Our Lady of Victories News



Thank you all for your warm welcome last weekend. I have been doing a bit of unpacking and getting to know where I am! I have been into a few shops in the town and found the welcome very friendly whether the Chemist Abdul near me or the staff at B & M. However, when I dashed down to Sainsbury’s for a few supplies, I got a fine as I did not realise it was a Pay & Display Car Park! I enjoyed meeting some of the Children and Parents from the school either at the beginning of the day or at the end. Unfortunately I cannot go into the school at the moment. However, I will be participating in a virtual assembly this Friday. Thank you for all the cards and Good wishes.


Fr Owen is settling down in Lutterworth. His new email is massbrook@olvic.com


Also please note the interview of Fr Owen with Andy Murphy Vice Chair of Churches Together in Harborough.




May God bless you all.


Fr Chris




It is absolutely essential to pre book your intention of coming to Mass. Unless you have previously booked, and all places are filled to our limited capacity, it will not be possible or permissible for us to let you in. It goes without saying that this disappoints and hurts us as much as  it does you, and especially so the stewards who have the responsibility to implement the very strict rules and regulations imposed on us by Government Law, together with our Church Compliance and implementing of those laws. Also please note that nobody should, or can enter the Church for Mass without being greeted and taken to a seat by one of the stewards.


Who do I contact to reserve a place?


For those wishing to come to the 6.00 pm Mass on Saturday please ring Angela Wade on 01858 462293 between 5.00 pm and 7.00 pm on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.


For those wishing to come to the 9.00 am Mass on Sunday please ring Jo Shellard on 01858 440983 between 5.00 pm and 7.00 pm on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.


For those wishing to come to the 11.00 am Mass on Sunday please ring Stephen McGlone on 01858 465939 between 5.00 pm and 7.00 pm on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.


Please only ring on the above stated evenings and times.




Don’t forget to bring and wear a Face Mask.


Please follow the stewards requests at all times.


Sanitise your hands on entering and leaving the Church.



Please remain seated or standing during Mass. Do not kneel.


Remember the Church must be cleaned and sanitised after every service.


Please remember also that all toilets WILL NOT be in use.









Your help and cooperation in everyway is required and expected.


You must book beforehand to come to Mass because of limited places.


Because we are observing the distance of a metre plus, face Masks must be worn by all from the moment you step inside the Church door, to the end of Mass when you step outside the Church door.


If you happen to forget to bring your mask, we have some disposable ones available for you to purchase at 60p. each. We would request that children of 12 years and upwards, wear a mask during Mass.


Both Church doors will be open. Those wishing to sit on Our Lady’s statue side of the Church, please enter through the front door entrance on Coventry Road.


Those wishing to sit on the Sacred Heart Altar side, please enter by the side doors on Fairfield Road.


After you have sanitised your hands, you will be taken to your seat by a steward. During Mass, you can remain seated or stand as you wish, but please do not kneel. You will leave the Church through the door you came in through.


Whilst our car parks will be opened, you will have to walk around the outside to enter the Church. You will not be able to come through the Hall doors as you normally will have done.


Also please be aware that the toilets will not be in use.


With every good wish to you all, and God’s blessings to you and your loved ones.


Fr Chris




A) All Face Masks must cover both mouth and nose.

B) Exit via Church door you entered through.

C) Please try your utmost to social distance within the Church, whilst exiting and outside the church doors.

D) DO NOT KNEEL during Mass, so as to avoid less contact with pew fronts and also to regulate and control the social distancing.

E) Try to follow the directives of the stewards and cooperate with them all the way.

F) As the church itself and all contact points within the building that might have been touched have to be sanitised immediately after every Mass it is essential that the church is emptied as smoothly and quickly as possible after every service.

G) Make sure you sanitise your hands on entry and exiting the church.

H) Mass books or any kind of handout are not permitted on entry.

I) Thanks to our stewards and thank you to all for your great understanding of the need and your cooperation.




You maybe interested to know that there are some changes:

1. As already printed, you must pre-book for weekend Mass. This is necessary to maintain the social distancing in Church. When you book you will be told which door to come through, also exiting through that same door.

2. Sunday Masses will be much shorter than previous. No music or Singing is permitted.

3. Priests are encouraged to give shorter homilies.

4. Strict guidelines must be follows in approaching for Holy Communion.

5. The Church doors will be left open during the celebration to allow a

6.  healthy airflow through the Church.

7. A shorter and quicker celebration means a shorter time together in the building.


In short: Come back to your Sunday Mass when you feel you are ready and comfortable with that responsibility.  The choice is yours.  We will do our best to welcome you back to your “Spiritual Home” and ensure your safety.




On Wednesday the 9th of September The Parish Pastoral Council met with Father Owen in the octagonal hall to present him with a gift from the parish on the occasion of his retirement. A framed picture of the cathedral where he was ordained, along with a picture of Our Lady of Victories was given to him.  Also presented was a very handsome cheque which had been subscribed to by parishioners and the wider community of Market Harborough. Father Owen was deeply moved by the gifts and extremely grateful for the cards and good wishes contained therein. We all felt so sad that the presentation couldn't be done in church with a full congregation. Rather than select a particular mass,  which so few could attend ,we thought that  a small videoed gathering would be fairer.


We hope that you enjoy watching the video.


Jo Shellard and Beaty Tyrell. Co chair of the Parish Pastoral Council.


Text of Presentation Address:


On the occasion of your retirement, on behalf of all members of this council, the parish and the wider community of Market Harborough we want to thank you for your 19 years of ministry and leadership.


We all thank you for your spiritual guidance, kindness, generosity and patience.


On behalf of the elderly and housebound, who have so appreciated your visits and telephone calls over the years.  We thank you.


On behalf of the children who love you.  I can't remember the number of times I have heard a child say, "I want to see Father".  We thank you.


For always being there for us in times of difficulty with a kindly ear and also in joyful times.  We thank you.


We are sorry that the last 6 months have been so strange.  Whoever would have thought that we would book to attend Mass or limit numbers at weddings and funerals.  But with your support and guidance we are still a flourishing faith community.  We thank you.


Finally, the church building.  It is so beautiful and a lasting testament to your time with us.  We thank you.


We don't want you to go, but we let you go with light hearts because you have earned a long and happy retirement.


If ever, in the future we can do anything at all for you, please call on us as we are your family.


Please click the link below to view the video.  It is just over eight minutes long.  The sound quality at the beginning is problematic - sorry!  The video can be viewed with Microsoft Edge, Chrome and Safari.  You may encounter problems if you try and view the video using Firefox.


Video of Presentation to Fr Owen



On Friday, 9 October our parish is marking CAFOD’s Family Fast Day.  We’ve all felt the impact of coronavirus, but it is even worse for the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world and we are being asked to help them survive, rebuild and heal.  With over half of the parish still not able to come to mass, responding with our usual generosity is going to be more complicated, but here are some suggestions:


1. Donate online at cafod.org.uk/give.


2. Ask a friend or neighbour who is able to come to mass to bring you an envelope, which will be distributed over the weekend 3/4 October to be returned the following weekend.


3. You can also give easily via text. Text CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10.


Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS.  If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text CAFODNOINFO to 70085.


For more information please see our Privacy Policy: cafod.org.uk/Legal-information/Privacy-notice.


Whichever method you choose, please, if you are a taxpayer, apply Gift Aid. This is so important because, at no extra cost to you, your gift will be increased by 25p for every £1 given.





Grapevine is the Newsletter for Adult formation, Justice & Peace and Caritas in our diocese. 


A message from Paul Bodenham:


Sisters and brothers, one and all,


We're excited about Pope Francis' forthcoming encyclical, Fratelli tutti.  He'll sign it a week on Saturday at the tomb of his namesake in Assisi.  It will explore what kind of world our faith calls us to create out of the present hardships - a world in which all belong; a world of 'social friendship', where all are brother and sister. 


It comes at a handy time for us here in the Diocese.  On 7 November, you are invited to help build Caritas, which will support every parish in the mission of social friendship  in our communities.  Originally planned for 28 March at the Cathedral, Together, we are Caritas will take place online.  It will be a chance  to build the civilisation of love here in the East Midlands.   Some 40 volunteers have been helping Caritas take shape over the summer; if you haven't been involved so far, now's your chance.


That's not the only invitation in this bulletin.  In the run-up to the day is Heal the World, a chance to dive deep into some of Francis' recent teachings on the theme.  Join us at one or the other, or even both! Paul (Programme Leader for Social Action)


For the Bulletin which contains a lot of information please click on the image above or this link





I will try and give a few thoughts each week especially for those who cannot attend Church whether they are isolating or caring for someone vulnerable. They are just musings to help to meditate on the Word of God. We should ruminate on the word each week, chew it over and let something in the Scriptures of the Sunday strike us and move us, whether to praise, wonder, awe, sorrow, surprise or indeed bewilderment quite often. All these things we can bring into our ongoing prayer or conversation with God. The important thing is to give time to God.


