In the 13th December issue of The Catholic Universe there was an article by Father Antony Christy, about the Reign of God being all around us in Advent. I pondered on this and began to think, where do I see the Reign of God in my parish. My husband’s favourite worship Hymn is “Reign in me, Sovereign Lord, reign in me”.
I began to think about what was happening in the parish and how quite spontaneously things just seemed to occur. As a Parish we are about to launch the Livesimply programme; this sprang out of a parish study of the Laudato Si document from Pope Francis during Lent. One of the suggestions from CAFOD for December was to send letters to the Brave, those people who are imprisoned for defending land rights and displaced people. One of our parishioners kindly bought cards and asked our Wednesday morning Coffee Group if they would like to sign and then she sent them off.
Also on that day one of the parishioners asked if people would be kind enough to make a collection of things for the homeless and she would take them to the local Nomad Trust (our local homeless charity) the next week there were bags and bags of Hats, Scarves, Gloves, socks, bars of chocolate and toiletries.
On the 2nd Sunday of Advent we had a Parish collection of toys and Christmas gifts for one of the local schools that serves a very deprived area. On the following Wednesday a huge raffle took pace to supplement the coffee morning money which is always for Father Vincent’s Water Project. Also on that afternoon the CWL served their Christmas Tea, a regular event that really begins the Christmas feeling. We had so much food over it went to the local Nomad Trust House, Half the money raised went to the local food bank along with a massive collection of Christmas Treat food that took place the following Sunday.
One of the parishioners had a great idea of replacing the bows on the Christmas Tree with Baubles; people could make a donation and write a prayer/message for those not able to join their families this year and the donations also went to The Nomad Trust.
On the first Friday of Advent we had a wonderful concert of Medieval Music and on the 3rd Friday of Advent we had a beautiful service of 9 Lessons and Carols from our Deanery Choir and 3 of our local primary schools. All the money raised went to charity. This lovely service seemed to begin Christmas in a really special way.
The following day, the Saturday before Christmas, Father Eddy our Parish Priest gave us a welcome oasis of peace in the midst of the Christmas rush, with a thoughtful half-day of reflection for Advent. Following Morning Prayer, Mass, Adoration and Reconciliation he gave us a talk about the coming Year of The Word; we know it began with Advent but it will start in our parish in earnest in January. Among other things, he reminded us that we can read the Bible as a written work – the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God – and learn from it, but that it would be good to think about learning to pray scripture. Hopefully this year will enable our Catholic community to grow in that form of prayer and in our relationship with God, and seriously invite Him to Reign in us and our hearts and lives. Our morning was completed with a simple lunch, which we all enjoyed. There was of course a donation, which went to ‘The Baby Basket’ Charity for mothers with new babies and up to the age of 6 months, as the following day the Sunday Coffee Morning was to be held for that charity. The lady who ran it did so quite spontaneously and said ‘well it seemed appropriate at this time of year’. After such a Celebration of kindness and service (Father Antony suggested that Advent was a time to celebrate) many of our parishioners put on gloves and aprons and scrubbed the church until it shone! Ready to decorate and then to celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Saviour. Come Lord Jesus and Reign in us – that we may walk in the Light of The Lord.
St Peter and St Paul’s Lincoln.

God’s Reign – a Parishioner’s reflection