NEW STATIONS: Restoration of the stations of the cross on the Betharram Calvary Hill is underway, with the first one just completed. These 15 station-chapels with bas-relief work by Auguste Renoir are all scripture-based and do not quite follow our own familiar 14. The first one Jesus in Gethsemane now has dramatic LED night lighting. Our community couldn't afford the huge cost of restoration so the local municipality is paying, on condition that there is public access. A win-win situation.

PFC UPDATE Income covered expenditure with a small surplus over the 3 quarters to end of September 2019. Some big bills are looming in quarter 4  following the failure of Parish Hall Boiler (c.£12k), the Angelus Bell, and replacement floor coverings in The Friary ground floor  rooms. Along with these urgent repairs the Parish is currently exploring a programme of essential maintenance, repairs & improvements involving the Parish Hall & elsewhere. The Parish and Community thank you for your continued support.

OPEN DAY FOR PARENTS seeking a catholic education for their child at our parish primary school, Our Lady of Compassion:  Tuesday 19th November, 9am For more info please contact school office on 0121 706 9507 or just come along on the 19th.

THE PARISH J&P GROUP will be discussing the Cafod parish initiative  “Live Simply” at its meeting at the Friary on Thursday 28th Nov from 7.30pm. Knowledgeable and/or interested parishioners all welcome.

A BIG THANKYOU to all who supported HCPT concert night last weekend. Some £1380 was raised to support the Lourdes Special needs Children’s Pilgrimage.

PARISH & SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FAYRE  will be at OLC Sat 30 Nov 12-3pm. Donations urgently needed: only one Sunday left to collect before the Fayre! Wanted: Top quality toys & Teddies, fancy goods, bottles, chocolate & sweets. Also any raffle prizes gratefully received. We need volunteer help across the board .. setting up Friday night ... running a stall Saturday .... clearing up afterwards.. Please contact Annette Dodds via the Friary office.  Thank you.

CHURCHES TOGETHER ON OLTON Churches Together in Olton advenT Service : at St Margaret's Church, Sunday 1 Dec 6.30pm. A chance to share with our fellow Christians the preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas.

ADVENT REFLECTION: Like last year we invite people to share some time on two Wednesdays of advent in reflective prayer in The Friary Day Chapel: Wed Dec 4 and Wed Dec 18, 7.30-8.30 pm. A peaceful break from the punishing rounds of shopping and mince pies!

CAROL SERVICE 15th December The choirs invite anyone who enjoys singing to join for the Carol Service this year.  Doesn't mean you have to be a choir member. Just attend a few rehearsals & enjoy yourself. Interested? please see Geraldine Gnych

WELCOMING THE NEW BORN CHRIST to take place Wed 11 Dec in various houses around the parish at 7.30 pm.  Spend an hour with friends & neighbours reflecting through prayers & readings, as you travel through Advent preparing for the birth of Jesus.  If you can offer your home as a venue, please contact Fr Biju. A format will be given to each home to guide this precious time of prayer and reflection.

OLTON CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Switch-On Friday 29 November 5pm Olton Library

CHURCH CLEANING ROTA for week commencing 17th November, Group B.

CHURCH WARDEN/COLLECTORS please pick up  new rota, starting today. Thanks.

MANY THANKS for collection last week for Friary Building Fund £111.16 

JOURNEY IN FAITH (JIF) 8 pm Mon 18 Nov Our Personal Relationship with Jesus (Anne Cartwright); 25 Nov: Prayer getting to Know God (Rose Murphy); 2 Dec: Advent: Time of Preparation (Carol Foster)

LOOKING AHEAD: Some Important dates

*Nov 30 Christmas Bazaar 12-3.00 pm

*Nov 30 Chengeta Dinner 7.30 pm

*Dec 4: Advent Prayers

*Dec 11: Welcoming the New-born Christ

*Dec 15 Advent Carol Service

*Dec 16: Advent penitential service

*Dec 18: Advent Prayers

200 CLUB NOVEMBER DRAW—1st: £100, 35 MRS M SCOTT, 2nd: £50, 83 MR C JONES, 3rd: £20, 46 MRS E RICHARDS, 4th: £10, 27 MRS A MCGOWAN, 5th: £10, 106 MRS G McGARRY, 6th: £10, 198 MRS V COLWILL,

CHENGETA SCHOOL PROJECT ZIMBABWE Our 12th Annual Christmas Dinner at The Friary Parish Hall on Saturday 30 November 7.30-10.30 pm  Cost £12.  Choice of mains, choice of deserts, raffle, quiz, update on the project, entertainment, parting, tea, coffee, soft drinks throughout.  Tickets from Jim Noonan 07593298704.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who supported the Afternoon Tea, Christmas Sale & Bingo for Steka Care Home Malawi. Total raised = £1123.28 which goes to develop a skills centre giving a brighter future to ex-street children. Thankyou all for your generosity.

