Message from Fr Paul Cracknell (Ord.)

Image of Fr. Paul Cracknell, Parish Priest
Fr Paul Cracknell (Ord.)
Parish Priest

A very warm welcome to the Catholic parish of The Blessed Sacrament in the City of Chelmsford Essex. Our parish is part of the Mid-Essex Deanery in the Diocese of Brentwood.

You will find all the information you need regarding the current Coronavirus situation in the menu bar above.

I hope that you find our website informative and I look forward to welcoming you to our parish very soon.

We will regularly keep the website updated so please do check back regularly.

Take care of yourselves and take care of each other.

God bless.

Fr Paul


FR PAUL’S GOSPEL REFLECTION

Fourteenth Sunday of the Year

For sincere advice and the correct time, just call any random phone number around 3 in the morning!

There sometimes seems to be nothing worse than a lack of sleep or rest.

In today’s gospel, Jesus promises rest to those who bear his yoke and burden. Those who labour and are overburdened. However, he may not be speaking here about those who are simply physically tired. He is most likely focusing on those burdened by the demands of the scribes and Pharisees, who ‘’tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders’’ (see Matthew 23:4).

In biblical and Jewish tradition, a yoke often represented religious instruction. In some instances representing the commandments of the Torah – setting out how to live in a covenant relationship with God; or divine Wisdom guiding people in living a holy life.

Jesus brings to his followers a new way – one that completes the law and sums up the commandments in love of God and neighbour. It brings about their peace of mind and heart that surpasses human understanding (see Philippians 4:7).

Our burdens become lighter because of the help of the Lord. Jesus invites us to bear his yoke – a call to discipleship – to submit ourselves to his instruction. We can see how he has authority to teach us when he speaks earlier in today’s gospel of his relationship with the Father. ‘’All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.’’ The Father and the Son are united in their will to reveal each other to the world and so too divine knowledge.

Therefore, responding to Jesus’ call to bear his yoke and burden brings more than just happy repose beyond this life. It brings inner peace in this life – because we too will be united with the Father and Son both now and forever. Furthermore, in bearing the Lord’s yoke and burden, we will be imitating him. His followers are called not just to hear his words but also to act upon them by imitating him. Thomas a Kempis illustrates this in his writings, ‘’The Imitation of Christ’’.

Jesus gives praise to his Father for ‘’revealing these things to mere children’’ rather than the learned and clever. He teaches us to be humble and meek in order to follow his commands and at the same time allow them to bring inner peace.

In the first reading from the prophet Zechariah we see the Lord saying, ‘’Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout with gladness daughter of Jerusalem! See now, your king comes to you; he is victorious, he is triumphant, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’’ Here is the foretelling of Jesus entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, humbly riding upon a donkey, prior to his humble suffering and death upon the cross.

If we turn to the prophet Jeremiah, we see, ‘’They will come and shout for joy on Mount Sion, they will stream to the blessings of the Lord…their life will be like a watered garden. They will never be weary again.’’ (Jer 31:12).

It may also be worthwhile for us to reflect on St. Jerome’s homily on Psalm 41 to the newly baptized: ‘’So then, you who have followed our lead and robed yourselves in Christ, let the words of God lift you out of this turbulent age as a net lifts the little fishes out of the water. In us the laws of nature are turned upside down – for fish, taken out of the water die; but the Apostles have fished us out of the sea that is this world not to kill us but to bring us from death to life.’’

So let us ‘come to him’ who brings us peace now in this life and let us learn from him and imitate him, living a humble and holy life, so that we may share in his peace fully in the eternal life to come.

God bless you all.

Fr Paul.


THIS WEEK’S MASS INTENTIONS

Saturday 4th July
Maura Stone RIP (E. Solomon)

Sunday 5th July
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
People of the Parish

Monday 6th July
Barry and Sheila Mayo, Special Intention
(Mayo Family)

Tuesday 7th July
Doris Taylor RIP (B & S Mayo)

Wednesday 8th July
Snowdon Family Special Intention

Thursday 9th July
Ursula Free RIP (Cavanagh)

Friday 10th July
Gerard Fox RIP (M. Fox)

Saturday 11th July
St Benedict, Patron of Europe – European Feast Kathleen Flanagan RIP (M. Ryan)

Sunday 12th July
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
People of the Parish


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Dear all,

We have received updates from the Diocese and the Bishops’ Conference regarding COVID 19 and the reopening of our Church.  Due to the amount of paperwork and requirements that have been sent we will not be opening before 28th June (possibly even later if things keep changing). With this in mind, we now need to implement procedures. 

We will require a rotating group of stewards to help us keep our church open for private prayer only.  The requirement is at least two stewards at each session.  The rules are clear that to be a steward, you MUST NOT be shielding yourself or living with someone who is on the shielding list.  Currently, we are looking to open the church twice weekly, probably Wednesday and Sunday for three hours.  I would be grateful if you could email me at:- chelmsfordbs@dioceseofbrentwood.org if you wish to be considered for inclusion on the stewards’ rota.

We will also require a rotating group of cleaners to help us keep the church COVID free.  The cleaning will need to be done between open sessions whilst the church is empty and there will be safety equipment (gloves/aprons), cleaning materials and a cleaning checklist for any helpers.  To volunteer, you MUST NOT be shielding yourself or living with someone who is on the shielding list.  Currently, we are looking to open the church twice weekly, probably Wednesday and Sunday for three hours.  I would be grateful if you could email me at:- chelmsfordbs@dioceseofbrentwood.org if you wish to be considered for inclusion on the cleaning rota. This rota will replace the usual cleaning rota until such time as restrictions are lifted.

Please bear in mind that the rules for all volunteers are strict, comprehensive and NOT OPTIONAL.


The Parish Office is now closed so we will not be producing a newsletter for the foreseeable future


Daily live streamed Mass, up to date news and a special message from Monsignor Keith Newton can be found on the website of The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham https://www.ordinariate.org.uk/

LIVE-STREAMED MASS WITH THE NORBERTINES OF ST. PHILIP’S PRIORY

The Norbertines have are “livestreaming” from the Priory chapel via Youtube

These can be found on the Norbertines facebook page https://www.facebook.com/norbertines, or simply click on the line below (or “cut and paste”) and you can find it all on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChlkkivPXvddwvUOQzd9itA