Newsletter 393 3rd December 2023


1st Sunday of Advent, Year B

The New Year in the Church begins with the season of Advent — a time to help us prepare for Christmas, when we celebrate the fulfilment of our longing for the Saviour with the birth of Jesus. It’s the season that lasts about four weeks, beginning four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. The Church’s Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve and lasts for twelve days.

So, Advent is a season of anticipation that leads up to Christmas. During this time, we observe a season of prayer, and reflection – followed by anticipation, hope and joy. Each Sunday during Advent we light a candle on the Advent wreath. The Advent wreath contains 5 candles. Three of the candles are purple, one pink and the central one is white. This week, we have Hope – the expectation of what is to come and sometimes prophecy, the Prophet’s Candle (Isaiah), and we use the purple candle as it symbolises repentance and fasting and also, the colour of royalty.

As we begin this new liturgical year, it is good that we reflect of why we meet as a Community.  In our communities of St. Joseph’s, St. Elizabeth’s and St. Edmund Campion, Jesus Christ meets our five deepest needs:

  • Purpose to live for – Weekly worship helps us focus on God.
  • People to live with – Community helps us face life’s problems and joys.
  • Principles to live by – Discipleship and conviction helps fortify our Faith.
  • Profession to live out – Ministry helps exercise our talents.
  • Power to live on – Witness and proclamation helps fulfil our mission.

That is why our Churches in Maidenhead exists.

Today we pray in the Eucharist: come, Lord, show yourself; be visible among us.


1st Reading: Isaiah 63: 16-17; 64: 1.3-8

Psalm: 79: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19  R/ God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved

2nd Reading: Corinthians 1: 3-9

Acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! ! Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help. Alleluia!

Gospel: Mark 13: 33-37


Memorials/Funerals: 6th : Marie Paz Shaw

Children’s Liturgy  Artist’s folder needed!  The Children’s Liturgy folder of card for posters etc disappeared in Summer ☹ We would appreciate if you can contribute any large stiff coloured card and/or large A2 or A3 carry folder that you no longer use? Contact Tricia 01628 627265 or triciaweeksmail for further details

Care4Calais emergency fund aid refugees who are facing homelessness and destitution. Volunteers are plugging gaps: issuing emergency cash, providing food, paying costs, sourcing emergency accommodation, etc. Every penny donated goes directly to benefit those most in need. £10 buys warm gloves & hat, £20 buys a warm coat, £60 covers a night’s B&B – every penny helps! Select gift aid if you are eligible. If you can’t donate please share the link for us.

To reduce repeating information in the printed newsletter, we have printed hand-bag/ wallet-friendly information packs and placed them at the entrance/exits of the church. Please keep this with you for future reference. Thank you for helping us save the environment by reducing paper waste!

PT Youth worker needed. Contact Fr Ephraim/ office

From Caritas Portsmouth re COP28 30 Nov – 12 Dec. In Laudate Deum, Pope Francis describes how some of the big changes we need to happen to slow the rate of climate change must come from the actions of governments. Let us pray for the leaders, that they listen to those already affected by climate change and have courage to act. Links to prayer resources:

Advent Project 2023 will support SVP Maidenhead; Fr Ephraim’s – SA Children’s Drop-in Centre; & Fr Noah’s – St Jude’s Youth Centre in Bamenda.  Support us via: ² Soups lunches in the Parish Centre ² 2nd Collections at Sunday Masses.

10 Dec 6pm Carol Service followed by mince pies and mulled wine. All are welcome to join!

Christmas Shoppe is open!

Come get gifts, cards, and more!

Christmas Choir practise Every Tues from 7 Nov 7.15-9.15pm. Do you enjoy singing or can play a musical instrument? Rehearsals for Christmas have started and we welcome new voices and musicians to join us this season and also for Sun 11am Mass. Please talk to Joanna or Claire or let the office know! 

10 Dec after 11am Mass UCM Raffle::Win two Christmas Hampers! There is still time to buy tickets. The money will go towards the buying of trees to improve the environment

Prayer Cards: please contact Joan Boland or the Parish office for prayer cards dedicated to loved ones and special intentions no later than 10 Dec Donations will go towards flowers for Christmas

Advent Parish Reconciliation Services: Advent is a wonderful time to celebrate the reconciling love and the healing graces our Lord offers us. We have services on: 9 Dec 10am St. Edward’s Windsor; 13 Dec 6.30pm – St. Thomas More Twyford; 16 Dec 10am St Edmund Campion’s; 20 Dec 6.30pm St Joseph’s

17th Dec: 3pm Pilipino Traditional Christmas Mass – Simbang  Gabi (Misa de Gallo). See here for more

CAFOD World Gifts  –

Reminder: As we do not put up flower arrangements during the season of Advent & Lent, kindly refrain from leaving flowers at the altars over this season. Thank you

Dates for your Diary


meets on 2nd Sun of each month at St Edmund Campion Hall. If you are bereaved and would find it helpful to talk or share with others who are also grieving, join us over a cup tea and cake .