CWL monthly meeting Thursday 21st November 7.45 pm.  Silent Auction.  Please bring one good item for the auction.  Names and money £5 will be collected for the Christmas party to be held on Thursday 5th December 6.45 pm  Note early start.

MASS OF THANKSGIVING -  special Mass of Thanksgiving for all couples who’ve kept significant wedding anniversaries in 2019 on Sunday 29th December 2019, Feast of the Holy Family, at 11.00 am. Couples with 25 yrs (silver), 30 yrs (pearl), 35 yrs (coral), 40 yrs (ruby), 45 yrs (sapphire), 50 yrs (gold), 55 yrs (emerald), 60 yrs (diamond), 70 yrs (platinum), or any couple celebrating over 55 yrs marriage!  Please call us in the office or the wedding team We hope you will be able to join us on this special day to receive a special blessing.

HEARTLANDS HOSPITAL CHRISTMAS CAROLS Come and join ecumenical ‘carols around the wards’ Dec 16th 6.30-8.00pm. Meet at Cafe One in main entrance at 6.30. Refreshments afterwards at 8.00. City of Birmingham Brass band to support. Please let chaplains know if you are coming: or ring Fr Roger Raven on 0121 424 1369

CONFIRMATION: many thanks to all those who helped prepare young people for Confirmation on Thursday  night. Some 32 youngsters were confirmed by Canon David Evans, standing in for the Archbishop. Despite the appalling weather and some behind-the-scenes emergencies like a flooded church cellar, it was a very happy and spirit-filled night.

READERS DAY on Saturday 23rd Nov at St Ambrose Barlow church, run by Fr. Danny McHugh from 10.30 to 4 pm. Anyone interested please call parish office.

PARISH HEALTH & SAFETY GROUP need volunteer(s) to give occasional advice on good practice in 2 areas (i) Legionella risk and (ii) Disability provision. If you have experience of this at work please contact parish office or speak to Fr.Austin.

CHRISTMAS WREATH WORKSHOP December 6th: Many thanks to all who have signed up.  Please pay  organisers a £12 contribution for materials a.s.a.p. as the materials must be ordered in advance.

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME— The Home Office is funding REFUGEE & MIGRANT CENTRE RMC to help vulnerable and at-risk EU citizens and their family members who need additional support to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.  See notice board.  rmc Birmingham 57 Frederick Street, B’ham, B1 3HS Tel: 01214 3740140

2 JOBS AT CATHEDRAL HOUSE Birmingham: Applications invited for (i) a front desk clerk/receptionist & (ii) Admin Support Officer (Safeguarding). Both roles permanent/full-time & based at Cathedral House. For full details please see website:

GIFT AID SCHEME—Members, please inform the Parish Office of any changes to address or tax situation in order that accurate records may be kept.  If you wish to join the Gift Aid Scheme, forms are available at the back of Church, or please contact Rheann Byrne 706 0505.

WEBSITE—  Please can Parish Groups check their details & contact the office with any changes or amendments to their info so that the website can be kept up to date? 

HALL BOOKINGS from external groups, particularly regular users are a useful income toward the upkeep of the Church. If access is needed to hall or kitchen during these times, please liaise with the Parish office or Community first.

NEWSPAPERS: To cover costs please do pay the correct amount.   Universe £1.50; Irish Post £1.50;   Catholic Herald £2.70; Ireland’s Own £1.50; Tablet £3.60; Sacred Heart Messenger £1.60.  Many thanks.

CREMATION PLOTS (new area) Following previous notes re- borders & stones barred for H&S danger to graveyard volunteers; please also note that plots are set out in vertical strips, in plots for two.  So borders & stones added around memorial tablets are encroaching on the space of a loved one, and should be removed.

SOLIHULL/HEARTLANDS HOSPITAL emergencies Please ask hospital Switch-board for the on-call Catholic Priest on 0121 424 2000, they will then phone the duty Priest. The Catholic Chaplain at Solihull & Heartlands Hospital is Fr Roger Raven. Data protection law now means that a visit from a Priest must be actively requested. He has no access to patient files.

A HELPING HAND-Many thanks for your support in keeping the Church tidy each Sunday by placing your hymns books (& other sheets) back on the trolley in the narthex. Please also be sure to take your newsletter home with you!