This week the words of the Collect or opening prayer of the Mass are very powerful: O God, who manifest your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy. God shows himself to be God above all by his forgiveness and unmerited mercy. There are lots of characteristics of God he is infinite all powerful, eternal, without beginning or end, and so on but he shows himself as god in his mercy. This surprises us. But Pope Francis tells us that the name of God is mercy.

Our world needs mercy, we need mercy. It seems to me that God is saying something to us in recent times especially though the Popes who have all emphasized the mercy of God. We had Pope Francis’ Year of mercy. Pope John Paul’s major letter to the Church on this: ”Dives in Misericordia” and of course the institution of Divine Mercy Sunday. All this emphasises that God is ever willing to pour forth forgiveness.


But today’s readings remind us that we must ask for that mercy. We must repent. That is the other side of the mystery of mercy. We have to open the door to God. If he manifests his divine power by his mercy, his weakness we could say is that he cannot force his mercy on us. He needs us to open the door of our hearts to it. Ezekiel reminds us of that as does our Lord in the Gospel.

We  all have to recognise our need of his mercy. That is difficult for us especially when we think of ourselves as decent and upright – that we are okay. But it is important. Jesus first preaching began with the word Repent and then he said Believe the Good news. The reign of God is at hand. We must ask the Holy Spirit to show our sins to us, convict us of our sins. Then, paradoxically, we will truly know God, above all, by knowing his Mercy. what a wonderful prospect. The Confessional is the door of mercy and is always open!




I recommend that you pray this prayer every. morning.


A “Spiritual Communion” encouraged when we are unable to receive Holy Communion Sacramentally. This prayer was composed by St Alphonsus  Liguori:


My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since this moment I cannot receive you sacramentally, I embrace you as being already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.









Why have you changed Mass times?


This is a temporary measure, so that those who have to clean and sanitise the Church after everybody has gone on a Saturday evening, can do so without disturbance and get to their homes in reasonable time. Likewise on Sunday Mornings, there must be at least an hour to give time for cleaning and getting ready for the 11a.m Mass.


Why no Mass at Husbands Bosworth?


The Church has not been approved for reopening for services. Because it is so small and narrow, Social Distancing would create big problems, with very few being able to attend, so it will remain without it’s Sunday Morning Mass until further notice.


Why are only so few allowed to go to any one Mass:


As already stated many, many times, we must adhere to Social Distancing. The Church has had to be adapted to the maximum it can admit for any one service.


Why are we asked to wear a Face Mask in Church?


Again because we have opted for the metre plus in distancing, as against the 2 metre, we are required to wear a Mask for obvious reasons.


Why can’t we sing our hymns and have music?


To prevent the droplets from your mouth from spreading further out. Apparently singing spreads the droplets further afield than just speaking.


Why are we not using our Mass books?


To prevent the spread of any germs which might be already there, or which may attach themselves from your hands to the surface of the cover or the pages.


Why only one Reader and why must she/he sanitise and wear gloves during that ministry?


One Reader cuts down the movement within the Church, also helping to curtail any possibility of passing on any signs of the virus to anybody else. Gloves are worn because the Lectionary and microphone may be touched inadvertently or otherwise by the Reader.


Why are we not allowed to pick up a Newsletter on our way in to Mass as against when leaving?


Any paper, books etc. that you might touch can become infected. So the idea is that any loose leaflets such as the Newsletter, should be picked up on your way out and taken away with you. Please, please, do not leave any loose leaflets, papers, sheets of any kind behind you in Church. Take them home with you and dispose of them appropriately.


Why are we not allowed to walk along the Cloister and go through the Rooms etc. to the Hall and into the car park as we have always done.? 


Again for very practical reasons. Any area that has been used for whatever reason or for access, must be cleaned and sanitised. The less area and equipment used, the less the cleaning afterwards by our volunteer stewards.


What is the biggest change we can expect next Sunday, or whenever we feel ready and able to go back to Mass:


The biggest change will be the lay out of the Church and being shepherded by stewards, remembering that you will not be able to sit in your customary seat, that you will not be able to ramble around to greet or chat with your friends whom you have not seen for weeks. There will be a complete change in atmosphere in the Church. The celebration of Mass will be much shorter than usual, to try and prevent you being “indoors together” for as short as possible. But your great reward, happiness and joy, will be in being able to receive our Divine Lord again in Holy Communion. What a blessing that will be for all of you who have been denied that joy, that great privilege of receiving your Eucharistic Lord for such a long time. Like St. Paul you will be saying :  “I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me”.


