Newsletter 397 7th January 2024


3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B

Advent is a time of joy – joy in the waiting and this Sunday we light the joyful rose-coloured candle. The messenger in the first reading is the ‘joyful messenger’, and his joy is that God is near and God is coming. This would be the message of Jesus –that he was the joyful messenger of his Father’s love. He would be the shepherd – the one who cares, knows and actively looks after the sheep. John the Baptist is the voice of joy and energy, preaching the new message. Voices of Advent to bring God near –   The central message within all the voices of Christmas. God’s Christmas voice is ‘I love you, you are all brothers and sisters, and nothing except love is final’. Not just a voice…but actively loving in word and deed.
One way of touching that love is the Mass.  Jesus is not really love from the sky, but food of the Eucharist, that nourishes us and makes a difference. We bring our ordinary concerns to Mass, and let God lighten them and transform them, and enlighten us with his word.  The voice of God makes sense of and brings light into the ordinariness of life. God is present in his word, and in his body – we wait in joy for the Word to be made flesh.
Remember this week what makes you joyful about the coming feast of Christmas and be grateful. Lord I believe your word was made flesh and appeared among us.

3rd Sunday of Advent: Joy

1st Reading: Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11

Psalm: 84: 9-14 R/ My soul rejoices in my God

2nd Reading: First Thessalonians 5: 16-24

Acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! The spirit of the Lord has been given to me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor. Alleluia!

Gospel: John 1: 6-8, 19-28



6th : Marie Paz Shaw

21st: Salvatore  Savoca

If you want to donate directly to SVP for helping refugees who are facing homelessness & destitution, you can do so via CDP Maidenhead St Josephs Church Ac 00882667 / 30-93-04. Please include your full name and “+SVP” so we can earmark your contribution.

We have a new contactless machine that will accept Gift Aid! You only have to input your details ONCE and ALL future donations with the same card will be Gift-Aided!

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


Many thanks to all of you who supported this year’s event on the 1st December. I think that many of you who came along had a very enjoyable time! We managed to raise £1,737 in funds to send directly to our mission in Cambodia. Well done! 

Office is closed from 22 Dec – 1 Jan. Next week will be our bumper Christmas issue! Please submit announcements/ etc by Wednesday 20th Dec 10am

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.

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! 

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 11am CHRISTINGLE will be celebrated during the Children’s Liturgy session in the Main Hall. Please come and help with Christingle making in the Hall before Mass at 10 a.m. – all are welcome!

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

24 Dec 5.30pm Children’s Nativity Mass: Come and help us tell the amazing Christmas story by dressing up as angels, shepherds, kings, donkeys etc.  If you are short of tinsel, crowns or tea towels, there will be costumes available.  Quick rehearsal in Main Hall before mass at 5 p.m. There are sign up forms in Church or email [email protected] or 07753 840611 / 01628 623707

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

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].

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 .

: Talkin’ Table @ Bakedd the Artisan Bakery in town. Buy a coffee and make new friends! The tables are free for anyone to join!  


£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

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

St Edmund Campion

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.

6-week introduction to ways of praying. Online, see

with Fr Bernie Zoom: ID 82806901794 Password 312990 or:

Sessions will be held every Thursday thereafter unless notified.

Virtual event. Call or text: 07887 296983 / 07973 380443 Email: [email protected]


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

Rosary Group via Zoom every Thursday at 2pm (See here for joining instructions) ►

Last session for December will be on Thursday the 14th of December at 2pm 

Rosary will resume on Thursday the 11th January 2024 at 2pm

Missio If you have a Red Box which is ready to be emptied, please bring it in over the coming weeks.  

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.