See link below to a short report and a few photos.
Many people from the congregations of Churches Together in Orpington attended a lively Carol service followed by fellowship with light refreshments.
See link below to a short report and a few photos.
Christmas was a very uplifting time at Holy Innocents'. The week before a beautiful carol service was held where those present put a label on a Christmas tree on which was written their gift to Jesus. This tree remained throughout the Christmas period.
Father Victor celebrated 5 Masses over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. All were well attended.
There were two Choirs, one at the 7.30pm and the other at the Midnight Mass.
Father Victor's homily at the midnight Mass focussed on Evangelisation. An evangelist glorifies and praises God for all heard and seen. Our response to good news of great joy, according to Luke should be to act now and with haste. Our response should not just be with amazement, for this is not enough. Mary treasured up in her memory and pondered, reflecting on the events. This is how we should respond. To get to know the identity of Christ, our Saviour, Messiah, the Lord, we must get on our knees and be in His presence in Adoration and then we will get to know Him more. In 2019 let us make this our resolution, to be at Adoration often.
The Family Mass at 5pm on Christmas Eve was particularly well attended.....full to capacity! Standing room only!
Since the beginning of 2018 there have been 250 reported incidents of knifings and shootings on the streets in the UK. Many of these have been in London. So many young people dying because of gang related crime.
Churches Together in Orpington (CTiO) called for unity in prayers for peace on our streets and Christians from many denominations came together to pray for the victims, the grieving families and prevention of further such violence.
Father Victor and several parishioners from Holy Innocents' were among those present.
A very moving testimony came from one pastor in Penge who had been led by prayer and with no other information, other that he had lived in one of a block of flats, not even which block was known...to find the mother and family of a young boy killed by stabbing. He was thus able to support the family. The comfort and aid being offered by the police, social service and pastors has been and is appreciated by all the families. Inspector Gary Byfield of the Metropolitan Police spoke very powerfully of his experiences of the violence on our streets.
He showed his 'Armour of God'** , his police protection equipment
Martyn Travers, the Pastor at Orpington Baptist Church said afterwards..."How wonderful to come together with Christians across the Borough to pray in unity for peace on our streets in London & healing for our society."
A very powerful, blessed time of prayer. Please God there will be peace on our streets. Prayers will continue to this end.
St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 6: 13-17
Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
**God’s Full Armour Supplied through prayers
1. Belt of truth
2. Breastplate of Righteousness Christ took punishment for all our sins.
3. Shoes of readiness from the Gospel of Peace, keeping us firm carrying the
Gospel of Christ to others.
4. Shield of Faith protects us
5. Helmet of Salvation
6. Sword of the Word of God.
Churches Together in Orpington (CTiO) had a stall in the high street where evangelical leaflets, booklets on the First Christmas Story and Gideon New testaments books were given out freely to passersby, along with chocolates.
Members of different Churches, Ministers, including Father Victor, stood together to hand out Christmas tree chocolate decorations to those who had come to the festivities along with a card on which was a photo of the baby Jesus and a Gospel tract.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
All working in unity for the Glory of God.
See link below for more photos and short report.
The Bereavement group arrange an annual Mass in November for those who have lost loved ones during the past year. A named candle is carried to the Altar steps and lit in memory of the deceased.
It is a very poignant time and comforting for the families.
Fr Victor had specially chosen the readings which, along with his homily, were very consoling and inspiring.
The Bidding prayers were especially uplifting.
These can be seen on the programme below and there is a separate short report with more photos
See link to pdfs below.