Get an advance copy of the newsletter (and 'Coronavirus Special') with more parish information by signing up to the parish email group with Tony Moore: 




Pope Francis during the Urbi et Orbi blessings at St Peter's Basilica.  27th March Click to see



A letter from Bishop Mark on Palm Sunday preparing us for Good Friday.   Click to see

A letter from Father Martin.


Dear parishioners,

On Easter Day, one usually thanks all the people who have tirelessly worked during the busy days of the ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter. This should not be omitted, because I know that all sorts of preparations were in hand long before circumstances overtook us. Our deacons, Mike and James, with their wives, are an enormous support to me personally and to the parish as a whole. The organists, Sarah and Paul, are dedicated to serving the Liturgy, together with the choir, as beautifully as we can. Sacristans, altar servers, flower arrangers, the cleaners and polishers of our churches throughout the year are all deserving of our thanks. We should not forget those who look after the finances and other practicalities of parish administration.


I received lots of lovely Easter Cards which the children at our school had made. I think that many of them were done at home and transmitted through the wonders of technology to Mrs Myatt, and so to me. The children promise to be back at school soon and to be very loud - so as to cheer me up! Thank you all.

God bless you all.

Fr M

Homily for Easter Day.


Christ is Risen Alleluia!


For some years now, certain verses from Holy Scripture have impressed upon my mind a thought which I have used to carry us through Passiontide and into the season of the Resurrection. This year, the words spoken by the blind men as Our Lord was passing near Jericho in response to his question, "What do you wish me to do for you?" came in to my mind even before Lent began. They said to him,


"Lord, that our eyes be opened." St Matthew's account continues, "And Jesus, having compassion on them, touched their eyes. And immediately they saw, and followed him." (Mt20.29ff) The crowd rebuked those men when they cried out, "Lord have mercy on us" but Jesus stopped and called them to him.

For Lent, we needed to recognize and admit our condition of blindness, and to call upon the Lord in humility that he should have mercy upon us and heal us. Our eyes then will have been opened to acknowledge our own wretchedness and sinfulness- and then, when we had thrown ourselves at the feet of Our Lord, we would receive the healing we desired. And the first thing, or rather, the first person we see in our healed condition is our Saviour himself, the Lord Jesus.


During the solemn days of Holy Week, on Maundy Thursday we have been enabled to witness the depths of the love that Our Lord has for his disciples, whose feet, he, the Lord of the Universe, does not hesitate to wash, and to whom he gives his precious Body and Blood as the food and medicine which sustains and heals. On Good Friday, we, together with the centurion and those who were watching Jesus at the Crucifixion, having seen, "the things that were done", are moved to say with them, "Indeed, this was the Son of God.


On Easter Day, with opened eyes, - with Mary Magdalene, and the Apostles Peter and John, we see that the tomb is empty. We also hear their testimony and that of the other disciples that they have seen him - Alive, Risen, Glorified - and so ourselves come to see that this is indeed so.


"What do you wish me to do for you?"  Lord, that our eyes might be opened."


In what is for many a troubling time, it is sometimes difficult for us to see what is going on- but we are in union with Christ, the light which shines in the darkness and which the darkness cannot overcome. He is risen and he calls us to rise with him, out of the darkness, and to sing, "This is the Day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad."

“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot, at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.” 

This Palm Sunday at 3.00pm Deacon Michael will be leading a meditation of Stations of the Cross using the app

These are the meeting details:

Stations of the Cross, hosted by Michael Turnbull, Sunday, Apr 5, 2020 3:00 pm | 1 hour | (UTC+01:00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London.  

Meeting number: 146 166 077   Password: RDtMPHJY233 Join by video system.   Dial    You can also dial and enter your meeting number.  

Join by phone +44-20-7660-8149 United Kingdom Toll  Access code: 146 166 077

The "https://....." can be pasted into the address bar of the browser and it will prompt the download of a desktop application. If you have a laptop with microphone and camera, the downloaded app will find these.  If the technology works, we may look at Rosary. Easter Readings, etc.

ALSO: Stations of the Cross with Bishop Barron:

The following links are for live streaming Masses: ​

Several Catholic churches and cathedrals now have webcams and stream Holy Mass live; some daily, some just on Sundays, so you can still share in the Mass, although it’s no substitute for actually being present. Here are some of the many links. I made a list, checked them out, then noted the times of the Masses and chose one to suit our schedule:

Plymouth Cathedral 11.00 Sunday (you may need to search for the right day:

Salisbury at 0955 on Sunday: 

Bournemouth at 0800 on Sunday:  

Bishop Barron, (Word on Fire) at 12.30 (UK time):

St John's Bath:  10.00 am Live Mass.


