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Roman Catholic Church

2nd of May 2008

Everyone was relieved and happy to see Fr. Des back in the Presbytery after having been “re-glued” in hospital. This is how he described what must have been a most unpleasant procedure. He has been over-whelmed by the support and concern of his friends and neighbours in the village, and thanks everyone for their prayers and good wishes. Unfortunately, complications have followed and Fr. Des has been re-admitted to Hemel Hospital where he is holding his own. Having been told to “lighten his load”, the Mass on Saturday evening will be discontinued, leaving two Sunday masses to accommodate the congregation. By good fortune, Fr. Des brother was due to come to stay in Chipperfield so that the two Salvatorian Fathers could go to an important meeting in Rome. We are very happy that we have Fr. Terry Cantwell here saying Mass for us. Fr. Terry himself is glad that he is here where he is needed. The Saturday evening Mass was originally begun to suit the football playing teen-agers in the congregation who found it difficult to get to Mass and be in time for their football fixtures. They will now need to come to early Mass ready in their football kit! (A few prayers may improve their game).
Christian Aid. Ten years ago, two of us went to Birmingham; we were a tiny link in the human chain surrounding the G8 conference. People came from all over the country in response to Christian Aids call for rich countries to forgive some of the debts owed to them by poor countries. Poor countries pay 5 times more in debt repayment than they receive in Aid. Morally, the debts have been repaid many times over as interest, but the debt is never cleared, so there is little left to pay for education and health-care. The demonstration was exciting and good-humoured but only partially successful. Twenty five poor countries have had debts reduced and are now able to spend 20% more on health and education. A further hundred countries cant wait! Ten years on, Christian Aid campaigners will meet again in Birmingham, to celebrate what has been achieved and demanding that politicians “Drop the Debt Fast!”

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