm start at The Side chapel, Our Lady’s Church, Marnhull

Ticket price: £10 and includes a Ploughman’s Supper. Support the work of the Catholic Children society and have a fun evening.

We need to know numbers attending! Contact Steve Carrivick and advise how many will be attending:


Marnhull Church Together Talk : Spirituality and Art.

Jacintha has been invited to give a talk on Spirituality and Art on Friday 17th May at 11am at the Methodist Church Hall, Pilwell, Marnhull. This is just opposite the surgery. A light lunch will be offered following the talk for a donation to cover the cost. This fascinating subject explores how humankind has expressed beauty and the transcendent through the medium of art. The talk will mainly be focused on Christian pictorial art, however as there will be references to iconoclasm, the movement which forbade representational art, there will be some reference how humankind has overcome this obstacle by expressing their encounter with the divine in other ways. Everyone is welcome.

Sturminster Choral Society 27th April at 7.30pm

“There are several of our congregation who sing with Sturminster Choral Society and would appreciate your support at this our Spring Concert. This programme includes several other items besides the main choral work, Puccini 's Messa Di Gloria including, Ave Maris Stella, Cantique de Jean Racine, Locus Iste and Panis Angelicus, plus items by our soloists. Drinks are available during the interval for our audience. Looking forward to seeing you on the 27th April at , St Mary’s Church, Sturminster Newton” Charles Snell, Chairman, Sturminster Choral Society

Modern Slavery Awareness 30th April 10.30-12.30, Wimborne, BH15 2EG

Event Modern slavery is a serious crime being committed across the UK in which victims are exploited for someone else’s gain. It can take many forms including trafficking of people, forced labour and servitude. Victims are often hidden away, may be unable to leave their situation, or may not come forward because of fear or shame. This 2-hour event will hear from a speaker about modern slavery in our Diocese and how we are called to respond and follow with group discussions and a Q&A with an expert panel. There will be practical advice about what to look out for and what we can do if we have concerns. The event will take place after Mass on Tuesday 30th April from 10.30-12.30 at the Church Hall, St Mary’s Church, 211A Wimborne Rd, Poole, BH15 2EG .

Please email or call 01364 645425 to register

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Catechetical Summer Camps for Young People

Applications are now being taken for places at the Plymouth Diocese Catechetical Summer Camps, to be held between 28th July and 8th August at Grangehurst House, Buckfast Abbey. Camp details can be obtained from your parish priest or via Information is also available at summer-camps/ Prompt applications are advisable.

Preparation for Pentecost : THE GIFT

Starting Thursday 11th April 2pm at Sequoia, Brinsley Close, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1 FZ. THE GIFT is a six week CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) programme which has been successfully run in this parish several times. Just for YOU. If you have been before, even more gifts the second time!  It is not too late to join, even if you missed the first session.

Further details ring Heather on 01258 472 392 speak to Deacon Mike. 


Due to the later launch this year of the Parish Sweepstake the uptake of entries has not quite reached the required number to make it viable. There I am extending the deadline date to 21st April. Please, if you have not yet sent in your subscription and completed application, could you return them to be in with a chance for the draw on 28th April. Well done to the 68 parishioners who have already joined in. Many thanks, Pam Snell, Treasurer

Marnhull Churches Together – Lent Lunches and Talks

Thank you to all those who supported the Lent Lunches and talks; this year they raised £518.07p, and all monies will go to a Dorset project for the homeless. The talks on the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love were very thought provoking and provided a very good witness to the local efforts made to further Christian unity. Pope Francis has recently quoted “Christian unity is an essential requirement of our faith, a requirement that springs from the intimacy of our being as believers in Jesus Christ”- and Our Lady’s parishioners provided an exceptional witness to his words. Heartfelt thank you to everyone. - Jacintha and Jennie


Thank you for your Generosity!

We have received thank you letters from CAFOD who received the donation of £854.83 for the Lent Collection.

Missio - Our Lady’s & St Benedict’s raised £730 through the Red Boxes in 2023

We have also received thank you letters from Gregory Hogan, the Port Chaplain in Southampton for Stella Maris for the donation of Easter eggs, kindly delivered by Annette.

