December book of the month – The Thursday Murder Club

Having just finished Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming, the St Helen’s Church Book Club now turn its sights to a murder mystery by Richard Osman’s whose debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, appears to be lighting up the book charts.

Book blurb

I was at lunch, this is two or three months ago, and it must have been a Monday, because it was shepherd’s pie. Elizabeth said she could see that I was eating, but wanted to ask me a question about knife wounds, if it wasn’t inconvenient?

I said, ‘Not at all, of course, please,’ or words to that effect. I won’t always remember everything exactly, I might as well tell you that now. So she opened a manila folder, and I saw some typed sheets and the edges of what looked like old photographs. Then she was straight into it.

Elizabeth asked me to imagine that a girl had been stabbed with a knife. I asked what sort of knife she  had been stabbed with, and Elizabeth said probably just a normal kitchen knife. John Lewis. She didn’t say that, but that was what I pictured.

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be octogenarians, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

What people are saying

‘Such a beacon of pleasure’ KATE ATKINSON

‘So smart and funny. Deplorably good’ IAN RANKIN

‘A gripping read’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Thrilling, moving, laugh-out-loud funny’ MARK BILLINGHAM

‘As the bodies pile up, and more is revealed of the lives and loves of Joyce, Ibrahim, Ron and Elizabeth, you can’t help cheering them on – and hoping to meet them again soon’ THE TIMES, CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH

‘Mystery fans are going to be enthralled’ HARLAN COBEN

‘One of the most enjoyable books of the year’ DAILY EXPRESS

‘Smart, compassionate, warm, moving and so VERY funny’ MARIAN KEYES

‘As gripping as it is funny’ EVENING STANDARD

Our next book club

Please remember that anyone can join our Book Club. The next one will be held on Tuesday 5th January at 7.00. At this event we will discuss The Thursday Murder Club and select our next book.

Buying the book

  • You can buy this book from Waterstones, WHSmith or other bookshops in Cardiff
  • It can be purchased quite cheaply on Kindle (around 99p I believe)
  • You may be able to order it from the library
  • If you type the title in to Google and click the Shopping tab, you can find quite a few sellers (New and used)
  • You can order through Amazon (here’s the link: https://amzn.to/33DyXTn)
  • If Amazon is out of stock, check Amazon “New” or “Used” options from other sellers through Amazon. Kindle is another option. Waterstones and Blackwells sell it as do many suppliers on eBay. Or why not check out the local library?

Can anyone join the Book Club?

Of course! To join the St Helen’s Book Club, please click this link. You can then enter your details and you will be sent joining instructions. Alternatively, you can always email Canon John on caerphilly@rcadc.org.

Preparing for Mass Online

St. Helen’s streams Mass on Saturday at 6.30 pm and Sundays at 10:30am and on other days, please refer to the Newsletter for details, dates and times.

First, please be minded that there is no obligation to watch a streamed Mass given the restrictions associated with COVID-19; however, watching and praying with us is a wonderful way to stay connected to your Catholic community here in Caerphilly and the surrounding area.

A word of caution: Attending Mass online is really hard since we are not in our usual sacred space and without all of its beautiful elements. So be patient with yourself; it is worth the effort!

How to prepare to have the best possible experience

Attire

Dress as you normally would for Mass. Try to distinguish between your normal about the house/odd job clothes as this will help identify this time as a special time.

Location

  • Prepare a special place on which to set your phone, tablet, or computer
  • Set out a crucifix or other religious imagery.
  • Light a candle or two if you have one.
  • Spread a little tablecloth on which to set your device.
  • It might be helpful to sit on something more like a dining room chair rather than dad’s recliner or the family couch.
  • Create a still and quiet environment as much as possible.

Mind and heart

  • Use a service book if you have one or an app like Magnificat or iBreviary to follow along with the readings. Or simply google “catholic mass readings.”
  • Whilst challenging, avoid distractions as best as you can just as you would do at Mass in the chapel.

Attending Mass

Switch off all radios, TVs and block incoming calls to mobile phones, maybe consider taking the landline phone “off the hook.”

  • Participate just as you would when attending Mass (stand, sit, kneel, repeat the proper responses, etc.)
  • Instead of receiving Holy Communion, make an act of spiritual communion such as this one composed by the 18th century saint, St. Alphonsus Liguori:

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

  • Once Mass is completed, spend a few moments in silence trying to recall something from the scripture readings or the homily, something you can take with you and even share with others.

Celebrating Advent as a Family

The Family Life Worker and the Family Life Commission for the Archdiocese of Cardiff have created a booklet booklet to inspire you to celebrate the full season of Advent and that this in turn brings you joy whilst creating shared memories that your family will treasure.

Advent means ‘arrival’ or ‘presence’. In the season of Advent we prepare to celebrate not only Jesus’ birth but his presence in the family, in the love we share.

