Week in, week out, a small group of our parishioners, mostly unnoticed by the rest of the congregation, take Holy Communion to the housebound or sick who cannot get to a church. 

Happily, once a year the dedicated few are commanded by the Bishop to publicly renew their commitment to the task they have embraced. So on Sunday, during High Mass, parishioners witnessed John Sunderland, Catherine Gibson, Graham Fieldhouse, Nadine Wharton, Peter Waterhouse and Joyce Cross, vow to continue helping the less fortunate who rely on their visits to keep in touch with their fellow churchgoers.

Fr Philip, in his sermon, said: ‘The Eucharistic Ministry is one of compassion, sympathy and hope. By bringing the body of Christ to the faithful, and especially the housebound and sick, they incarnate the presence of Christ his death and resurrection.

'However, not only does the minister bring Christ in the sacrament, but more significantly he or she meets Christ in the person they are ministering to for those who are suffering are closer to Christ in his passion and cross than those who come in his name.

'It is difficult for the minister. It can be profoundly emotional. It can be very draining. But it is also transforming. At its very best it also heals and compels us towards the hope of new life given to us in Jesus Christ. Please pray for your Eucharistic Ministers who serve us all in this way.’

Mike Casey