And finally from Ride & Stride, the Dorset Historic Churches Trust to those Parishioners who took part last year in the cycle ride. If you are interested in the work of any of these charities, tmore details are available on the Parish website:


Sturminster Choral Society 27th April at 7.30pm “There are several of our congregation who sing with Sturminster Choral Society and would appreciate your support at this our Spring Concert. This programme includes several other items besides the main choral work, Puccini 's Messa Di Gloria including, Ave Maris Stella, Cantique de Jean Racine, Locus Iste and Panis Angelicus, plus items by our soloist's. Drinks are available during the interval for our audience. Looking forward to seeing you on the 27th April at , St Mary’s Church, Sturminster Newton” Charles Snell, Chairman, Sturminster Choral Society

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Thank you to all those who attended the New Church Bric a brac last Wednesday - donations came to £150.

The Holy Face of Jesus & many other beautiful Catholic prayer cards, including St Michael, A Mother's prayer now available for sale in the repository (small cupboard at the back of the St Benedict’s & in the side chapel of Our Lady’s). Individually priced or 50p each.

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Daily Prayer

If you struggle with daily prayers and are tempted to skip them - why not try this little prayer booklet which contains simple prayers to take you through the day, including Morning Offering, the Angelus and Memorare.  Priced at £1 and available in the repository of each church.

**Gift Aid 2024

The Gift Aid envelopes for tax year 2024/25 are now available at the back of each church. Apologies for the delay in getting them to you. Any queries please contact Paul Bowe at

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Refugees at Home


Refugees at Home connects people with a spare room to refugees and asylum seekers in need of somewhere to stay. We recruit and support volunteer hosts who are willing to offer a temporary home and a helping hand. Our role is to carefully match each guest and host, to assess and prepare them ready for hosting, to advise on hosting arrangements and accommodation, and to provide ongoing support to hosts throughout each stay. Each placement is different, and the length of hosting can vary from a few nights to several months and anything in between. Hosting is entirely altruistic, and we do not pay hosts for giving up their spare rooms. We are always looking for new hosts with a spare room or two, in cities and towns that are well connected and have good public transport systems. This enables our guests to travel to college, school, support groups or jobs, and retain their independence. Please refer to our website for further information on becoming a host:


You can also contact the Caritas Diocese of Plymouth Refugee and Migration Project Lead, Alex Miranda, for more details:

Christmas Boxes 2023 - Thank you


If you would like to find out how the Christmas Boxes which we packed last year were distributed click on this link House of Opportunity which takes you to their website and videos of Christmas box distributions here - the videos are very moving. Once again, God Bless all those who contributed so generously.

In advance, can anyone knit cosy scarves (not too bulky), for next Christmas? Annette.

P.S: Keep buying shoes in shoe boxes!

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GDPR Forms - Please help by filling out a form

As a result of a change in UK law, we now need your consent as to how we contact you. As a Diocese we are committed to ensuring that information we hold about individuals is properly and securely managed in accordance with legal requirements on data protection and direct marketing. I would be very grateful if you would complete a GDPR form at the back of the church, or download it here and return it in a sealed envelope to the Deacons. Hopefully it is self-explanatory but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me at or telephone on 01258 820388 (Mon, Weds, Fri 9am-1pm). Many thanks, Harriet (Parish Secretary)

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CAFOD Dorset Big Lent Walk


Last Saturday Marnhull and Gillingham parishes walked with Sherborne and Blandford parishes from Sturminster Newton trailway to Shillingstone station (pictured). A wonderful opportunity for our neighbouring parishes to come together and help raise vital funds for communities around the world fighting poverty - so far our has parish raised £130 in sponsorship Thank you! Steve

AND: CAFOD Fast Day collection A big thank you to all our parishioners for your support of CAFOD. Our Lent Fast Day collection raised an impressive £909.83.

Update on the New Church

We have now taken possession of the new church in Gillingham High Street. Renovation and conversion, taking approximately 6 months, will prepare the building for Catholic worship and community uses (within the mission of the Church). We have appointed a project manager, Philip Hughes Associates of Wincanton who will be responsible for all the internal and external works, and he will be supervised by Plymouth Diocese Property Commission and Father Joseph.


Planning permission is being sought to convert a portion of the ancillary church facilities into priests’ residential accommodation (a presbytery), and to form a new vehicular access and parking area off Barnaby Mead. We have had positive feedback from Dorset County Council for our initial planning enquiry. We will be creating a beautiful Sanctuary, installing a Confessional, creating a Sacristy, Vestry and Parish Office.

The dedication (name) of the church will be decided in due course by the Bishop of Plymouth. From a redundant Army church, we have acquired , a beautiful altar, font and ambo made from Portland Stone, and they are stored with the stonemason. Some repair works to the building will start very soon. The intention is to enable this building to be converted, repaired and strengthened to sustainably meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of the community for many years to come. Once up and running this means that within our parish we will have the oldest and the newest churches in the diocese. Our Lady’s Marnhull is an historical and spiritual gem and it will remain the parish church and Mass will continue to be celebrated there. The new church will meet the varied and growing needs of our parish. Praise be to God.

