So What's All This Fuss About The Roof Then?
Take a look at the slideshow below and you'll see just how bad the roof is.
CHURCH ROOF FUND: IMPORTANT UPDATE
Currently we have raised £22,711.50 (NB the £30,000 legacy of Teresa De Franca has been allocated to this fund). Thank you for all recent donations to the fund; all your contributions really make a difference.
OUR ROOF IS IN A STATE! SO... PLEASE BUY A SLATE!"
A flyer is enclosed with the newsletter or can be downloaded here; if we get sponsorship for the c6,000 tiles needed for the roof it will greatly boost the fund. Please help if you can.
SLATES SPONSORED TO DATE: 468
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The report from our building consultant sums up the stark reality: "The main issue is the failing slate covered pitched roofs, but there are also: detached/eroding sections of stonework, defective and corroding cast iron rainwater goods, leaking downpipes, flaking paint coverings, rotting timber window cills and frames, copings in need of repair and pointing, etc. Essentially, re-roofing and general overhaul of the church buildings".
We have been advised to expect a bill of £125,000.00 +VAT for this work; which including the consultant’s 10% fee brings us to c£150,000.00!
The consultant will oversee the whole process: detailed building spec, tenders and oversight of the work itself. Due to the urgency of the work the Diocesan Finance Office has given us permission to seek interest free loans from other diocesan parishes; further letters have been were sent out this week (watch this space!) If any parishioner is in a position to offer a sizeable interest free loan to the parish please speak to Canon Luke. Our fundraising is imperative for this project, amongst others; we are seeking loans as we can’t put the job off any longer otherwise the work needed will just snowball. Thank you for all the recent donations and tile sponsorship; these will be added to the total by next weekend
Canon Luke writes...
Over the past few weeks we have heard how Our Lord showed His power over the wind and Sea, and seen Him proclaimed as Christ, the Son of the living God; yet today we see him thwarted by the people of His hometown of Nazareth. Today’s Gospel is blunt: ‘He could work no miracle there.’ This is obviously not because of lack of power on his part but rather due the people’s lack of faith. They acknowledged the wisdom of His words, the power of His works. But they refused to recognize Him as a prophet come among them, a messenger sent by God. All they could see was how much ‘this man’ was like them, a carpenter, the son of their neighbour.
Human pride is the greatest stumbling block to hearing God’s word, accepting his messengers and responding to his grace. Like the prophet Ezekiel in the first reading, Jesus was sent by God to the rebellious house of Israel, where He found His own people obstinate of heart and in revolt against God.
As His disciples, we too face the mockery and contempt we hear of in today’s readings; St Paul confides in today’s Epistle, insults and hardships are God’s way of teaching us to rely solely on His grace. However we too can be on the other side, rejecting the Lord and His messengers because we think them beneath us, or simply think we know better! It also strike me that human jealousy is at play in the scene set before us in the gospel today; ultimately the only person harmed is the jealous one as they turn away for the hand of God extended towards them. Our Lord will work no miracles in our lives unless we abandon ourselves to Him in faith, knowing that the Jesus the son of Mary is also the Christ the Lord enthroned in the heavens.
I recently came across the following text in the writings of St Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022AD) a Byzantine Christian monk and poet which gives us pertinent food for thought.
‘Many people never stop saying, I have heard them myself: ‘If only we had lived in the days of the apostles, and been counted worthy to gaze upon Christ as they did, we should have become holy like them.’ Such people do not realize that the Christ who spoke then and the Christ who speaks now throughout the whole world is one and the same...
The position now is not the same as it was then, but our situation now, in the present day, is very much better. It leads us more easily to a deeper faith and conviction than seeing and hearing him in the flesh would have done.
Then he appeared to the uncomprehending as a man of lowly station: now he is proclaimed to us as true God. Then in his body he associated with tax collectors and sinners and ate with them: now he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and is never in any way separated from him... Then even those of lowliest condition held him in contempt.
They said: ‘Is not this the son of Mary, and of Joseph the carpenter?’ (Mark 6,3) Now kings and rulers worship him as Son of the true God, and himself true God... Then he was thought to be mortal and corruptible like the rest of mankind. He was no different in appearance from other men. The formless and invisible God, without change or alteration, assumed a human form and showed himself to be a normal human being. He ate, he drank, he slept, he sweated, and he grew weary. He did everything other people do, except that he did not sin.
For anyone to recognize him in that human body, and to believe that he was the God who made heaven and earth and everything in them was very exceptional... It is certain, therefore, that anyone who now hears Christ cry out daily through the holy gospels and proclaim the will of his blessed Father, but does not obey him with fear and trembling and keep his commandments: it is certain that such a person would have refused to believe in him then. (Catecheses, III, 19)
"...JESUS CHRIST, THE BEGINNING AND THE END...
ALL TIME BELONGS TO HIM... AND ALL THE AGES..."
These words on the doors of the Church porch express perfectly the purpose of our parish. We are
a community centred round the Lord Jesus.
Saint Francis' Parish in the heart of Maidstone was founded in 1859 and since then has been the heart of the Catholic community in the Maidstone area. From it was founded the parishes of Saint Thomas More, West Malling; Holy Family, Park Wood; and Saint Peter's Bearsted. In addition to the mother church there are Mass Centres at St Luke's, Preston Hall, and at St Mary's Anglican Church at Nettlestead.
Today the faith which inspired its foundation almost 150 years ago continues to find its expression in a lively community bringing together people of many races all united by their love of God. It is this love which calls us all to work together to build up our community and to care for all in need.
I would like to welcome all who visit our website and hope you share something of our vision for the future of the church and parish.
Canon Luke - Parish Priest
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