The website for the Parishes of St Francis’, Nailsea & St Joseph’s, Portishead                                       ~  Called to be a People of God  ~

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Clifton Diocese is a company limited by guarantee; registered in England and Wales under number 10462076 | Registered Charity No. 1170168 |

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A Christmas message from Marion

There are times in our lives where we simply need to stop.  Stop running at 1,000 miles an hour to complete tasks, to get jobs done, to tick things of your list, to be with friends to be a good leader to do all the things you think you ought to do.  When you truly stop and allow yourself to be still, to stop the noise in your mind, you come to realise that life has a greater meaning than just being busy.  You have the time to allow yourself to be grounded in something greater, to be directed and moulded by a faith that has compassion and sacrifice in both equal measures at the heart of its core.  I was born into a Catholic family, attended Catholic School and a Catholic University, I even went as far to study theology, such was my interest in God.  However, I knew in the depth of my heart that even though I liked all of traditions of a Catholic upbringing as well as my academic study of God, I could not truly understand, in an emotional sense, the purpose of God in my life.  For years I wondered along different paths of spirituality trying to seek answers and to be moved.

Recently an opportunity presented itself to me that would require me to live out my faith and gospel values through my chosen career.  The amount of emotional wrestling I had with myself, but also with the support from Fr Tom, I was able to come to a resolution that was influenced by a quiet voice that simply said stop. Stop academically questioning everything and submit to what in your heart you know is true and engage with your faith on an emotional level.  Since joining the parish and attending mass and adoration I have always felt emotionally moved. Moved by the sense that underlying all of our actions and our business there must be a fundamental relationship with God which shines a light on everything you do.  Some may call this a moral compass, but for me it is more than that, it is force that I cannot reckon with, I simply need to be and allow myself to be guided and moulded by my relationship with God.  

When I now attend mass, I particularly like Fr Tom’s sermons and I find myself every week excited by what they might be. Previously, I never had that excitement, I was doing the motions and engaging with what was being asked of me.  Now, I go away from mass on a Sunday, not rushing, but contemplating on what is being asked of me, what can I do in my life, in my role as a human being to ensure that I act on the core of my faith in everything I do?  How can I be a beacon of hope when at times in our busy world it feels like hope is an add on, a luxury that only a few possess.  To be hopeful and to have a deeper resilience that is based on a belief that if we are to establish the Kingdom of God we need to model this in everything we do.  This is a tall order that even I struggle with, but at least I can say I struggle with it since it is this different honesty which gives my renewed faith greater meaning,  a still voice of calm in a world that moves at a 1,000 miles an hour.