POPE FRANCIS ON A NUMBER OCCASIONS HAS LED THE GLOBAL CHURCH IN PRAYER AND BLESSING FOR THE WORLD AFFLICTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS – LET US EMBRACE THE WORLD WITH PRAYER AND LOVE
 FOODBANKFirstly THANK YOU! to all who have and are supporting our Foodbank and Destitution Fund.You are helping us respond to the very significant increase in demand for our Parish Foodbank since the Emergency began. We do need supplies of EVERYTHING – including fresh meat and vegetables (tinned fish only please). Please ring the door bell at the Parish Office Door (old Presbytery door) at the Assisi Centre Monday to Friday 10am to 3.00pm to drop off any contributions.
What kind of things? Fresh meat and vegetables; Long-life milk and juices, small jars of coffee, tins of meat, fish, vegetables, tinned tomatoes baked beans, soups, custard and fruit; packets of rice, pasta, cereals; jars of pasta sauce, ketchup, mayonaise, packet soups; toilet rolls, bars of soap, toothpaste, and other toiletries.
You are helping us to meet a vital need, making practical in these difficult times ‘love of our neighbour’ and ‘God’s Option for the Poor’. Please be as generous as you can. Thank you in the name of all whom we are serving. Thank you for ‘breaking bread with the poor’.
 Due to technical difficulties broadcasting Mass from St Nick’s Church is unreliable, so I am live streaming Mass from the Prayer Room in the Presbytery. Please join us at 6.00pm Monday to Friday, 12noon on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays. I will also be offering on Facebook prayerful reflections and talks Monday to Friday at 10.30am and Saturdays at 6.00pm, with a Devotional Service on Sundays at 3.00pm
Welcome to St Nick’s, Bristol
A LETTER FROM OUR PASTOR, RICHARD:
“Dear sisters and brothers of St Nick’s parish family,
As I write on this Pentecost Sunday, the sun is shining and restrictions are slowly and VERY CAUTIOUSLY being eased. Many are asking me when we will be able to come together to celebrate Mass. Well, I do not know! And we must all wait until our Bishops have agreed procedures with our Government.
I suspect that when eventually we can begin to have public worship, there will be many restrictions – for instance on numbers attending, social distancing, sanitising etc etc. This will be a challenge for all of us. It might mean that there will need to be two Masses each Sunday in order to accommodate more people: how will we decide who can attend which Mass? How will we ensure the meticulous hygiene measures that are essential if we are to combat this vicious virus? Will we get the volunteers we need to handle all this extra workload?
Your Parish Pastoral Council has begun early thinking on these matters. We are carrying out risk assessments of different scenarios, advised by medical professionals in our parish family as well as those of us who know the building and its needs in detail. Be assured that we are doing all we can to plan for public worship that can be offered with dignity prayerfulness and health safety.
Meanwhile, we, especially as the Church called to be a healing community, must care for the health and well-being of the whole wider community and so the extraordinary measures continue to be a call to a deeper love and more profound faith. The Bible famously says ‘There is time for everything’ – now is the time for us to sacrifice that which we most love – receiving the Christ we meet and share in the Eucharist. God is of course greater than the Sacraments and His love and grace are not restricted to our Sacraments. Jesus, the Emmanuel (the ‘God-with-us), is constantly at our side and deep in our heart – He will never leave us. For all in isolation, know He is with you and in His heart He brings us who care for you also. In Christ we are never alone!
When one door closes another opens as they say! This current crisis has led to a major expansion of our Food bank ministry, as well as calls on our Caritas Destitution Fund, while our Parish Office has become a centre of pastoral care for the wider community in many surprising ways. With the financial crisis which will last much longer that the Health crisis, we anticipate that this ministries (missions) will be with us for a long time, and we are investigating how we can sustain them as part of our parish’s mission.
Furthermore, through the live-streamed daily prayer and talks, and the Mass, the Holy Spirit has gathered a larger and more widespread (far flung even) community – St Nicks on the internet! And I suspect that this too will become a permanent feature of our Mission, reaching out in new ways. We are exploring what infrastructure we need to live-stream Mass effectively when we are back in the church building.
Meanwhile I continue to celebrate Mass everyday of the crisis for you all and invite you to be spiritually united and in communion with this daily offering of the Eucharist. We are ‘live streaming’ these Masses on the Parish Facebook page (‘St Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church Bristol’). I will also be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) by appointment.
The Parish Office is open from 10am to 3.00pm Monday to Friday so that our ministry of care and support, especially for the poorest who need our Food Bank and Caritas Fund, can continue. Please phone the parish office (0117-9090419) during these times or myself at the presbytery (0117-9098810 – at any reasonable time) with your questions, concerns or need for any kind of support.
The Parish Office and members of the Parish Pastoral Council are co-ordinating care and support for those who are in isolation or are vulnerable in any way. Volunteers to help from those able to do so are very welcome. We must care for one another as well as pray for each other.
Sisters and brothers, thank you for all you are doing to support one another and many others in your neighbourhood. Thank you for your generosity in finance, time, energy and concern to make sure the parish can continue (grow even!) as a Light in the Inner City. I am profoundly grateful to the Lord for bringing me to St Nicks as your brother and your pastor. Know that you are prayed for every day!
In the love of Christ Jesus! Shalom! Peace!
PRAY MOST ESPECIALLY FOR THE SICK, FOR ALL HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN HOSPITALS, CARE HOMES AND THE COMMUNITY, AS WELL AS ALL ESSENTIAL WORKERS ENABLING OUR SOCIETY TO FUNCTION AT THIS TIME.
PLEASE ALSO PRAY FOR OUR NATION AND ALL NATIONS AROUND THE GLOBE STRUGGLING WITH THIS PANDEMIC. SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER WITH KINDNESS AND CARE, ESPECIALLY OUR ELDERLY AND MOST VULNERABLE. LET US EXPLORE HOW WE CAN EFFECTIVELY SUPPORT OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBOURHOODS – LET THE LIGHT OF CHRIST’S COMPASSION AND LOVE SHINE THROUGH US AND GIVE THE GLORY TO GOD!
Whether this is your first time to our Church family, or you have been coming here for many years – all are very welcome to be part of this wonderfully multi-cultural and diverse community of faith and friendship. This parish has been witnessing to Christ and serving the people of this part of Bristol since 1848.
We are a ‘Communion of Communities in Mission’ with more than 60 nationalities who gather each Sunday at 10am to celebrate God’s great Love for the world in our Mass.
Our commitment is to be a people at the service of the poor, both locally and globally; to be a community of warmth and welcome; to be a community of healing and hope. We are committed to work for the unity of the Church with our brothers and sisters of other Christian traditions, sharing mission and worship together; and to seek to build a fellowship of all believers among the many world faiths in our area.
In other words, we have long been seeking to grow as the kind of community that Pope Francis envisages in his Letter ‘Joy in the Gospel’