We Are the Living Stones

This week, as you can see, scaffolding now adorns the front of our church. After a drone survey, it became apparent that the tower needed repairing and securing.

Looking at the scaffolding, I recall that Saint Bonaventure related that while Francis of Assisi was praying, the Crucified One said to him, “Go and repair my church”. Pope Francis referred to this incident in his homily at the opening Mass of the Synod that was celebrated on the feast of St Francis last week. Not only does our church building of St Thomas’s need ongoing repairs after nearly 150 years but, as Pope Francis said,

“Mother Church is always in need of purification, of being “repaired”, for we are a people made up of forgiven sinners, always in need of returning to the source that is Jesus and putting ourselves back on the paths of the Spirit to reach everyone with his Gospel.”

As we are caring for the fabric of our building, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us see where we need, as the people of God, to be “repaired” and purified. We are the living stones.

My hope is that our parish community will become a place where all feel welcome. May we be a community where we will encounter Christ in the celebration of the liturgy, in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and in the care we show one another. I desire that our parish community will have a special love for the poor, the marginalised, the sick, the lonely and the forgotten. Most of all, I desire our parish to be a community, that having discovered the joy of the Gospel, will be courageous enough to share this deep joy with those who have never entered through the doors of the Church.

Loving Lord, send your Spirit upon us so that our parish may be a place where we engage with your Son, who is our life and who needs to become the life of every man woman and child. May we be a community where we create and support people in becoming committed missionary disciples.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest