One of the great treasures of our faith is its universality – being inclusive, all-embracing and inviting. The 50-plus villages that form our parish near Cambridge are as diverse as any other with many coming to work in ‘silicon fen’ our universities or hospitals and many other businesses.
Many of us too, are children and grandchildren of immigrants from the last century and beyond and are proud of our heritage and our international Catholic traditions. The richness of culture brings colour and refreshing insights to our faith and fellowship, our communities and celebration. As Catholic churches we can find true unity, welcome and belonging by sharing our experience and expressions of our faith. Our Saint John Fisher community does it’s best to enjoy this gift to the full!
For our St Patrick’s party we decorated the hall and had a bring-and-share meal. Lorretta Peck shared videos of her talented family in Ireland and Niamh, who is fourth in the world for her age group, danced a slip jig. There were traditional tunes on the banjo and we spoke about St Brigid, now rightfully alongside Patrick as patron Saint of Ireland. Joe Caprani gave a hilarious rendition of Frank O’Connor’s short story ‘The First Confession’.
On Maundy Thursday, after Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we celebrated Pesaha appam with our Kerala parishioners. Flat, firm, rice cakes made from rice batter without yeast were shared. This is an ancient practice celebrated by the Kerala Syro Malabar Christians.
The ceremony is said to have roots in ancient Jewish practices and possibly a very early Judeo Christian community in Kerala. Liz, Christy, Annie, Giju, Shaju and others made us all very welcome as always.
On Holy Saturday afternoon, St John Fisher hosted a well-attended Swieconka for our Polish friends. Fr John Minh blessed the baskets of Easter food and we helped to make folk feel welcome with Easter gift bags for the children and young people and cake and refreshments served by students Mimi and Ana. We had run an all-age Easter craft session after Mass on Palm Sunday and Kasia’s decorated eggs and some of our flower arrangements made by Silvia and Marissa adorned the occasion.
As many know we, St John Fisher Church has no permanent church building of our own and Fr John serves us faithfully and daily from a good distance at Sawston, but we try to make and use what opportunities we can for outreach, for friendship, faith and fellowship and a lot of fun!
Pictured above is the St Patrick’s party.