We recall the past, celebrate the present, and look to the future with hope. We await the coming of the light that will shine in the darkness, shining light on our path of peace.

In prepration for Advent

In preparation for Advent

These activities could form a family fun weekend to ‘kick start’ Advent, whilst creating some shared family memories; though you can also dip in and out of these during Advent…. Whatever suits your family.

  • Making an Advent wreath
  • Making of the empty manager
  • Making an Advent paper chain
  • Preparing a Jesse tree

Christ the King Novena Prayers

Sunday 21st November

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship.
We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things. We pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority. We pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your kingdom in my family and Community. We pray that You will reign in our minds. We pray that you will reign in our hearts. We pray that you will reign in our will. We pray that you will reign in our bodies. We pray You will reign throughout all the world. We pray that You will reign in every area of our lives.

O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world. As we reflect on your second, glorious coming and the judgement of all mankind, we beg You to show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us sinners to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.

Christ the King, Your Kingdom come! Amen.

Christ the King Novena Prayers

Saturday 21st November

Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship.
We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things. We pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority. We pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your kingdom in our families and Communities. We pray that You will reign in my mind. We pray that you will reign in our hearts. We pray that you will reign in our will. We pray that you will reign in our bodies. We pray You will reign throughout all the world.

O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world. As we reflect on your second, glorious coming and the judgement of all mankind, We beg You to show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us sinners to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.

Christ the King, Your Kingdom come!

Amen.

Daily Theme

All who are grieving, and all suffering with physical and mental health

‘Lord the one you love is sick….’ John II v 3

We bring to God all those who suffer in body, mind, spirit or with grief. We ask that in God’s great loving kindness they might know His sustaining presence amidst their pain. We pray for those who are stretched beyond their own capacity to cope and remain hopeful – that in the roar of these waterfalls God would bring a sense of coherence, comfort and strength.

Christ The King Novena Prayers

Friday 20th November

Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship.
We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things. We pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority. We pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your kingdom in our families and Communities. We pray that You will reign in my mind. We pray that you will reign in our hearts. We pray that you will reign in our will. We pray that you will reign in our bodies.

O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world. As we reflect on your second, glorious coming and the judgement of all mankind, We beg You to show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us sinners to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.

Christ the King, Your Kingdom come! Amen.

Christ The King Novena Prayers

Thursday 19th November

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship.
We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things. We pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority. We pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your kingdom in our families and Communities. We pray that You will reign in our minds. We pray that You will reign in our hearts. We pray that You will reign in our will. O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world.

As we reflect on your second, glorious coming and the judgement of all mankind, I beg You to show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us sinners to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.

Christ the King, Your Kingdom come!

Amen.

Daily Theme

The NHS and Other Key Workers

Our God is the great healer. Today we voice our gratitude for those who serve this country in the National Health Service and pray for that God would prosper the work of their hands-that they would all be encouraged in their continued work of sacrifice and care amongst us.

Christ The King Novena Prayers

Wednesday 18th November

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship. We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things. We pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority. We pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your kingdom in our families and Community. We pray that You will reign in our minds. We pray that you will reign in our hearts. O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world.

As we reflect on your second, glorious coming and the judgement of all mankind, We beg You to show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us sinners to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.

Christ the King, Your Kingdom come!

Amen.

Daily Theme

Businesses, The Workplace and Economic Wellbeing

In this time of great challenge, we pray for the economic wellbeing of the country. We remember before God those who face great uncertainty in their work. We lift before God those who have lost their jobs and face an uncertain and difficult future. We pray for a renewed commitment to our common life together.

Christ The King Novena Prayers

Tuesday 17th November

Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship.
We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things. We pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority. We pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your kingdom in my family and Community. We pray that you will reign in my mind. O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world.

As we reflect on your second, glorious coming and the judgement of all mankind, we beg You to show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us as sinners to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.

Christ the King, Your Kingdom come! Amen.

Daily Theme

Elderly, Isolate and Vulnerable

We echo God’s commitment to those most at risk of this virus by praying today for those who are particularly vulnerable and isolated: praying for their deliverance, protection and comfort. We hold before God those who care for them that they would be strengthened and encouraged in this work.

Christ The King Novena Prayers

Monday 16th November

Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship. We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things. We pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority. we pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your kingdom in our families and Communities. O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world.

As we reflect on your second, glorious coming and the judgement of all mankind, we beg You to show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us sinners to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.

Christ the King, Your Kingdom come! Amen

Daily Theme

Schools and Colleges, Children and Young People

We pray for all those involved in shaping young lives. We give God thanks for the sacrifice and commitment of teachers and all those involved in serving children and young people in education. We pray that all might be nurtured and cared for and that every needful resource would be made available that all lives can flourish even in these difficult times and that no-one would be overlooked.