Will we be able to receive Holy Communion?


Yes indeed you will in the hand only, through the Sacred Host. You will not be able to receive from the Chalice. You will receive further instructions at Mass re. approach, keeping the correct distance, stretching out your hand as far as possible, and how you will return to your place. Again following the advice of the stewards will be absolutely essential for all of us. By the way, you will not see any Altar Servers on the Altar for the time being, or anybody allowed on to the Sanctuary except the Eucharistic Minister(s) on duty. He/she will have to sanitise, keeping the Social Distancing, as will the Priest, before and after distribution.


Why are we using both Church doors for entry and exit?


Again in the hope that this will help with the Social Distancing required. Those entering the side doors will be asked to use the seats on the Sacred Heart Altar side. Those who come through the front doors on Coventry Road will be asked to use the seats on Our Lady’s Statue side of the Church. You will leave the Church via the door you entered through.


Please remember the importance of the required Social Distancing.


Lastly, remember that during this time of pandemic, only those who feel ready, those who feel comfortable with it, those who are fit and healthy, should consider coming to Mass. Those with serious underlying health issues, and those who are very elderly, should not consider coming at this time. Remember your Sunday obligation to attend Mass has been suspended during this time. So please do not take any chances if you are not comfortable. Do not take any risk, and certainly do not put others in any danger of risk. For those who cannot come for whatever reason, at this time, be assured that you will be in the thoughts and prayers of all who can, and will come to Mass. God bless you all and keep safe.




Your foreign coins and used or unused stamps - all can be sorted and valued, with profits to our Bazaar fund.

See Fr Chris or Mick Crook for further information.




All data is stored securely on computer and access is limited to the Parish Priest and a small number of people authorised by the priest, to assist with parish administration. The Diocese remains the sole Data Controller (i.e. has responsibility for the use and control of this data), even where processing is carried out by parishes. The Diocesan Policy can be found at http://www.dioceseofnottingham.uk/data-protection-policy




All who are associated with the Parish in any way are invited to register. When completing the form please use BLOCK CAPITALS and complete all relevant boxes. If there is not enough room on the form for any information please use the reverse. Thank you for your co-operation.




Market Harborough Fairtrade Town are promoting a bag of Rice can change a life in September and October. If they can sell NINETY one-kilogram bags of Kilombero rice then: ONE Malawian rice farmer can afford to send ONE of his/her children to secondary school for ONE year. Kilombero rice £2.99 will be available from The Oxfam Shop, The Growing Tree in Manor Walk,  Anita Beer 07910 073436.




Yes, don’t forget to bring along your used postage stamps and foreign or old coins. We can use them. Just pop them into the box marked for that purpose in the cloister.




If you have been away and want to catch up on what's been happening in the parish you can now read the Parish Newsletters for the previous four weeks.  Click the "Newsletters" button at the top of this page.  You can also download a copy of this week's Newsletter.




We are grateful for your generous support and would ask you to continue with your donations please. The following items are urgently required:


· Fruit Juice

· Tinned Sponge Puddings

· Tinned Meat Pies

· Tinned Meat


All non perishable donations will be appreciated. There is also an urgent need for more volunteers to help at the Foodbank. Those interested can leave their details at the Congregational Church Office on 01858 462376 or via email at jubileefoodbankmh@gmail.com




Great news for Market Harborough. In addition to the Carers Support Group there will now be an Activity Group for people with Dementia. We are looking for people who would like to volunteer for the Activity Group on a Friday morning from 9.30 am - 12.30 pm. You will be involved in welcoming people with dementia and their carers and helping people with dementia to take part in a variety of discussions and activities. Please contact Alison Chaplin of Alzheimer's Society on 0116 231 1111




sell clothes on e-bay to raise funds for their charities.  Last year, thanks to your very generous donations, we raised £1,000 in this way.  Life is busy and we have had very few donations recently.  This is a gentle reminder that we still use this method to fundraise and are most grateful for your donations. When the weather breaks and you get out your winter wardrobe please remember us.  Clothes can be left in our box in the cloisters.  Thank you.




If so please ask your family, or if you are well enough to do so yourself, to let the Catholic Chaplain know that you are there. Otherwise you will not have a visit from the Catholic Chaplaincy or be able to receive Holy Communion. Under the Data Protection Act, the hospital staff can no longer reveal to any chaplain, or to anybody else enquiring, the religion of any patient in their care. The same applies to Residential Homes and other places of care. The onus is now on the patient or their family to inform the Chaplain.


