The Holy Father Francis, apostolic letter on St Joseph:
A reflection on the fatherhood of St Joseph and 'the mission entrusted to him by God's providence'.

It is difficult for us to form a clear picture of the timing of events during Our Lord’s childhood.

Although we celebrate the coming of the wise men twelve days after Christmas the fact that Herod thought it necessary to kill the male children up to the age of two suggests that the Holy Family remained in Bethlehem for some time.

However, when Herod’s evil intentions became clear Joseph had to lead Jesus and Mary to safety in Egypt, out of Herod’s reach.

Herod actually died in 4 BC as we would reckon it but mediaeval scholars got their calculations wrong!

The Romans divided his kingdom among his sons Archelaus, Philip and Antipas and annexed a fourth part under direct rule.

This year the circumstances of the Pandemic with people far away from home and family it is reassuring to know that the Holy Family experienced similar challenges.

Our Lord’s first years were spent in exile in a foreign land with only St Joseph’s craft skills to support them and afraid to return home.

We pray for all displaced and refugee families – especially those in fear for their lives – and entrust them to the care of St Joseph.

Please continue to pray for those parishioners who are sick, in hospital or housebound.

Please remember

  • Bernard Vesmilio,
  • Rachel Evans,
  • John Barrett,
  • Leonard Chamberlain,
  • Michael Vickers,
  • Ted Godden,
  • Patricia Carr,
  • Kate Warner,
  • Alexandra Hutley,
  • John Moffet,
  • Ronald Barnes,
  • Doreen Rooney,
  • Joseph Martin

and Mary Shah whose anniversaries  occur at this time.

This returns to normal apart from Mass at 10.00 a.m. on New Year’s Day – unless of course we are subjected to further changes when the Government reviews the situation on 30th December!

Many thanks for your kind gifts and greetings and especially to those who this year undertook the supervision of our Masses and undertook to sanitise the churches between Masses.

Having celebrated the birth of our saviour and today the feast of The Holy Family of   Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we pray for all families across the world.

We pray especially for all expecting parents who are worried about the practical means of supporting a child, that they would find hope in the story of the Holy Family and their ability to overcome all obstacles”.

We pray that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer.

Jesus, you travelled through towns and villages
 “curing every disease and illness”.
At your command, the sick were made well.
Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus.
May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.
Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.
Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Jesus healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with the families of those who are sick or have died.
As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair.
May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process.
May they know your protection and peace.

Jesus, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare.
In place of anxiety, give us your peace.
Jesus heal us.

Thank you for your continuing support during the Coronavirus crisis.

Foodbanks within the Trussell Trust network have seen unprecedented increases across our network.

We are very thankful for any donations you can give.

We currently need:

UHT long life milk

Fruit juice

Dog food (cans or pouches please)


Size 5 baby nappies

The list above shows what we are in need of as we currently have good stocks of pasta, pasta sauce, biscuits, fish, soup, baby food and cereals.

We also ask for small packs of food as larger packs do not fit in our parcels, making it difficult for our clients to carry home.

Dear Parishioners,

Since the government announced new restrictions this evening I thought I should contact you about the impact on public Masses, especially those for Christmas. 

The Prime Minister stated that unlike the November lockdown 'communal worship' could continue and churches remain open for private prayer.

Since it is essential for work I can travel to Tiptree for Mass even though it is still in Tier 2.

However, those of you who come under Braintree or Maldon councils are legally prohibited from attending Mass at Tiptree.

Equally those who come under Colchester or somewhere else still in Tier 2 may attend Mass at Tiptree but not at Kelvedon or Coggeshall.

If you need to reconsider which Mass you wish to attend or whether you no longer feel able to do so please let me know.

Currently there is a reasonable amount of space at all the Masses, particularly 6.30 p.m. since many who would normally attend this have opted for 4.00 p.m.

The regulations are due for review on 30th December but of course it is possible there may be further changes before then.

Whatever your decision, please keep safe and pray for all your fellow parishioners over this season, and be assured of their prayers and mine,


Every Blessing,


Fr Gordon

Please remember William Neary, Jeanine Bassett, Anthony Said, Agnes Bamford, Eileen Condon, Bill Sullivan, Margaret Moffat, Cyril Payne and Agnes Morden whose anniversaries occur at this time.