GOING TO HOSPITAL -Please let your parish priest know if you’re going into hospital. On admission ask for the Catholic chaplain as Chaplains no longer receive names of Catholic patients unless they opt in.

HYMN BOOKS - Please take good care of our hymn books & remember to pray for the person named inside the front cover. Strangely a few books do go missing each year so please check your home & car and return any stray books a.s.a.p. to Church. 

SECURITY NOTICE - Please ensure Friary doors are kept closed & locked when necessary.  If you attend a meeting please make sure that the last one out has secured the outside doors.  The front door should not be left on the hook unattended.  Besides Church security, the Friary is home to priests & brothers who need to know they are safe.

VISITORS – If you wish you can gift aid your offertory donation. White visitor envelopes available in narthex.

CHARITY COLLECTION BOXES for SVP and St Basil’s charities are built into the left and right hand sides, at the back of the Church.  Built-in boxes can be found in the narthex for St Anthony’s bread (used to help the poor in the local area) and Holy Souls (used for Mass intentions for Holy Souls).

HOUSEBLESSING/HOUSEMASS If you’d like your house blessed or a house Mass this summer esp. if housebound or for special occasion, please arrange with Fr Biju.

FLOODLIGHT DEDICATION—You are able to have the Church floodlit in memory of someone.  A suggested donation is £10 a week, the name of the person in whose memory it is in would appear in the newsletter.  Forms are available in  narthex, or from parish office.

ST PEREGRINE DEVOTIONS: A time to offer prayer for anyone who is sick and needs help and consolation, especially someone suffering from cancer. The St.Peregrine Prayer Group has met here at the Friary over the last few years to support our brothers and sisters who suffer from illness. We meet every last Friday each month at 2.30 pm in the Day Chapel and offer our prayers and petitions to St Peregrine. St. Peregrine  lived in 14th Cent Italy and was cured of cancer after a night of prayer before an image of Christ crucified.  You will be most welcome to join us as we pray together.  In true Catholic tradition we always finish with tea and a chat.

THE SICK OF OUR PARISH - If your name or the name of a friend or relative was on the parish list of prayers for the sick, and you would like that name to remain on the list, would you please contact the Parish Office on 0121 706 0505.  Data protection law obliges us to ensure that you or your friend or family member has consented to being on the list, as it can be seen by many, (e.g. church notice board) and is available for anyone to pick up.  We make great efforts to ensure the church abides by new data protection and privacy law.

CAR PARK—Please be considerate when parking/manoeuvring your car and please note there is no parking in either the Community and Staff designated areas and the front & rear of The Friary Residential block.  When parking on a Sunday, please do not park on or drive over the grass adjacent to the gate leading into the graveyard.  Only authorised cars to park at other times, by arrangement with the Parish Priest.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PARISH NEWSLETTER - Please forward submissions for the Parish newsletter (preferably by email to by Wednesday for inclusion in Sunday's newsletter. 

VISITORS - If you wish to gift aid your offertory donation, white visitor envelopes are available in the narthex.

VEHICLE CRIME ALERT - The neighbourhood Policing Team would like to draw your attention to an increase in vehicle crime in the area.  5 crime reduction tips—ALWAYS close the windows and doors in your vehicle, DON'T leave any valuables on display and where possible do not leave ANY valuables in the vehicle such as Satnavs, Mobile Phones, Wallets, Purses, Bags or iPods, ENSURE your registration plates are fixed using 'anti tamper screws', KEEP your car keys in a safe place in your house.

SAFEGUARDING - In this parish there have been strict guidelines in place for several years for the protection of children and vulnerable persons.  Anyone with a concern about safeguarding issues should ring the Diocesan Safeguarding Office on  0121 230 6240.

AFTER MASS COFFEE DURING THE WEEK - Would parishioners kindly remember to use the Day Chapel entrance to access the lounge for refreshments if Mass has taken place in the Church?  Use the intercom for enquires to the Parish office or if you have mobility difficulties.

KEEP YOUR VALUABLES SAFE - Please do not leave bags unattended in Church, even at Communion time.  Bags and valuables should not be left on display in cars as this can present a target for thieves.

OPEN HOUSE GROUP - Are you new to the Parish and aged 30+? Do you want to get more involved in Parish Life, but don't know where to start? The Open House Group has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and its members are involved in various parish activities such as Traidcraft, Christian Aid, the Fast Supper, Welcome and Coffee Bar rotas.  We also have regular meetings in parishioners' homes for spiritual reflection and discussion of topical issues.  If you are interested in joining us please contact the Parish Office for more information.