COMMUNITY COMPANIONS - Supporting Older People back into the heart of their communities: 


Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) has been offering a befriending service in the Harborough District for over 14 years and are keen to recruit more volunteers who could visit an older person for 1 - 2 hours a week. Training and ongoing support are given, and travel costs are covered. If you could volunteer, or you would like a befriender to visit you, please contact Rohini Corfield (Community Champions Project Manager) or Jenny Young on 01858 439262.   More information is available at www.VASL.org.uk/our-projects/community-champions




The Market Harborough Carers Support Group facilitated by Alison Chaplin meets on the first Friday of every month at 10am at the Coffee Lounge of the Methodist Church on Northampton Road. This group gives carers an invaluable opportunity to share some of their experience of caring for a loved one with dementia. There is also an opportunity to hear about the latest news from Alzheimer’s Society and to look at books and leaflets about dementia, including many written from a Christian perspective. If you or anyone you know is in a caring situation, do let them know about the group. Contact Alison on 0116 031 1111 (alison.chaplin@alzheimers.or.uk). Or just turn up on the day and Alison will be thee to welcome you.


Alzheimer’s Society is also looking for volunteer befrienders in Market Harborough and area. The volunteer befriender enables a person with dementia to participate in an activity they would like to do in the community - perhaps going out for a cup of tea, shopping, going for a walk, doing a sport or taking a class. The befriender needs to be available for a session of up to 4 hours a week between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm Mondays to Fridays. It is useful to be able to drive too. Volunteers will receive induction and ongoing training and support from the Befriending Manager. If you would like to hear more, please contact Alison as above.




The Bower House Christian Counselling Service offers counselling and help to people of the local community. We are open from 9 am to 9 pm and need Support Worker volunteers to offer hospitality within the house as well as some admin. such as answering the phone and taking referrals.  We have a lovely band of volunteers but could do with more help. How will you be spending your time this autumn and winter? Could you offer a three hours slot once a week or once a fortnight? If you are interested please ring Jadz Bower, Chris Hodgson or Jeanette Payne on 01858 469257 or drop in to see us between 9 am and 5 pm.




The Torch Book Club requires sighted people to be part of their group. They meet at the Congregational Church room on 1st Friday of the month from 2 pm - 4 pm. Book of the month ‘Faith like Potatoes’. If you are interested in becoming a member or would like to find out more please contact Angela Butlin 01858 467419.




The developing Church in Africa is in need of Rosary Beads.  If you have a surplus Rosary, or part of a Rosary, beads, or crosses and centre pieces surplus to requirement, please hand them to Vanessa, Lisa or Fr Chris.




Just a reminder that the Third World Group eBay’s clothes in order to raise funds, so if you have been sorting out you wardrobes after incorporating all the Christmas newbie’s please pass your cast-off’s onto us.  We do get money for rags, so everything is most welcome.  Please mark bags clearly with “For 3rd World”.  Thank you for your continuing support.




wish to thank each and everyone for their gifts to the “LIFE SHOP”.  When bringing in goods for the LIFE SHOP, can they be clearly marked with “LIFE” on the outside of the plastic bag.  Small items of furniture will also be welcome, but please contact the Life Shop direct for collection.  Please DO NOT place small furniture in the Cloister for collection.




Our Diocesan advisors have informed us that legacies left in wills, directly to the parish, should really be directed to the  registered charity.  The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham is the registered charity.  The advice given, is to encourage parishioners contemplating leaving a legacy via their will to their parish, and to make sure the parish will be the beneficiary , is to direct the legacy to the Registered Charity - the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham with strict instruction that it is (in our case) for the parish of Our Lady of Victories, Market Harborough.




Torch Trust is an international Christian Mission that aims to help people with sightless to discover faith in Christ and live fulfilling Christian lives.  They are continually developing their service for blind and partially sighted people and as a result the volunteer needs are also changing.   Perhaps you know someone who has recently retired and is looking to use their gifts and skills, honed in the workplace, in a new avenue.  Or perhaps you know someone who has been long termed unemployed, volunteering can help to raise self esteem and build new skills that can go on the CV with a view of getting back into work. 


Further information on what volunteering roles are available can be found on the poster on the notice board.


"The Lord's Day" -


Weekly Newsletter of the Watermead Apostolate:  http://www.watermead-apostolate.com/lords_day.html




This webpage is updated from the Weekly Newsletter.  Sometimes due to shortage of space it is not possible to include everything in the weekly Parish Newsletter. If you would like an item published on the website please email any items to newsletter@olvic.com 


We can only publish items which meet the criteria for inclusion in the weekly Parish Newsletter.