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness

As violence affects many parts of the world, people of goodwill of all faiths and none are invited to take part in a short vigil to demonstrate solidarity across our diverse community, and our shared wish for peace on earth. The vigil will take place at St Joseph’s Parish Centre from 7:30pm – 9pm, and will include an opportunity for silent reflection – you are invited to come along for as much time as you wish or can spare. If you would like to be involved in organising the event, there are lots of opportunities to get involved in publicity, liaising with community groups, set up on the day, artwork and readings: please contact Suzy on [email protected].


£899.00 pps.  Price includes flight, 10kg hold luggage, 5 nights’ in 4* Castlecourt Hotel, Westport with Dinner, Bed & Breakfast. Lunch on three days.  All entertainment, excursions and transport included.  Visit Knock, Galway City, Kylemore Abbey, Croagh Patrick & Ashford Castle.  Single supplement on Enquiry.  Contact Patricia or Natali on 01268 762 278 or 07740 175557 or email [email protected]

Courses & Talks

Available for all Parents whose child is being Baptised at either St Joseph’s, St Elizabeth’s or St Edmund Campion. The course is a 90-minute preparation and guidance. It is held at St Joseph’s the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm.

by Dr Judith Thomas. Advent is a time of Preparation for celebrating the birth of Christ

St Edmund Campion

For Lower Sixth/Year 12. Do you want to help build a Christian society?  The programme offers stimulating and high-quality intellectual content, spiritual nourishment, personal development, inter-personal skills, team-building, with expert academics and professionals. Bursaries available as needed. See more at

Divine Renovation will be holding the Catholic Parish Summit next June 12th – 14th in Harrogate. The Summit, entitled ‘Where is your parish going?’  will feature Archbishop Mark O’Toole, Sr Miriam James Heidland, and Fr James Mallon, among others. Come along to see what’s behind a growing movement of parishes coming to new life and learn how your parish can do it too. Save your spot today at and be part of this impactful gathering of parish leaders. 

Plus!: Use the Diocese of Portsmouth’s exclusive promo code 25OFFCPS ˟ to save on your ticket before they sell out.

˟ This code will provide 25% off basic tickets and is available until 1stDecember.   Please also note the young adults code to promote for anyone under 30: YA@CPS


Magnificat: This is one of the best publications around for following scripture readings for daily Mass and every Sunday. There are also many interesting articles to help you in your spiritual life. If you would like a copy please get in touch with the Parish Office to arrange. We can leave in the sacristy or post out to you. The Magnificat is only £5 per month. 

Day by Day: Available in the church at all times. Please leave the £1 in the candle box. 


Library: We have a parish library located in the corridor of the Parish Centre. This is dedicated to Theology/Religious books. Please feel free to borrow/swap. 


St Joseph’s Church Repository: is open after 11am every Sunday. We have lots of cards, candles, rosary beads, statues and many more religious gifts on sale. If a Sunday does not suit to visit, then please phone the office on 01628 783988 and we can arrange a time that best suits.


Are you a budding journalist? Or someone with some time to spare?
We are looking to relaunch the biannual Parish Magazine. 
Please contact the Parish office for more details!

Vacancies: We currently have some exciting opportunities across the Diocese for an Estate Manager, IT Manager, Choral Director, and Parish Administrators. 

All vacancies posted here

Other information and links

If you’re away from your church or the Diocese, you can still keep in contact with all the latest news from the Bishop or the Diocese via: E- News  (subscription service available)

Twitter @PortsmouthRC

Facebook @PortsmouthRC @StJoMaidenhead

Are You New To Our Parish?

Thank you for your interest in our parish. Whether you’re just visiting us for a brief time, looking for a new parish home, returning to the practice of your Catholic faith or are interested in finding out more about the Catholic Church, we are happy to answer your questions, listen to your comments and help you in any way that we can. We are a parish of the Diocese of Portsmouth, and are a very vibrant community, made up of ‘old’ Maidenhead families and relative “newcomers” from all walks of life.

We hope that you find our Catholic parish a caring community that is loving, welcoming and supportive of all. Our mission is to grow in the image of Christ through the Holy Spirit, to be formed by the Word and our prayer, to use our gifts to welcome those who are here and reach out to those who are not. We invite you to join us as partners in the mission. Together, let us get to know Christ better and to make Him better known. May God Bless you wherever you are and thank you for exploring our website and newsletter. Please stop by the parish office to introduce yourself! We would love to meet you.

Code: SI: Special Intention, RIP: Rest in Peace, A: Anniversary, FM: Foundation

We would like to get the newsletter distributed on time and are grateful for understanding in the deadline for submissions of announcements and mass intentions. Please send all contributions no later than Thursday 10am.