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: 


Caritas Diocese of Plymouth Upcoming Events 

Please click the link to read about what events are coming up:

Saturday 13th APRIL 2024, 11am- 12.30

National Board of Catholic Women Webinar invites you to a WEBINAR, organised by the Women in the Church Committee 

Saturday 13th APRIL 2024, 11am- 12.30. PRAYING WITH ICONS, the talk will be given by Patricia Stoat from Nottingham Diocese. Patricia is an experienced speaker on theology and spirituality and has been praying with icons for many years. Zoom Meeting ID : Meeting ID: 812 6225 3037 Passcode: 92772

Stay Awake is taking place for the sixth year on Saturday 13 April, 2024 from 10:00 – 19:00 at All Saints Church of England Academy, Weymouth. Looking to go deeper with Jesus? Come along for some inspiring and thought-provoking talks, Holy Mass, kids' activities, praise and worship and pizza! This is an event for everyone and anyone. Tickets are free for those in Year 9 and under, £10.00 for those in Year 10 – 13, and only £12.50 for everyone else!

Tickets available now, online from

Youth Event - Adventure Weekend This year’s Youth Adventure weekend will be at Grangehurst, Buckfast Abbey, 24th – 26th May. Changing the location has meant that we can offer different adventure activities. We plan to offer caving amongst other activities. This year’s theme is ‘I am with you’ Mt 18:20. In between activities and games, young people will have the chance to explore the scripture and consider ways to communicate with God. This weekend of aimed at 10 – 13 year olds. Cost £100. To book: Further questions please contact Saskia:

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.

Buckfast Abbey Events & Retreats

Guided Retreats at Buckfast Abbey

Priests' Retreat 8th-12th April 2024

Creation Retreat 6th-10th May 2024

Garden Retreat 14th-18th October 2024

For more information & to book:


The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, in conjunction with the Knights of St Columba, has launched a new prayer effort called, ‘Let Life Flourish: A Spiritual Bouquet.’ We are calling all people, Catholics especially, to pray for the protection of human life from conception to natural death. We are in a situation currently, where the legal framework for abortion may be voted down in parliament so that babies can be aborted with impunity up to birth and there will be no penalty for disposing of the body of a full-term baby. A concerted prayer effort is needed to combat this evil. Please go to and register the prayers you wish to contribute to this effort.
This is a timely pro-life opportunity for us to support an amendment to our abortion law which would reduce the time limit for legal abortion from 24 weeks to 22 weeks. Babies born prematurely at 22 weeks are thriving so there is a contradiction in our abortion law. Please collect a postcard today from the back of the church and post it to your MP in support of the amendment. (Polling from ComRes has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below).


RECEPTION INTO FULL COMMUNION WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - Please pray for Carolyn Brice who is preparing to be received into the Catholic Church at Easter. As a baptized Christian, her reception involves Confession prior to  Easter and then a Profession of Faith followed by the celebration of Confirmation and the Eucharist during Holy Mass itself. Do keep her in your prayers throughout Lent.  Carolyn attended the Rite of Election at Plymouth Cathedral on Sunday 18th February with her sponsors, Heather Johnson & Tony Moore.


Hospital Stays

f you have a stay in hospital and would like a priest to visit you, it is worth making a point of saying so to the nurse who admits you or getting someone to tell the Catholic Chaplain. Otherwise data protection rules may prevent the word getting through. Also, let the parish priest know, and try to make sure your records are up-to-date as far as your religion is concerned; apparently such records are not infrequently out of date or erroneous. This can of course be another reason why a priest wouldn’t be aware that you were in hospital.


CAFOD Free Will Writing service/ CAFOD Side by Side Magazine

“Gifts in Wills pay for over a third of our development work. With a gift in your Will, many more families can access nourishing food, clean water, and the tools they need to build a better life and a brighter future.” Details on the CAFOD website https:// or speak to Steve Carrivick in our parish. Please take a copy of the latest CAFOD magazine.which has details of the funds raised & much more. If you would like to know more about CAFOD or consider becoming a Parish Volunteer, please speak to Steve Carrivick:

Recycle your used ink cartridges and raise money for the Catholic Children’s Society, Plymouth at the same time. Please place used cartridges in the boxes in Our Lady’s Side Chapel and in the porch of St Benedict’s. Thank you.

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.

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