The Slipper Chapel, Walsingham.  or  Shrine Live Stream on You Tube

Holy Mass from Redemptorist Publication    YouTube celebrated by Fr Dennis McBride.

St Anthony's Church, West Moors:  Note: the links for the Mass only appears at the time of Mass, but remains afterwards. You can find a listing for our parish Mass times, at:

The times for the Triduum services will be: 7pm Maundy Thursday 3pm Good Friday 9pm Easter Vigil (Saturday night) You can watch any of these after the time as well.


Bridport Parish: from Sunday, 29th March the 10am Sunday Mass (as well as the Easter Triduum) will be live-steamed on Facebook.  Look for our parish page: Bridport Catholic Parish ( and click on the live-feed.  These services will be saved and available on the page if you wish to view them at a different time.

  • Remember to check on your neighbours who may need help.

  • If you manage to get a food delivery from a supermarket, perhaps you know someone who needs some shopping and you could include their requirements to your list?

  • Perhaps someone would just like a chat on the phone?

  • If you need support and feel that your friends and fellow parishioners can help, then please contact Steve Carrivick on 07887 988123  or Annette Lyons on 07986 301357. and they will see what can be done.  There will be other contacts added as they become available.

  • Elizabeth O'Toole, who runs the Prayer Wheel will be happy to organise prayers said for you - or perhaps you would like to be one of her 'pray-ers'.  Steve or Annette can pass your requests on to her, or you can email this site on and we can let her know.

There are also help groups set up through town councils in our area:

Sturminster Newton:   An initiative during the current crisis has been adopted in SturminsterNewton.  Anybody requiring help should contact Dorset Councillor Carole Jones on 01258-472497 (mobile 07968-348481, e-mail: , or the Mayor, Councillor Helen Lacey, tel. 01258-473133 (e-mail  They are co-ordinating a band of helpers who will shop, collect prescriptions, post mail and telephone daily to anyone who is afraid or unable to leave home to check all is well and if anything is required. This initiative covers Sturminster, Hinton St. Mary and Marnhull. Andrew Donaldson.

Marnhull:  Village Helpline 01305 490000.  Phone line active 8am-8pm every day. A team of volunteers to assist with shopping, dog walking or to provide support in other ways.

Stalbridge: Tony Troughton-Smith 01963 364693 or 07526 375704.  ALSO:  a new number for help in Stalbridge, thanks to the coordinators of the Voluntary Car Scheme, who have kindly morphed into a helpline.  The numbers are 07746 100299 and 07512 489531.  You will be put in touch with someone from “Stalbridge Helpers” who may be able to help you.

Gillingham:   01747 823588, and each resident will, by now, have had a leaflet delivered.


FOOD BANK:  When I enquired of the Gillingham Foodbank last week I was told:-

They have no plans to change the opening hours, which remain 10.00am to noon on Monday and Thursday (they do not have enough volunteers to open longer);   They need Fruit Juice and Spaghetti.   Monetary contributions are best made by cheque payable to: Gillingham Food Bank.  As our churches are no longer open, you may consider putting your contribution in the baskets provided at the supermarkets.  Thanks to all who help this wonderful charity.

Blessings and best regards, Dennis O'Toole



Dear SPUC supporter, I hope that you and your family are keeping well. The Coronavirus crisis underlines the value of every human life; something we in the pro-life movement are only too aware of.
However, the abortion lobby continues to exploit the current crisis. Not only are abortion clinics still open for business, but the governments in both Westminster and Scotland have given the go-ahead for DIY abortions at home. This is dangerous for women who are being given powerful drugs, designed to kill their unborn baby, and left alone to self-administer the pills and undergo the horrific ordeal of abortion.
 Contact your MP

Please email your MP as soon as you can asking him/her to contact the Prime Minister’s office calling on Boris Johnson to reverse immediately the horrific mandate for home abortions during the Covid 19 pandemic. For Scottish supporters, you can also contact your MSP and ask them to insist the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, reverses this policy in Scotland.
Whether your MP is pro-life, anti-life or is undecided on this issue, every MP needs to know that they have pro-life constituents who are deeply concerned about this deadly change to abortion provision.
 Pro-life voices must be heard at this time. Sending a short personal email to your MP will make all the difference. Please send the reply you receive from your MP to

With my heartfelt thanks and best wishes,

Antonia Tully        Director of Campaigns.



The charity normally supports 360 children: children who earn a few pennies cleaning car windscreens at traffic lights, begging, and selling their bodies!  Like many cities during this virus crisis, Medellin is in lockdown too. So no dirty windscreens at the lights, no passers-by to beg from and no-one to buy bodies. Fr Peter and his band of 16 helpers are taking food parcels to the 360 children in the shanty-towns on the outskirts of the city.

