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Holy Innocents' Church

The Parish website of Holy Innocents Catholic Church
Strickland Way Orpington Kent BR6 9UE


“Trust the past in God’s mercy, the present in His love and the future in His providence.”


Welcome to your essential guide to what we do and who does what at Holy Innocents Catholic Church and Parish. We hope that these information sheets will help you find your place in the parish easily and comfortably.

See link to pdf ......
Welcome Pack

To help us to help you please complete and return the Census and Enquiry Form... See link to .....New Census form from October 2015

....For Times of Masses & Mass Intentions,
Weekly News & diary, Prayer Intentions & more:

see link to newsletter in pdf ......
10th/11th December 2016

Mass readings for December 2016.... Mass Readings December

Holy Innocents' Advent leaflet.....see link to.....3rd week of Advent

For the Children.... See link to ...Reverse leaflet 3rd

Bidding prayers ...... 3rd/4th December 2016

60th Anniversary of Scouting in Orpington


11th December 2016: Third Sunday of Advent (Cycle A) Gaudete Sunday
Parishioner’s Gospel
Contributor: Marisa Wilson

3rd Sunday of AdventMatthew 11: 2-11
Let us rejoice. The Lord is near.
This is my favourite passage about John the Baptist.
The historian Josephus tells us that John was a prisoner in the fortress of Machaerus on the shores of the Dead Sea. While in prison, John was told by his disciples of Jesus' doings and he wanted to be sure that Jesus was the Messiah Israel was waiting for. So, he sent his disciples to ask (11:2).
The response from Jesus, 'go back and tell John....the blind see again and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed....and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor' (11:4-6), would have reminded John of Isaiah´s prophecy, ´look, your God is coming....then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed....´(Is 35:1-10), and of Isaiah's presentation of the mission of the messenger from God awaited for by Israel, ´the Spirit of the Lord has been given to me....He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken´(Is 61:1).

What I find greatly appealing in Jesus' answer is the fact that he is asking John for a  change of mindset. The John  presented by Matthew, preaching and baptising in the river Jordan, was a man of harsh language and hard disposition towards the Pharisees and Sadducees, 'brood of vipers...the axe is laid to the root of the trees, so that any
tree which fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown to the fire' (Matt 3:7-11). The reply of Jesus brings to John an understanding of the Kingdom of God as a Kingdom of love, compassion  and care for the poor and vulnerable: The Good News preached to the poor is the sign of the fulfilment of the promise of salvation. John had offered forgiveness of sins through baptism, but he needed to come to a full understanding of the meaning of Jesus´ Kingdom, a Kingdom of justice and peace, not violence and punishment.

This is interesting because, although John appears in the context of the New Testament, he is a transition figure between the Old and the New, the Elijah of the Old Testament ´who was to return´ and has returned, according to Jesus (11:14).
The same as John, Elijah had been asked before for a shift of mindset. As a prophet of God, Elijah had slaughtered the prophets of Baal (1Kings 18:40). But he was not to encounter God in violence or uproar; his encounter with God on Mount Horeb did not come with a strong wind, or an earthquake or a fire, but in a moment of deep silence when God passed by Elijah as the sound of a 'gentle breeze' (1Kings 19:11-13).

May the Lord, through John and Elijah, help us understand the Kingdom as a Kingdom of peace, of compassion, of mercy, and not a kingdom of harsh attitudes of religious superiority towards non-believers or those who falter in their faith journey.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

18 December 2016: 4th Sunday of Advent (Cycle A)
Parishioner’s Gospel
Contributor: Cecilia Skudder (Cjs)

4th Sunday of AdventMatthew 1: 18-24
Mary betrothed to Joseph, found she was with child,
but through the Holy Spirit, for she had not been defiled.
Being a man of honour, Joseph wanted a quiet divorce
to spare his Mary’s feelings, so there’d be no remorse.
But then he had a dream and an Angel came to say,
“Joseph son of David, be not afraid this day,
for through the Holy Spirit, Mary has conceived.
For this has been ordained so do not be aggrieved.
The child that is within her, Jesus is His name.
He will save the world from sin, for that purpose is His aim.”
The prophets did foretell this, so many years before.
“The virgin will conceive,” Holy Scriptures then foresaw.
Emmanuel the name, “God-is with-us” this it means.
Then Joseph did awake from this strangest of all dreams.
Mary became his wife, he took her to his home.
And they wondered why, this wondrous blessing now was shown.
Joseph and Mary accepted, the wishes of their Lord.
Despite their fears or feelings, their duty not ignored.
Do we do Your will Lord, or selfish ways do we pursue?
Help us choose Your truth, in everything we do.
Preparing for Christ’s birth, for His return to earth once more,
we’ll always examine our motives, and evil ways abhor. Cjs..
Both Mary and Joseph knew what their community would think about them and would have been very concerned about their reputations. But what trust they both had in the Lord and always did as he bade them.

Lord may I follow the example of Mary and Joseph and keep complete trust in You always.  Amen.

********Father Victor Vella*******************************************************************

Father Victor Vella,
Parish Priest




Archbishop of Southwark

Archbishop of Southwark: The Most Reverend Peter Smith
'Open my ears that I may hear.
Open my eyes that I may see.
Open my heart to receive your transforming and purifying Spirit.'

The website of
Holy Innocents' Roman Catholic Church
Orpington, Kent, England

IMPORTANT Links to web-sites: The Vatican

Diocese of Southwark

Southwark Diocese Justice & Peace & Integrity of Creation

Catholic Bishops Conference England & Wales

Archdiocese of Southwark Centre for Catholic Formation

Bromley Deanery Catholic Youth Ministry Project (CYM

Local Catholic Church websites:

Our Lady of the Crays, St Mary Cray

St James the Great, Petts Wood

St John the Baptist, Westerham

St Michael's & All Angels, Locksbottom

Updated Weekly
Current Version Published December 9, 2016 4:57 PM
Next update Friday 16th December 2016

FEEDBACK..EMAIL TO.. Editor: Cecilia Skudder