This week they have increased their reach, having discovered another 200 hungry children. They bring them potatoes, pasta, mainly starchy foods, and eggs.   Because of the lockdown , 8 UK fundraising campaigns have had to be cancelled, meaning that children will go hungry. How do you decide which children to feed? Who’d be Father Peter?

But our parish has a reputation with HQ LTCL as a generous parish. To help maximise our donations, we have included on this parish website, the gift aid certificate found on the front of the LTCL envelopes, in PDF form, for you to download, cut out, complete and send off, so the children benefit from the 25% extra under the Gift Aid scheme. My new friend at HQ was delighted when I suggested we do this, so let’s not disappoint.  We have a reputation to maintain. Let the Children Live!  Thanks to Anna R. and her team for coordinating on behalf of our parish.

The children of Medellin, Colombia have been benefiting from our aid for many years with collections after Mass every Sunday.  They will be feeling the loss of our help very much.  With this in mind we have attached a Gift Aid sheet here, with four separate forms for ongoing use which you can download and place in an envelope to send to the charity.  The address in Walsingham is at the bottom of the form.

The Rededication Of England As The Dowry Of Mary – Prayers for the Novena in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham began again on Monday 30th March following the celebration of the Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry. Prayer. pamphlets for this novena are available from Annette, who emailed:  I will put the Novena Booklets in the notice board case at St Benedict's if anyone would like one; I can drop one off if you want to contact me. There are also the 'Walk With Me' booklets which continue from the Lent ones, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. And David donated some rosaries which are also in the case with 'How to say the Rosary' cards.”  Thanks Annette!

“O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy Dowry, and upon us all, who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O sorrowful Mother, intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works, we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen.”

Parish Sweepstake: March draw: 1. Alison Hassall; 2. Patrick Roche; 3. Richard de Pelet. Thank you to all who participate in this fundraiser. Good luck for the coming year.

For those gardeners among us, I have found that, although garden centres are closed to the public, their entire stock will be wasted without a customer base. So they will deliver your order.  Please support them at this time, or they may be out of business when we need them, after the crisis finishes. I phoned my order in late yesterday at Thorngrove, Gillingham  on 01747 822242,  (the best plants and value for money for miles around), and I await confirmation today. ( free delivery within 5 miles!)

Meanwhile.........please Pray for those who are ill:

Ellen Paris, Monica Goode, Brendan Colohan, Terry Hayward, Valerie Evill, Jennie Spetch,  Coral & Johnny Harrow, Betty Walford, Fr Keith Collins, Joyce West, Sarah Mackay, Ronnie Bird, Mary Extance, Ethne O’Sullivan, Barbara Frost, Tony Timoney-White, Mary Bradbury, Joe Briffa, Bernard McRory, Judith Davidson, Irena Magill, Mary Hawtree, Phil Coyne, and Sally Hoy.

Parish collections

Parish Standing Order Form:  For parishioners wishing to contribute to church finances whilst our churches are closed, a Parish Standing Order form [to commence after 6th April 2020] is available upon request from the treasurer, Pamela Snell: 01258 821463.  

Gift Aid contributors who usually use numbered envelopes can switch to this method for the foreseeable future if desired.

The last few envelopes for this Tax Year 2019/20 can still be used if you wish to send a cheque with them payable to PRCDTR Marnhull R.C.Parish to : The Parish Priest, The Presbytery, Old Mill Lane, MARNHULL, DT10 1JX


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 the Easter Offering type your name & EASTER in the reference field.  For forms and further information please phone Pamela Snell [ Parish Treasurer] on:  01258 821463  or email:

Brian adds: “With the present inability to distribute and use the regular envelopes, especially for the new year from 12th April – please use the above proposals if you can.  Brian White – Gift Aid Organiser.

The parish of Our Lady's Marnhull (Dorset) covers the towns and villages of: Bourton, Buckhorn Weston, Child Okeford, East Orchard and West Orchard, East Stour and West Stour, Stour Provost, Stour Row, Fifehead Magdalen, Fifehead Neville & Fifehead St Quentin, Gillingham, Hammoon, Hazelbury Bryan, Henstridge, Hinton St Mary, Kington Magna, Lydlinch, Manston, Margaret Marsh, Marnhull, Milton on Stour, Okeford Fitzpaine, Silton, Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton, Todber & Kings Stag.

Site Map

Archive Newsletters


Web Contact    (for contacting web admin.       For the priest or deacons - see Contact's page)

© 2016 Marnhull & Gillingham RC Parish